Supermarkets and grocers are making huge hiring to address the sudden additional demand of products as people continue to stock up because of the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 23,500 employees have so far been hired by Kroger and has announced plans for hiring 20,000 people for its stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers within the next few weeks.
On the other hand, the largest retailer of the United States, Walmart has already employed an additional 25,000 employees in less than a week. The company however also wants an additional 150,000 people, both full time and temporary ones, to cater to the increased demand by the end of May. Walmart said that while most of the people hired for positions in its stores, clubs, fulfillment centers and distribution centers are temporary in nature, but many of them could be made permanent later on.
The panic buying by Americans continue as restrictions are imposed on residents in many cities and states in the country and all of the major US grocers are seeing products such as canned goods, boxes of pasta, toilet paper and other essential items being purchased at such as rate that shelves are getting empty very fast.
The new employees at Kroger and Walmart are already busy restocking the shelves with products, checking out customers and sending products from distribution centres all across the country.
According to reports and communiqué from companies, numerous applications from thousands of Americans are being received by them, particularly from those who have been laid off or furloughed by firms in the restaurants, hotels or other sectors that have been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the related restrictions imposed by the government.
The hiring process has been shortened to from an average of 72 hours, said Kroger, the parent company of grocery chains including Fred Meyer and Harris Teeter. The average wage for the new recruits is an average of $15 an hour. The human resource team of the company is currently very busy and is working for seven days a week for recruiting and interviewing people for the jobs.
Such temporary hiring is also being done by the company with the help of other companies such as Marriott International, Sysco and Sodexo. The major focus is on hiring those who have been laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hiring has also been sped up at Walmart – particularly for positions in the cashier and stocker departments. People are being encouraged to apply online or simply send a text message by Walmart in order to quickly turn applicants into hiring. company Walmart spokeswoman Robyn Babbitt said that the company is currently not sticking to the conventional method of formal interviews and written offers but has directed store managers to directly screen and select candidates and make verbal offers even over the phone.
Walmart executive vice president of corporate affairs Dan Bartlett said that the hiring process has been shortened by the company to just three hours from two weeks.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)