ALTOONA, Penn. – As Sheetz adds new locations and refurbishes older ones, one thing has kept CEO Joe Sheetz concerned: finding reliable workers to staff the stores, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The chain, with more than 560 stores employing 18,500 workers, is facing the same labor troubles that plague the overall convenience store industry: recruiting and retaining workers during a time of low unemployment. Earlier this year, the company said it would hire 2,500 people.
That has executives like Sheetz thinking of ways to entice people to work for his store—and not for the competition down the street. “It’s almost like advertising—sell the Sheetz story. Why should I come work for you? It’s a little bit of a longer, slower burn, but you have to do that,” he said.
Sheetz has a $10 an hour starting wage, medical/dental/vision insurance, retirement programs, potential for quarterly bonuses and other benefits designed to attract workers. Now the company is tackling scheduling to provide workers with more flexibility and still meet the staffing needs of each store. “We’ve spent a lot more time than we ever have around scheduling,” Sheetz said.
The chain has created part of its staffing quandary itself by building new concept stores that require more seven to 10 more employees. “We’ve done an unbelievable amount of tear-downs to start over again,” he said. “We are constantly changing models, and you need to keep up with the times.”