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Does Shinola Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update August 26, 2019
does Shinola hire felons to make watches

Shinola is a lifestyle and accessory company. They’re a prominent brand that hires many people, but does Shinola hire felons?

At Relaunch Pad, we understand that former felons have a uniquely difficult time finding work. That is why we make it our mission to answer the burning questions that they take with them into the job hunt. We start by going directly to the source to ask employers about their policies for hiring people with criminal records. We also make a point of hiring former felons to ensure that we provide the community with the best possible information.

We’ll also address the following important concerns:

  • Does Shinola do background checks?
  • Is it possible to get a job at Shinola with a felony?
  • Does Shinola hire people with misdemeanors?

Let’s get started!

Does Shinola hire felons?

does Shinola hire felons to make watches

Official company policy for hiring felons

As always, we went directly to the source to find out about their official hiring policy for felons. They simply said that they approach the subject on a case-by-case basis.

It’s not terrible news. This is actually a pretty common answer as a matter of fact. Unfortunately, though, it does make it difficult to determine exactly how they make their hires.

Has Shinola hired felons in the past?

We also asked the company if they have ever hired former felons in the past. They declined to answer the question.

However, we searched online and found several examples of former felons claiming that they have worked for the company in the past. While this answer doesn’t tell us anything about how they decide which former felons get hired, it’s good news all the same.

Does Shinola hire people with misdemeanors?

Unfortunately, the company has not told us if they are open to hiring people with misdemeanors. That said, since you can get a job at Shinola with a felony, it stands to reason that a misdemeanor will not disqualify you from consideration either.

Is Shinola on the Ban the Box list?

The Ban the Box list is a movement designed to remove questions about criminal records from job applications. The intention is to give applicants the chance to be hired on the basis of their qualifications, rather than disqualified for their past mistakes.

The Fair Chance Business Pledge is a similar initiative. This movement is an optional promise that businesses make that says they will not discriminate in their hiring process.

Unfortunately, Shinola is not involved in either of these programs.

Does Shinola have special programs for hiring felons?

Some companies have special reentry programs that make the hiring process for former felons a little bit easier. These are great opportunities to find work, but they are also pretty rare.

Unfortunately, Shinola does not have any special programs for hiring felons.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

Average likelihood of being hired with a felony

Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten a lot of information from the company. Though they were kind enough to reply to our questions, the answers were not transparent enough to really help us understand what it takes to get hired there with a felony.

Let’s review what we’ve covered so far: They say they’ll hire former felons on a case-by-case basis. and they’ve done so in the past. However, they don’t have any special programs to make it easier for people with records to get a job there, and they are not involved in the Fair Chance Business Pledge or Ban the Box movements.

So, does Shinola hire felons? Right now, we can only say that your chances of getting hired here are average. While it does seem possible to get hired here, it is difficult to say how they make their decisions.

What are some entry-level jobs?

Let’s now take a look at some entry-level jobs. Most of their basic positions are at their retail stores in customer service positions. Hours may vary, but you can expect to find day, night and weekend shifts. So you’d be looking at jobs like running a cash register, selling watches and other store-related duties.

They also have a corporate wing of the company, though most of these positions require an established background in business.

How to get hired at Shinola with a felony

The best thing you can do for yourself during any job hunt is to prepare and submit a really solid application. When we reached out to Shinola, they recommended applying online.  This means you need to have all your information together first.

To guarantee that your resume is perfect, consider having a friend or family member look it over before you send it out. The extra pair of eyes can help you avoid mistakes that might mean the difference between getting hired or being looked over!

Remember that most of the positions at Shinola involve customer service. If you can highlight that you have a background in those skills, it will go a long way towards setting you apart from other applicants. Even jobs working in food service can be used to show that you are good at working with customers.

Clerk positions, hosting jobs, and even work you may have done catering to the needs of others in prison may be good things to reference on your application.

Once you impress them with your resume, it will be time to prepare for the interview. This can be hard, but a great way to start is by practicing common interview questions with a friend or a family member.

Also, be sure to show up to the interview looking as professional as possible. This means wearing nice clothes, removing piercings and covering tattoos. Remember that this is a company that puts an emphasis on lifestyle and fashion. Because of that, it’s extra important to show up looking good.

Once the interview starts, it’s time to simply relax and be yourself. At this stage of the game, the hiring manager has already decided that they’re interested in you. Now it’s time to close the deal by proving they were right to think that you’re a good fit for the job.

Does Shinola do background checks?

Shinola confirmed for us that they will perform a background check after the job offer is given.

However, your location can impact what Shinola will learn about your background: 

For example, some states only look seven years back into a person’s record. In these states, Shinola will not find out about anything that happened further back than that:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

There are also some states that will not include any information about not guilty verdicts:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Unfortunately, though, many states will include your entire record. If you live in one of these places, Shinola will find out about everything, including times you were found not guilty:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

We also wanted to find out what it is like to work at Shinola. To do this, we went online to read up on some company ratings. On, the company has a rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars. The highest rating was 3.4 for compensation and the lowest rating was 2.9 for senior management.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

Since this is a retail store, there are a few types of convictions that might be disqualifying. For one thing, if you have a history of theft, it may be held against you. Many businesses are also reluctant to hire violent or sexual offenders for customer service positions.

Does Shinola drug test?

It’s not apparent that Shinola drug tests every applicant. However, they reserve the right to do so.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

If you have experience with Shinola, we would love to hear from you. Did our guide help you figure out how to get hired at Shinola? Tell us what you know so we can improve our content and better serve the community.

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Paul is a Reentry Educator with The Relaunch Pad who lives in the midwest. He has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and is dedicated to providing accurate and insightful information to former offenders who are seeking employment.