What to expect from the Target background check

Last updated: April 23, 2024
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Paul Baker
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What to expect from the Target background check
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In the U.S., there are 1,926 Target stores and more than 350,000 Target employees. There's a store in every state, and chances are you live near one.

If you're looking for a new job, your local Target store may be hiring.

To get a Target job, you'll need to submit an application and go through an interview process. And, before you get hired, the Target Corporation will do a criminal background check.

How does the background check work? And what happens if you have a criminal record?

We've got the answers to these questions and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Target background check.

What is Target?

The Target Corporation is a general merchandise retailer with headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded in 1902 and was originally called Goodfellow Dry Goods.

Target's tagline is, "Expect more. Pay less."

Target is known for its large range of products. For example, they sell home decor, groceries, electronics, appliances, clothing, toys, and baby goods.

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They stock popular brands and sell a range of exclusive Target-branded products.

75% of people who live in the U.S. have a Target store within ten miles of their house, making it a convenient place to shop.

Other stores similar to Target include Walmart, Costco, Macy's, Kroger, and Kohl's.

Why would you want to work at Target?

Target has a reputation for being a friendly and supportive place to work. New employees get on-the-job training, and many of the positions are entry-level.

Employees can get a range of perks depending on how many hours they work, their job title, and their experience. For example, you may be eligible for health insurance, dental insurance, and a 401(k) retirement plan.

Plus, Target employees get a 10% discount on in-store and online purchases.

If you want a long-term career at Target, there are opportunities for promotion. They often promote staff to managerial positions from within the company. There are internships, education, and training initiatives available.

If you want to work at Target, there are a few different job types to choose from. The list includes cashiers, team members, team leaders, and managers. There are also corporate opportunities in areas such as human resources, marketing, and visual merchandising.

Target background check FAQs

A background check is part of the Target hiring process.

Not sure what to expect? Take a look at our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

When does Target do a background check?

Job applicants need to give Target personal information such as their Social Security number and most recent address. These details are used to perform the background check.

In most states, there's a law called Ban the Box to help protect applicants. So, to reduce discrimination, the background check is the last stage of the hiring process.

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Target won't ask about your criminal history during the initial application process. There won't be a question on the application asking about previous convictions.

This means that if there is something on your record, you won't be automatically ruled out. You'll have a chance to explain your circumstances to the hiring manager.

Who does the Target background check?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law. There are specific rules about how your information can be accessed, collected, and shared.

Target doesn't do your background check. They outsource the employment screening process to a company called Accurate Background.

Accurate Background does a criminal background check and looks for any misdemeanor and felony convictions. They perform state, country, and federal criminal checks. They also search the sex offender registry.

Accurate Background ensures they follow all compliance rules.

What red flags is Target looking for?

Before Target makes a final hiring decision, they'll look at the results of your background check.

Target is looking for anything on your conviction records that could have an impact on the safety and wellbeing of its customers. The company also wants to know that its other employees and properties will be safe.

The good news is Target believes in fair chances. So, you'll get an opportunity to discuss your situation if something does pop up on your check.

Target looks at a range of factors before deciding whether to hire someone. For example, they may consider the type of conviction, how long ago it was, and how old you were at the time.

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And, they'll consider any steps you’ve taken toward rehabilitation and whether you’ve committed any further crimes.

They'll also consider the job you're applying for and whether your conviction will affect your ability to perform your duties.

Misdemeanors aren't usually a red flag.

Do you need a clean drug test to work at Target?

Once you've accepted a job offer at Target, you'll need to pass a drug test. You'll have up to 24 hours to complete this drug screening test. If you don't, your conditional offer of employment may be withdrawn.

Accurate Background manages the drug screening process.

Does Target hire felons?

Target will consider your criminal background information when making a final hiring decision.

The company doesn't share personal information about its employees, so it's unclear whether any convicted felons are currently working there.

But, Target is willing to give people a second chance depending on the type of conviction they have. The company understands that having meaningful employment can help people get back on their feet.

We recommend being honest about your criminal history. If you're the right person for the job and there are no health and safety risks, you could still get hired.

Does Target check your credit history?

No, Target doesn't check your credit history as part of its standard background check.

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4 tips to help you prepare for your Target background check

If you're actively looking for work, there are a few things you can do to prepare for a background check.

This advice will help you with your application at Target, as well as other companies:

1. Check your online presence

In addition to the background check, the hiring manager may check your online presence. Depending on the job type, they may do a quick Google search of your name to see if there are any red flags.

They could also look you up on social media. Have a look through your Facebook and Instagram feeds to make sure your profiles are employer-friendly. If you're not sure, you can set your accounts to private.

2. Keep good records

When you're applying for a job, the information you provide needs to be accurate. For example, the dates you give for your employment history and education need to be correct.

If you've had any misdemeanors or criminal convictions, keep records of these. If you need to explain the circumstances, these details could be useful.

You should also keep a record of all the addresses you’ve lived at for the past seven years.

3. Do your own background check

Not sure what might pop up on your background check? You can prepare yourself by checking your own records.

There are online services you can use to access this information. For example, you can ask for an Identity History Summary from the FBI. And, there are other online tools available that'll give you your background information for a small fee.

Or, you can visit your local police department, and they can check your records. They can print you a document to take home.

4. Be honest

It can be tempting to try to hide things from the hiring manager. But, it's better to be honest from the beginning, as the background check will reveal any lies.

Whether it's a criminal conviction or where you went to college, be honest about your history.

If the application specifically asks about a felony, explain how long ago it was and how you've moved forward. You don't need to mention any misdemeanors in this section.

To help you apply for a job with a record, read this article. It explains how you can make your resume and application shine without hiding your history.

How do you find out your Target background check results?

If you've done the Target background screening check, you can call Accurate Background for your results.

The number in the U.S. is (855) 581–0580.

Where to find a job at Target

Target is hiring now, with jobs available in most areas. If you want to work at Target, now is the time to apply.

To get started, you can see what’s available on our job board. Browse vacant positions at Target.

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Applying for a job at Target

Target is a great place to work. Whether it’s for a first job or a long-term career, your local Target store may be hiring now.

Before you get the position, you’ll need to have a background check. This check looks for any criminal convictions and other red flags on your record.

Target is an equal opportunity workplace, and if something does come up, you’ll have the chance to explain. You’ll also need a clean drug test as a condition of employment.

Before your interview, you can do your own background check to see what might come up. And, you should check your social media profiles for any questionable content.

Remember to keep accurate records and always be honest.

Ready to work? You can browse open positions in your area on our job board. And, you can get more hints and tips by visiting our resource center.

1 Comment


Jerilyn Brown
Bullet point
Stellar Guest Services Advocate

@Paul Baker, great post on Target! I actually currently work there as a Guest Advocate and worked at a previous location as a Security Specialist.

The Target corporation has signed the Second Chance Pledge. They are a company of cultural inclusivity and they do genuinely believe in second chances. I can say with confidence that there are convicted felons who currently work for the company. Target believes in hiring practices based on individual merit. And there are a myriad of different jobs to be had.

My hiring process with Target went rather quickly. What I appreciated most was the video interview process. Once you get the invitation to interview, you are sent an email which connects you with the interview software. After watching several vignettes regarding different job positions available and what they include you are given an opportunity to preview questions and practice your video response. For each question, interviewees get three practice opportunities before submitting their final response. I do have to say that my video interview was what got me hired. It took several days for them to contact me regarding being hired because they were so impressed with my video they had to share it with several members of HR and my first location uses it in their HR training.

I recommend doing some research on the different jobs available and understanding what those entail. There are also opportunities to cross train for other positions except for Security Specialists. As a Guest Advocate I work at check lanes, self-checkout, the Guest Service Desk, stocking new items in the Bullseye area as well as assisting with drive up so I don't do the same thing everyday. I enjoy the variety of roles and the teamwork.

Target is also a great place of employment for those with disabilities and they are happy to accommodate team member needs. 😊