Kroger said it has hired more than 100,000 workers in the past eight weeks, including those from the hardest-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels and food service distributors.
Prior to the crisis, Kroger’s workforce topped 460,000 associates and recent hiring efforts have helped the retailer to provide continuous access to fresh, affordable food and essential products to communities during the pandemic.
“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,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Since March, we have invested to reward our associates and safeguard our associates, customers and communities.”
The retailer initiated its 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 versus role-based development, concentrating on culture and safety. This adjustment allows new hires to more quickly acclimate to their role and expectations.
The expedited hiring and onboarding process also reinforced Kroger’s continued focus on associate and customer safety, directing immediate support to the expansion of Kroger Pickup availability, as well as enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices in its stores and facilities.
In March, Kroger formed employment partnerships with local, regional and national businesses to create a shared-resource model that temporarily flexes employees to Kroger roles. Current partners include Frisch’s, Marriott International, McLane Foodservice, Shamrock Foods, Sodexo, SodexoMAGIC, Sysco, Thunderdome Restaurant Group, US Foods, Waffle House and more.