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.