Decision Makers: When Whole Foods Shops for Employees

job interview It used to be healthy, organic food could only be bought at small local shoppes owned by semi-capitalistic hippies. And it was expensive. Really expensive. Now, many communities boast farm markets with local offerings. But the mack-daddy bringing local growers, gourmet food, organic and healthy options together and also seems to cater to every food allergy is Texas-based Whole Foods Market.

The company has more than 51,000 employees (they call them "Team Members"), and 87% are full time workers. If you think you're seeing stores on every corner, there are more than 280 stores in 38 states, DC, Canada, and the UK.

Whole Foods Market ranks on FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work For." If you're wondering why, the average salaried employee rakes in more than $70,000. But it takes more than a paycheck to make that storied list. The company values diversity, with more than 40% of its employees women and/or minorities. Telecommuting? Check. However, if you're a cashier, telecommuting is likely not an option. But a big benefit to working there is that Whole Foods covers 100% of health care premiums and provides subsidies if you join a gym.

Use our Salary Calculator to compare your salary to the average, salaried Whole Foods Market.

In Search of the Whole-y Grail of Whole Foods Employment

One thing that separates Whole Foods from some other companies is that if you applied to work there and didn't get the brass ring, you're not necessarily out of luck. The company does not blacklist rejected applicants, so try, try, again. "Each applicant is evaluated on a number of factors and we look for the right fit for each specific job," says Mark Erhnstein, Global Vice President of Team Member Services for Whole Foods Market. "We are fortunate that we usually have a large candidate pool for any number of positions and recognize that many of our applicants will re-apply for other opportunities, and we encourage them to do so. Many of our Team Members have landed jobs with us after applying multiple times."

While you're sending that résumé, you're spell-checking it, right? You'd be surprised how many resumes with typos end up on Erhnstein's desk. Maybe one was yours and you didn't get a call back. "I think this shows an obvious lack of attention to detail," he says. "If this issue shows up on your résumé, how will it show up on the job?"

Most companies don't want "average." Every hire could impact the company brand or the bottom line in large and small ways. Companies look to complete or complement their corporate culture. You might call it the "it" factor. For consumer companies that you can experience, sometimes you get a sense of the "it" factor when you walk through the door. For Whole Foods, that means you've got to be positive and engaging, and understand that customers are number one.

See average salaries for jobs at Whole Foods Market, Inc.

Do it the Old-Fashioned Way

A study conducted by the Radicati Group in August 2008 estimated that 210 billion emails are sent each day. Don't let your gratitude for your interview be one of them, especially if you just met someone from Whole Foods Market. Sit down and write a thank you note. This one thing could make or break your chances at getting a job at the company. "A note can make a difference especially when there are several good candidates for a position," says Ehrnstein. "The one who writes a note often can stand out, all other things being equal." But don't send flowers, that's over the top.

We can't guarantee that you'll be a stock person shelving soy milk soon or ordering organic oranges as a buyer with these inside tips, but you'll be better prepared for wherever you apply.

-- Apply now for a job at Whole Foods

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whole foods sets its employees up to mostly fail. it keeps salaries down. they hire lots of kids who still live at home for full-time positions. why? these kids are still on mom and dad's health insurance policy. they do not like older workers and want their stores to look young and hip. full time begins at 30 hours and full-time includes health benefits. and be damnned! they will do anything to keep you at 29 hours so they don't have to have a team member on bennies who only works 29 hours!!!!!! yes, they choose from the ranks supervisors who are clueless. there's tons of backstabbing as people turn on others so they can move up the ladder. with so many well-educated americans between the ages of 49 and 59 out of work, you can bet whole foods won't hire them, insuring they will have hard workers with brains employed. noooosireee! they like 'em dull in the brain. they make it impossible to move up or into another department unless you drink the kool-aide cult drink. lastly, it's only those at the very top of each individual store who make the good salaries. and they do it on the backs of some very hard working lower rank and file. worked for wf in ny for a few years and fell over when i saw how many of my fellow team members were on government food stamps. why? because they weren't making enoug -- working full-time -- to feed their families. if the whole foods shopper only knew this -- i worked in a store where at least 17 people were on food stamps! it really is like wal-mart. the problem is workers are too fearful of opening up their mouths. punishment is rampant in that company.

May 28 2012 at 2:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I used to work for whole foods market for 4 YEARS I consider myself a veteran there ! The beginning was aweomse hands on training,education,great awesome fellow co-workers and leaders ! I was promted to team trainer pretty much supervisor in my opinon ! Pretty much i had to train all new hires and when they ****** up it was my fault but hey i was being a leader and accepted the responsibility got 4 people to get voted on the team thats was alot of hard work and some of them i didnt get along but hey it comes with the job ! 2 months later new ******* team leader comes in complety changes everything biggest douche bag in the world ! Worst team leader ever ! Wrote me 3 times within 2 weeks after he got there and demoted down back to team member when i worked so hard to be team trainer i was accomplished and happy !!! But hey you VETERAN WHOLE FOODS MARKET TEAM MEMBERS HANG IN THERE YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST ABEL LOPEZ FORMER SEAFOOD TEAM TRAINER !!!

February 05 2012 at 10:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I worked for Whole Foods and it was one of my worst experiences. Why to much bull from the upper staff. Rude customers coming and going and you being insulted daily. Not to mention write ups for any little customer complaint.

January 30 2012 at 5:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I currently work for Whole Foods and love it! My coworkers are all very nice and intelligent people. The leadership in my store is also great. I have worked my way through three different departments and multiple pay raises as well as a promotion. My Team Leader and other people, "above me", were more than helpful and encouraging at every step. I have worked in offices where I hated my job and certainly sub-standard employees at Whole Foods become disgruntled because there are so many hard-working people vying for the jobs there that they are not required to put up with bad attitudes, lateness etc. No company is perfect and I am not claiming that Whole Foods is but I think for the most part they do make an effort to appreciate the people who work there. Regarding the $70,000 salaries, that is absolutely true. Salary pay does not begin until the Assistant Store Team Leader position is reached; and they certainly make that much plus bonuses.

January 29 2012 at 12:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Well, the comments I read here kissing Whole Foods ass hasn't worked at the one I did.
Jenkintown, PA. I worked my balls off only to have a Grocery Team Leader treat me like
crap. With all the years in the Grocery Biz I had, he was intimidated. He made dam sure
he was letting me know he was in charge and writing me up for Bull-**** reasons. Mgmt.
treated me like I was some kid. The atmosphere was very uncomfortable. Co-worker's, especially
in " Whole Body" had this better than you attitude. I might as well have been working for another store. The more I did, the less it was appreciated. So, after I was written up 3 times for BS, I was gone. No, I wasn't written up by the Grocery Team Leader, he had his douche bag butt hole buddy do the dirty work. Besides, WF prices are so outrageous! You can get the same products they carry in other stores for 10-30% less. I'm talking from my experience and not sour grapes. You can go work for them only at you're own peril. Company's are all the same. Just different name's over the door.

January 22 2012 at 4:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Glen's comment

I know some people don't think New Mexico is part of the US but could i ask that you include New mexico in the job search categories?

January 28 2012 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WFM is a good company but it is just an average company to work for. After reading the comments below, i would agree that alot of 'leadershhip' aka managers and supervisors have no previous experience and there is no training for them. WFM tends to hire 'yes' people. They require 'open availability' for full-time positions aka.. any shift, any day, any time...employees regularly work 6-9 days in a row then getting 1 day off, any more than 1 day off at a time, it has to be scheduled 2 weeks in advance. Those smiles you see are mandated....mystery shoppers twice a month with 'key' words that must be said in order to get a 100% rating. If we seems really busy it's because we are slightly understaffed in order to stay well below labor budget and to keep the 'gainshare' high. i could go, if you want to give your life up, give up any set scheduled activities, and want to work in a hectic atmosphere in a very very corporate setting that is pretending not to be corporate...then WFM is for you...and yes I work there, for now.

January 09 2012 at 12:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jerry Burns

Any plans for additional stores in the Indianapolis Indiana market areas?

December 04 2011 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

is there a whole foods in West Palm Beach, Florida.?

November 27 2011 at 9:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to John's comment

There's one in Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens right off of 95.

January 29 2012 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whole Foods is a fantastic place to work. Not only do they pay well, but they make you feel good while you are working. Just about all team members at the top started at the bottom. It is not unusual for the founder, John Mackey, to stop and talk with a team member when he visits a store. I was the store's concierge and loved every minute of it. At Whole Foods they walk the walk and talk the talk.
---Bill Jones (

October 16 2011 at 12:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The comments that current and former workers have left here are such a shock! I love shopping at Whole Foods so much when I decided to look for a job it was my first choice. No more. I have worked in corporate and got so tired of the games I quit and went in a completely different direction. So sad!

October 02 2011 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tso0914's comment

Nice to see your comments, I was a real estate broker for 20+ years and worked on commission alone
talk about corporate???? Huge games .

November 30 2013 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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