Major supermarkets undertake mass hirings

Woolworths OzHarvest Banana Bread. Woolworths Marrickville Metro. 21st January 2020. Photograph Dallas Kilponen

Coles and Woolworths have both announced that mass hirings are taking place as the two supermarket giants battle to keep up with demand.

On March 27, Woolworths unveiled its plans to put 20,000 new hires into roles across its supermarkets, e-commerce, supply chains and drink businesses, with an estimated 5,700 of those jobs in NSW.
Coles has already recruited more than 7,000 people (2,000 in NSW) since it announced it would be hiring 5,000 new supermarket workers nationally last fortnight, and has also announced that they’ll be recruiting another 5,000 people.
Coles CEO, Steven Cain, said Coles was delighted with the response to the recruitment callout and will continue to work with other major employers and unions to find job opportunities for businesses that were recently forced to reduce team numbers.
“Coles is doing everything we can to support jobs and the economy through this challenging time, while also ensuring we can provide groceries for all Australians,” he said.
“We have been overwhelmed with the number of applications received from across different industries.
“To ensure we could act quickly, we streamlined our recruitment processes and assigned a dedicated team to fast track applications sent by corporate partners like Australian Venue Company and Virgin Australia.
“We have seen a lot of demand for roles, and where we have positions available, we are making sure that we can get people into them as quickly as possible.
Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci, said this was an uncertain time for all Australians and that Woolworths had an important role to play in keeping Australians employed during this crisis.
“Our top priority, as we continue delivering an essential service to the community, is upholding customer and team safety through clear social distancing rules and elevated hygiene standards.
“As we do this, we will have more hours for existing team members and additional roles to fill as we focus on meeting the needs of our customers and communities.
“These new roles will not only help us better serve the increase in demand we’re seeing in stores right now, but also allow us to scale up home delivery operations in the months ahead.
“Our immediate hiring focus is the redeployment of our ALH team members impacted by this week’s mandatory hotel closures.
“We have already placed around 3,000 of those impacted into new roles across BWS, Dan Murphy’s and Woolworths Supermarkets and will continue to take expressions of interest.
“We’re also preparing to offer up to 5,000 short-term roles to Qantas Group employees taking leave without pay, including more than 1,500 in our distribution centres,” Banducci said.
It’s understood that the Woolworths Group is standing up similar streamlined application processes with the likes of Village Entertainment, Michael Hill Jewellers, Cotton On, Accor and Super Retail Group, and expects to make thousands of short-term roles available to employees from these businesses.
“We’re working with a number of customer-focused businesses impacted by recent government measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re hopeful these businesses will bounce back strongly once this crisis passes, and we want to do our bit to help them and their people get through the short-term challenge.
“We’re confident the strong service skills and work ethic of candidates from these businesses will be highly transferable to Woolworths,” Banducci said.

Press releases, Mar 27-28
Woolworths Group Media
Coles Group Media
Reporter: Dilon Luke