Independent Grocers Alliance, or IGA, is a grocery store chain known throughout the world. If you’re having trouble looking for work but enjoy customer service, maybe you’ve wondered: Does IGA hire felons?
We’ve wondered that too. That’s why we directly contact companies and ask them if they hire former felons. We also answer the following questions:
- Does IGA hire people with misdemeanors?
- Are they on the Ban the Box list?
- How do I apply?
- Does IGA do background checks?
- Will my felony disqualify me?
Finding work is difficult, especially for former felons. If you’re wondering how we could possibly know, it’s because we’ve been there. You see, our team is mostly comprised of ex-offenders and those who’ve worked closely with them for a number of years.
Let’s look at how to get hired at IGA with a felony conviction.
Does IGA hire felons?
Attr: Wikimedia Commons; Author: Gary Houston
Official company policy for hiring felons
We haven’t made contact with IGA yet, but their job application says the following:
“For each question on the application, job seekers need to provide a truthful response. Topics include former employment at IGA, legal work status, age, and criminal background. These answers give an overview of the applicant’s eligibility, but do not impact chances of hire.”
So they don’t seem to automatically ban someone with a criminal record! That’s awesome.
Has IGA hired felons in the past?
Since we’ve seen a lot of commentary online saying IGA doesn’t hire felons, it’s safe to assume they haven’t in the past either.
Does IGA hire people with misdemeanors?
There isn’t any evidence either way as to whether or not IGA will hire people with misdemeanors.
Is IGA on the Ban the Box list?
Companies and employers have a few ways to help out former felons. One of them is to join the Ban the Box list. This is a list that encourages companies to remove the checkbox asking if you’ve been convicted of any crimes.
Another option for employers is to take the Fair Chance Business Pledge. This pledge allows employers to look past your background and hire based on qualifications, training and skills.
Regrettably, IGA doesn’t participate in either of these programs. They have the checkbox asking if you’ve been convicted of a felony in the past seven years, although they specify that a conviction will not automatically disqualify you.
Does IGA have special programs for hiring felons?
They don’t have any special hiring programs for felons at this time.
What are the odds that someone with a felony will get hired?
We wanted to be able to tell you your odds of being hired at IGA with a felony. After extensive research, we give your odds as uncertain. Reports show that they don’t participate in the Ban the Box or Fair Chance Business Pledge programs, and they do want to know about your criminal background. However, they say they don’t automatically rule out people with felonies or misdemeanors. Despite that, the online community has more “no” stories than yes.
IGAs are independently owned, so if your charge is for something small, you may have a better chance at an entry-level job.
What are some entry-level jobs?
The main entry-level jobs at IGA are going to be cashier and store clerk. You’ve seen these people any time you’ve gone to a grocery store. Your job would be to ring up groceries and handle transactions as well as bag groceries and stock products. Starting off in one of these positions will give you a chance to learn the way the company operates, putting you in a position for potential raises and advancement.
On their website, they also say that store hours are “typically Mon-Sat: 8:00am-9:00pm; Sun: 9:00am-6:00pm” so keep that in mind when applying!
How to get hired at IGA with a felony
IGA actually has a lot of resources for you on their website here. Since you’ll be working in a grocery store, if you have any experience running a cash register, bagging groceries or stocking product, be sure to include it. Give details about what your job duties were and where, even if it was in prison. If you think about work you did there, you’ll see there are skills you can take from those jobs and use at this one!
They already told you they wouldn’t let your background stop you from getting a job, but they do want full information about your convictions. Use this as an opportunity to elaborate on the good you’ve done since then.
Tell them your skills and talents. For example, basic math is a requirement for a position with IGA. You’ll be required to perform manual labor on a regular basis. If you can do this, let them know. Also, be sure they’re aware of your schedule. The company is looking for someone who can be flexible and work various days and hours.
You can fill out an application either online or in-person. If you go into your local IGA, take your resume with you. Check everything over before you submit, though. They’re looking for lapses in employment or a missing reference, so double-check to make sure you completely filled it out.
If you need extra help, check out the resume guide Successful Release has come up with.
When you get to the interview, remember to:
- Arrive early, 10-15 minutes, if possible. This will show the company that you can be on-time and that you’re serious about a position with them.
- Wear clean and wrinkle-free business casual clothes. Don’t just wear jeans and a t-shirt, but you don’t have to wear a suit and tie either. Something in-between. If you don’t have anything to wear, check out your local clothing pantry for ideas.
- Use this opportunity to talk up your skills and experiences. Get into the details of where you learned your talents. Take your resume and refer to it, if needed.
According to IGA’s Honing Your Hiring Process, these are a few interview questions they recommend practicing:
- Share a circumstance when you made a decision that was unpopular. How did you handle implementing your decision?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from your own. How did you overcome challenges?
- Describe a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your store’s service. How did you go above and beyond?
- Why are you interested in this position/company?
- How do you go about prioritizing shoppers’ needs?
- Share a circumstance when you failed. How did you deal with the outcome?
- Give an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone at work to see things your way. How did you change their opinion?
The company is looking for someone with a positive attitude and good ethics and values.
Does IGA do background checks?
We’re not sure if IGA will do a background check. Since each store is independently owned, it’ll depend on the store. But keep in mind that most employers will do some sort of check, even if it’s just to verify you’re legally allowed to work for them.
Here’s what you need to know about background checks:
Each state is different and changes what employers see. For example, these states only go back seven years:
- New Hampshire*
- New York*
(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)
And, in these eight states, they aren’t concerned with any not guilty verdicts:
- Indiana (limited check)
- New York
Be aware if you live in one of the states on this list, however. They can, and will, see your entire record, including the not guilty cases:
- Indiana (extensive check)
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
We did some online digging to bring you IGA’s ratings. Glassdoor.com gives them 3.4 stars out of 5. Of the more than 400 reviews, 63% say they’d recommend the company to a friend looking for employment and 73% approve of IGA’s CEO. Most people liked the working environment and flexible hours, though some complained about the low pay.
What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?
Does IGA hire felons? We’re not sure. However, certain felonies will hurt your chances even more. Since you’ll be working in a grocery store handling cash and credit card transactions, any theft charges will make it more difficult. Violent crimes, drug or alcohol charges will also prove to be a problem because you’ll be in direct contact with the general public.
However, each store is independently owned, so it’ll ultimately be up to the store owner.
Does IGA drug test?
It doesn’t look like IGA will perform a drug test, but keep in mind that each store is ran differently. Our suggestion is that you proceed as if they do.
Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!
Were you able to use this article to get a job at IGA with a felony? Tell us about it. You’ll be helping out others in the same situation while contributing to our community.