Regaining your freedom after incarceration should be a reason to celebrate. It means getting a chance to start your life over. Hopefully with better tidings ahead.
Unfortunately, for many felons, it actually means the beginning of a great many struggles.
One of the major problems to overcome involves finding gainful employment. Many people are biased against felons and are unwilling to hire them. More so when they can easily get candidates with similar qualifications and no criminal record.
For many felons, the best approach is to identify felony friendly employers. For many, the question then arises; does Kroger hire felons?
Kroger is a great company to consider because of its size and diversity of work opportunities. It is the second-largest retailer in the U.S. behind Walmart. It is also the fourth-largest American-owned private employer in the country.
The company has a presence in at least 35 states. Their stores are more than just a place to buy groceries. They also include department stores, jewelry stores, pharmacies, clinics, and manufacturing plants.
Besides steady employment, the company also offers a slew of great benefits. These include paid vacations, employee discounts, health insurance, disability cover, 401K plans, and tuition assistance.
It is also noteworthy that employees are unionized and work under collective bargaining agreements. That helps provide better workplace protections and standardize pay. It ensures you are not subjected to discrimination just because of your background.
The size of the company also means that if you perform well, there is potential for career progression. They offer flexible work schedules that easily accommodate academic pursuits.
Before you can, however, start rejoicing and sending in your application, we need an answer to our question. Let’s look at the facts and how to make the most of possible opportunities.
Does Kroger Hire Felons?
Kroger does indeed hire felons, but each case is considered on its own merit. We begin by acknowledging that Kroger has signed the Fair Chances Business Pledge.
This initiative prohibits employers from delving into the criminal history of job candidates. This is just until they have gone through the evaluation process. It encourages employers to focus on the skills and job performance potential of candidates.
In this way, felons and those with misdemeanors will have been given a fair chance. Same as those with no criminal history.
Kroger is also an Equal Opportunity Employer. They abide by policies that protect applicants from being discriminated against when it comes to hiring.
Felons are given a fair shake in terms of employment, but background checks are often carried out. This typically comes up towards the end of the hiring process. Background checks are made a conditional term when being extended a job offer.
The background check will likely go back seven years. It is advisable to be forthcoming with the interviewer about criminal history. It may reflect poorly if the first time this history comes up is during the check.
There are no explicit guidelines on how they go about hiring felons. General consensus is that it depends. Does Kroger hire convicted felons? Yes.
However, the type of crime and severity may have an impact on your chances of employment. How long it has been since your release, and any subsequent arrests may also factor in.
Some locations have also been reported to carry out drug testing. This is not universal, but it is advisable to be prepared for such a request.
On clearing the background check and possible drug test, candidates move on to orientation and training.
What Type Of Job Can A Felon Do At Kroger?
As mentioned, Kroger provides a wide selection of services and products. It also has many departments, meaning job opportunities can be plentiful.
From all indications, felons are most likely to secure entry-level jobs. These jobs have lower educational and experience requirements. For felons that have been incarcerated for a long while, this is a good place to start.
Some jobs involve interaction with customers, while others will involve working at distribution or manufacturing facilities.
Some of the most common entry-level positions include:
- Customer Service Representative
- Produce Clerk
- Grocery Associate
- Meat Clerk
- Night Stocker
- Delivery Driver
- Warehouse Worker
- Order Picker
These positions are still advertised via the company careers website. However hiring decisions are made at a local level.
The average pay for Kroger employees is $13 an hour. This translates to about $28,000 a year. Not a bad deal, especially when you also consider the great benefits attached.
Many positions offered by Kroger come with flexible work schedules. This allows many employees to pursue academic or professional certifications.
Many positions are also part-time, which can be useful for those who have other commitments.
As said, employees are taken through orientation and training after they have passed the background check. This is good news for felons with a lack of work experience. They can be assured of being shown the ropes.
This training ensures they gain a good understanding of their responsibilities. This way they can better perform their jobs.
Now let’s look at the application process involved in getting you through the door.
How To Apply
As mentioned earlier, Kroger has its own careers webpage on their official website. This is common practice amongst major employers. It provides an easily navigable central location for people to look up job opportunities.
For full access, candidates need only create a login account and can even upload their resume. Details to complete during sign-up include name, address, education, and availability.
As part of the evaluation process, candidates are required to complete an employment exam. This is a multiple-choice online test that gauges your suitability to embrace the Kroger work culture.
You can also find Kroger listings on job sites like Indeed and Monster. All these sites also provide helpful notification functions. This means you can set up an alert should certain positions in certain locations come up.
Whether you visit the official website or use affiliate sites, you will be able to get ample details. These listings detail the responsibilities of each job.
They also specify locations, shifts, and any requirements for certifications and education. Candidates can also confirm if the position on offer is full or part-time.
Once you have submitted your online application and employment exam, you need only wait. The interview process will likely begin with an initial phone screening. If you pass this, a personal interview with a store manager or his assistant may be arranged.
If you do well here, you may then be given a conditional offer. It will typically require that you pass a background check and possible drug test.
If you do not pass, you will be notified in writing, per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines.
Steps That Will Help You Get Hired At Kroger
1. Prepare Accordingly
Just as with any other job interview, you need to be prepared. Put together decent interview attire. Even if you end up wearing an apron all day, formal wear helps make a positive impression.
Get a friend or family member to practice your interview skills. Look up commonly asked questions and think about suitable responses.
If some simple skills can contribute to the job, consider acquiring them. From computer to driving, there are many qualifications you can acquire. This may give you an edge against other candidates.
Remember to turn up for the interview in good time and apply common etiquette. Practice speaking respectfully and pleasantly.
2. Be Truthful
It may seem premature to disclose criminal history when you have not been asked, but do so regardless. Opening up early on will be viewed more favorably than hiding information that will eventually out.
Try to place an emphasis on how you have turned a new leaf. How well you explain the circumstances of your conviction can also help the interviewer make a judgment call.
3. Be Flexible and Patient
Kroger has an extensive network of branches and facilities across the country. You do not need to settle for just the opportunities closest to you. You can consider making a move that will give you a fresh start.
Be willing to take up even part-time work. This can be a stepping stone to a full-time job in the future.
If you are more experienced but still find it hard to secure a job, consider a lower-level position. It will still help pay the bills and provide good benefits for you and your family. You can then work your way up the career ladder.
4. Run Your Own Background Check
It is good to be a step ahead in such situations. You need to know just what Kroger will discover when they run a background check.
This will help ensure you provide full disclosure during your interview. This can help demonstrate your integrity.
With a Kroger background check misdemeanor and felony convictions are not the only things looked into. A credit check may be run to gauge financial fitness.
5. Get Your Record Expunged
Expungement is a good way to ensure that nothing comes up when a background check is carried out. Every state has its own rules when it comes to who qualifies for this relief. You will need to consult a lawyer and do research to determine if this is achievable.
Keep in mind that if your criminal past is discovered, it may be grounds for dismissal. You will need to weigh your options carefully.
Does Kroger Run A Background Check?
Yes, this is standard practice for the company. However, they do not carry out these checks until after you are chosen amongst the best candidates. Sadly, this does not mean you cannot lose the job opportunity.
Hiring decisions are made on a case-to-case basis. It will depend on the nature and severity of your crime, and how long you have remained arrest-free.
The impression you make on the interviewer will also likely influence their recommendation. Try to put your best foot forward and give a positive spin to your criminal past.
Emphasize any new skills or talents you have that you are developing. This can help demonstrate your commitment to turning your life around.
When picking jobs to apply for, ensure they do not conflict with the nature of your crimes. For instance, those that have been convicted of theft may find it difficult to secure even entry-level positions.
Be discerning of the job responsibilities and how they may relate to your criminal past.
Also, if you are wondering does Kroger drug test, the answer is yes. Though not always. Stay off any narcotics, even the legal ones, to be on the safe side.
If you have completed your sentence, you can likely apply for Kroger positions even out-of-state. However, this may not prevent the company from finding out about your criminal record in another state.
With some higher-level positions, a more extensive check may be done that goes back further than seven years.
Some states will also include not guilty verdicts in your report. Running your background check will ensure you know what Kroger will learn when probing your history.
Kroger is undoubtedly a great place to work. Luckily, the competitive salaries, great benefits, and unionized employment are just the tip of the iceberg.
They also have a good track record of accepting felons into their ranks. This willingness to give felons a second chance means avoiding discrimination. You can compete on a more even playing field with non-felons.
For felons, the best way to find a good job is to focus on felon friendly companies. Background checks have become almost standard in the job sector so this approach can help improve hiring chances.
Apply our tips when making your application and going through the interview process. They will help whether your potential employer considers your history or not.