The Kroger Co. said it intends to hire 10,000 new associates through a nationwide hybrid job fair this week.
The event, which the Cincinnati-based retailer said was the first of its kind for Kroger, is scheduled for June 10 and includes virtual and in-store interviews and, in certain divisions, live online chats for interested participants. The online chats, arranged through Brazen’s platform, can help fill roles faster than traditional recruiting methods in part by giving candidates convenient options to apply and learn, according to Brazen.
The event seeks new talent for retail stores, e-commerce, pharmacy, manufacturing and logistics operations and comes amid a nationwide labor crunch affecting hourly employers such as retail stores. Figures released last week from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated food and beverage establishments shed about 26,000 jobs in May as a reopening economy drew workers back to sectors like foodservice and competition between employers in certain markets is putting upward pressure on wages.
“In today’s highly competitive labor market, we know talent is selective and attracted to companies that are leading with a clear purpose, growing and improving every day, and committed to offering a diverse, inclusive and engaging culture where they can thrive and excel,” said Dawn Gilmore, Kroger’s head of talent acquisition, in a statement.
Kroger is making its case for workers in part behind what officials said was an inclusive and rewarding environment that can turn jobs into careers. It is also highlighting rising wages—it expects to increase its average associate wage to $16 per hour this year from about $15.50. Kroger also offers perks such as discounts of groceries, flexible hours, options for advance pay, and a tuition reimbursement program.
“The Kroger Family of Cos. is one of the largest employers in the country and our longstanding culture of opportunity has created an environment where many people, whether it be an intern, stocker or pharmacy technician, come for a job and stay for a career,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s SVP and chief people officer. “To continue advancing our inclusive culture where associates feel valued and can feed their future, we are embracing greater collaboration, technology and innovation to attract, identify and develop talent to help us deliver on our business goals, focusing on uplifting and rewarding associate and customer experiences and being consistently in-stock, fresh and friendly.”