Target, Walmart ramp up seasonal hiring

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Push to support online ordering and curbside pickup

Target, Walmart ramp up seasonal hiring
NEW YORK — Walmart and Target are hiring extra employees for the upcoming holiday shopping season, but the retailers say that this year there will be an increased focus on supporting online shopping. Making the in-store shopping experience as safe as possible for customers and employees alike is another top priority.

Target said Thursday that its seasonal staffing plan calls for the addition of about 130,000 seasonal workers, about as many as it hired last year. But this year the retailer says more working in distribution centers or supporting such services as curbside pickup.

Target said it will also add more dedicated front-of-store team members to disinfect carts, provide masks to guests who need them, and help meter access so guests can maintain a safe distance during their holiday shopping trips. Target added that its store and distribution team members have completed more than 400,000 hours of safety training this year, with hundreds of thousands of additional hours anticipated before the end of the year.

“The success of our business strategy rests on the strength of our team and their ability to adjust quickly to the needs of our guests and their changing shopping patterns,” Target chief human resources officer Melissa Kremer said in a statement. “Throughout the year, the team has successfully balanced strong demand in our stores with surging digital volume. Knowing that the holiday season will be unlike any other, we’re building in even more flexibility to make sure Target remains a safe and convenient place to work and shop, while investing in our team’s industry-leading pay and benefits.”

Target said its seasonal team members will receive a minimum starting wage of $15 and a range of health and wellness benefits to help them navigate the coronavirus. They include:

  • Free access to health care through virtual doctor visits through the end of the year
  • Free backup care available to all U.S.-based team members through the end of the year, as well as access to discounts on tutoring and education resources and help with finding a nanny, childcare center or caregiver
  • Mental health support and free counseling sessions through Target’s Team Member LifeResources, which is available 24/7 to all team members, dependents and any member of the household
  • Personal protective equipment including face masks and gloves to wear at work, plus a home health checklist and a thermometer
  • A waived absenteeism policy for coronavirus-related illness, including quarantine pay for 14 days and confirmed illness pay at 100% of pay for 14 days.

Walmart said Wednesday that it will hire more than 20,000 seasonal associates in its eCommerce fulfillment centers across the country. Those positions, including order fillers and power equipment operators, have starting hourly wage rates ranging from $15.75 up to $23.75 based on location, position and schedule. Seasonal employment will begin immediately upon hiring with shifts scheduled as quickly as 48 hours from applying, and it will continue through January 1, 2021. Walmart says many seasonal hires will have the chance to switch to regular jobs when the holidays are over.

These seasonal positions in Walmart’s eCommerce fulfillment centers follow the company’s hiring of more than 500,000 new associates since March across its stores and supply chain locations to ensure the retailer could provide essential items to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Walmart says the new hires over the last six months, the addition of seasonal associates, and its ongoing hiring of full-time and part-time positions as needed in its stores will leave it staffed and ready to serve customers for the holiday season.

“The holidays are always a special time, and this year, we think the season will mean even more to our customers,” said Greg Smith, executive vice president for supply chain for Walmart U.S. As more of them turn to online shopping, we want to ensure we’re staffed and ready to help deliver that special gift to their loved ones while continuing to fulfill our customer’s everyday needs “We’re also proud to be able to continue to provide employment opportunities across the country when it’s needed most.”


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