One of the key building blocks of a successful life after prison is finding work. A stable job can make everything else in life easier, so today we’re answering the question: Does Kohl’s hire felons?
Kohl’s is one of the largest department store chains in the US. Their products range from clothing and shoes to home decor and furniture. If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to work, keep reading. Today, we’re going to dive into how to get a job at Kohl’s with a felony.
Along the way, we’ll answer questions like:
- Where should I go to apply?
- Does Kohl’s do background checks?
- Does Kohl’s hire people with misdemeanors?
- Will certain felonies make it harder to get a job here?
Life after prison can be tough, whether you’ve been out for one week or ten years. We make finding a job easier for you by contacting companies directly to see if they hire former felons. Not only that, we also do further research to provide you with tips to help you with your application and interview. Why do we work so hard to help you get a job? We’ve been where you are! Our team is almost entirely made up of former felons and people who’ve worked closely with reentry programs.
Our mission is to help you live a successful life after prison.
So, now let’s take a closer look at how to get hired at Kohl’s with a felony record.
Does Kohl’s hire felons?
Official company policy for hiring felons
We went straight to the source to find out if Kohl’s hires felons, but they didn’t respond to our questions. So, we decided to check for ourselves and see what we could learn. Here’s a helpful statement we found on their careers site:
“Kohl’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Company has an ongoing commitment to the creation of a workplace free of discrimination and harassment. The Company recruits, hires, trains, and promotes individuals in all job titles without regard to race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, veteran status, citizenship status, marital status, genetic information, height, weight, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law. At Kohl’s we are committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and a valued member of the team.”
What does Kohl’s being an equal opportunity employer mean to you as a former felon? It means they can’t reject you as a potential employee simply because you have a criminal record. Unless your felony conflicts with the position you’re applying for, you should have the same chance as any other applicant.
Do all companies hold to this standard and treat former felons fairly? No. Let’s dig a little deeper and see if Kohl’s is one of the good ones . . .
Has Kohl’s hired felons in the past?
It looks like they have! We checked several sources online, and all of them seem to agree Kohl’s has hired former felons in the past. This doesn’t mean the management at every location will be open to hiring former offenders. However, it does show that many locations are willing to give people with a criminal record a chance.
Does Kohl’s hire people with misdemeanors?
Yes, but it’s important to keep in mind that they’re an EEOC employer. So, if they believe your misdemeanor might conflict with the job you’re applying for, they may choose not to hire you. With that being said, the fact they’ve hired former felons in the past makes it likely they’ll consider people with misdemeanors.
Is Kohl’s on the Ban the Box list?
What does “banning the box” mean? It refers to getting rid of the box on applications where they ask if you’ve been convicted of a felony. The Ban the Box Campaign is a movement that encourages companies to remove these kinds of questions. Another way companies can engage in fair hiring practices is delaying questions about criminal history until later in the hiring process. Many companies have taken the Fair Chance Business Pledge to show they’re willing to do just that.
It doesn’t look like Kohl’s has signed on with either of these movements so far. However, we know they’ve hire former felons before, so they’re not completely opposed to them, either.
Does Kohl’s have special programs for hiring felons?
Not that we could find. It looks like former felons who are applying at Kohl’s need to proceed the same way anyone else would.
What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?
After checking our normal sources, Successful Release believes your odds of getting hired at Kohl’s with a felony are average. We know they’re an EEOC employer, which is a good place to start. And we’ve also seen evidence that they’ve hired former felons in the past, which is even better!
Knowing these things makes applying at Kohl’s seem worthwhile, whether your record is for a felony or a misdemeanor.
What are some entry-level jobs?
After looking over their careers page, it looks like there are two main entry-level jobs at most Kohl’s stores:
- Retail Sales Associate — Responsible for greeting customers, running the register and making sure your department stays neat and organized.
- Stockroom Operations Associate — Responsible for unloading trucks that come in, as well as making changes to pricing and signage in the store and helping in other areas as needed.
How to get hired at Kohl’s with a felony
So, what advice do we have that’ll help you land the job at Kohl’s? Let’s start by putting together an awesome resume! Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Take a second to think about the position you’re applying for. What skills do you need for that position? Which ones do you already have? What jobs have you had where you’ve used these skills? Use your answers to these questions to begin filling in your resume template.
- Once you’ve put together a resume that highlights your strengths, your skills and your relevant experience, get a second opinion. What do we mean by that? Ask a friend or family member to look over it. Better yet, take it down to your local job placement agency and ask them to check it for spelling and grammar issues. By the time they’re done, you’ll know you have a winner!
Now let’s prep for the interview. After they see your incredible resume, they’re bound to give you a call and ask you to come in. Here are some ideas to make the most of this meeting:
- Get there a little early. Managers love employees who are willing to be the first one in and last one out. You can set a great tone for your working relationship by being early for your interview.
- Wow them with confidence! Good posture, making eye contact and a strong handshake all send signals that you’re self-confident and enthusiastic. And since we know part of your job here will be greeting customers with enthusiasm, this is a great place to start.
- Play an active role in the interview. Make sure that along with answering questions, you’re also asking some of your own. This shows an exceptional level of interest on your part. Ask the interviewer how long they’ve worked there and what they like best about working at Kohl’s.
- Honesty is the best policy. We know they’ll do a background check (see below), so be honest if they ask about your past. However, you should also do your best to keep things positive. Try to redirect the conversation from what you did to how you’ve grown into the person you are today.
Here are a few other basic interview tips:
- Dress like current employees at Kohl’s. This means wearing some dress slacks and a nice button-up shirt.
- Keep your language PG. You’ll be working around a lot of families with children, so make sure your language is family-friendly.
- Until you know what the store’s policy is for piercings and tattoos, it’s best to remove them or cover them up.
Does Kohl’s do background checks?
Our sources seem to agree Kohl’s will run a background check on all new employees. This is a standard practice for many companies, and isn’t necessarily a way to screen out applicants with criminal records. The information they’ll see when they do your background check can vary from one state to the next.
Here’s some useful information that’ll help you know what to expect from a background check in your state:
First, there are states where your background check will only go back seven years. If you live in one of these states, and your offense happened a long time ago, it probably won’t even come up on the report:
- New Hampshire*
- New York*
(* Some positions may require more detailed checks.)
Next, there are states where your background check will not include any information about cases where you were found not guilty:
- Indiana (limited check)
- New York
In most other states, the background checks they conduct will bring up your entire record. This means they’ll also see cases where you were found not guilty. Don’t let this scare you, just know there’s a good chance they’ll see everything when they get the report in these states:
- Indiana (extensive check)
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
It’s always helpful to know what current and former employees think of a company. We checked on glassdoor.com to see what people had to say about working at Kohl’s. The results of the 8,800+ reviews they’ve gotten left them with a 3.4 out of 5 star rating. And 60 percent of the people who worked there said they’d recommend the company to a friend.
What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?
Does Kohl’s hire felons? It looks like many locations will give former felons a chance. If you have a felony in one of these categories, be aware it may make getting a job here more difficult:
- Theft, as you will be responsible for handling cash and merchandise.
- Child abuse, as Kohl’s caters a lot to families with small children.
- Violence or sexual offenses, as this could affect their family-friendly image.
Remember, every store is different. The management at your local store may be willing to give you a chance, even if your felony falls into one of the categories mentioned above.
Does Kohl’s drug test?
Based on our research, it’s unlikely you’ll have to go through a pre-employment drug screening. However, if your offense involved drug use, they may make an exception. Otherwise, just be aware they reserve the right to do random drug screenings on all their employees.
Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!
If you’ve been able to get a job at Kohl’s with a felony, we’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment and let us know what the hiring process was like for you. Also, if you have any additional advice for others considering applying here, please let us know.