If you are a person who has committed a felony and you wish to make a fresh start to your life, the best option is to get a decent job and make a complete changeover. It’s easier said than done, as you are always looked through a different lens due to your record. This would mean, not many companies will be willing to employ you due to your past conviction. However, there is still hope!
Some companies do not discriminate against former felons. These companies can provide you the solace and a beginning to a fresh lease of life. One such company is Costco, one of the largest retailers in the world.
Costco Wholesale Corporation is an American multinational corporation. It is also popularly known simply as Costco. Costco operates a chain of membership-only retail stores or warehouse clubs as they are also known. Costco ranks the 2nd largest retailer in the world. Among the Fortune 500 companies, Costco is ranked 14th based on total revenues.
Costco started as Price Club in the year 1976. James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman founded the company and opened their first warehouse under the Costco name in 1983. The complete merger of Costco and Price Club took place in the year 1993 when they decided to merge operations. Taking the name PriceCostco, they had 206 locations generating $16 billion in annual sales. In 1994, the owners of Price Club left the company to form Price Enterprises.
Costco today has a total of 776 warehouses around the world. Of these, 539 are in the US and Peurto Rico, 100 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 16 in South Korea, 13 in Taiwan, 11 in Australia, 2 in Spain, 1 in Iceland and 1 in China.
Costco currently employs more than 245,000 full and part-time employees. The company achieved $145.6 billion in revenue in 2018. Costco is famous for their product prices. They stop selling a product that they feel is priced higher. Also, Costco has a private label called “Kirkland Signature” which accounts for almost a third of all Costco sales.
Entry Level Jobs at Costco
Costco has a variety of jobs available in the 539 warehouses active in the US. Their common entry-level jobs are Cashier, Stocker, and Food Service Assistant. However, these are not the only jobs that you are eligible to apply for at Costco.
The average hourly wage at Costco ranges from approximately $11.86 per hour for Food Preparation Worker to $61.39 per hour for Pharmacist.
|Job||Salary (per hour)|
|Call Center Representative||$14.49|
|Customer Service Representative||$13.61|
|Front End Associate||$14.76|
The popular jobs include the Front End Associates at the Retail section who earns an average salary of $14.76 per hour and the cashier whose pay is $15.20 per hour.
The Food Preparation & Service section employs people as Delivery associates, Baker, Food Service Worker, Food Service Assistant & Bakery Assistant. A delivery associate’s take-home pay is $13.43 per hour and that of a Baker around $14.45 per hour.
The customer Service section’s average salary is $13.61 to its Customer Service Representative, whereas a Customer Representative earns $24.00 per hour.
The Loading and Stocking section employs a Stocker for $14.29 per hour, a Forklift Operator for $19.41 per hour and an Order Picker for $14.42 per hour.
There are similar jobs in the Pharmacy section also, where a certified Pharmacy Technician is paid $17.74 per hour and a Pharmacy assistant earns $16.16 per hour.
Will Costco Hire You?
Costco is one of the world’s largest retailers having a presence in 12 countries around the world. With 539 warehouses in the US, Costco has a huge recruitment demand. Firstly, you have to decide whether you are looking for a job in retail. If your answer is yes, then Costco is an ideal choice due to its vast potential. But, then does Costco hire felons? The answer is yes, referenced from many sources, but it will be different for each case. Generally, whether or not you are hired depends on the following: what type of felony you have, how long you have been out of prison, the interviewer’s perspective and the number of job applicants at that time.
However, from Costco, they have not directly revealed their policy about hiring former felons. They have passed out no information concerning specific hiring policy for former felons and there is no information indicating that they have employed former felons.
Ban the Box movement
Ban the Box movement is a campaign to give former felons a chance to get employment-based purely on their qualifications and skills and not their records. The movement hopes to convince companies who have a box in their application forms which questions the criminal records of the applicant, to remove the same, thus ending a discriminatory practice against former felons. This movement has gained ground in the US and many companies have lent their support to this movement and have removed this particular question from their application forms.
Fair Chance Business Pledge
Companies that take the Fair Chance Business Pledge commit to fair hiring practices for all. And this includes those with criminal records. The pledge will enable everyone to get a job based on qualifications and skills regardless of their previous convictions.
Costco and The Above Initiatives
Costco does not officially support the Ban the Box movement nor is it a signatory to the Fair Chance Business Pledge. This does not mean that they will not hire someone with a criminal record.
There is uncertainty about hiring at Costco with a criminal history as they do not have a specific policy towards hiring former felons. Personal interviews with employees have indicated the company does hire former felons and this has been confirmed by former felons who are now employed at Costco. Also, an anonymous person with a pending felony case, but not convicted, shared that the company hired him after an interview. This information shows that there is still hope, provided you are qualified and have the required skills that the company is looking for.
Does Costco Do Background Checks?
Costco does not have a written policy on background checks. This would depend on the location of the job and its practices. However, they conduct a background check during the interview stage. This allows them to judge your honesty and see whether you are upfront. Therefore, it is in your interest to make them aware of your past criminal record. Whatever background checks they undertake would purely be in line with the laws of the state where you seek employment.
As one of the largest retailers in the world, Costco has a large number of registered members as customers. To maintain their customer base, they have to be very careful with whom they employ. This means that some felonies may find it difficult to get employed at Costco. These felonies include theft of shoplifting, drug charges, and violent assaults because Costco is a drug-free company that deals with the public.
Background Checks in the Different States
The rules regarding background checks keep differing from state to state. In some states, the records of committed within seven years only will be available during background checks. This means if your act of felony was beyond those seven years, then that record will not be available during background checks. So if your criminal record is older than seven years, you have fair chance employment at Costco.
Certain states only maintain conviction records. This means if you are charged for a felony, but have been found not guilty, the information does not show in your records during background checks. On the contrary, in many states, regardless of a guilty or not guilty verdict, the records will appear during the background checks. So if you are seeking employment in a state in which the not guilty records are not visible during background checks, you have a good chance of being employed by Costco.
Unfortunately, a large number of states maintain all the records of a felony without any restriction of years or whether the verdict was guilty or not guilty. In these states, you would find it very difficult to land a job at Costco as all the records of criminal acts would be available during background checks.
Why Background Check?
Costco is very particular about who they employ in the organization. Being a membership retail store, they have to take extra care to maintain their reputation. They achieve this by filtering people with dubious records during the hiring process. To this end, they conduct background checks.
How to Get Hired at Costco with a Felony?
The employment process at Costco is simple. It consists of an application, an interview, and a drug test.
The standard application should provide personal information, educational qualification, and work experience. Costco requires your references and ideally, you can give up to 4 references. Make sure that you contact your references before you put their names in the application forms. You can also prepare an uploaded resume in preparation for the interview.
The next move is to prepare for the interview process. Prepare fully with all the information about the company. Don’t forget to highlight how your qualifications and skills will be an asset to the company. Attend the interview in your best dress and maintain a very positive attitude. The interview gives you two chances. One, the company gives you the chance to explain to them why you would be an asset to the company and also make them understand the circumstances of your incarceration. This helps build the confidence of the management and give you a better chance for employment at Costco.
Finally, the company supports workplace equality and does not discriminate against anyone. Costco maintains that they will recruit made without any unlawful discrimination.