Target Is Staffing Up for the Holidays — Here’s What’s New About its Hiring in COVID-19 Times

Target is hiring for the holidays — but this year’s staffing plans will look different as the coronavirus pandemic continues to change the way consumers make their purchases.

The big-box retailer announced that it would double the number of store associates dedicated to contactless services, as well as train additional existing workers to assist during peak shopping periods. According to the company, more than 10 million new customers bought products on Target.com during the first half of fiscal 2020, while demand for same-day fulfillment options quadrupled.

“The success of our business strategy rests on the strength of our team and their ability to adjust quickly to the needs of our guests and their changing shopping patterns,” chief human resources officer Melissa Kremer said in a statement.

She added, “Throughout the year, the team has successfully balanced strong demand in our stores with surging digital volume. Knowing that the holiday season will be unlike any other, we’re building in even more flexibility to make sure Target remains a safe and convenient place to work and shop, while investing in our team’s industry-leading pay and benefits.”

The Minneapolis-based chain — which has about 1,900 stores across the country — shared that its employees will be responsible for COVID-19-related precautions such as cleaning and disinfecting carts and baskets, plus enforcing social distancing in its outposts and providing face masks to guests who may need them. It added that its store and distribution team workers have completed more than 400,000 hours of safety training so far this year.

Target expects seasonal hiring to be on par with last year, when it hired more than 130,000 store associates. (Nearly 40% of workers, it said, typically remain with the retailer following the holiday shopping season.) The employees will start at a wage of $15 an hour, as well as gain a range of health and wellness benefits, including free virtual doctor visits, free counseling sessions (up to five per year) and center-based or in-home options for childcare or elder family members. The company also has a waived absenteeism policy for coronavirus-related illnesses, including quarantine pay for 14 days and confirmed illness pay for the same time period.

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