The Kroger Family of Companies has provided new career opportunities for 23,000+ workers nationwide during the COVID-19 outbreak and has announced plans to hire an additional 20,000 workers over the next several weeks to help continue providing fresh groceries and suppliers across the country.
The grocery retailer has hired many workers from other industries that have been heavily impacted by the outbreak, including those from the restaurant, hotel, and food service sectors.
"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."
To fast track hiring efforts, Kroger started an expedited hiring process two weeks ago. The average time between application, employment, and onboarding is 72 hours. Also, the grocer’s human resources leaders have been hard at work, quickly interviewing and recruiting new talent seven days a week.
Furthermore, Kroger is forming employment partnerships with industries most affected by the outbreak on a local, regional, and national level that will flex employees to Kroger roles, eliminating disruptions in the food supply chain. According to Kroger, current partners include Frisch's, Marriott International, McLane Foodservice, Shamrocks Food, Sodexo, SodexoMAGIC, Sysco, Thunderdome Restaurant Group, US Foods, and VF Corporation.
Earlier this week, The Kroger Family of Companies announced a one-time bonus to every frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, and customer service associate, amounting to $300 for every full-time associate and $150 for part-time associates.
Additionally, Kroger expanded its COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines to include paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. Associates will be eligible to receive their standard paid for up to two weeks.
Kroger will also install sneeze guards at checkout aisles in the coming weeks at its 2,700 US stores to help protect employees working on the front lines. It is also letting employees wear protective masks and gloves.
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