The Seattle metropolitan area, the largest metro region in the Pacific Northwest, centers on its eponymous city and contains a population of roughly 3.8 million people. The 14th most populous metro in the US, it consists of just three counties: King, Snohomish, and Pierce. While Seattle is by far the largest city in the region, there are other large and vital communities in the surrounding area, including Tacoma, Kent, and Bellevue.
With one of the most diverse economies in the country, the Seattle metro is incredibly attractive to job seekers owing to its high concentration of national and local businesses. Giants in the tech sector, including Microsoft, Amazon, and travel company Expedia, call the metro their home. Beyond the digital space, there are major presences for brick-and-mortar stores in the area, too, such as Costco and Starbucks.
Employers hiring in this region enjoy access to a large and diverse labor pool. Most employers in the area vet potential employees for security and job fit. Using background checks, businesses can acquire information that may prove very important during the decision-making process. Open to applications from millions of people spread over three counties, businesses in the Seattle metro could miss pertinent data by limiting their searches to only one county. For example, a business searching only for an applicant’s history in King County may miss a relevant criminal issue that occurred in Snohomish County. Developing a metro-wide process is a secure alternative.
Employers must always use caution to avoid running afoul of the rules and regulations which govern background checks. As of June 2018, all private employers within Washington state must adhere to “ban the box” rules. Under this law, employers cannot ask applicants criminal history questions until after determining they would otherwise be suitable for the job role. Background checks also fall under the purview of the law and must be delayed until the appropriate time. Arrests and convictions older than ten years may not be considered. Disqualifying offenses should relate directly to the applicant’s ability to perform the desired job role, and the state encourages employers to think carefully about such hiring decisions on a case-by-case basis.
As you navigate the rules in for employers hiring in the Seattle metropolitan area, there is value in retooling your procedures to include a metro-wide background check policy. backgroundchecks.com provides instant access to detailed criminal history reports for all three counties in the region. With access to this important tool, conducting due diligence and making smart hiring decisions becomes much simpler.