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Instacart background checks
Last updated: June 30, 2022
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 Instacart background checks
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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers have embraced the convenience of grocery delivery services. Instacart is an American company that's jumped on this trend, and they have over 500,000 customers in more than 5,500 cities.

If you want to work for Instacart, the shopper app is hiring now. There are positions in finance, administration, business, customer service, design, engineering, legal, and human resources. Or you can become an Instacart shopper.

To work for Instacart, you'll need to complete the application process. Potential employees will also need to have a quick background check.

Not sure what to expect? In this article, we'll give you a rundown of the company and tell you all about the Instacart background check.

What is Instacart?

Instacart first launched in 2012 and is known for its convenient delivery and pickup services. The company operates in the U.S. and Canada.

Customers can use the app or website to place an order, and a professional shopper will collect the items. They can communicate with the shopper via instant message and track their orders in real-time.

Customers can get their groceries delivered to their door on the same day. 95% of small orders are delivered in less than two hours.

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There's a range of different stores you can order from, including Costco, Target, 7-Eleven, The Container Store, Safeway, The Body Shop, Dollar Tree, and Walgreens.

In the past few years, Instacart has grown in popularity. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, customers made the switch to home delivery. In 2020, Instacart was valued at $13.7 billion, and now it’s worth $39 billion.

This growth is good news for job seekers. There are now more opportunities to join the company.

Why would you want to work as an Instacart shopper?

You can apply for two different Instacart shopper positions.

Full-service shoppers are independent contractors who shop and deliver for customers. They get to choose their own hours and work around other commitments. You’ll get paid per batch, and if you give excellent service, you’ll earn customer tips. Any tips are 100% yours to keep.

In-store shoppers pick and shop for customers, but they don’t deliver. These workers are employees rather than contractors and work on shifts up to 29 hours each week.

If you enjoy working independently, Instacart could be a good fit. The average hourly wage for Instacart shoppers is $18.55, or $37,100 per year if you work full-time.

Instacart shoppers are eligible for discounts on products and services. For example, they can save on restaurants, insurance, and entertainment.

There are other jobs available at Instacart. The list includes managers, executive assistants, care agents, and shift leads. Some of these jobs are remote, while others are in-person.

Instacart is an equal opportunity employer with a diverse and inclusive workforce.

What is a background check?

When you apply for a job, you may need to go through a background screening process. Employers do this because they want to know that their staff and customers are safe.

They can also use a background check to make sure you've been honest on your resume.


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Most companies use background checks to look at criminal history. If you're applying for a job as a delivery driver, they may check your driving record. Depending on the job type, the background check may also look at your financial history.

Criminal background checks look for a range of red flags, including felonies and misdemeanors. These checks usually cover local, state, and federal criminal databases.

If something shows up on your background report, you could still be eligible for the job. Some companies have a fair chance policy, allowing applicants to explain their criminal records.

For example, if you've had rehabilitation, made life changes, or the incident was a long time ago, it'll increase your chances of getting hired.

When you fill out your background check application, you'll usually need to supply your Social Security number. And they'll need to know your current address.

You don't need to pay for your background check report.

What does Instacart look for when doing a background check?

If you work for Instacart, you'll be dealing directly with customers. You'll also be expected to work unsupervised. The company wants to make sure anyone they hire is going to be a good fit.

For example, they want to know that you're trustworthy, honest, and have the right skills for the job. Plus, they want to keep customers, employees, and shoppers safe.

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The basic requirements will depend on the job type. If you're a driver, you'll need a valid driver's license and a clean driving record. And if you work with customers, they’ll be interested in your criminal history.

When you apply for a job at Instacart, they won't do the background check straight away. It'll be toward the end of the application process, giving you time to explain your situation. The company will book in the check if you get a conditional offer to work as either an employee or contractor.

Instacart doesn't do the background check themselves. The hiring manager outsources this contract to a third-party company. If you get to this stage of the application, your background check will be through Checkr Inc or Sterling.

Most of the time, background checks are processed within ten business days. But there are sometimes delays, so be prepared to wait longer.

How Instacart conducts background checks

Instacart often uses Checkr, a background-checking company with headquarters in San Francisco. You may recognize Checkr if you've worked as a contractor for other delivery apps such as Postmates and Lyft.

Sometimes they use Sterling, another trusted background check company that does over 89 million checks every year.

The employment background check covers a few key areas. For example, Instacart is interested in:

  • Checking your criminal history, including felony convictions

  • Verifying your identity

  • Verifying your employment history details

  • Checking your professional licenses

  • Verifying your education history details

  • Checking any special qualifications and certifications

  • Your driving record

If there's an issue with your background check, Checkr or Sterling will send a message to your email address. If you think there's been a mistake, you can follow the dispute instructions on either the Chekr or Sterling website.

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These background screening requirements are ongoing. Instacart runs a background check every year for anyone in its active shopper network. This annual check flags any new incidents that may have occurred during that period.

It’s important to notify the company if there are any changes to your record.

Make sure your information is accurate before applying for a background check. If you accidentally enter the wrong name, address, birth date, or Social Security number, it could make the process longer.

For your first background check, the company will use your Social Security number. But, for your annual checks, you can choose for them to use your tax file number instead.

Does Instacart hire felons?

Sometimes Instacart may consider hiring a person with a felony record. The type of felony and how long ago it was committed will have an impact on this decision. For example, they'll be more likely to hire someone with a criminal record if more than ten years have passed.

There are no rules about how far back your employer can check. While most checks focus on the past ten years, sometimes they'll look back more than 25 years.

Remember, Instacart won't ask for a background check until later in the application process. If there is something worth mentioning in your history, it's best to be honest and upfront. If you've lied on your application, it'll be automatically rejected.

When you're honest, you'll have a chance to explain the circumstances and highlight any changes you've made.

If you're currently facing a criminal charge, Instacart could employ you on a temporary basis on the condition that the case is dropped.

Does Instacart drug test employees?

No. Instacart doesn't drug test its employees. There's no drug test during the application process either.

However, any drug-related offenses may appear on your background check.

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What do you need to be eligible for an Instacart job?

To work as an Instacart shopper, you'll need to be at least 18 years old. If you're a contractor and want to make deliveries, you'll need a valid driver's license and a reliable vehicle. You'll also need to have your own automotive insurance.

Of course, you'll need to pass the background check and have a clean driving history. If you have a suspended driver's license, you won't be eligible to apply.

There are Instacart jobs available in both the U.S. and Canada, and you'll need a Social Security number. Before applying, you can check whether there's an opening in your area.

There are a few other minimum requirements for the job. You should be organized and self-motivated and be able to lift at least 30 pounds.

You'll also need a smartphone with reliable internet and ‌access to the Shopper app. Plus, you'll need a checking account to receive your payments.

When you are approved, you’ll receive a payment card. This card can be used to make purchases for customers. You can expect your card to ship five to seven business days after you finish the sign-up process.

Where to get a job at Instacart

You can apply to work as a shopper on the Instacart website. You’ll need to download the app and pass the background check. Once you’re approved, you can choose which orders you want to shop for.

If you’d prefer to work in one of Instacart's other departments as an employee, you can check our job board for open positions.

There are other similar companies you can also apply for. There are delivery jobs available at Lyft, DoorDash, Uber, and Shipt. When you’re ready, you can browse all delivery driver positions on our job board.

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Working at Instacart

Are you interested in working for Instacart? There are different options available, including contractor and employee positions.

To get a job, you’ll need to complete the application process. One of the final steps is a background check. The company uses a third-party provider to check your records, including your criminal history.

It’s important to be open and honest because anything you miss could get flagged on your background check. If you’ve been through rehabilitation or time has passed, it’ll increase your chances of getting hired.

If you enjoy shopping and working independently, consider applying for a role at Instacart.

Want to see which jobs are available in your area? Visit our job board. Or, you can read more articles like this one in our resource center.

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