How to Find, Hire & Protect Workers During a Pandemic

By Jesi Bolandrina
March 23, 2020

essential grocery store worker covid-19

Americans are being advised to practice social distancing and, in some cases, shelter in place as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the economy. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are out of work and worried about where their next paycheck will come from. Meanwhile, essential businesses are still open and are seeing an incredible spike in their need for hourly workers to pack boxes, manage shipments and stock shelves to stay ahead of the increased consumer demand. Hiring for COVID-19 essential services is crucial for both businesses and consumers and we can connect you to the people who can fill those job openings immediately.

Jobble’s growing base of over 500,000 workers nationwide are ready to answer the call and get to work. For the safety of our Jobblers and our business partners, here’s our advice on what businesses can do to not only fill their immediate staffing needs, but also ensure the safety of Jobble’s flexible workforce.

 

Find & Hire the Right Amount

As companies like Amazon and Walmart announce their need to hire over 100,000 hourly workers, the supply chain industries need to source workers in large numbers — and quickly. Digital media outlets are helping spread the word, but utilizing tools like Jobble to put openings directly in workers’ hands could make a huge impact. As “nonessential workforce” positions dwindle, filling essential positions in sectors such as grocery, pharmacy, warehousing, cleaning and delivery have become a hiring priority.

Regardless of how you communicate your needs, it is vital to be very transparent about what the job expectations and tasks are. With schools, retail stores and many other businesses closed, you will see an increase in workers who may not have experience in what your company specializes in. We advise that you break down the tasks so applicants understand any physical or mental requirements for the job. Additionally, consider how you can best utilize the general workforce to address your various needs.

It can be beneficial to overhire or hire above your needed amount. This takes into account last minute quits or cancellations and gives you a buffer to make sure you end up with the right sized staff. Remind your new workers that they should stay home if they or someone they live with are currently sick.

 

Ensure Site Sanitation & Cleanliness

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers who believe that their employer provides a safe and healthy workplace are more likely to report for work during a pandemic. Keeping your worksite safe and letting your workforce know of your precautions can do a lot to put their minds at ease and let them focus on their work. 

The CDC says that no additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning (targeting frequently touched surfaces) is recommended at this time. It is important to provide disposable cleaning wipes for individuals to use after interacting with frequently touched surfaces.

Low Exposure Risk” jobs, defined by OSHA as jobs outside of healthcare that do not direct contact with infected individuals, should follow these steps:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Use only your own phone, desk, work tools or equipment and sanitize them after use.

Make no-touch trash cans and a generous stock of tissues and cleaning wipes available for workers throughout their shift. OHSA also recommended posters that encourage proper cough/sneeze etiquette and inform workers of effective hand washing techniques.

It is important to note that the CDC “recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.”

 

Pay Quickly & Post Openings Often

Taking the time to get your workers paid swiftly in a time where paychecks are scarce will play a huge factor in having a returning workforce. You have already proven that you’ve taken the time to provide a safe workplace, but showing that paying them is another of your priorities can build credibility and trust quickly.

man stocking shelf at grocery store

“The hourly workforce is hurting right now. Now more than ever, prompt payment is important. Our community is one of need and the current job climate is uncertain,” said Sara Avellar, Jobble Customer Success Manager. “By paying out as soon as you can you not only help build trust in the Jobbler community but also help get money in the hands of the people who need it most. Not only does this benefit the person being paid but also benefits the community as a whole. Jobblers are more likely to be repeat workers for a business that supports them.”

You should also feel empowered to encourage good workers to return for future shifts to build off the foundation of trust you’ve already created. With so many industries closed, it is worth your while to put effort into maintaining the workforce you source rather than starting new every time.

Jobble is really focusing on our mission of putting Americans to work, while also assisting hourly employees who are now out of work due to government mandated closures of public events, restaurants, and bars. By following safe practices, we are confident that businesses can be successful in their hiring process and that we can get our healthy and eager Jobbler workforce to help companies handle the increasing demand. Your staffing needs are considered essential during these unprecedented times and we are here to help you find and keep the right people that will get the job done.

 

 

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