Ralphs hiring more than 300 workers throughout Southern California

October 31, 2018

By Kevin Smith | San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Ralphs is looking to hire more than 300 workers in Southern California for the busy holiday season, and the supermarket chain hopes to keep them on as permanent employees.

“The hiring will obviously be driven by the frantic holiday season and the need for more workers, but once they are here we can usually find a place for them to stay,” Ralphs spokesman John Votava said. “So many people come to Ralphs or the grocery industry looking for a temporary or summer job and end up staying for a career. We have people who have been with us for 20, 30 — even 40 years.”

The Compton-based grocer joins a host of other companies that have already announced holiday hiring plans for Southern California, including UPS and J.C. Penney, which are looking to hire a total of 13,000 seasonal workers. Target is hiring another 13,000, Gap is hiring 500 and Randstad US, a global staffing firm, plans to bring on 650 seasonal employees.

But are there enough job seekers out there to fill all of those slots?

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said businesses are offering perks like paid time off, transportation reimbursement and higher pay in an effort to attract enough seasonal workers.

Burt Flickinger III, managing director for the retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, agreed. Store closures among major companies like Sears and Kmart have left many people out of work, he said, yet retailers are still scrambling to fill seasonal openings.

“It’s the biggest shortage we’ve seen in over a decade,” Flickinger said.

Lots of positions open

Ralphs, a division of The Kroger Co., is looking to fill positions for courtesy clerks, deli/bakery clerks and overnight general merchandise leads. But additional openings are up for grabs in customer service, e-commerce, merchandising, operations and the pharmacy division. Job seekers are encouraged to visit jobs.kroger.com where they can search for openings.

“We hope to get these jobs filled as soon as possible,” Votava said.

Ralphs doesn’t post wages for its various jobs but figures from Indeed.com show customer service workers earn an average of $13.72 an hour, for example, while bakery clerks average $12.22 and pharmacy technicians earn more than $32,000 a year.

The company operates 191 stores throughout California ranging from San Luis Obispo to the Mexican border. Those supermarkets and the company’s distribution centers in Riverside, Compton and Paramount employ more than 22,000 workers.

Feed Your Future

Ralphs is also looking to help its employees move up within the company. It recently introduced an education assistance program called Feed Your Future.

The program offers reimbursements of up to $3,500 annually — or $21,000 over the course of employment — to all full- and part-time employees with at least six months of service. The money goes toward continuing education and development opportunities, including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications and advanced degrees.