Home Depot adds hype to Olympic recruiting tactics

ATLANTA: A concerted effort by Home Depot to hype its unusual recruiting tactics - which include hiring Olympic athletes to work in their stores for 20 hours per week - has generated attention in places far beyond the Help Wanted section.

ATLANTA: A concerted effort by Home Depot to hype its unusual recruiting tactics - which include hiring Olympic athletes to work in their stores for 20 hours per week - has generated attention in places far beyond the Help Wanted section.

ATLANTA: A concerted effort by Home Depot to hype its unusual

recruiting tactics - which include hiring Olympic athletes to work in

their stores for 20 hours per week - has generated attention in places

far beyond the Help Wanted section.



According to Home Depot senior PR manager Jerry Shields, the tactic is

going a long way toward generating enthusiasm among its employees.



’We felt the culture of Home Depot and our spirit of competition and

values matches up well with the Olympic spirit,’ he explained. ’We saw

an opportunity for them to become part of our community of associates

and help them with their training.’



While the hiring of Olympic athletes (who are paid dollars 400 for their

20 hours of toil) is nothing new for Home Depot, the company has stepped

up its efforts to promote the program, with assistance from Edelman’s

sports marketing group in New York. Home Depot VP of PR Carol Schumacher

said that the company is targeting a number of sports publications as

well as national governing bodies in particular sports in an attempt to

recruit more Olympic hopefuls.



’By getting our folks in some of these publications, it has helped in

our recruiting,’ she said. While she denied that hiring Olympic athletes

is a publicity stunt, Schumacher conceded that the tactic has helped

Home Depot get its name and brand out to the public.



At a time when the retail sector is experiencing 69% turnover, Home

Depot is also looking to publicize its overall recruiting efforts.

’We’re going to hire 200,000 people over the next three years and we

want to do everything possible to attract the most diverse workforce and

the right people,’ said Shields.



Schumacher added that the focus of the campaign is to communicate the

different types of jobs that are available at Home Depot and the types

of experience the company is looking for (such as expertise in plumbing,

electricity or gardening). The company is also pitching profiles about

specific associates who have been there for 10 years to show both their

career growth and financial successes.



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