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How Walmart Managed to Hire 150,000 Workers in Less Than a Month

Walmart is adding another 50,000 employees to its workforce — after hiring 150,000 workers in the last month alone.

The big-box chain shared today that it had managed to fill 150,000 roles about six weeks ahead of schedule, employing an average of 5,000 people per day. It has also committed to hiring tens of thousands more associates as the pandemic drives a surge in purchases of essential goods and household staples.

In its search for employees, Walmart took a creative approach to its recruitment process: It worked with more than 70 companies that have furloughed workers. Of the associates Walmart hired, roughly 85% were employed into temporary or part-time roles, but the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said it expects many to ultimately transition into permanent roles.

The 50,000 new hires will span cashiers, stockers and personal shoppers at stores, as well as fillers and pickers at distribution and fulfillment centers, and delivery drivers. Walmart added that its expedited hiring process allows it to employ workers as quickly as 24 hours after an application is submitted.

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“We continue to see strong demand in our stores, and at the same time, we want to give our current associates the flexibility to take time off and stay home if they feel more comfortable doing so,” Walmart EVP and chief people officer Donna Morris added in a statement.

Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer, with roughly 1.5 million people in its workforce. Although the coronavirus crisis has hit the retail sector hard, big-box and grocery stores have seen increased demand for certain household goods, leading to mass hiring at Costco and Amazon at a time when a record number of jobs are being shed elsewhere.

To help keep employees and customers safe at its stores, Walmart has taken measures including reducing store hours to allow for more cleaning and restocking; installing social distance markers and sneeze guards in stores; checking employee temperatures; and making gloves and masks available to its associates. It also recently announced limitations to the number of shoppers allowed in its outposts at once.

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