Job hunting can be tough. Everyone is hopeful they will secure work with good pay and benefits. Sensible work hours and opportunities for career growth are also wished for.
In reality, the job market is like a pyramid. The bulk of jobs available are at the lowest levels. And many tend to be in the retail sector.
For felons that have wasted years in prison, these jobs are their best bet for gainful employment. Massive retailers like Dollar General are a common consideration. So, does Dollar General run background checks?
Many felons compete for these jobs with much younger adults. This is because they are entry-level positions. And, are a starting off point for most people’s careers.
As competitive as these jobs are, they are still the best chance for felons. This is because the jobs require little work experience and training. They also come with lower pay.
Since the jobs are typically less sensitive, employers are more willing to take a risk. More so when it is a high season, like Christmas, when retailers are in urgent need of extra hands.
Though the wages are low, such jobs still help to cover expenses and can keep parole officers happy. When they know you will spend most of your time busy at work, they become less concerned.
So, in many ways, a job at Dollar General can solve a few problems. The main problem for felons seeking work is background checks. They can reveal a criminal past and make a promising candidate less desirable quickly.
Let’s look at how these checks come about and the possible effects.
What Does a Background Check Involve?
Background checks refer to the investigations carried out into a person’s history. This inquiry can cover several aspects.
This includes criminal past, academics, and credit history. If you indicate work experience, your work history, and past employer referees are probed.
Of most concern for felons is the criminal background check. There are certain agencies engaged by employers that can pull your criminal record. Depending on the state, this record can include arrests, not guilty verdicts, and convictions.
During the recruitment process, candidates are asked to provide certain information. They fill out applications and provide a resume.
When the background check is conducted, it seeks to confirm the data provided. If there are discrepancies, it can disqualify a candidate. Discrepancies show that an applicant has lied.
Dishonesty is an undesirable trait for any employer. If you can lie on an application, then chances are you may do something similarly bad while on the job. No one wants a lying employee.
Sadly, even if you are frank and disclose criminal past, you may still be viewed harshly. Criminal acts are themselves considered an act of dishonesty.
Businesses have to be concerned about the people they hire. Unsavory characters may end up harming other employees, customers, or even company property.
Felons are considered more likely to offend again in this way. Especially if they were convicted of violent, financial, or property crimes.
To reduce the risk of employing such bad characters, many will disqualify felons. This is however illegal.
In fact, in a landmark ruling in 2019, Dollar General lost a lawsuit related to this. It was alleged that they discriminated against African American job candidates.
This violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They did this based on criminal background checks.
Why Apply for A Job at Dollar General?
Dollar General can seem an excellent pick of employer based on its size alone. It is one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. It has over 140,000 employees, revenues of over $27 billion, and is a Fortune 500 company.
There are many work opportunities to be had, especially in low-level retail. Given the size of the business, there is also ample chance for growth. This is good for those looking to climb the career ladder.
The company has multiple training programs and career paths in a variety of departments. The company also offers great health benefits and runs wellness programs focused on physical, mental, and financial wellbeing. They offer 401(k) plans, annual bonuses, and paid vacation time.
Those that make it to corporate also gain the benefit of on-site daycare facilities. The work environment can be busy and pressured, especially for those in retail and distribution centers.
Generally, Dollar General is a great company to work for if looking to make something of your life. Despite the controversial lawsuit they settled, they are still worthy of consideration.
Does Dollar General Run Background?
Like many major companies, Dollar General does indeed undertake background checks. This is done once candidates pass the interview stage. It is part of the conditional offer of employment.
This means that for a job offer to be confirmed, the person must pass the background check. It includes a criminal history check and verification of other details in the application.
Because this check is done, it is advisable to admit any criminal history during the interview stage. Being forthcoming can help to counter any impression of dishonesty.
There is a good chance you may not be directly asked about a criminal past. But you may be asked if there is anything they should know about you. This is an opportunity to reveal information that will come up during the check.
It has also been reported that Dollar General also undertakes drug testing before hiring. It is recommended that you keep off drugs beforehand to get a clean result.
Tips to Help Get Hired at Dollar General
The company should know about your criminal past from you first. If you have not secured an expungement, then they will discover it.
Run your background check. This way you know exactly what will turn up and can prepare to explain.
Give the situation a positive spin by focusing on the way you have turned your life around. Taking the initiative to bring up this issue allows you to better control the narrative. Letting them find out on their own gives them room to imagine the worst.
Ultimately, the best way to reduce the impact of a bad background check is to clear it. Expungement allows for your records to be sealed or cleared. You can then honestly and legally claim to not have a criminal history.
Regulations governing getting an expungement or pardon vary depending on the state. It also matters if the offense was prosecuted in state or federal court. You can research on your own or hire a lawyer to help in applying for this.
If you do not qualify, do whatever you can to prove you have changed for the better. From volunteering to pursuing job training, there are many constructive ways to keep busy.
Making a positive contribution to society is admirable. And pursuing some academic or vocational training suggest you are willing to learn.
Find well-recognized and upstanding members of the community that can be your referees. Let them be people that can advocate on your behalf. Their support can help give you a leg up during evaluation.
This can be very helpful particularly in the rural locations that Dollar General operates. The company needs to maintain good relations with locals. Listening to their opinions about new hires can count for much.
Living your life as a felon can certainly make things more difficult. People are always ready to judge you based on past mistakes. It is a struggle to have to prove the changed person that you are.
Large employers like Dollar General may not have clear policies on whether they hire felons. But much anecdotal evidence suggests that they have hired felons in the past.
Those with non-violent offenses or convicted many years ago, chances can be quite good. The retail sector is still very much thriving and in need of recruits.
Try to build up a good resume that demonstrates that you are an upstanding member of the community. It should also indicate your ability to learn and be a positive influence on others.
Try to maintain a positive attitude when job hunting. While Dollar General is a good employer to aim for, they should not be the only ones on your list.
Apply to various businesses and strive to always put your best foot forward. Moderate your expectations as you will not always get the answer you want. But with enough effort, you are bound to find a job you will be proud of.