Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, plans to hire 150,000 temporary workers by the end of May as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep through the country.
The company said it is hiring the associates to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers.
“These roles will be temporary at first, but many will convert to permanent roles over time,” Walmart said in a press release. “We’ve reached out to industry groups representing restaurants and hospitality to facilitate temporary roles that can be a bridge for their employees during this difficult time.”
The company said it plans to expedite the application time from two weeks to 24 hours.
“We know millions of Americans who are usually employed at this time are temporarily out of work, and at the same time we’re currently seeing strong demand in our stores,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart. “We’re looking for people who see Walmart as a chance to earn some extra money and perform a vital service to their community.”
Walmart (WMT) has a workforce of about 1.5 million US workers. During the holidays, the company often focuses on giving additional hours to some workers instead of bringing on new hires.
But the coronavirus is pushing the company to bring on new workers to help meet the crush of demand.
Walmart also said it will hand out cash bonuses to employees. Full-time hourly workers will receive $300, while part-time hourly workers will receive $150. The company added that it will speed up the next scheduled quarterly bonus for associates. The special bonus and early payout will total nearly $550 million.
Other major companies are also on hiring sprees, including Dollar Tree and 7-Eleven.
Dollar Tree (DLTR), which also owns Family Dollar, said Friday it’s hiring 25,000 full- and part-time workers for its 15,000 US stores and 24 distribution centers
The company is looking to hire cashiers and stockers at its retail stores and fillers and equipment operators at its distribution centers.
“We are committed to serving our communities by providing customers with critical essentials, especially during times of uncertainty,” CEO Gary Philbin said in a press release.
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven also announced a huge hiring initiative Friday, aiming to bring on 20,000 new store employees to “meet increased demand for 7-Eleven products and services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The company said in a release that it expects to have a “surge in mobile orders” for its mobile app as people are forced to stay at home in light of government recommendations.
Earlier this week, Amazon (AMZN) said the coronavirus outbreak has caused a surge in online shopping, and the online giant is adding 100,000 new full-time and part-time positions across the United States to keep up with the demand.
– Nathaniel Meyersohn, Clare Duffy and Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report.