Walmart Has the Largest Workforce in the World - How Do They Manage All Those Employees?

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Walmart is not only the world's largest company in terms of revenue but, with nearly 2.5 million employees around the globe, also boasts its biggest workforce. Being responsible for that many people would be an insurmountable challenge for many businesses, but Walmart has a rock-solid strategy to help keep things under control.

Walmart's recruitment and retention strategies take a holistic view of the organization while simultaneously recognizing there may not be a one size fits all solution which will satisfy every corner of its empire. This means HR managers at Walmart must consider everything from corporate culture and organizational structure, all the way to performance management and career development when setting out policy.

HR Planning

Walmart begins by taking a stratified approach to the programs and solutions it applies when planning out its HR strategy. This means, while most HR planning is carried out at the executive level, each store around the world has its own dedicated HR managers. Store-level managers can, therefore, take the company-wide policy and interpret it according to the specific needs of their location. This could mean anything from taking local customs and religions into account, to training methods.

However, one shouldn't be fooled into thinking that Walmart's HR planning is purely a top-down process. Walmart employs specialist software which automatically gathers and analyses HR data. This data is gathered from the stores and fed into a central database where powerful AI and machine learning software goes to work searching for trends. The completed analysis allows possible changes in the workforce to be predicted, empowering the company to alter its recruitment efforts before personnel issues arise.

By using this technology to balance the supply and demand of human resources, Walmart can have a continuous process of hiring and training which ensures any vacancies are filled promptly.

Job Analysis and Job Design

When analyzing the need for recruitment, Walmart interviews and surveys both potential recruits and existing staff to determine the issues which exist and what is needed, from an HR perspective, to resolve them. Instead of simply recruiting for the same generic store associate role repeatedly, Walmart aims to align available human resources with the specific needs of the company at the time.

Walmart is now looking at ways to give their staff more channels of communication which will allow them to provide feedback to their managers. Communicating directly with staff on HR issues will lead to even more accurate forecasting and make the task of recruitment even more painless.


Another way Walmart is addressing recruitment issues is by taking the time to give thanks to its existing employees while attracting new ones.


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The US is presently experiencing a massive staff shortage in the trucking and freight industry, with conservative estimates stating upwards of 60,000 drivers may be required to fill the gap. In a special video broadcast during the NFL's first Sunday of the season, Walmart put it's truckers front and center and attempted to show the contribution they give towards making the company the huge success it is.

However, the video serves an additional purpose, in that it helps make trucking jobs at Walmart appear more attractive to prospective applicants. The video shows a diverse range of truckers, in terms of race, gender, and age, showing that the traditional image of the trucker as a white, middle-aged, male is outdated, and people interested in the role who fall outside of that stereotyped image shouldn't be discouraged from applying.

The video also shows how the Walmart trucks are equipped with the very latest in technology and safety features, together with statistics showing just how safe trucking with Walmart is. This helps sooth any worries that truckers won't be well looked after when working for Walmart. Shots of families and children help sell the idea you can be a trucker and still maintain a healthy work/life balance on top of it all.

"As we kick off National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, I can't think of a better time to celebrate and say thank you to the drivers in Walmart's private fleet, our unsung heroes of the road," said Walmart in a blog post. "Our fleet has the well-earned reputation of being the best of the best. We currently have about 7,500 drivers and 6,500 tractors. These dedicated women and men handled nearly two million loads last year, with each driver traveling an average of 100,000 miles. The American Trucking Associations' National Driver of the Year award has gone to a Walmart driver three out of the last seven years."

Recruitment tactics and addressing employment crises are set to be hot topics at HR Retail 2019, in April, at the Hyatt Regency Austin, Texas.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.