Kroger employees who quit will receive texts and emails from the company asking them to come back

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen. Lauren Justice—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Kroger employees who have left the company are getting surprising texts and emails. The supermarket operator – the largest in the country by sales – wants them back and isn’t shy about reaching out and letting them know.

Of course, that’s generally not the way things work. Once you leave a company, it is unlikely that it will contact you later asking you to return. You may have let your boss down, for example. But the lowest unemployment rate in 53 years means companies are getting creative in filling vacancies.

“Alumni are also a source of talent,” said Tim Massa, chief people officer at the grocer Wall Street Journal. According to him, the Cincinnati-based company has worked hard to keep in touch with ex-employees since the end of the pandemic and has seen a significant number of them return.

For example, the company persuaded Tish Spurlock, a former recruiter at Kroger, to come back after contacting her, the log reported. Spurlock had left for a technology company, but returned to Kroger in a new role with a higher salary.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, meanwhile, has been reaching out to ex-employees through LinkedIn and Facebook, the log. The company became more aggressive with rehiring after seeing how well it worked: Returning employees usually hit their goals months before new hires did.

Of course, fears of a looming recession remain, credit card debt in the US is rising as savings dwindle amid high inflation, and headlines about mass layoffs at major corporations have been inescapable in recent months. But those layoffs are often concentrated in the technology industry, where many companies worked overtime to meet rising demand during the pandemic.

Last month, Amazon started laying off 18,000 people, Microsoft let 10,000 go and Google parent Alphabet cut 12,000 jobs. That followed Facebook owner Meta laying off 11,000 employees in November. Meta is widely expected to cut more jobs in the near future as part of the “year of efficiency.” More than 150,000 tech workers were laid off last year, according to tracking website But many other tech companies are still hiring, and laid-off techs generally haven’t been out of work for long.

Across the U.S. economy, many workers who quit their jobs during the major layoffs received higher salaries on new jobs. Understaffed employers, meanwhile, feel compelled to raise salaries or offer higher salaries to attract new talent.

Or in the case of Kroger and others, contact employees who are quitting.






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