Life After Release

Companies That Hire Felons: How to Find Felony Friendly Jobs

A common circumstance for people who have previously been convicted of significant criminal offenses and are looking to get back into the society is to get their job applications at companies rejected. It’s essential that people in this situation, felons, become aware that there are policies in place to protect them from discrimination during a job search. More importantly, there are lots of companies that hire felons—or have a history of employing felons. Here’s more information on finding felony friendly jobs.

The minimum number of years for a charge of a felony is only a year. Still, many people won’t give a second thought to consider a felon a dangerous fellow for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, all it takes for people to express hostility, in every sense of it, is to know that a person was once a sentenced criminal. Although people indeed get harmed from careless interpersonal relationships with criminals, there has to be some consideration.

The United States Department of Justice, in 2010, released a report on the tendency for previous offenders to get arrested again. The report is a result of five years of investigation activities on 404,638 released inmates in 2005 across 30 states. In three years, 2008, for starters, 67 percent had been rearrested, and the percentage grew by a further 8.8 percent in 2010. There’s no doubt that recidivism is primarily a result of personal factors. However, social and financial factors are also contributors.

Factors That Influence Recidivism

The government may have provided policies to protect felons seeking jobs to reintegrate themselves back into society. However, there are apparent complications in the economic and social support felons receive. Some of these challenges include:

1.     Housing

House owners understand that most felons are financially insecure; they would not risk giving them an apartment for rent. Many felons stay with friends and family and are often stranded on the streets. These poor conditions aren’t ideal for rehabilitation.

2.     Education

Government support for prison inmates’ education is below expectations. There are complaints of inconsistent funding and other challenges.

3.     Jobs

It’s hard for a felon to get a decent employment opportunity, and the situation is worse if they have no accommodation. Often, the absence of discrimination in companies doesn’t guarantee a job. Felons must demonstrate a high level of competence in any situation.

Helpful Steps to Get Prepared for a Job Search  

1. Self-Evaluation

Felons, like every job seeker, must take some time to assess themselves and review their capabilities and unique skill set. A felon must know what is obtainable: the industries and types of companies that would appreciate his/her skills enough to overlook previous criminal offenses.

Felons must understand that the case of a crime they were convicted for would be reviewed. It’s crucial to avoid companies from sectors related directly to the previous reason for conviction. A felon with a case related to theft would have a rare chance of employment in financial institutions.

2.   Consultation

A proper evaluation process would give enough insight into what is obtainable with the felon’s capabilities and skill set. What should follow is a consultation with an expert —or at least someone with a lot of experience and success in the chosen industry.

3.   Plan

Planning is key. After proper evaluation and consultation, the next step is to plan by preparing for what to expect, and most importantly, how to defend yourself and show resolution to withdraw entirely from a life of crime.

felon working

Felon-Friendly Industries

Here are companies with employment policies that give felons hope of employment opportunities:

  1. Virtual jobs and freelancing companies
  2. Manufacturing companies
  3. H.R. agents
  4. Online marketing professionals
  5. Oil and gas professionals
  6. App and software development companies
  7. Computer repair technician jobs
  8. Retail companies
  9. Transport companies
  10. Food services and grocery stores

Virtual Jobs and Freelancing Companies

Virtual jobs and freelancing are some of the most underrated jobs around. It’s only recently that more people have come to realize that there’s so much to earn online. A felon with any skill capable of supporting an online job career should organize a portfolio of previous works, start with it, and learn to improve along the way. Virtual jobs usually do not need background checks, and a strong portfolio should suffice.

Platforms to Find Virtual Jobs and Freelancing Sites


Upwork is a freelance job market, the company with the largest network of freelancers and freelance jobs. It’s important to note that not all countries have access to the Upwork platform—for example, countries like Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Crimea.


Indeed is an employment-related search engine founded in 2004. It’s suitable for finding full time, part-time, and freelance jobs from small and medium scale enterprises.


Arguably, this website is the best for freelance service offerings. It was founded in 2010 in Jerusalem.

This freelance website originated in Australia. It remains relevant after more than a decade.


A top advertisement website in America, Craigslist’s also a popular place to find freelance jobs.

Guru is a top freelance website, known initially as, when it was founded in Pittsburg in 1998. It’s still very relevant today.


99Designs is a freelance website for creative graphic designers. There are so many jobs completed daily, and it is the world’s most popular site to get a graphic design job. It was founded in 2008, and the headquarters is currently in Melbourne, Australia.


Also located in Melbourne, Australia, Envato Studio was established in 2006. It’s a popular freelance website for creative designers and developers worldwide. If you’re skilled in graphics and logo design or CMS website customization, then Envato comes highly recommended.

People Per Hour

It was founded in 2007 and is based in the United Kingdom. People Per Hour is a community of talented people worldwide providing freelance services on projects as an alternative to an official office set up. People Per Hour is a powerhouse on the self-employment industry in the U.K.

Other freelance sites include:

  • Zirtual
  • iFreelance
  • SimplyHired
  • DesignCrowd
  • Hireable
  • Toptal
  • WriterAccess
  • DesignHills
  • Skyword

Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing companies are about the most accessible places for a felon, immigrant, and even fugitives to find employment. It’s no surprise that there’s always a job vacancy in this industry. That’s because no one would love to do labor and odd jobs or heavy-lifting for good pay—not to mention the small amount paid in reality. Employers in manufacturing industries only care about getting the jobs done and may not have any interest in a background check.

Odd jobs aren’t easy. It may be easy to get into one of these companies, but it requires lots of physicality and discipline. That said, the industrial sector is one of the most natural places to punch an inconsiderate boss in the face. If you don’t control your temper, in the face of aggravating circumstances, you may be on your way back to court.

Work with Outsourced H.R. Agencies

As a felon, there are many advantages of using outsourced human resource agencies to seek employment in companies. Most jobs found through these agencies are temporary but can do well to strengthen a CV. If you’re good enough, H.R. agencies will protect your interest, for their reputation and profit. Some of the benefits include:

  • They’re already aware of companies that accept felons
  • They do the background check and know the industries that aren’t related to the felony
  • They assess job seekers’ capabilities and only raise hope when there’s a chance of employment
  • They know what the companies want
  • H.R. agencies process multiple companies at a time
  • They advise and help to improve prospects by, for instance, working with a job seeker to upgrade their resume

Online Marketing Professionals

The surge in the number of businesses using online marketing in the last decade is a huge advantage for job seekers. Companies often seek talented, highly skilled professionals to help promote their companies and achieve sales goals. Companies want results. A felon with a reasonable level of knowledge and experience would have no problem with background checks. In most cases, if the crime of their felony is not related to online frauds and manipulations, hiring them won’t be a complicated process.

A felon without previous knowledge or experience in online marketing can find online websites that offer certification courses on online marketing. Many sites train people for free; these websites include Hubspot, Hootsuite, and Reviewtracker, among others. The U.S. government, however, placed restrictions to ensure industry best practices. Before an individual can go public with their skills in online marketing, they must have previously earned a bachelor’s degree and some experience in marketing.

Oil and Gas Safety Professionals

The oil and gas industry offers endless opportunities for job seekers at any level. People with only a high school certificate have risen to top positions due to years of experience and obtained professional certifications. Starting a career as a safety officer isn’t a bad idea. Enroll in HSE courses and prepare for your first certification exams.

Mobile Apps and Software Development

Mobile applications and software developers have got to be some of the highly sought-after professionals in the United States. Every business that takes online marketing seriously has mobile apps. Technology companies that offer mobile app development and software services are always on the lookout for the best talents in the industry. If you have what it takes, your felony will not always come in your way of getting jobs like this one.

Computer Repair Technician

This job is widely underrated despite the apparent need for the services. According to a recent survey in the United States, computer repair technicians are estimated to grow by more than 8.2 percent over the next decades. In 2016 alone, the number of computer technicians was 69,030 in California, 43,800 in New York, 21,700 and 6,420 in North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively, as well as over 500,000 more all over the United States.

Retail Companies

Felons can find job opportunities at retail companies. Retail companies will hire felons, but not just any felon. They will not hire felons with a record of theft, and felons with histories of violence to a certain degree will have a harder chance of finding employment at retail stores.

Retail companies are mostly grocery based. There are also non-grocery-based retail companies like Ace Hardware and Home Depot. Popular grocery-based retail companies include:

  1. Sprouts Farmers Market.
  2. Whole Foods Market, Inc.
  3. Kroger Co.
  4. Golub Corp.
  5. Ingles Markets, Inc.
  6. Publix Super Markets, Inc.
  7. H.E. Butt Grocery Co.
  8. Albertsons Companies, Inc.
  9. Hy-vee, Inc.
  10. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  11. WinCo Foods LLC.
  12. Save Mart Companies.
Man driving

Transport Companies

Felons can find job opportunities in the transport industry as drivers, carriers, and delivery guys. Companies may be stricter during interviews for ex-convicts that have a theft-related felony. A few transport companies in the United States include:

  1. Allied Van Lines – Moving company
  2. Atlas Van Lines – Transportation
  3. Bar Nunn – Long haul trucking

Food Service and Hotel Management

Some felony-friendly hotels, restaurants, and leisure outlets include:

  1. Applebee’s – Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
  2. Bahama Breeze
  3. Bakers Square Restaurant & Bakery
  4. Baskin-Robbins
  5. Best Foods
  6. Best Western

Companies That Employed Felons in 2019

The following companies employed felons in 2019.

1.     IBM

IBM is a multinational company that produces computer hardware. IBM is present in 170 countries of the world and offers employment opportunities to anyone that is qualified.

2.     Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware Corporation is the world’s largest hardware retail corporation. Ace is a large corporation that keeps thriving since it was founded in 1924 in Chicago.

3.     Apple

In 2015, the tech giant backpedaled on the ban on felons from getting even a laborer job at the corporation. Since then, Apple has been hiring felons. Still, the reality remains that they may never go beyond the labor jobs.

4.     ExxonMobil

A multinational oil and gas corporation in Irving, Texas, United States, ExxonMobil is a top employer for felons. Although the available jobs are usually those that demand physicality, such as offshore rigging, there are other opportunities in more formal departments.

5.     American Greetings

American Greetings is the second-largest greeting card producer worldwide.

6.     Black & Decker

They provide international software services.

7.     Aramark Professional Services

Aramark provides customer services that extend across most people’s activities.

8.     BF Goodrich

The company sells car tires, truck tires, and other tire types.

Additional Information for Felons Searching for Felony Friendly Jobs

In the United States, there are federal laws that protect the rights of felons. Felons’ rights may be violated during the search for employment in two ways: Adverse Impact (disparate impact or unintentional discrimination) and Adverse Treatment (disparate treatment or intentional discrimination).

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the most critical law with regards to the protection of felons, as stated in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law implies that an employer cannot discriminate against an individual (job candidates in this situation) based on race, religion, color, nationality, or another protected basis. Where there’s a violation of this law, it can be enforced in a court of law.

An employer may refuse a felon’s employment if there’s a situation where the job candidate’s felony is related to the job opportunity. The employer may feel threatened by the past of the job candidate. For example, someone whose offense is directly related to cybercrime, which led to a bank heist, will be automatically rejected if he seeks a job in a financial institution.

Getting back into society may not happen as quickly as most felons would prefer. It’s essential to be patient and start with the most available jobs. Jobs in the manufacturing industry or part-time jobs like freelancing can help.

Felons must get a job and become more social to boost confidence, meet, and share ideas with others. Getting a job can also help with staying out of crime and improving your chance of better employment.

Finally, it’s the usual practice for companies to check for criminal records and, in some cases, the credit score of job applicants, where government policies require this. A felon must be ready to answer security questions, as they will arise during interviews. Felons must also not miss the opportunity to show resolution for new beginnings and remorse for previous misdeeds.

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