Located close to the Canadian border in western New York, the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro area contains only two counties, Niagara and Erie, but a population of approximately 1.1 million.
An area undergoing a slow economic revitalization, the Buffalo metro area has an economy that is largely dependent on tourism and government work with some heavier industries still in operation. Notable regional employers include M&T Bank, Kaleida Health, and the University of Buffalo.
Affordable housing makes this metro area a popular destination for those from nearby communities. With new residents arriving frequently and a rebounding economy in progress, businesses throughout the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro can access a continually-refreshed pool of talent during hiring.
Not every applicant will be an ideal candidate. With appropriate background checks, discerning which candidates are worth your business’s time is simpler. Working in a larger metro area such as Buffalo means using a more tailored strategy for strong results.
The important factor to consider when retooling your vetting strategies is mobility–job seekers may travel and cross state or county boundaries to work for you. A business in Niagara may field applicants from Erie, for example, so looking only at Niagara criminal records means losing the opportunity to learn if an applicant committed crimes in Erie. Metro business owners must avoid this type of vetting misstep to hire safely.
To develop better policies and ensure that this problem is no concern, start by reflecting on the fair hiring requirements that your business must follow. The city of Buffalo has enacted a “ban the box” law for private employers operating within city limits. Under these rules, employers cannot use initial applications to ask criminal history questions. Employers also cannot consider an applicant’s criminal history until after an initial interview.
New York state law also disallows private employers of 10 or more people to make denials based on criminal convictions unless there is a direct correlation between the offense and the job or a substantial risk to public safety.
Upon completing your compliance review, you can start securing the right products for strong metro-area background checks. At backgroundchecks.com, we’ve created a robust suite of tools perfect for use across a wide range of industries. In the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro region, we provide our clients with access to detailed record searches of criminal data held by county courthouses in both Erie and Niagara.
A state-level background check provides our customers with a broad look at records held throughout New York while our regional OneSEARCH provides customization options for as many as five states simultaneously. Data compiled for these reports most often comes from state-supplied sources, such as the New York sex offender registry and the state Department of Corrections.
Running a business in the Buffalo metro area can be a challenge, but safe hiring shouldn’t be one of the concerns that you face. With a careful approach to hiring and vetting, you can avoid unfortunate surprises and increase the quality of your workforce. Learn how backgroundchecks.com can provide valuable assistance.