Talent Practices at the Home Depot
Home Depot Questions
Discuss how the leadership at Home Depot intended to use its organizational talent to gain a competitive advantage in the Do it Yourself industry.
Home Depot has revenues of over $90 billion, is the number one home improvement retailer globally, and is the second largest retailer overall. It was founded in 1979 and is now international (www.homedepot.com). The way they have chosen to use their own organizational talent to gain a clear competitive edge is by promoting from within, 80% of their leadership placements are internal, and allow the expertise of individuals who have worked in multiple departments to grow into higher level management positions. In particular, Home Depot endeavors to hire any vacancies at the supervisor, assistant manager, and store manager level from within. They believe that this ensures that not only the company culture is served, but that the expertise gleaned by promotion into increasingly higher levels of responsibility allows for a more robust and expert managerial level (Silzer and Dowell, 655-6).
Question: Discuss the key channels that Home Depot developed for recruiting talent.
Home Depot has, in fact, created quite a number of diverse and creative channels of entry into their overall business model. Because their business is sometimes seasonal (e.g. more during holidays and warm months) they hire and promote a number of hourly retail associates on a regular basis. These individuals are hired, trained, and groomed for a number of functional leadership programs, and Home Depot tries hard to ensure that individuals who merit promotion are identified and given the opportunities to excel within the company (Ibid., 656).
Question: Discuss the critical programs used by Home Depot to keep talent in their pipeline. Home Depot hires regularly, has almost 300,000 associates globally, and attracts as much talent as possible. Within their structure, they embed the values and focus they need for human capital, while insisting that at every step of the way, new employees are immersed within the culture that it is sale associate primarily that creates the customer service, and therefore must engender the appropriate training and organizational values. As a corporation, Home Depot is attuned to the market, understands that the marketplace is diverse, employees needs are diverse, and that there are a myriad of hierarchical needs that must be met in order to keep a happy workforce (Ibid., p. 656). One of these particular needs is understanding that employees are not always motivated by monetary gain, but often by the type and quality of management engendered in the workplace. This is particularly true as the data shows that new or talented employees tend to leave a position because of leadership, not because of the corporation. Good leaders engender good leaders, and tend to mentor, take others under their corporate and professional wing, and develop talent as part of the regular performance of job duties. Part of this is training both the customer and the sales associate that the customer is the reason for success. Top management in fact, says, “Every function in our company, every single function whether it be advertising, whether it be merchandising, accounting, financial, just about every area, everybody has to understand that their entire goal is to create an environment where our employees have the ability to take care of our customersâ€¦. Every one of them has to answer, “What have you done to help the customer in our store?” (Roush, 1999, p.82).
Question: Discuss three lessons learned by Home Depot related to talent management.
Home Depot Certainly has changed the way the Home Improvement industry works, and the expectations customers have and how they expect to be treated when visiting such stores. First and foremost, Home Depot hires regularly and aggressively, identifying key leadership skills almost from the outset. Home Depot believes that older workers, workers on a second or third career, workers fresh out of the military, and workers that may have other indigenous skills (language, etc.) are vital for their organization and should be encouraged as much as possible. Second, knowing that the nature of the workforce has changed so drastically over the past few years, it uses non-standard partnerships to encourage that it has a regular supply of candidates. For instance, organizations run by the government (outreach, dislocated or disaffected workers, etc.) have a number of skilled workers who might just need a little extra help in getting a new job. Non-Profits (AARP, various others) reflect the diversity of age and ethnicity that Home Depot Values. Reaching out to these organizations allows for the community to feel like it is a part of the organization, while ensuring a tremendous flow of talent into Home Depot. Finally, in an expressive show of patriotism and support for active duty soldiers who have returned from the front, Home Depot regularly hires about 10,000 veterans per annum, usually under the auspices of Operation Career Front. A way for individuals of like mind and talent to be placed into career path positions that are win-win for all sides (Silzer, 658-60).
The Home Depot. (2011). Corporate Information. Cited in:
Roush, C. (1999). Inside Home Depot. How One Company Revolutionized the Industry. New York: McGraw Hill.
Silzer, R., & Dowell, B. (2010). Strategy-driven talent management: A leadership imperative.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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