Companies consider hiring anybody without checking their antecedents as a risk. In the case of an ex-felon, they see a lot of potential risks. If you are an ex-felon, you would have felt the implications of this approach during job searches.
Anybody who has committed a crime will live with a stigma that is not easy to erase, and for obvious reasons. This poses great difficulties for felons to get back into society and lead a normal life. To have a new life, you need to get a job first. This is easier said than done as not many companies would be willing to hire an ex-felon. But the good news is that there’re still companies who do hire felons and allow them to be a part of society. Big Lots is one such company.
Big Lots is an American retail company and its headquarters is in Columbus, Ohio. Currently, they have 1,416 stores spread across 47 states. Beginning its journey as CSC in the year 1967, the company started by Sol Senk and its first store, Odd Lots, opened in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio. As this name clashed with a similar store operated by Revco, Consolidated rebranded the name to Big Lots and began opening stores under this brand. On May 16, 2001, Consolidated Stores Corporation changed its name to Big Lots, Inc. By 2002, the name change to Big Lots was complete. As of now, they have more than 1400 stores in 47 states operating under the Big Lots name.
Big Lots offers everything from consumables, housewares to toys and seasonal goods. Big Lots is a community retailer dedicated to friendly services, trustworthy values, and affordable solutions in every season and category – furniture, food, décor, and more. Starting as a closeout store, Big Lots is now into discount retailing, with the core aim of helping people save money on all kinds of products.
Big Lots currently employs around 23,000 people across more than 1,400 locations. In keeping with its principle of hiring people who will flourish, the company provides a lot of benefits to its employees. Health care, Retirement Planning, Company Paid Life Insurance, Investment Opportunities by operating Saving Plans, Disability Protection, both short term and long term, and other additional benefits like Bonus Plans, Vacation Plans, Company paid holidays, educational assistance, and Merchandise discounts are some of the benefits that they provide their employees.
Their mission is to help people live Big and save Lots. According to their vision, they strive to deliver unmatched value to their customers at delightfully low prices while ensuring a safe and happy place of work for their employees.
Entry Level Jobs at Big Lots
There are three main categories for entry-level jobs at Big Lots. They are corporate, store, and distribution centers. The average hourly wage at Big Lots ranges from approximately $8.15 per hour for Recovery Specialist to $13.88 per hour for Forklift Operator.
Among the popular jobs at Big Lots, you have the opportunity to fit in as a Cashier whose salary is around $9.49 per hour. A Cleaner gets about $10.25 per hour whereas a Retail Sales Assistant can earn $10.41 per hour. The Loading section has varied opportunities and you are eligible for a salary ranging from $9.86 per hour for a Stocker to $13.23 per hour for a Material Handler.
|Job||Salary (per hour)|
|Customer Service Representative||$9.98|
They believe in hiring people who flourish in a fair and fast-paced environment. Also, Big Lots provides equal opportunities to all its employees.
Will Big Lots Hire You?
Big Lots does not officially subscribe to the Ban the Box movement which campaigns for the removal of the box calling for details of the applicant’s criminal background in the application form. However, in principle, they are committed to offering jobs to anyone, including those with criminal records, and this is elaborated below.
The company is committed to the principle of providing equal employment opportunities to all its employees, and also in providing them with a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. All decisions related to employment are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications. By doing so, they do not discriminate against anyone on any basis.
Importantly, they are prepared to employ qualified individuals with a criminal history. The only consideration being that it will be based on applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances in that particular locality. As a felon, you stand to benefit from this decision of the company. Because it leaves a door open for you to seek employment at Big Lots, in spite of your criminal history. With the right qualification and adequate experience, you have a fair chance of being employed at Big Lots.
The company also does not officially support the Fair Chance Business Pledge that hopes to give an equal chance to everyone who applies for a job and does not let their background play a part in the hiring process. Though they have not taken this pledge, Big Lots does give a fair chance to all people who apply for a job.
Does Big Lots Do Background Checks?
Big Lots is open to hiring people of all backgrounds. However, there is no mention on their websites whether they would perform background checks. In any case, you can be fairly sure that they do perform background checks. These checks comply fully with the laws prevailing in that particular state. If the laws of one state are harsh, then you will find it difficult to find employment at Big Lots in that particular state.
What are the Background Check Nuances in the Different States?
The maintenance of criminal records varies from state to state. Some states maintain criminal records for only 7 years. In these states, any criminal act committed beyond 7 years will not appear during a background check.
In a few states, a not-guilty result in a trial will not show up during background checks. This could help those charged for a felony, but who were found not guilty.
There are states which maintain criminal records eternally and these will come up in background checks. The judgments of all trials, irrespective of whether the accused person was found guilty or not will be visible to the prospective employer. Your chances of being hired in these states are slim.
The nature of the crime also influences the decision of whether to employ or not. They may not hire people with drug-related or violent crime related acts. In some cases, they have rejected even people charged for theft. People with such criminal records may find it difficult to land a job at Big Lots.
Why Does The Company Do Background Checks?
Big Lots does not discriminate on a person’s past, whether it is based on the past line of work or past criminal history. However, to ensure that their employees and customers have a safe environment, it has to select the right candidate to man its stores. So, background checks for prospective applicants are mandatory.
How to Get Hired at Big Lots with a felony?
Start the process by browsing online for jobs. Then, identify jobs that suit your academic qualifications and experience, and narrow down on the jobs that suit you best.
Next, prepare a resume highlighting your qualifications and experience. Also, your resume should include the skill sets that you possess, and detail the jobs that you had undertaken during your period of incarceration. These skills will be an added advantage. Highlight any self-improvement classes that you have attended, for that, would be a plus point. Present them appropriately according to the job you are applying for.
At the next stage, prepare for the interview. Learn everything you need to know about the company, its core values, ethics, and vision. Appear before the interview panel in your best dress, after all, the first impression is the best. Be positive and present a confident outlook.
Big Lots is an Equal Opportunity Employer. They uphold their commitment to creating a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. Felons are not discriminated against at the company. Besides, you have a fair chance of landing a job with the right qualification and experience. Entry-level jobs appear to be the most likely positions that you could fill in at Big Lots and this seems to be the best way to make a new start in life. Once you are in, you can move up the ladder by showcasing your abilities and trustworthiness.