Across the country—and around the world—the economy has mostly shut down due to COVID-19. Businesses spanning countless industries are closed or operating at half-strength, some by choice and others by government mandate. The reason for the closures is to help minimize human contact and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, this economic interruption has already had massive consequences for the economy and the job market.
In just the two weeks leading up to Saturday, March 28, nearly 10 million Americans filed for unemployment, according to the Department of Labor. The coming weeks and months will likely record even more people joining the ranks.
Which employers or industries are still hiring during the COVID-19 crisis? Right now, there are two categories of companies that are booming because of how COVID-19 has affected the economy.
The first is the grocery store industry. Major grocery or department store retail chains—such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix, and Dollar General—are all seeking new employees to help with everything from restocking shelves to offering grocery delivery services. Since most restaurants are closed nationwide, more people are shopping for food, which has elevated demand.
In addition, many Americans have taken a “stock up” approach to shelter-in-place and quarantine orders, which means that there aren’t just more people in stores, but also that those people are buying more. Local grocery chains, independent grocery shops, and even liquor stores are experiencing similar upticks in demand. Pharmacies also fall into this category.
The second category of business that is hiring is delivery. Fewer people are leaving their homes, which has created an increased reliance on delivery services. This category includes everything from e-commerce companies such as Amazon to newer delivery offerings such as Shipt, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates. Restaurants that offer food delivery—especially major pizza chains such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, and Papa John’s—are also hiring.
Major chains are looking to fill thousands of positions. Pizza Hut is seeking 30,000 new team members, including cooks, restaurant managers, call center workers, and delivery drivers. Dollar General has 70,000 open jobs. Shipt and other grocery delivery services are looking for as many new workers as they can find.
These companies are facing unusual hiring challenges, even with skyrocketing unemployment rates. First, they are looking to hire large numbers of employees as soon as possible, which might encourage employers to be less picky regarding who they hire.
Second, they are dealing with a period in which in-person interviews and other traditional parts of the pre-employment process can’t happen due to social distancing restrictions. Third, in most cases, the jobs that these businesses are filling are temporary, but nobody knows how long the pandemic will last or how long-term those temporary jobs will be.
Employers need to build a smart strategy for filling jobs quickly without cutting corners. Temporary worker background checks are always essential, and they are especially important when “temporary” personnel could remain in demand for months. Interviews are still vital, too, though some sources are predicting that COVID-19 will render in-person interviews for hourly or temporary workers obsolete. From phone interviews to video interviews, employers are utilizing tech-assisted interview strategies to observe proper social distancing and save time.
Some changes could be permanent, which makes thorough temporary worker background checks that much more essential. Phone and video interviews tend to be shorter and more to-the-point than in-person interviews, which means that they don’t cover as much ground. Using a background check to search for criminal history, check for sex offender status, verify resume information, and more (driving record checks, for instance, for delivery drivers) can help employers to make up for this shortened dialogue.
At backgroundchecks.com, we regularly work with employers to help them design effective temporary worker background checks. Contact us today if you need our assistance.