People judge you by your actions, and time doesn’t erase their memories. If you commit a felony, the stigma sticks for a very long time. Most people find it very hard to live it down, but the best way to deal with it is to start afresh. And the best way to start afresh is to find a job. This is easier said than done due to apprehension in general about hiring felons among recruiters.
However, several large organizations hire felons in entry-level posts, on an hourly rate. Some of these organizations include Walmart, FedEx, Lyft, etc. This is part of their commitment to society at large. This article will focus on Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the US.
Bernard Kroger founded Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company has grown exponentially in the 136 years of its existence. With over 450,000 employees, the company has a variety of stores dotted all over the US. Some of these include hypermarkets, supermarkets, departmental stores, superstores, jewelry stores, etc., to name a few.
Kroger is the largest supermarket chain by revenue in the US. The company had revenue of $121 billion as of 2019. Also, it is second only to Walmart and ranked 5th worldwide in terms of retail.
Jobs at Kroger
With a large scale throughout the United States, the company has a wide range of jobs available to people at different levels. The entry-level jobs are maybe the ones that should be of interest to you. They are easier to compete for since most of them require no formal qualifications or experience. Higher positions require qualifications, skills, and experience.
Some of the entry-level jobs at Kroger include that of cashiers, grocery and meat clerks, night stockers and store associates. The average hourly wages of these jobs are $9.6, $10.64, $10.59 and $8.89 respectively. Although many of these jobs offer close to the minimum wages, it is a good start to your career. In fact, this is a good platform from which you can build your career. This could be either within the company or outside in due course of time.
You can see the average hourly wages of some other jobs in Kroger in the table below.
|Job||Salary (per hour)|
|Customer Service Representative||$10.6|
Will Kroger Hire You?
To cut a long answer short, yes. Kroger does hire felons, albeit only for entry-level positions. This is understandable because any higher position would require qualifications, skills, and experience. Also, they need prior knowledge about the working of the company. The entry-level jobs, however, need very minimal skills. This opens up opportunities for people with little experience. If you are a trained and experienced person in a certain field, try applying for a higher position.
That said, there is a slight chance that you might still be ruled out from the process, as the process at Kroger deals on a case-to-case basis when it comes to hiring ex-felons. Moreover, they are not a part of the ban-the-box movement, and there is no record of them having taken the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Companies who join the Ban-the-Box initiative do not ask you about your criminal records before the interview stage. And those who sign the Fair Chance Business Pledge ensure you there is no discrimination during the hiring process on account of a felony in the past.
After interviewing people with criminal convictions who are working at Kroger, it is difficult to have a general formula for getting employed here. If the company needs manpower, they will hire.
Does Kroger Do Background Checks?
As expected from any organization, Kroger does conduct a background check on every candidate that is suitable for the position. If you made it to the background check stage, it is almost always certain that you’re getting the job, provided you haven’t lied about anything concerning your criminal records in the processes before.
The check divulges information on your driving records, financial records, and criminal records along with a check for misdemeanors in a time that begins seven years before applying for the job.
How to Get Hired at Kroger with A Felony?
Now that you know it is possible to get hired by Kroger with minimal experience (for certain portfolios), all you need to do is to give your all to ensure that you’re one of the hired people. Some pointers are given below for you to keep in mind while applying for any position. Although the list is not exhaustive, it is one form where you can start.
1. Fill The Application Honestly
This is the first step when it comes to applying for a job at Kroger. You have to fill the application form (online or offline, depending on the outlet you aspire to join as an employee). When you’re filing the form, your initial instinct might be to cover up your felony to improve your chances of employment. However, what you should remember at this juncture is that lying on your application will be detrimental to the chance of your recruitment. Because Kroger, as mentioned previously, conducts background checks before it hires someone.
Employers look for integrity more than skillsets in their prospective employees, and for that single reason, never lie. Be it about your financial status, or residential address.
2. Develop The Necessary Skill Sets
Before you fill out the application, or once you’ve filled it, make sure to equip yourself with the experience that is expected for the job. If the recruiters see that you have a strong resume in comparison to your competitors, you will definitely have a higher chance of being hired. For this, you can attend online courses, or ask someone with experience on how to go about the job, without asking too many intrusive and specific questions. Further, if your position warrants that you be able to work with computers and software, try to attend those classes as well so that you have an edge over those who are applying for the same position as you.
3. Prepare for The Interview
If the human resources department at Kroger finds your answers on the application convincing or fitting for the job, they will call you for the interview. This is the part where you get to impress those on the other side with your personality. Although the questions asked will be general for the most part, you can (and definitely should) prepare yourself for answering those questions. This is important because the employers will ask the same set of questions to everyone. If you give answers that are unique and impressive, there is a higher chance of them remembering you over someone who gave generic answers.
Also, at this stage, you will most definitely be asked about your felony. Thus, you must practice talking about it in an emotionally detached manner, simultaneously assuring the interviewers that you are a changed person now. The best way to analyze and correct the way you talk is by talking to yourself, standing in front of a mirror. That way, you’ll be able to see your gesticulations and facial expressions accurately and adjust them if needed. Alternatively, you could also talk to a friend and have them conduct a mock interview for you to see how well you do.
4. Be Congenial and Confident
Once you’ve done your share of preparation for the interview, present yourself well. Try and speak in a friendly, yet confident manner to your interviewers. Your ability to work in a team and interact with others is a crucial metric in hiring. Obviously, these qualities go a long way towards achieving success in those areas.
Interviewers generally prefer candidates who present themselves well and are pleasant. Thus, it is a big plus if you are endowed with these qualities. If not, do not worry, you can always carefully cultivate them. All it needs is diligence and practice.
5. Wait Patiently
You might have to do a lot of waiting during the recruitment process. First, after you’ve filled out your application, and secondly while you await your results after the interview. Be patient for a little while, and prepare for the next stage of the process in the meantime.
Generally, the background check after the interview ranges from a day to as long as a week. During this time, you must keep calm. Do not get agitated if you don’t get a call. Calling up the recruitment manager and inquiring about the status might sound tempting, it is better that you resist it. This is because you do not want to look like someone haranguing and annoying the recruiter. However, if you do not get any calls for more than a week, you should consider calling the recruiter. This will help you get some kind of closure in case you do not make it. That way, you can at least start applying elsewhere and get employed soon.
You can find employment at Kroger! If you feel you’re the right person for an opening, apply without any delay. This might be your turn to grab a chance to start afresh in life. What are you waiting for?