Job applicants to supermarkets have been given new roles on the same day to cope with the surging demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Britain’s supermarkets have said they are recruiting thousands of temporary workers to meet the demand created by panic buying.
Tracy Landu, a university student, said she was given a job only three hours after applying for a role at her local Tesco store.
She said: “I applied for a role at Tesco at 7pm and they called me at 10pm to work tomorrow.”
“I applied online to one of the supermarket assistant roles titled ‘immediate start’ and to the store nearest to my home.
“Application process was really quick, just personal details, education and past experience.
This is very true. A lot of people working in retail are self isolating because they’re either ill or living with elderly people. Staff are extremely low, so just apply online and HELP! X https://t.co/ZCBu0dQEHK
— Simma (@iamsimoneadele) March 20, 2020
The UK’s biggest grocer is recruiting 20,000 temporary workers for at least the next 12 weeks due to the demand created by panic buying.
The COVID-19 outbreak has sparked widespread panic buying and triggered an economic slump that has put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.
Aldi said it is looking to take on 9,000 new staff, of which 4,000 are permanent, to work in its stores and distribution centres to meet the demand triggered by the pandemic.
Some staff are being interviewed, processed and are working within the same day, it added.
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Lidl has said it wants to recruit 2,500 workers to start immediately in its stores.
Managers said the new positions will be four-week contracts, helping to restock shelves and assist staff.
The firm, which has 800 stores across the country, has said it is particularly keen to hear from workers who have lost their jobs as a result of businesses shutting down over the outbreak.
The move comes as Asda also revealed plans to hire more than 5,000 temporary workers, who face losing their jobs because of the crisis.
The food retail giant is working alongside 20 national businesses who are being forced to let go of staff, to ensure those employees can remain in work.
It follows similar announcements from Co-op and Morrisons that they are significantly expanding their workforces too to cope with the extra demand of households in self-isolation.
Aldi recruitment director Kelly Stokes said: “We want to keep supporting our local communities through these uncertain times, with access to groceries and wages to keep their families going, and we feel we’re in a position to be able to do so through the creation of these new roles.
“We have a huge number of roles to fill across the business so we’re encouraging everyone who has been affected by COVID-19’s impact on the economy to explore our available roles and see if we can get you back into work.”
Christian Hartnagel, chief executive of Lidl GB, said: “Our store colleagues are doing an incredible job at keeping our shelves stocked, and serving communities during an extremely challenging period.
“Temporarily expanding our teams is one way we can help support our colleagues and customers, whilst providing work to those that have had their employment affected by the current situation.”
Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said: “Never in my 30 years in retail have I ever felt so keenly the role played by supermarkets in our communities.”
He added: “During these difficult times everyone has to work together to help people most affected by COVID-19, and Asda is pleased to play its part.
“That is why we have committed to hiring more than 5,000 employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and have been left with deep concerns about their household budgets.”
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s is following other supermarket chains and introducing a golden shopping hour for NHS and social care workers.
The supermarket chain says health care workers will be able to shop between 8am and 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, alongside elderly and vulnerable shoppers.
We have taken further steps to make sure everyone has access to food and essential items, and to keep supporting our colleagues. Please read the full letter from our CEO here https://t.co/SCTDnpbvDi pic.twitter.com/HH9R9o7WEP
— Sainsbury’s (@sainsburys) March 21, 2020