The Home Depot recently announced that they are looking to fill 80,000 jobs to meet the needs of their customers during peak, seasonal business. These jobs will fill needs in the stores as well as the distribution centers. They have very masterfully crafted a hiring message that involves technology (FIRST phone), people (benefits, teamwork) and process (customer service enablement) in order to attract the best possible candidates and they have done so in a very proactive and prominent manner on their website and in the press.
Photo courtesy of - http://builtfromscratch.homedepot.com/first-phone/
With recent job growth across many sectors, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find good, qualified candidates. Companies are battling to find quality candidates and are fighting to position their company as an 'employer of choice'. This is one of the first examples where I have seen a major employer promote the need to hire people as well as blend in how technology will be made available to the associates to help them in their jobs. Home Depot has done a very effective job of positioning these jobs. In particular, in their press release, they refer to:
- how these jobs will be part of energetic teams with a passion "home improvement innovation" and "great customer service"
- they are appealing to a broad swath of job candidates including retirees, college students and veterans
- they talk about how time on these jobs will accumulate toward full time benefits as part of a larger "Success Sharing" program, tuition reimbursement, etc. if the associate transitions to a full-time position
- and they talk about how 40,000 FIRST phones will be deployed to help their associates deliver valuable services to customers on the store floor to assist with:
- mobile checkout in the garden department
- "line busting"
- internet access to Home Depot's website for product lookup, inventory availability and product features
- the FIRST phone will also feature phone and walkie-talkie capabilities to aid in delivering excellent customer service
So it seems that Home Depot has raised the bar when it comes to hiring. It will be interesting to see how other organizations shape their hiring strategies and tactics in this increasingly competitive job market. If you have seen other innovative approaches please let us know. New hires want to work for great companies and expect to have great technology available to help them succeed - the game is indeed changing.