Sep 25, 2023
Walmart didn’t become a company capable of generating $147.5 billion in profit by being careless with its hiring practices.
Like many companies of its size, Walmart runs background checks on all applicants, including those with felony convictions, to figure out who it can hire. You may be subjected to one of these checks if you apply for a job at Walmart.
Who Faces a Walmart Background Check?
The good news is that not everybody who applies to Walmart undergoes the company’s background check process. If you don’t receive a conditional job offer, Walmart runs no checks on your history. Of course, this also means that anybody who receives a conditional offer does face a check.
Walmart runs these background checks to protect its assets, the company, its people, and its customers.
In short, the company doesn’t want to hire people who may steal its products or cause harm to the people who work or shop at Walmart.
Walmart doesn’t conduct these checks in-house.
It uses a third-party organization to run the checks on its behalf, with those who receive conditional offers being directed to submit their information to a company called backgroundchecks.com. You’ll receive this request via email but check your spam folder regularly in case your email client identifies backgroundchecks.com as a malicious entity.
Did you know? Backgroundchecks.com is one of the country’s leading providers of third-party background checking. It claims that 17,000 small and medium-sized companies run checks through its online services every year, in addition to it having major clients like Walmart.
What Information Does a Background Check Reveal to Walmart?
Think of a Walmart background check as a credit report that investigates your personal history rather than your financial history.
Walmart’s looking for several things: they want to confirm that you are who you say you are, plus, they’re looking for evidence of a criminal history that could put their stores (or their employees and customers) at risk.
A typical check examines the following:
Your Identity and History
As strange as it may sound, some applicants try to use fake addresses or Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on their Walmart applications.
Other tricks include claiming to have graduated from a school that has no record of your attendance or claiming to have lived somewhere you never lived. Walmart checks the information you provided against both it and official records.
The latter is an obvious check involving looking at school and previous work history, with the former examining if the addresses and information you provide align.
Note that Walmart may contact your references or the previous workplaces on your resume directly if its checks reveal a discrepancy in the information you provide.
Your Credit Score
A credit score is an odd check as many would deem it unnecessary for determining if somebody is a suitable hire. The law is somewhat mixed on these checks too.
The federal government allows companies to carry out credit checks on potential employees, but several states ban the practice. A total of 10 states prevent Walmart from looking at your credit score, including Illinois and California.
If that’s the case, why would Walmart bother to check at all?
Some speculate that the company wants to know the credit histories of anybody it’s hiring for a role related to finance: accountants, treasurers, or anybody else who needs to know how to manage money. A poor credit score indicates an unsteady authority on personal finances, which may reflect poorly on the candidate.
Thankfully, Walmart can’t run this aspect of the check without your permission. You can say no if you don’t want a massive corporation digging around in your financial history.
Your Criminal History
Walmart does hire felons. But it doesn’t hire all types of felons, with those who have convictions for violent crimes or theft being less likely to make it through the hiring process.
The company’s background checks look at your criminal history (assuming you have one) to determine the nature and recency of your crimes. Walmart then uses this information to determine if you’re a risk or not, which impacts its hiring decision.
There are a couple of interesting caveats to this check.
First, Walmart is a supporter of the Ban the Box program.
As such, it won’t directly ask about your criminal history on your application, though that doesn’t mean you can’t provide details if you feel it’ll help you get ahead of the background check process. The idea here is to not allow somebody’s criminal past to color a hiring manager’s opinion before a background check.
Did you know? Though Walmart supports Ban the Box, the same can’t be said of all states. Only 27, beginning with Hawaii in 1998, enact the laws, with only 12 of those states (plus Washington D.C.) applying them to private employers like Walmart.
Second, most Walmart background checks only report on your criminal history over the last seven years. In most states, any criminality older than seven years doesn’t show up.
There are some variations. For instance, background checks in Georgia won’t highlight an arrest on your record if it was your first offense. Hawaii only shows misdemeanors for five years, rather than seven, though it still shows felonies for seven years.
Alternatively, if you are worried about passing the background check after a felony conviction, you should check out jobs that don’t require a background check.
The Sex Offenders Registry
Walmart’s background checks also look at the sex offenders registry to see if your name appears on it. Of course, any sex offense committed in the last seven years will also show up in your criminal records.
But with the registry check, Walmart can identify people who’ve committed sex crimes after the seven-year period, assuming the person remains on the registry for longer than seven years.
As for your chances of getting hired as a previously convicted sex offender, opinion is mixed. Some believe that Walmart has a blanket ban on hiring sex offenders. Others say it may hire them because it receives tax breaks. The likelihood is that it’ll depend on the store to which you apply and your state’s laws.
When Do You Receive the Results of Your Walmart Background Check?
Speeds vary on Walmart background checks. Some are completed in a day or two, with results, while others may not receive their results for up to five business days.
Keep an eye on your email inbox (and remember to check the spam folder) for an email from Walmart or backgroundchecks.com.
Quick Tips for Your Background Check With Walmart
The Walmart background check is a standard process applied to all candidates who receive conditional job offers. As such, there’s little you can do to influence the results, though the following may help:
-Don’t try to hide your criminal record by using false details or refusing to discuss it. Walmart won’t directly ask about this aspect of your past, but you might be able to get ahead of a background check if you’re honest about your history.
-Check that all addresses, school information, and employment history you provide line up. Mistakes in these areas create discrepancies that background checks flag.
-Always research local employment laws to confirm the rights you have, as well as the rights Walmart has to conduct background checks and how far those rights extend.
Be Prepared for Your Walmart Background Check
There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll be subjected to a background check if you want to work at Walmart. Everybody who receives a conditional offer goes through the process before completion of the hiring process.
Ensuring that you provide accurate information is paramount. Any aspect of your resume that doesn’t align with the check may be grounds for Walmart to refuse to hire you.
With attention to the details, you ensure the aspects of the check over which you have come control (such as confirmation of your work history) don’t contain mistakes that derail your application.