Some people have a natural ability with technology. If this is your strength (or you have a strong interest), you’ve likely asked yourself, does Microsoft hire felons? Well, we have, too. Successful Release asked the company directly about their hiring policies.
We’re on a mission to help former felons find good jobs. We know a decent job is a stepping stone to your reintegration after release from prison. Many of us been there ourselves, or worked with those who have.
Microsoft is a big name in the tech industry! In fact, although they’re based in the United States, they’re multinational. You’re likely familiar with their technology and programs, and are hoping they have a job for you.
To figure that out, see our answers to the following questions and more:
- What’s the best way to get a job at Microsoft with a felony?
- Does Microsoft do background checks?
- What do people say about working there?
- Does Microsoft hire people with misdemeanors?
Does Microsoft hire felons?
Official company policy for hiring felons
When Successful Release contacted Microsoft, the person we spoke to said:
“Yes — I do have the Workforce Foundation, which helps transitioning inmates be successful in re-entry. But I can’t give out the information on Microsoft’s behalf.”
Has Microsoft hired felons in the past?
Yes, they have!
Does Microsoft hire people with misdemeanors?
Probably. We base this on the fact that they hire people with felonies, and those are more serious offenses.
Is Microsoft on the Ban the Box list?
Yes! Not only is Microsoft on the Ban the Box list, but they’ve also signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge.
Specifically, Microsoft pledges that they “. . . are committed to providing individuals with criminal records, including formerly incarcerated individuals, a fair chance to participate in the American economy.” (Read the full Pledge here.)
We’ll explain why these initiatives are important for someone looking for work with a criminal history.
Ban the Box encourages employers to remove the criminal record check box from job applications. In other words, they’ll use the information about your offenses appropriately when they consider you for a position.
The Fair Chance Business Pledge was launched by the United States government in April 2016. It urges companies “to improve their communities by eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record and creating a pathway for a second chance.”
The fact that the company supports both these programs is very reassuring!
Does Microsoft have special programs for hiring felons?
Yes, they do. In the official statement they gave us, they mention the Workforce Foundation. This project aims to match skilled workers with the right job openings. Pretty cool, huh?
What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?
In our opinion, the odds you can get a job at Microsoft with a felony are high. Here are our reasons:
- The company’s official statement confirms they want to help transitioning inmates be successful.
- Microsoft supports two major national initiatives — Ban the Box and the Fair Chance Business Pledge.
- The job postings we reviewed all included the following statement: “We also consider qualified applicants, regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.”
- There are also plenty of online comments saying you can get hired with a record.
Therefore, our advice is to apply with confidence!
What are some entry-level jobs?
Microsoft is a very large employer with many different positions. Some require higher technical skills or specific experience, but we focused on the two major areas you can find entry-level positions.
Data Center Jobs
- Logistics Technician
- Process shipping and receiving merchandise, stock shelves, track inventory, perform audits, and data entry.
- Requires basic understanding of ticket management, a high school education and six months’ experience in warehouse/supply chain/logistics.
- Data Centre Technician
- Install and test physical infrastructure, including cables and servers, replace parts onsite, and troubleshoot physical hardware, as well as assist shipping and receiving.
- Requires a high school education and one year of experience supporting IT equipment or a related field.
- Product Advisor
- Sell customers technology products, resolve customer complaints, maintain product knowledge and collaborate with co-workers to meet store/company goals.
- Requires one year retail sales or customer service experience.
- Gaming Expert
- Sell gaming technology, foster relationships with the local gaming community, maintain product knowledge and work towards sales goals with co-workers.
- Requires one year relevant experience, such as customer service, reception or related volunteer work.
- Business Expert
- Help businesses and commercial customers find technology solutions, organize in-store events, demonstrations and workshops, and collaborate with co-workers to achieve goals.
- Requires one year of retail or customer service experience.
These jobs all have non-standard working hours that may include evenings and weekends.
Keep in mind that if you have any training or certification in technology, you’ll be further ahead when you apply.
How to get hired at Microsoft with a felony
You can apply directly to Microsoft on their careers page.
Take a look at the frequently asked questions Microsoft has on their “Help With Getting Hired” page. Here is a link to another company page that offers interview tips.
You might also be interested to know that 65% of employees who commented on glassdoor.com described their interview experience as positive.
In addition, read these articles on the Microsoft website to find out more about what it’s like to work for the company.
Doing a little of your own research about the company before your interview is a good idea. It will help you adjust your resume to bring out the skills Microsoft is looking for. You’ll feel more prepared for the interview if you’ve done this extra homework.
Here are some other ideas to help you get hired:
- Dress appropriately for the interview; business casual is a good choice.
- Arrive early and introduce yourself at reception. This simple action will raise your confidence.
- Don’t feel intimidated by others waiting for an interview. You don’t know their job skills or if they have a criminal history. If you have to, take a short walk outside to clear your head of any negative thoughts.
- Take a few deep breaths as you enter the interview. Smile confidently and shake hands with the hiring manager.
- Be yourself and be honest. You may be asked a question like, “Why should we hire you?” This is a golden opportunity to tell them about your job qualifications. And don’t forget your volunteer experience!
- Focus on your skills. But, be straightforward and upfront about your criminal background if you are asked.
Does Microsoft do background checks?
Yes, Microsoft will do a background check.
There’s no information about background checks on the company website and no copy of an actual application to check. Some job postings state the applicant must have an “ability to meet Microsoft customer and/or government security screening requirements. . . .”
According to quora.com, a background check is done on all new hires before they begin work. Like most Fortune 500 companies, they’ll verify employment and education and also check your criminal record. In addition, a credit check will be done for certain positions.
So, the background check will most likely relate to the position you are applying for and the level of responsibility you’ll have. Hopefully, the type of background check they do helps you understand how does Microsoft hire felons.
Here’s what you need to know about background checks:
If you live in any of the following states, employers will only look back seven years when they check your background:
- New Hampshire*
- New York*
(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)
Also, you can expect employers in some states not to consider any charges where you were found not guilty. These states are:
- New York
But, a number of states will review your whole record. This includes any not guilty verdicts. Find those states here:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
There are excellent ratings for Microsoft online!
First, over 18,000 reviewers on glassdoor.com give them an average 4.1 out of 5. Here, a whopping 96% approved of the CEO.
Next, there are more than 5,000 people on indeed.com that score them 4.2 out of 5. The company gets top marks for pay and benefits, culture, and work life balance.
What’s more, former employees had some very positive things to say about Microsoft. Here are a few examples from indeed.com:
A Product Advisor commented “. . . the focus on creating a comfortable and collaborative environment was inspiring and fulfilling.”
“Great people. Passionate about technology and creating new products. Advocates for community and charities with one’s community . . .” said one Device Solutions Specialist.
What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?
As you might expect, you’ll have to prove you’re a good risk and aren’t going to be getting into more trouble with the law.
Understandably, certain convictions may cause the hiring manager some concern. Assaults or other violent offenses, for example. The company wants to know you can work well with others and treat customers with respect, even under stressful circumstances.
Also, if you have convictions for fraud or cybercrime you’ll face extra scrutiny. You should have a compelling story about why you won’t be committing similar offenses in the future.
Remember, everyone’s circumstances are different. No two people have the same job qualifications nor the same criminal history. Rest assured. Microsoft wants to do the right thing when it comes to helping former felons find work.
Does Microsoft drug test?
We can find no evidence that Microsoft requires new or current employees to pass a drug test.
Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!
What can you contribute about how to get hired at Microsoft?
Add your voice to the discussion! You may have a valuable experience that can help others.