Trying to find a decent job is not always easy. For every vacancy, there are multiple applications from deserving candidates. Competition can be quite high, even for low-level jobs.
Having a criminal conviction can make this all the tougher. About 1 in 3 Americans are arrested by the time they are 23 years old. And 8% of the population has felony convictions.
Of those that have been in prison, 60% remain unemployed a year after release. In the course of seeking work, some may be questioning: ‘Does Lowes hire felons?’.
Lowes is a top pick for many reentering the workforce. This is because it is one of the biggest employers in the country. The company has over 300,000 associates worldwide.
It is the second-largest hardware retail chain and home improvement company in the country. Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, the company serves over 18 million customers a week. This is at its stores in the United States and Canada.
With DIY projects having become increasingly popular, more people have turned to such retailers for materials.
Its wide network of stores, that number close to 2,000, offers a wide range of job prospects. From seasonal store associates to IT software engineers, there are a wide variety of jobs available. Some of the departments that seek recruits include stores, distribution centers, finance, HR, marketing, and supply chain.
A full-time job here can be quite lucrative. Besides the good pay, they also offer a slew of great benefits. These include paid vacation time, health cover, 401(K), tuition reimbursement, and dependent care resources.
Obviously, Lowes is a highly desirable company to work for. So the question remains, ‘Does Lowes hire convicted felons?’. Let’s try to find the answer below.
Does Lowes Hire Felons?
The company has yet to come out clearly on this issue. They are believed to support the ban-the-box initiative but not the Fair Chance Business Pledge.
Ban-the-Box attempts to have employers remove questions about criminal past on job applications. It promotes the idea of evaluating felons on an even playing field as those with clean records. The Fair Chance Business Pledge encourages employers to avoid bias against those with criminal history when hiring.
Both initiatives have been useful in helping ex-cons identify employers willing to give them a second chance. Lowes appears to have recently removed questions on criminal past on their job application. However, they do still conduct background checks to reveal them.
Based on online testimonials, it does appear that Lowes hires felons. Many felons have confirmed having been hired by the company. Even after making full disclosures about their criminal past.
They also confirmed that the company does indeed carry out background checks and drug tests.
Lowes does not conduct any special program for hiring ex-felons. They are, however, heavily involved in their local community projects. They support many charities such as Habitat for Humanity and veteran aid.
A willingness to support local communities may be why the company often gives felons a fair shake.
Anecdotal evidence suggests Lowes will often hire felons if a lengthy amount of time has passed since release. In many cases, the background checks they run do not go back further than seven years. However, for those that disclose older convictions, the company does verify.
It is also believed that the company will consider the type of crime. Like many retailers, they probably do not hire those with convictions for theft, violence, or fraud. These crimes are often deemed incompatible with jobs in a retail business.
What Type Of Job Can A Felon Do At Lowes?
As a retailer with close to 2,000 outlets, it would seem that the bulk of jobs are at stores. A simple check of their careers page indicates thousands of positions across the country. For 2020, the company has indicated a desire to engage extra staff for spring.
Though most of these positions are seasonal, they offer a good opportunity to prove oneself. A good impression can translate into a permanent position later.
Seasonal sales associate positions are entry-level. Key tasks include being helpful to customers and stocking shelves. The minimum qualifications call for at least 6 months’ experience using a computer.
Such entry-level positions are great for felons as the qualifications needed are easily acquired. For felons with a little sales experience, this can be an advantage.
Team member jobs at distribution centers are another strong likelihood for felons. If you have work experience at warehouses it can be helpful.
Knowing how to operate machinery like forklifts is another advantage. Having a high school diploma or GED, and basic computer skills is required.
There are also numerous other jobs to be found at their corporate office and that are IT related. These, however, have higher academic and skill requirements.
Lowes promotes itself as an equal opportunity employer at the end of every job offer. We can, therefore, count on them to give due consideration even to job applications from felons.
Now that we have some idea of the range of jobs Lowes offers, let’s look at how to apply.
How To Apply
Lowes has its own careers page on its official website. This is a good place to look up available jobs across the country in the various departments.
You will need to create an account to apply. This requires just a valid email address. You will also need to pick out a security question to answer as a backup.
Once you create the account you can browse all the jobs on offer. Each job has a description of the responsibilities and qualifications required. They are well detailed so you fully understand the kind of person they are looking for.
You can also set up an alert system should specific keywords pop-up. You will receive the alerts in your email.
When you find a job you think fits your profile, you can click to apply. For the online application you will be required to fill out:
- Personal information
- Work History
- Work references
Job applicants are also required to undertake online assessment tests before they can be called for an interview. This is part of their screening process. It gauges candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, and compatibility with the Lowes work culture.
The tests cover such areas as cognitive ability, personality traits, and customer service situational judgment. How you perform on these tests will determine if you will move on to the interview stage.
It is during the interview stage that you may be asked about criminal history. It is important to prepare yourself ahead of time for this. Practice how you will respond to this question truthfully and without making excuses.
If you pass this stage, you will then be asked to consent to a background check and drug test. Passing the background test and drug test will then allow you to move on to orientation.
Steps That Will Help You Get Hired At Lowes
It is important to be truthful about your criminal past. A background check is mandatory before hiring so a failure to disclose will fail you. As said, it is advisable to practice what you will say during the interview.
Go over how you will describe your offense. Be brief, take responsibility, and emphasize what you have done to change your life since.
As mentioned, a drug test is also conducted before hiring. Even where marijuana use may be legal, it is recommended that you keep off drugs for a while. A clean test is particularly important where your conviction may have been drug-related.
The expungement of criminal records seals off your arrest and conviction details. It is a relief that helps felons and those with misdemeanors find decent jobs and housing. You do not have to reveal your criminal past if you secure an expungement.
The conditions to apply do however vary from state to state. Consult a lawyer to find out if you qualify.
For those in California, filing for Proposition 47 can help convert a felony into a misdemeanor. Since misdemeanors are considered a lesser crime, this can also aid in finding employment.
Volunteer work demonstrates a desire to give back to the community. Ex-cons that make this contribution demonstrate their remorse for their actions. It also indicates an eagerness to heal the society they may have harmed.
Lowes has always taken community support seriously and will likely appreciate someone with the same values. You can even use someone from within your volunteer work as a character reference.
Even for entry-level jobs, there is often mention of preferred qualifications. These include more advanced skills that would be an added advantage. Many require just some basic training or a few months’ experience.
Some of these skills can be gained in various ways including volunteering, temp jobs, or vocational school. Look into what skills you can acquire to boost your resume and make you the best job candidate.
Rehearse Your Interview Skills
It is not just the criminal history question you need to prepare for. There are a host of other areas that will be covered during the interview process. Take note of the online assessment questions as some may be repeated during the oral interview.
Practice several times over till you have the answers ingrained. Also, be sure to be courteous. Speaking politely and respectfully demonstrates respect for authority.
Dress appropriately too. Be clean and neat in formal attire. This also indicates respect for the organization.
Does Lowes Run A Background Check?
Absolutely. They are mandatory and the reason we do not advise concealing any details.
The background checks are normally undertaken after one has passed the interview stage. It is at this point that felons should divulge any and all pertinent details concerning their crimes. You will be asked to give consent for the background check to be carried out.
Depending on the state you reside in, the details may vary. In some states, background checks can only go as far back as seven years. If your offenses are older, you may not need to reveal your history.
However, in other states, they may not only provide your entire history of convictions but also arrests. Even if they did not even make it to court. A certificate of innocence where any case you faced ended in a not guilty verdict may be helpful.
If you are also wondering, ‘Does Lowes drug test?’, the answer is also yes. It is recommended that you keep off drugs entirely when considering employment here.
Not just to pass the test, but also to keep working. The company can fire employees who suffer accidents or injuries due to being intoxicated.
Keep in mind that these measures are to help protect the company’s employees and customers. Lowes is inclined to give second chances. They however likely have their own criteria in judging who qualifies.
Lowes is a great company to work for if you can secure the job. It is more challenging when you are a felon, but certainly not impossible. Many felons have confirmed that Lowes does hire those with criminal convictions.
It does, however, seem that the less severe the offense and the longer it has been since conviction helps. Applying our listed tips above can help bolster your case and make you a desirable job candidate.
If, however, you still do not get in, do not be discouraged. Many other companies do support felons in need of a second chance. Keep on applying widely as you also work on improving yourself.