Walmart is continuing to adjust its operations to keep up with the demands of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailer will boost its hiring target to 200,000 new employees and will institute a mandatory mask policy for all associates. The two initiatives are aimed at keeping up with demand while protecting the health of both associates and shoppers.
Walmart initially set out to hire 150,000 new employees by the end of May, but the company received more than 1 million applications and was able to hire an average of 5,000 people per day — enabling the retailer to reach its goal more than six weeks ahead of schedule. Demand has been high at stores, and the additional staff gives existing associates additional flexibility to stay home as needed.
The additional hires will be placed at the stores, clubs and fulfillment and distribution centers where their help is needed the most. As with the earlier hiring wave, most of the new associates will be placed in temporary positions where they will support existing workers.
Walmart has worked with more than 70 companies that furloughed their own workers, and 85% of the new hires were placed in temporary or part-time roles. While many positions are meant to serve as temporary employment until workers can return to their regular jobs, some will transition into full-time roles.
Additionally, both existing and new associates across stores, warehouses and corporate offices will now be required to wear masks or other face coverings during working hours. Employees will be able to bring their own if it meets certain guidelines, or they can receive one after their daily associate health screen and temperature check. Customers are being asked to wear masks as well.