When applying for a major home improvement retailer like Home Depot, background check processes are standard for all potential hires. However, there are some things that applicants should know before they apply to increase their odds of being hired and promoted quickly.
Having this information beforehand can simplify the process and eliminate any surprises (like those in a Walmart background check). It all comes down to what color you get…explained below.
Does Home Depot Do Background Checks?
Home Depot, just like virtually every major employer in the United States, performs a basic background check on any potential employee. The Home Depot background check policy requires the search take place after the interview process, and it is often the last step before being offered a position with the company.
Additionally, if the position is related to contracted services such as HVAC and plumbing, a professional license validation search is likely to be performed as well to verify that the applicant has the needed credentials.
Just like many companies across the United States, Home Depot background checks are designed to protect the company and its employees from potentially dangerous situations, liabilities, and events that may cause the store and the company to lose money. Most applicants pass a Home Depot background check easily, but there are some things that all applicants should understand about what is checked and the Home Depot background check requirements.
Home Depot Background Check Policy
Although a criminal background check is a standard part of the process, it is not the only thing that Home Depot will check before offering a job. A basic check includes verifying information on the initial application and the identity of the applicant, through their social security number as well as their address.
Depending on the position that is being applied for, the company may also choose to run several other checks as well. For example, if an applicant claims to have a college degree or advanced certifications, the company will likely verify these to ensure that applicant was being truthful on their application. This is true for virtually all the information provided by the applicant such as education level, previous work experience, and any training they may have completed.
Although completion of a background check is required to gain employment with Home Depot, the company will ask for the employee’s consent before conducting the background check, as required by law.
Even though applicants can refuse a background check, this will likely mean the end of the application process and the applicant will no longer be considered for employment by the company.
What Information Is On the Home Depot Background Check
Aside from verifying basic information on the application, Home Depot conducts several other types of background checks to ensure that the applicant meets the standards expected for the role.
What shows up on a Home Depot background check can vary by state, but the Home Depot background check process is usually conducted using a third party background check company that is able to perform a nationwide search:
The Home Depot criminal background check follows industry standards as far as what they are checking on each applicant.
If applying to Home Depot, applicants can expect their criminal history to be thoroughly checked, using a name based search. Although fingerprints are not required for the basic check, the search still scans nationwide criminal history records. Any recent misdemeanor and felony convictions will show up on the Home Depot background check.
Like many companies, Home Depot’s background check policy searches for information as far back as the state laws allow. In most states this means that any convictions in the previous seven years will appear on the background check. The type of background check being conducted will determine what shows up on a criminal background check.
Home Depot’s criminal background check is a national background check meaning that any criminal convictions, even if they occurred in a different state will show up on the background check. Also, major crimes committed internationally will also show up on Home Depot’s criminal background check. Common criminal records include:
Sealed and expunged criminal records will not appear for a pre-employment Home Depot background check. Only federal and state agencies are able to see these types of records.
Drug Use History and Home Depot Drug Test
Drug history will normally be a part of the criminal background check, but it is something that Home Depot will look for specifically as part of their background check policy.
Applicants can expect Home Depot to take special note of any drug related charges that appear on a criminal background check, whether they are felonies or misdemeanors. Since many Home Depot positions require employees to operate heavy machinery, understanding an applicant’s drug history is important to the safety of employees and customers in Home Depot stores.
Drug tests are a normal part of the application process for Home Depot, and employees can also be tested at any time.
With a Home Depot background check, a basic identity verification will be carried out as part of the process. This generally verifies information provided by the applicant such as his or her name, address, and social security number.
This is done in order to ensure that the applicant is who they say they are and that they are not being untruthful and attempting to gain employment under false pretenses.
For most applicants this is the easiest part of the application to pass and the least cause for concern. However, it is important for applicants to double check this information when completing an application to ensure that there are no mistakes that may lead to the applicant failing this portion of the check, or causing unnecessary delays.
Ensuring social security numbers are correct and names are spelled correctly are always good practices to ensure the background check process is as smooth and quick as possible.
Many positions with the Home Depot may require certain levels of education. In these cases, the education history provided by the application process will almost certainly be checked in order to ensure its authenticity. Expect any college degrees or certifications mentioned on the application to be verified as part of the background check process.
Although this generally only applies to upper-management positions that require a certain education level, even entry level positions may verify the applicant’s provided highschool education as part of verifying basic information.
Not as common as identity or criminal checks, in certain cases Home Depot will also check with references provided by the employee.
Oftentimes, if the reference listed is a former employer of the applicant, the background check will ensure that the applicant’s reason for leaving their previous company is not a cause for concern.
For example if the applicant claimed they left their previous job because of scheduling conflicts, the person conducting the background check may verify this information to ensure that the employee wasn’t terminated for theft or another reason.
Some positions at the Home Depot may also require a driving record check as part of the background check process. Not all positions will require the passing of a driving record check, but applicants can expect such a check if the position being applied for requires them to drive company vehicles of any kind.
This is generally only applicable for those applying for jobs to distribution centers, or any kind of delivery. This information will be checked with both the Department of Motor Vehicles and the department of Transportation (DOT), if a commercial license is required, to ensure there are no concerning violations on the applicant’s driving record.
Credit history checks may be conducted by Home Depot for c-level positions and other financially responsible positions in the company, but usually only when the salary exceeds $75,000.
How Far Back Does a Home Depot Background Check Go?
A criminal history search for Home Depot will go as far back as state law allows. Although most states only allow ten years for entry level positions that make under $75,000 per year, there are a few states that only allow for background checks that extend as far back as 7 years. These states are:
For applicants applying to positions with Home Depot that pay above 75,000 per year, state laws generally allow for these criminal background checks to extend back 10 years. In this case the background check may be more extensive, such as including a credit check.
Home Depot Criminal Background Check Levels
For the criminal history search, Home Depot background checks are used to apply a company wide ranking, instead of simply establishing a pass or fail grade. This ranking system is used to objectionably consider all applications, since Home Depot will hire felons, based on certain criteria.
The rankings are divided into three categories that correspond to the information that is discovered during the background check. Each level is related to the severity of the information that is found and is used to assist hiring managers about making decisions on whether or not an employee should be hired.
Most people that apply to Home Depot and complete a background check will be flagged as green by Home Depot’s background check system. When the background check flags an employee as green, this means that the background check turned up no concerning information.
Applicants who were truthful on their applications and have never had any kind of misdemeanor or felony conviction can expect this result from a background check.
Some applicants may get flagged as red by Home Depot’s background check system, and if so, they will no longer be considered for employment by Home Depot.
There are a number of things a background check can turn up that will cause an applicant to receive a red flag. This can include information on the application as being clearly untruthful, or a concerning driving record, depending on the job that was being applied for. However, in most cases a red flag will be given to those with concerning information on the criminal background check.
Felony convictions are the most common cause for a red flag being given to an application. Recent felony convictions involving, violent crime, sex crimes, theft, or drug distribution are all examples of background check information that will cause a Home Depot application to be turned down.
In most of these cases, there is little that the applicant can do to overturn the results of the rejection, unless the conviction is the result of a misspelled name or other erroneous information.
Sometimes, a person’s background check may turn up information that is incorrect, such as a conviction that was ultimately overturned. In this case, the applicant can use the Summary of Rights provided by Home Depot to correct it.
The final ranking that an application can receive is a yellow flag. Yellow flags can be given for a number of reasons, but in general it means that something was found on the applicant’s background check that is cause for concern, but not necessarily grounds for the immediate denial of the application.
In some cases this will mean misdemeanors that may have occurred several years ago, non-violent felonies that occurred a long time ago or driving violations that are a minor cause for concern.
Although these findings may ultimately result in an employee’s employment offer to be rescinded, this is not always the case.
Often the yellow flag will mean that the applicant may be asked about some of the findings of the background check by the hiring manager. In this scenario, the hiring manager tries to determine whether the findings will impact the applicant’s ability to work or if it creates an unsafe or uncomfortable environment for other employees.
Whether or not the employment offer is rescinded after a yellow flag is given to an applicant is determined by the hiring manager based on a conversation with the applicant. The applicant will generally have an opportunity to explain the conviction and discuss steps they may have taken to better themselves and prove that they are reliable.
Does Home Depot Do Drug Tests?
In addition to the Home Depot background check, the company also conducts drug tests on all employees. The drug test is generally part of the background check process, should the applicant pass the initial background check, and is often conducted via a cheek swab.
Home Depot tests for all illegal drugs and failing of the drug test is normally cause for the employment offer to be rescinded.
Aside from the pre-employment drug screening that applicants must pass, employees of Home Depot can also be subjected to incident based drug tests. These tests are only conducted when there is a proper cause (such as an accident), rather than completely random drug tests that some companies will conduct. These situations may include:
Home Depot drug tests are only conducted on employees in specific situations such as:
- A customer claiming they have reason to believe an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- An employee crashes a company car while on a delivery
- An employee damages company property in a Home Depot store
There are several other instances that may occur that would lead to an existing employee to be drug tested, but these cases are fairly uncommon and are always conducted due to specific circumstances.
What Is the Process for a Home Depot Hire?
Home Depot has a fairly traditional hiring process for a company of its size. The process may vary slightly depending on the position, such as phone interviews being utilized in certain situations. However, the hiring process is mostly the same across all Home Depot positions.
When applying to a retail position at a Home Depot store, the hiring process includes:
Filling Out An Application
There are a number of ways to fill out a Home Depot application, but most employees will fill out an online application form for their specific store. There are also traditional paper applications available at Home Depot stores or at certain recruiting events, such as those on college campuses.
If a Home Depot hiring manager is impressed by an application, they will generally reach out via phone or email to schedule a time for an in-person interview with the applicant. The interview for Home Depot is usually not out of the ordinary from what one might expect from a retail job interview with a large retailer.
Hiring managers generally assess applicant’s work ethic and how they would fit into the current team, as well as experience and applicable skills.
Drug Test and Background Check
If the hiring manager is still interested in the applicant after the interview they will generally swab the applicants cheek for the drug screening on the same day as the interview. After the interview, the cheek swab will be tested for any illegal drugs and the background check will take place.
Waiting for Results
Once the interview has been conducted and the drug test has been taken, applicants will then wait for the results of both checks. Once both the drug screening and background check are passed, the hiring manager will contact the applicant and offer them employment and discuss start dates and the position being offered as well as any other information that is pertinent to a new hire.
The orientation process generally takes a week for Home Depot and is intended to get the employee up to speed on basic operations, company policies and job duties, as well as any safety information that may be of importance.
Does Home Depot Hire Felons?
Home Depot is an equal opportunity employer and works diligently to offer opportunities to felons. Home Depot’s efforts to give felons a fair opportunity is what led to them adopting the flag system for background checks as well as their involvement with multiple initiatives to help felons such as “Ban the Box” and the Fair Chance Business Pledge.
Those convicted of a felony will likely have an extra step in the hiring process that will take place after the background check.
The first step that anyone with a felony or misdemeanor conviction should take when applying for a job at Home Depot is to be upfront about their past criminal history. Home Depot does not have many rigid rules about hiring felons and leaves the decision making up to the discretion of the hiring manager. Each application is considered on a case-by case basis.
For those who do not disclose this information up front, the convictions will be uncovered during the background check. When this happens, assuming the application has received a yellow flag, the hiring manager will likely want to discuss the prior convictions with the applicant. This is another opportunity for the applicant to explain the conviction and to discuss any steps that have been taken regarding rehabilitiaion.
There are felony and misdemeanor convictions that Home Depot will not look past, but in general the company does more to give felons a fair opportunity than most companies of its size.
How Long Does a Home Depot Background Check Take?
The length of a Home Depot background check will depend on a variety of factors such as what position is being applied for. However, in general, a Home Depot background check will take 1-2 weeks.
For certain positions this may take longer, the criminal background check generally takes one to two weeks, but if there are other aspects of the background check being undertaken, such as a driving record check or reference check this will increase the time.
Applicants concerned with how long their background check is taking have several options to check on the status of their application.
- Sign in to the Home Depot Careers page and click “Check application status”
- Contact the hiring manager that conducted the interview
- Call the Home Depot Application Hotline and check the status
When undergoing a Home Depot background check, applicants should know that although the process may be slightly different from other big box retailers, ultimately, the running a background check on yourself beforehand can remove any surprises and ensure that results are accurate.