Walmart Inc. needs qualified truck drivers, and has asked its current drivers to help find them.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer will pay its drivers and hourly associates working in its transportation division bonuses of up to $1,500 to refer prospective drivers to the company. Wal-Mart, which operates one of the nation's largest private fleets, employs about 7,500 drivers and owns 6,500 tractors. Walmart's drivers moved nearly 2 million loads last year, according to company estimates.
Walmart has also begun a program to expedite the driver hiring program by up to one month from current time frames. The accelerated on-boarding program is already in place in Bentonville, and will expand to Indianapolis before month's end, Tracy Rosser, senior vice president of transportation for Wal-Mart U.S., said in a blog post last week.
Walmart needs to fill several hundred driver positions before it considers itself fully staffed, Michelle Malashock, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today.
Walmart drivers earn, on average, $86,000 a year, receive up to 21 days of time off in their first year, and do not load or unload freight. Perhaps as important for many drivers, they generally have predictable home times because Walmart operates over a regular, clearly defined route network of DC to DC, or DC to store.