UPS’s Brown Friday

November 19, 2018
UPS’s Brown Friday

On October 19, 2018, UPS held job fairs at over 170 locations to attract seasonal hires. In anticipation of the holiday buying season, UPS plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers.   In what UPS is calling “Brown Friday,” they hope to hire 40,000 seasonal workers in one day.


Video Spotlight: UPS’s ‘Brown Friday’ national hiring day


This post is based on the WFSB news story, ‘Brown Friday’ Underway As UPS Looks To Hire Thousands of Seasonal Employees, by Rob Polansky, October 19, 2018, and the YouTube video, UPS’s ‘Brown Friday’ national hiring day, by WTHR, October 19, 2018 Image source: Stockbyte/Superstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the best way for UPS to manage the national hiring day event?

Guidance: Project management would be the best approach to handle this event.  It is complicated by having over 170 locations.  It’s a good opportunity to discuss how to plan such an event using project management techniques.

2. What processes must be in place for this event?

Guidance: Although UPS hires seasonal workers every year, processing over 40,000 applications efficiently will take some planning.  Applications need to be completed correctly, information verified (such as previous employment history), background checks completed, and possible medical evaluations.

An added consideration is that this must be done quickly as potential employees want to know if they have been hired, and UPS doesn’t want to lose potential employees to other jobs.

This many applications at once would overwhelm normal hiring processes.  Special processes and manpower must be in place to handle over 40,000 applications in one day.  An interesting question is whether outside firms will be used for all or part of these processes.

3. What decisions and resulting plans must be made for this event?

Guidance:  A large number of decisions must be made before the event can occur. Let’s consider just one set of decisions related to event locations.

In order to choose the 170 locations, the company first needed to consider whether to use existing UPS facilities or rent a space, how much space is needed, how to staff each location, whether to use employees from the local facility, send someone from the Corporate Office, and/or hire a firm/workers to take applications, type of training these people will need, supplies, food or drinks needed, and how applications will be accepted (paper and/or online?). For online applications, they would also need to provide internet access and determine whether and how many computers are required.

A forecast of the expected number of applicants at each location would also be needed to help make the above plans.

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