The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro, also known as the Twin Cities, is an expansive region concentrated primarily in Minnesota but also containing a sliver of Wisconsin. In total, the area’s 16 counties create a population of about 3.9 million people. The largest counties are Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka, Carver, Scott, and Washington. St Croix and Pierce counties in Wisconsin also fall within the metro. Along with the region’s namesake cities, other major communities within the metro are Brooklyn Park, Bloomington, and Woodbury.
The Twin Cities region is the economic powerhouse of Minnesota with more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies headquartering their businesses in the area. Best Buy, Target, General Mills, and 3M all have deep roots in the area. As the 13th largest metropolitan economy in the US, the region continues to prove attractive to both businesses and job-seekers.
Employers based in and around the Twin Cities can take advantage of the region’s bustling economy in part by tapping into a diverse crop of job-seekers. As part of this process, screening applicants for suitability and safety is a common practice. Using background checks, hiring managers can review applicant data that may play an important role in final employment decisions.
With sixteen counties that sometimes cross state lines, the pool of potential applicants is very large–and the risk of employers missing something by conducting limited-scope background checks is high. Only examining records in Hennepin County, for example, could mean overlooking an event that occurred in neighboring Ramsey County. The ideal solution is a metro-wide background check that draws information from many regional sources.
In implementing that solution, employers must adhere to the procedures outlined in state regulations for conducting background checks. Minnesota enforces a “ban the box” rule for private employers in the state. This rule stipulates that criminal history questions cannot appear on initial applications, and background checks cannot be conducted until after the first interview or as a result of a job offer. Wisconsin has no such rules in place.
Neither state implements extensive restrictions on the consideration of arrest and conviction records. Instead, employers are encouraged to consider the likelihood of the impact an applicant’s criminal history might have on their ability to perform job duties on a case-by-case basis.
As you develop vetting procedures that comply with the rules found in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro, explore what you can gain by expanding the scope of your background check process to include the entire region. backgroundchecks.com offers instant criminal history reports filled with detailed information from systems throughout the entire sixteen-county metro. With a fast, straightforward way to access information vital to hiring, you can take steps toward streamlining your vetting processes and securing better staff.