Kroger looks to land 10K new workers during day-long hybrid job fair


Dive brief:

  • Kroger is hosting a nationwide hiring event on Thursday in a bid to attract 10,000 associates through its banners, the grocery chain announced in a press release on Monday.
  • The company will interview candidates virtually and in-store for retail positions as well as roles in its e-commerce, pharmacy, manufacturing and logistics operations.
  • Kroger is looking to attract candidates as companies across a wide variety of industries compete for workers amid rising COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Dive overview:

With the pandemic-related restrictions rapidly disappearing, many employers are finding that the pool of job applicants they can tap into is also lose weight.

Kroger – who has 100,000 employees during the first weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, when employers in other sectors were laying off workers en masse – touting the pay and benefits it offers and underlining its deep resources as it strives to convince people to join his payroll. The grocer pays an average wage of $ 15.50 an hour nationwide and plans to increase that figure to $ 16 an hour this year with a $ 350 million investment, according to the press release.

The company also seeks to convey the message that it is committed to improving opportunities for its workers and creating an engaging culture.

“To continue to advance our inclusive culture where associates feel valued and can nurture their futures, we are embracing increased collaboration, technology and innovation to attract, identify and develop talent to help us achieve our business goals,” focusing on the upliftment and reward of associates. and customer experiences and being constantly in stock, fresh and friendly, ”said Tim Massa, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Kroger, in a statement.

Even as it seeks to position itself as an employer of choice, however, Kroger could face lingering resentment from those put off by its decision to stop paying a risk premium to workers last year when the pandemic was in full swing. Like Albertsons and other retailers who abandoned their risk premium programsKroger drew criticism from labor officials and politicians when he chose to end the $ 2 an hour of extra pay he started handing out in March. The grocer was also criticized for his decision to close stores in areas that imposed a risk premium on workers.

Despite the controversy he created by eliminating the risk premium, Kroger is highlighting this program, as well as the bounties, store credits and fuel points he has distributed to his workers since the start of the pandemic. , on his ““Life at Kroger” web page.

Kroger also highlights the $ 100 payment she has been making since February to associates who get a full COVID-19 vaccine as an incentive for potential job applicants.

Employment in food and beverage stores has decreased in each of the last three months, and was down 26,000 in May from the previous month, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in the sector last month was about the same as in May 2020.

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