Finding a job can be challenging if you’re a former felon. For example, you may have considered applying for H-E-B Grocery Company, LP or “HEB.” What are your chances of getting hired there if you’ve previously been convicted of a felony?
HEB hires felons. According to their partner guidelines, a criminal record does not automatically disqualify an applicant from being hired. However, certain felonies may cause the applicant to lose their job.
In the rest of this article, I will go into more detail on how HEB treats applicants with criminal records, the felonies that can make an applicant ineligible, and how to increase your chances of getting hired at HEB as a former felon.
Getting Hired at HEB as a Felon
Like most companies, HEB performs background checks on applicants during the hiring process. The check may extend as far back as 10 years, and its purpose is to ensure the work environment is safe for everyone (including the felons themselves).
According to the HEB’s partner guide, a criminal history doesn’t necessarily exclude an applicant from being hired. However, HEB still has the right to decide whether they want to hire someone on a case-by-case basis.
In other words, your criminal history may not be a make-or-break factor on its own, but the person hiring you may take other considerations into account — like your ability to do the job you’re applying for and whether you’re a good fit for the company culture. If HEB rejects your application, it may not necessarily be due to your felony.
If the interviewer asks you questions about your criminal history specifically, it’s important not to try and hide anything. Be upfront and honest about your former offenses. Try to show the hiring manager/interviewer that you understood what you did wrong and have changed for the better.
Felonies That Can Hurt Your Chances of Getting Hired
Although HEB does hire felons, there are a few felonies that may hurt your chances of getting a job with them due to the nature of the work involved, such as:
- Theft. If you live in a state where theft is considered a felony, you’re unlikely to get a job that requires you to handle cash daily.
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence). If your DUI is a felony (i.e., it resulted in the injury or death of another individual), you may not want to apply for a job where you have to operate moving vehicles like trucks or motorcycles.
- Sex Offenses. Self-explanatory. You’ll likely be working with women and members of other vulnerable groups. HEB prides itself on its culture of diversity, and they’re not likely to hire anyone who has the potential to threaten members of that diverse group.
- Violent Crimes. If you’ve ever been convicted of murder, kidnapping, or similar offenses, companies like HEB may have second thoughts about getting you on board.
It’s important to note that HEB occasionally carries out drug tests. These tests are usually done on employees who perform tasks that require sobriety at all times, though they may also be performed randomly. In any case, the company will ask you to sign a Drug-Free Workplace Policy.
Misdemeanors are less serious offenses. Therefore, they shouldn’t affect your chances of getting a job the way felonies would. That said, you shouldn’t attempt to hide them or play them off as insignificant. You should be upfront about your former offenses since they’re going to show up via the criminal background check anyway.
What You Should Do To Increase Your Chances of Getting Hired as a Felon
Whether you’re applying at HEB or another company, it’s important not to let your criminal history discourage you from trying to get a job at all. You may not be able to erase the felony from your record, but there are still other things you can do to increase the likelihood of getting hired.
Here are tips to increase your chances of getting hired as a felon by HEB:
- Improve your resume. Highlight your strengths and relevant work experience. Hiring managers tend to filter out irrelevant details in job applications due to time constraints. Focus on explaining how you meet the required criteria and what makes you stand out from other candidates.
- Proofread your resume for spelling/grammatical errors. Get help from someone fluent in the language you’re writing in, or use apps like Grammarly.
- Arrive early. Being late to your interview is a surefire way to make the wrong first impression. If possible, show up at least 30 minutes before your interview time.
- Dress up properly. Even though HEB’s dress code is casual, it’s a good idea to dress at least one level more formally. If you’re a man, a plain button-down, slacks, and polished dress shoes should suffice. If you’re a woman, wear something like a button-down, pencil skirt, closed-toe shoes, and minimal jewelry.
- Address the criminal record. As mentioned earlier, don’t try to hide any details about your offenses. Show the interviewer that you’ve learned from your mistakes and that you’ve changed for the better.
- Use formal/semi-formal language. Try not to use any slang you’ve picked up in prison.
HEB will not disqualify your job application solely based on you being a felon. HEB has previously hired felons and currently has felons as employees. Although a felony in your criminal record can negatively impact your application, you still have a decent chance of getting hired as long as you make a good impression at the application and interview stage.