Help Wanted: Companies hiring in the time of a pandemic

Who’s ready for some good news? It’s easy to get bogged down in the sad stories, the scary stories coming out of the news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, isn’t it? There is a little bit of a silver lining out there, though, as we move forward and do our part to mitigate the crisis.

Some companies are hiring now to keep up with the demands of consumers. Times are different now and so are our purchasing habits. Retailers are scrambling to hire new employees to handle our needs, whatever they may be. From stockers working overnight to keep the shelves replenished with food and cleaning products, to drivers tasked with delivering food and other essentials to your doorstep, the demand is real. When consumers are told to stay at home to avoid coming in contact with others who may be COVID-19 positive, it is only logical that online purchasing is the way to go for a large part of the American population.

Even during a stay at home order, businesses deemed as essential are allowed to continue to operate. Grocery stores, pharmacies, food establishments offering take-out and delivery service, all make that cut. For younger, healthy people without underlying health conditions, as long as they practice social distancing, a quick trip to pick up necessities is possible. As we worry about small businesses coping with the economic shutdown, larger retailers are announcing plans to hire thousands of people. Perhaps some of those who are unemployed through no fault of their own will find work to tide them over and pay the bills until the crisis subsides. Especially for those with limited skills, always the most economically vulnerable, transitioning from a job with a non-essential company to one with growing employment needs, this can be a godsend.

Some of the companies hiring in the coronavirus economy include Instacart, CVS, and Dollar General stores. That makes sense, right? Instacart offers delivery service from grocery stores, drug stores, and even a liquor store chain in my area. I use the service myself and it makes grocery shopping easy, peasy. All the shopper has to do is go to the website, chose the store from which you wish to order, build your grocery list and a shopper fulfills the order. A time is set for delivery – pre-COVID-19, choosing a time was your personal choice. Now it is determined according to the demand. Then, voila, your order is at your door. I’m a big fan.

Instacart, online grocery deliver behemoth, announced plans to 300,000 new shoppers across North America in the next three months, as they’ve seen year-over-year order volume increase by 150% in the last few weeks, according to a press release.

CVS is planning to hire 50,000 employees. It is also giving bonuses up to $500.00 to employees working on-site during the pandemic.

“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said in a statement. “As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we’re taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times.”

The company plans to immediately hire 50,000 people for full-time, part-time and temporary jobs, including store positions, home delivery drivers, distribution workers and customer service representatives.

Dollar General stores are hiring, too. The company will hire 50,000 additional employees by the end of April, covering 16,300 locations in 45 states.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon posted on Instagram that the company will hire 150,000 more workers for its stores, clubs and distribution centers. Its current workers will receive a special bonus and early payment of Q1 bonuses. That should help the Easter Bunny fill a lot of baskets this year. In an attempt to match similar moves by competitors, Walmart announced Monday it is temporarily raising entry wages for workers in its e-commerce warehouses by $2.00.

Here are more job opportunities coming down the pike:

Postings for the job “warehouse handler” and “warehouse attendant”—the fastest growing jobs on the job marketplace ZipRecruiter—have increased 2,736% and 2,009%, respectively from the first week of January to this week.

Amazon, Costco, Raley’s, Save Mart, KeHE, Dollar General,FedEx are the companies driving this job demand, says ZipRecruiter.
Shopper jobs +293%, Telemedicine jobs +125%, Cleaning service jobs +49%, EMT jobs climbed 23% from the first to second week of March on the platform.

7-Eleven adds 20,000 jobs across their 11,800 U.S. convenience stores.

Zoom, 2,400-person video conferencing company has 235 open roles in sales, support, marketing, HR, Finance, engineering.

On Indeed, warehouse jobs like warehouse worker, stocker and forklift driver are up 6%, pharmacy postings are up 9%, childcare postings are up 8% year-over-year, though overall postings are down 2.6%.

Domino’s, the largest pizza company in the world by retail sales, is hiring for many roles globally: delivery people, pizza makers, customer service representatives, managers and assistant managers, according to a press release.

Do these numbers compensate for the thousands of Americans finding themselves without a paycheck coming in this Friday? No, of course not but it’s a lifeline to those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time in order to snag one of these jobs. Hope is at a premium for those feeling overwhelmed and stressed-out during uncertain times. None of us know where the economy will bottom out, nor do we know when the economy will begin to improve. What we can do is reach out and give a friend or loved one in need a bit of encouragement and information that may be exactly what they need right now.