Does Goodwill Run Background Checks?

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website.

Employment is possible for felons returning from prison at a business like Goodwill. The issue is whether or not Goodwill runs background checks.

Let’s look at this question.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

  • Does Goodwill Actually Hire Felons?
  • Understanding the Application Process
  • What to Know About the Goodwill Background Check
  • Does the Type of Felony Matter?
  • Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
  • What to Do if You Fail the Goodwill Background Check

Does Goodwill Actually Hire Felons?

Yes, Goodwill actually does hire felons. The company is known as a strong second-chance employer, giving felons a chance to work there.

Goodwill states their hiring policy regarding felons on their website. This policy indicates that they understand the challenges people with a criminal record face as they seek to re-enter the community. They provide services to these individuals in the process. Their hiring policy is in effect during ordinary times, but it may differ in times of economic uncertainty.

Understanding the Application Process

Goodwill frequently hires employees to work in donation centers and stores throughout the U.S. Workers may help customers find items, work as cashiers, or set up displays. 

You must be at least 16 years old to work at Goodwill.

The company looks for employees who have reliable transportation, who can work weekends and evenings in addition to daytime hours. 

Goodwill considers teamwork, customer service skills, and outgoing personalities as important qualities.  

The application for employment at Goodwill includes questions regarding “Crimes Against Persons.” This is asking whether you have ever been convicted of a felony. If you answer “Yes,” then you must provide an explanation along with relevant dates.

The hiring process at Goodwill typically includes an online screening by a recruiter. If you meet the minimum requirements for the job, your application will be forwarded to the hiring manager. The hiring manager will review the application and will contact you if you are selected for an interview.  

In the interview you will be asked to respond to questions regarding what you know about the company, how you handle stress, and why you are qualified for the position among other things.

What to Know About the Goodwill Background Check

As an applicant at Goodwill, you will be required to undergo a criminal history background check. Typically, Goodwill runs a background check after a conditional offer of employment has been made. 

If a job is offered, you will be asked to consent to a background check. That makes it extremely important to answer all questions on the application regarding criminal history truthfully. Not doing so will lead to your being turned down for a job there. Of course, refusing to give permission for a background check will also result in a rejection.

A routine background check at Goodwill takes approximately one week.

Does the Type of Felony Matter?

The Goodwill corporate policy is to consider any felony conviction on a case-by-case basis. Typically, Goodwill considers the amount of time since the conviction as well as the nature and severity of that conviction.

The type of felony does make a difference. Typically, Goodwill does not hire felons that have a theft charge on their criminal record.

Other felonies that will likely cause difficulties in getting a job at Goodwill are ones that involve harming other people. Such violent felonies and sexual offenses will not be acceptable. Other than those, most felonies will be considered for a position at Goodwill. Of course, if it is a position involving a driving offense, chances for being hired as a driver at Goodwill are not good.

With their stated stance on hiring felons, Goodwill will hire a number of felons for positions. Goodwill is also known for helping felons sometimes even before their release from prison to prepare them for the transition back to society and acquiring the skills to succeed.

Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?

Yes, you can run a background check on yourself. In fact, we recommend exactly that to know what Goodwill will discover when they run their check. It helps to be prepared.

After all, in applying at Goodwill it would help to know exactly what they will find out when they run their check. 

You can actually run a background check on yourself from the court in which your charges were filed along with a credit check and even your driving records.

 If there is any doubt, you can contact an attorney. Don’t take a chance on the results. 

You would have the best chance at getting a job at Goodwill or many other companies by having your record expunged, if it is eligible for this.

What to Do if You Fail the Goodwill Background Check

It’s important to remember that you might not pass the Goodwill background check. Even after taking the step of running your own check, Goodwill could still not hire you based on those results.

After all, they don’t hire all felons.

If you aren’t hired, it isn’t the end of the world. You can challenge the background check results if you think there was a mistake made in your background check.

Regardless, you can learn from your experience, and be ready for the next job application. There are jobs available with other employers. 

Look in other areas and find a specific job that might suit you better. Don’t give up. 

There is an employer who will give you a chance. You just haven’t found that one yet. It takes perseverance, but you have to be persistent.

Keep on looking until you find the one that will give you an opportunity.

So what do you think about this blog post about whether Goodwill runs background checks? Have you or someone you know had Goodwill run a background check? What was that like and what happened with it? Please tell us in the comments below.

About the author

After earning his MBA from Benedictine University, Ron was looking for a new challenge and stumbled on the idea of helping the formerly incarcerated.

Using what he learned, Ron developed this website as a free resource and has worked with his team​ to continue answering questions for those in need.

3 thoughts on “Does Goodwill Run Background Checks?”

  1. I myself worked at Goodwill and as soon as I was convicted of a felony I was let go. Both my bosses went all the way up to corporate to dispute my firing however corporate upheld the decision to let me go based on the fact that I did have a felony. my bosses both stated that I was an excellent employee and was very friendly and actually brought business into the store however the felony is what got me let go. the background check that they run is not the normal background check, they run an actual FBI rap sheet check and anything negative will be held against you. I had thought that Goodwill was a place where people like me who are employment challenged could get a second chance however I can personally attest to the fact that that is not the case. I don’t care what their website says I know from personal experience that if you are a felon sure go ahead and fill out an application but they will come, run your fingerprints and get the FBI rap sheet and once they do you will be notified that you will not be hired.
    Best of luck to my fellow employment challenged felons


Leave a Comment