Despite supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing worker shortages, Walmart held on to the top spot as the world's largest company by revenue for 2021, according to the Fortune 500 rankings released in August last year.
Walmart is not slowing down anytime soon, and announced on Wednesday that they plan to hire 50,000 more workers by the end of the current financial quarter that ends in April, per the Wall Street Journal.
The retail giant's announcement comes not long after they said in September 2021 that they had plans to hire about 150,000 workers for the holiday season, according to CNBC. Walmart said at the time that most of those jobs would be permanent, and the Wall Street Journal added that they ended up hiring 100,00 workers in the year ending in January.
Walmart said in their statement that they hired 5,500 pharmacists/pharmacy managers in 2021, a record for a one-year period. Additionally, they hired more than 13,000 pharmacy technicians, and a company record of about 4,500 truck drivers to help supply chain issues.
With competitors like Target increasing their starting minimum wage to between $15 and $24 per hour, depending on the location and type of position, Walmart is also upping their starting pay.
They said in the statement that the average hourly rate is $16.40 per hour, and similar to Target, the starting wage could be up to $30 per hour "in select roles and locations." Walmart offers its associate workers the ability to enroll in a 401k plan on their first day of work, and said that they will match contributions up to 6% after the first year of employment.
Donna Morris, Walmart's chief people officer, told the Wall Street Journal that the company is trying to improve their hiring process and offer workers a place they can build their careers.
"People are reassessing their lives, and we want to be in consideration when people are determining where they want to go and where they want to stay," Morris said.
Walmart understands the challenges that people have faced throughout the pandemic and is also offering 24/7 access to counseling services to help workers with their mental health.
"Emotional well-being is equally important," Walmart said in their statement. "We offer 24/7 confidential counseling services with licensed therapists at no cost to all U.S. associates and their family members. We provide well-being resources via Thrive Global, a company focused on ending the stress and burnout epidemic, to support our people in ways that matter most."