Jan 21, 2022

Hiring 101: Attracting the next group of grocery talent


It seems like everywhere you go, one phrase pops up: we’re hiring. And it’s not just the food and grocery industries – economists refer to the current job market as the “Great Resignation” with millions of Americans changing roles and seeking employment.

For independent grocers, employees are at the heart of their mission. Without floor staff, shelves wouldn’t be stocked. Without cashiers, customers wouldn’t be able to checkout. And with today’s reliance on online grocery pickup and delivery – without ecommerce managers or marketing leaders – an online program cannot run smoothly.

But attracting new talent is easier said than done, especially when applicants have their choice of the market. How do you compete with the big brands and create career paths that entice an audience that may not understand the opportunities within the grocery industry?

Make your workplace a compelling, supportive environment.

A recent WSJ article stated one in four private-sector workers in the U.S. don’t have paid sick days, and 20 percent of workers are assigned work schedules less than one week in advance. Today, flexibility and understanding is paramount as families juggle last-minute school cancellations and sick kids. Promoting a balanced work environment that avoids burnout is key to ensuring grocery workers are appreciated and cared for by management.

Working in grocery is more than just stocking shelves or running a cashier. Every day, new tech from robot pickers to one-click checkout revolutionizes the customer’s shopping experience. Think about creating job opportunities or designing career paths within your team that promote learning and growth – two areas that are especially important to younger generations as they seek exciting opportunities that include digital marketing and social media. Leverage stories around existing staff that have forged a new path for themselves, and use LinkedIn to share job postings and network within the community.

Differentiate the local experience versus Fortune 500.

As job seekers research opportunities, what does your brand offer that others do not? While working at a large organization can have its perks, emphasize the pros to working within the local grocery space:

  • Make an immediate impact within a smaller team
  • Serve a community, local grocery is an essential
  • Interact with locals
  • Experience unlimited room for growth, more opportunities to try different projects

In a recent co-hosted webinar with the NGA Foundation, Alexa Dash, Director of E-commerce and Marketing for Dash’s Market, a 4-store operator in Western New York states; “Nobody is afraid to get their hands dirty. Smaller stores offer opportunities to own key business activities rather than be a minor contributor in a large chain, and present clear career paths, from entry level to store leadership positions.”

What’s not to love? It’s an exciting time to be part of the grocery industry, and local grocers have more to offer applicants than ever before. If you’re interested in learning how ecommerce can create new job opportunities and help transform your grocery business, reach out to a member of our team today.