- Whole Foods will host a National Hiring Day at all of its store locations on Nov. 2, according to a company release.
- The company's goal is to hire 6,000 seasonal and full-time associates for a variety of roles, including cashiers, prepared foods specialists and culinary experts.
- The event is similar to hiring drives Amazon has held recently. This summer, according to CNN, the company invited applicants out to its fulfillment centers in order to fill 50,000 open positions. An Amazon spokeswoman told the network that Whole Foods will be running this week’s hiring day.
To fill positions ahead of the busy holiday season, Whole Foods will take a page from its new owner’s playbook. This summer, Amazon hosted a hiring day aimed at hiring 50,000 employees across a dozen of its fulfillment centers. The fast-growing company wanted to make significant headway on its goal to hire 100,000 more workers by the middle of next year.
However, according to Fortune, Amazon Jobs Day, as it was called, was a bust. Just 20,000 people submitted applications.
There’s no way to tell whether Whole Foods’ National Hiring Day will actually fill its stated 6,000 positions. What can be said, however, is that the move is one more way the two companies’ cultures are coming together.
Amazon and Whole Foods have very different cultures that some have speculated would be difficult to integrate. The e-tailer is often described as aggressive and extremely internally competitive, but also innovative, tough and hardworking. Whole Foods, on the other hand, is the idealist company: It's consumed with a "higher purpose" to provide good, high-quality products. It also takes great pride in caring for communities — inside and outside the company.
Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey seems to understand these differences and what they mean for his company. In a town-hall meeting with employees in June, shortly after Amazon announced it would acquire the grocer, Mackey told employees that Whole Foods would have to become more “customer-centric” in the future.
“They are more customer-centric than we are,” he said. “They really are. And one of my takeaways is that, by God, we're gonna become as customer-centric as Amazon … because I think, sometimes, our company's gone a little bit too much team-member focus at the expense of our customers. And that's one definite evolution that's gonna happen.”
This implies that Whole Foods, long known for offering market-leading perks, benefits and pay to employees, might scale back the amount of time and money it invests in employees. It’s probably a good move for the grocer’s bottom line, though this could be seen as a further erosion of its values and make it seem more like the other supermarket chains it competes with.
There are signs the culture clash is playing out as many predicted. At an industry conference earlier this month, Mackey said executives from both companies would be attending a retreat together, "to figure out how to reconcile our purpose with Amazon's higher purpose."