Retailer is taking on workers idled by hard-hit industries
CINCINNATI —Kroger Co. has hired more than 23,500 workers in recent weeks, and the company said it will add an additional 20,000 to help it respond to a spike in business from communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kroger added that recent hires have come from such hard-hit businesses as restaurants, hotels and food service distributors.
“Kroger’s top priority continues to be uplifting our associates and serving our communities, whether that’s by ensuring customers always can find food and products on our shelves or by providing a nearly immediate job opportunity to help an unemployed person to begin working again,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief people officer. “During this time of uncertainty, Kroger is committed to remaining a constant. We have a responsibility to our associates, customers and communities, and we will continue to be here, for any need.”
Kroger initiated its expedited hiring process two weeks ago to shorten the time between application and employment, bringing new hires on board in an average of 72 hours. The retailer said that its human resources leaders are working seven days a week to quickly interview and recruit new talent.
Kroger is also partnering with local, regional and national businesses from the industries most affected by the pandemic to create a shared-resource model to temporarily flex employees to Kroger roles, ensuring the food supply chain continues without disruption. Current partners include Frisch’s, Marriott International, McLane Foodservice, Shamrocks Food, Sodexo, SodexoMAGIC, Sysco, Thunderdome Restaurant Group, US Foods and VF Corporation.
Positions remain available nationwide across Kroger’s retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers, the company said. The retailer noted that its average hourly wage is $15 an hour, and that rises to more than $20 when benefits are factored in.