Does Goodwill Run Background Checks?

There are many disenfranchised groups in the U.S. From new immigrants facing a language barrier to former inmates lacking job training and experience. Many are handicapped when it comes to achieving the American dream.

Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that recognizes these challenges. They develop social and educational programs to help people attain better living and working standards.

So, given their interest in the disenfranchised, does Goodwill run background checks on felons?

does goodwill run background checks

This would be of interest given the many Goodwill locations across the country. Working for such a large organization that helps those that are struggling would be desirable.

Besides the training and assistance programs, Goodwill also runs stores where people can donate and buy used items. Working at these stores is another chance for employment.

The organization also caters to other niches including food, laundry, logistics, and recycling services. Goodwill also offers staffing and recruitment services. They work with both private and government institutions.

Let’s delve a little deeper into why anyone would want to work here.

Why Work at Goodwill?

The pay that Goodwill staff earn at their outlets is competitive. Not much different than what you would get with other retailers like Walmart and Target.

Because they have strong consideration for people, they offer flexible schedules. This is helpful to those pursuing higher education and juggling childcare. A healthy work-life balance can be achieved here.

does the goodwill run background checks

Given the good expansion programs, the company offers excellent career paths. This means that those with good performance have many avenues through which to be promoted.

This is made further possible thanks to training programs that help in building skills as careers advance.

Goodwill has many departments and sub-organizations. This means plenty of career options to pursue and become skilled in.

There are dedicated training programs for struggling groups like those that have been chronically unemployed. This is helpful to felons who may fall under this category.

Given all these benefits, do felons have to worry about background checks?

Does Goodwill Perform Background Checks?

does the goodwill run background check

Yes, Goodwill does run background checks on all employees. As an institution that deals with vulnerable groups it is not surprising.

Plus, the fact that they engage in federal contracts. This may make it a requirement.

They however tend to adhere to state and federal guidelines when it comes to requesting such reports. Background checks are typically made a part of a conditional offer of employment.

For felons, this gives a chance to impress before their criminal past becomes a factor.

Goodwill has not officially supported such initiatives as Ban the Box or Fair Credit Reporting Act. They do however seem to support the ideals nevertheless.

After passing interviews, the candidate will be given a conditional offer of employment. They will need to pass the criminal background check and be drug tested. They will need to sign a consent form for these checks to be undertaken.

How far back the check will go will depend on location. Some states require checks to go no further than seven or ten years.

They however do not disqualify candidates based on criminal history. This may only come into play if it directly relates to the position. For instance, theft offenders are less likely to be hired.

Company policy is to consider criminal history on a case-to-case basis. So being honest and explaining yourself to hiring managers will be vital.

There are other factors that Goodwill considers when deciding. They will also factor in how long since the conviction and the severity of the offense. Violent and sexual offenders are other groups unlikely to be hired.

However, even so, it all depends on the circumstances. Goodwill has a strong history of hiring felons and is committed to helping people gain second chances.

Tips On Getting Hired by Goodwill

As mentioned, being honest is crucial. When asked about any criminal past, be ready to provide as much detail as possible.

Take responsibility for your actions and avoid making excuses. This shows maturity and a desire to turn over a new leaf.

It is helpful to rehearse your interview skills with a friend or family member. Practice your response to basic recruitment questions. Also, think about how you will explain your criminal past.

does the goodwill run the background checks

Be sure to do a bit of research on goodwill. Learn more about their values, the work they do, and programs in your area. This can help in answering questions about why you would want to work for them.

Multiple online resources give examples of common interview questions from Goodwill. Look these up to help in your preparation.

Be sure to emphasize the ways your life had changed since and what you aspire to achieve. Indicate how you believe joining Goodwill can help with this. And the positive contributions you can make to the company and achieving its goals.

Remember to always speak politely and courteously. Your demeanor will help make a good impression and hopefully counter the results of your background check.

You do not have to dress formally for your interview. Especially if for an entry-level position.

However, be neat and presentable, in keeping with other employee standards. Make a note of how staff dress by visiting a local outlet and having a look around.

Also, remember to stay clean before seeking a job here. Drug testing is mandatory for new hires.


Many entry-level positions are perfect for felons that need job training and experience. Positions like retail associate and general laborer are good positions to start on.

Goodwill also helps employees attain job skills that can help in climbing up the career ladder. Or use to move on to better jobs in other organizations.

It is also rewarding to work for such a good organization that grants people second chances. It has a strong reputation and you can proudly identify with it.

However much they are considerate of felons, not everyone gets in. You need to be honest and seek to make a positive impression.

This is a great employer to target when you have had tough luck finding employment. Explore their job opportunities and visit any outlet to ask about work. You can also apply online through their job site.

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