Published in the September/October 2012 issue of print Search & Employ® |
The Home Depot, headquartered in Atlanta, has more than 2,200 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, all 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico, and China. In fiscal year 2011 (October 2010 through September 2011), the company had sales of $70.4 billion and earnings of $3.9 billion. The Home Depot employs more than 300,000 associates – and, at any given time, more than 1,500 of them are on military leave.
Each store’s inventory consists of up to 40,000 different kinds of building materials, home improvement supplies, appliances, and lawn and garden products. The Home Depot Home Services offers installation services through independent contractors for products ranging from floors to roofs, windows to water heaters, and kitchen cabinets to vinyl siding.
The company is always looking for individuals who have outstanding customer service skills, as well as people who are solutions-minded. At the corporate level, Home Depot is continually searching for excellent candidates in areas such as IT and supply chain.
Customers want to deal with associates who are respectful, knowledgeable, hard-working, and solution-oriented. The company’s experience has been that associates with military experience typically have these skills and attributes.
Veterans have the advantage of their experiences involving leadership and team-building in a highly disciplined environment. They develop skills in training and coaching, motivating, setting performance goals based on team accomplishment, communicating priorities, developing an action plan, and driving execution.
David Spellman is a Home Depot store manager and a former gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps. Spellman said that his company believes in supporting the military and hiring the military. “Supporting the military is important to The Home Depot, especially when you consider that about 35,000 of our associates are veterans,” he said. “We are participating in over 100 military- and veteran-focused career fairs nationally to meet and engage vets for career opportunities.”
Support for veterans doesn’t stop when they are hired. “The company supports veterans through numerous Team Depot events, The Home Depot Foundation, and store events,” Spellman said. “Associates that are veterans are recognized each year by the company through the celebration of service events that take place during September to November.”