Amazon is a household name within and outside of America. This multinational company is arguably the most popular e-commerce company within the country. Due to the large quantities of transactions conducted by this company, in 2017, Amazon hired over 130,000 employees. By 2018, the company had about 647,500 employees. The large number of people working in this company indirectly implies that a variety of individuals are hired by Amazon. This is why some felons or ex-convicts have applied to work at Amazon. The important question here is ‘Does Amazon Hire Felons?’
To answer this question, we researched, checked the company’s policies towards felons and also read people’s experiences on online forums.
The summation of this research leads us to state that Yes ‘Amazon does hire felons’.
For a large company like Amazon, hiring employees is an ongoing process. Hence, it is disappointing to note that there are no obviously stated rules or guides that show Amazon’s views on employing felons. However, there is evidence and information gleaned from personal experiences that proves Amazon has hired felons In the past. From this, it can be seen that people with misdemeanors can also be considered for employment at Amazon.
Does Amazon Hire People with Felony Record
Below are things you should know if you are a felon who wants to work at Amazon:
1. Amazon does not have special programs for felons. Some corporations and even smaller businesses have programs through which felons can gain employment. These programs are usually designed to make gaining employment after release easier. The programs also help felons gain work experience or training in a particular field. Felons who want to work at Amazon will have have to apply like other individuals without prior convictions. There are no special provisions made for felons by Amazon.
2. You will be asked about your criminal history while filling the job application. Amazon is not involved in the ban-the-box movement. This, however, is not a sign that they discriminate against felons. It is important that you answer the questions on the ‘nature of your conviction’ honestly.
3. Amazon conducts background checks. Potential employees at Amazon will need to agree to a background check after they have been interviewed. This check will ascertain your character, the honesty of your answers and confirm your criminal history. If things which you omitted in your application and interview, are discovered, you could be denied employment.
4. To work at Amazon, you will be subjected to a drug test. After you pass the background check, you will be asked to come in for a drug test. Usually, this request is without notice. At the chosen center, you will be asked for a urine sample or a mouth swap. For this reason, if you want to work at Amazon, you need to abstain from using any drug for 2 weeks – 1 month before the drug test. Importantly, you will be asked to come in for the test without notice so here’s a tip for passing your drug test. Stop using drugs at least 1 week before your interview.
While you may get the job by passing your drug test, you can also lose your job for this same reason. Amazon can require a random drug test while you are working, if the test comes back positive, you could be fired.
Factors that can affect your getting hired at Amazon if you are a felon
i. The nature of your prior offense or conviction. While Amazon does not discriminate against felons, crimes such as murder, theft, sexual abuse, drug-related crimes and offenses that show violent tendencies may be hard to overlook. Significantly, if you are able to prove that the crime is not proof of your character you may be hired. Furthermore, if you have any skills that are valuable to the company, you may be hired.
ii. When the conviction occurred and if there have been repeated incidents. On the application form, the question ‘have you been convicted of a felony in the last 7 years’ will be used to determine how old your charges are. You have a higher chance of being employed by Amazon if your charges are older than 7 years. The older the conviction, the higher your chances of being hired by Amazon. If you have repeated offenses, it is unlikely that you will be hired.
iii. Honesty when talking about your conviction: When you are trying to get a job at Amazon, you should answer all questions honestly. A background check will be used later in the hiring process to see if all the information you supplied is accurate. Many individuals lie about their convictions because they believe it will hinder their ability to get a job. The problem is that if the lie is discovered, the individual will be seen as dishonest, untrustworthy and denied the job. Supply information accurately when filling forms and during the interview.
iv. Having prior work experience is an added advantage: Despite having a criminal history, a felon with work experience and useful skills is still a good addition to any workforce. Before applying to work at Amazon, increase your advantage by gaining additional skills that will be applicable to the area you wish to work in. If you have had no prior employment, volunteer. By volunteering, you will gain the necessary work experience and new skills. Volunteering will also reflect positively on your character.
v. Your behavior during the interview: This factor is not just applicable to felons who want to work at Amazon. Regardless of where you want to work, prepare yourself properly to answer the interview questions. Know what your skills are and be prepared to defend why you should be hired.
What jobs can a felon do at Amazon?
There are many departments at Amazon and numerous job positions that can be filled by felons. For a felon with minimal skill, Amazon has many entry-level positions. However, before you apply, ensure that you check the requirements. Make sure that you are qualified to improve your chances of being employed by the company.
Some jobs at Amazon include:
1. Staff at warehouse fulfillment centers: This job involves sorting, arranging, and packing customers orders to be shipped. This job is labor intensives and entails heavy lifting. Getting a job in this department may be difficult if your prior conviction was for theft, credit card fraud, and even identity theft. If you have either of the aforementioned convictions, you should apply for another position.
2. Delivery personnel or associate: The delivery associate delivers packages to their respective owners. Individuals who have driving-related convictions may not be considered for this job. This is because the conviction does not inspire confidence in the felon’s skill as a driver.
3. Customer care representative: Many businesses have customer care representatives or customer support. These individuals help customers who need guidance and ensure that misunderstandings do not escalate. Customer support in important in-store and online, hence companies are meticulous when employing people to fill these positions. A felon that was convicted for violent acts may find it difficult to get this position.
Significantly, different entry-level positions have different requirements. Ensure you meet the requirement before applying for any o the entry-level jobs.
Visit Amazon Website Job Portal for available Jobs
Steps that will help you get hired at Amazon
Step 1: Get acquainted with the Amazon hiring process. Amazon has a guide on how they hire their employees available on their website. You should prepare yourself for the process.
Step 2: Have your resume and cover letter professionally reviewed. Before submitting any of your documents to start the job application process, have these documents properly formatted and reviewed. The easiest way to achieve this is to pay for a professional to help you out. By doing this, you are increasing your odds of being employed by Amazon.
Remember to use your resume and cover letter as a way to sell your skills. Properly written and formatted, these documents will emphasize your value. Furthermore, while your criminal history may be on these documents, it will not be the most important information on them.
Step 3: Prepare for the interview and assessments. It is important that you prepare for your interview. These questions will be used to judge your character, your disposition towards people. In the course of the interview, you may be given the opportunity to talk about your prior conviction. Do not be tempted to go on a rant of innocence or get defensive. Instead, calmly explain the situation that occurred, why it did happen, what lessons were learned, how you have changed and why you are a better person now. These interviews are also used to gauge how you react in urgent situations.
Step 4. Lastly, improve your skills and gain certifications. This step is not the easiest but it will increase your chances of being employed at Amazon. Before applying at Amazon, decide which position you want to fill. If there are certification courses you can attend for similar positions, attend the courses. If you can volunteer for a similar position, volunteer for a reasonable period. Gaining certifications and improving your skill will be an added advantage.
Significantly, not all jobs at Amazon require an interview. The background check and drug test though are mandatory.
In conclusion, Amazon.com does hire felons. The nature of the crime may affect the positions that felons are hired to fill. How long ago the conviction occurred also affects the employment of the felon. To increase your chances of being employed to work at Amazon, prepare for the interview, be truthful when answering questions and gain additional skills and certifications.
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Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.