April 23 – Grocery delivery service Instacart announced plans to hire 250,000 new shoppers to meet COVID-19 generated demand today. In late March, the firm declared its intent to onboard 300,000 workers to deal with the massive surge in orders and has since achieved that goal.
Once Instacart completes its latest hiring drive, the corporation will employ 750,000 delivery staffers in the United States and Canada, which eclipses Amazon’s North American logistics headcount by 400,000 team members.
Why Instacart Needs More Shoppers
Last month, Instacart’s leadership believed its addition of a quarter-million shoppers would allow it to meet demand. However, the online service is receiving so many reservations, consumers sometimes have to wait a week or more to get their groceries. Bloomberg reports the firm’s ordering volume increased by six times last week from the same timeframe in 2019.
The corporation is attempting to restore its same-day and one-hour delivery service by centering its new hiring drive on the areas with the most demand. Instacart is currently encountering the highest levels of ordering in California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington DC, and Toronto.
Furthermore, Instacart is interested in recruiting workers from fields that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The firm noted it wants to bring on furloughed airline employees and independent contractors employed by Uber and Lyft. Earlier this month, The Information reported both ride-hailing services experienced 50 percent revenue declines due to coronavirus related passenger anxiety.
Instacart’s New Worker Programs and Consumer Offerings
Instacart also rolled out new measures to help ensure the health and safety of its rapidly expanding workforce.
The company has deployed a software tool to help shoppers determine if they have contracted COVID-19. If one of its staffers confirms they have symptoms of the virus, the firm will temporarily deactivate their account and advise them to get medical help. Also, Instacart’s online platform will give its contractors the ability to request health and safety kits.
The corporation also extended the availability of its sick leave program for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. The company provides two weeks of paid time off for shoppers diagnosed with or quarantined because of COVID-19. In addition, Instacart revealed it is going to distribute bonuses ranging from $25 to $200 to its hourly workers.
The firm will also forward messages to shoppers if they recently visited a store that suffered a coronavirus outbreak.
Instacart has also expanded the range of its delivery options and increased its worker/consumer care headcount. The online company recently hired 1,800 new care agents to answer shopper questions and address delivery problems. It also intends to bring on 15,000 new customer service representatives by May. The corporation also inked a deal with Costco to deliver prescriptions in seven states and the District of Columbia.
Given the scope of the coronavirus pandemic, Instacart’s efforts to provide an essential service to the public during a time of crisis is admirable.