In the face of spiraling unemployment claims triggered by coronavirus shutdowns, grocery chain The Kroger Family of Companies has hired more than 100,000 workers in the past eight weeks, including those from sectors hardest hit by the economic shock of the pandemic, like restaurants, hotels, and food service distributors.
Supply chain snarls and work-from-home policies have caused spikes for essential goods like food and medical gear, while nearly idling other sectors of the economy. As a supermarket retailer, Kroger has seen a jump in demand for its products, helping drive the hiring increase.
Kroger's workforce topped 460,000 associates prior to the crisis, so its recent hiring efforts have helped provide continuous access to food and essential products during the pandemic. To handle the increase workforce, Kroger initiated an expedited hiring process in early March to shorten the time between application and employment, onboarding new hires in an average of 72 hours. Kroger also adjusted its new hire approach to focus on tasks as opposed to role-based development, allowing new hires to more quickly acclimate to their roles and expectations, the company said.
"Throughout the pandemic, Kroger's top priority has been to provide and maintain a safe environment for our associates and customers with open stores, comprehensive e-commerce solutions, and an efficiently operating supply chain," Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, said in a release. "Since March, we have invested to reward our associates and safeguard our associates, customers and communities."
And in other examples of the logistics industry dedicating its assets to the coronavirus fight:
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