Every month, Jobboom profiles an employer that is a leader in their industry to shed some light on the business cultures, staffing needs and recruitment methods of top organizations. This month, we look at The Home Depot Canada.
The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer. In Canada, the company operates 182 stores across 10 provinces and employs more than 29,000 workers. Each Home Depot location covers more than 100,000 square feet and carries around 40,000 products, from lumber and building material to kitchen flooring and accessories.
We spoke with Nicolas E Darget-Lacoste, Director of human resources operations for The Home Depot Canada.
Jobboom: What are the core values of The Home Depot?
Nicolas E Darget-Lacoste: The Home Depot has eight core values that drive every aspect of our business:
- Taking care of our people
- Giving back to our communities
- Doing the right thing
- Excellent customer service
- Creating shareholder value
- Building strong relationships
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- Respect for all people
These values are at the core of daily life in the company and among our employees, and they are displayed in every store across the country, as well as on our website.
JB: How does The Home Depot contribute to the communities where it operates?
NEDL: The Home Depot is very active in the community. Our main contributions are made through the Canadian Home Depot Foundation, whose goal is to fight youth homelessness in Canada. In 2016, we were able to donate 10 million dollars to this cause. This year, we pledged an additional $10 million over the next two years toward helping prevent and end youth homelessness, bringing the total to $20 million by 2018.
We also involve ourselves locally through our “Team Depot” initiative, where we provide volunteering employees with ideas to coordinate their projects with local charities, and help spread the word about their projects. Finally, we are also involved in multiple partnerships related to sourcing sustainable materials and other environmental issues, all of which are described in detail on our website.
JB: What are the main types of employment available at Home Depot stores?
NEDL: There are two major categories of positions at The Home Depot: store positions and store support positions.
In our stores, most positions imply customer service. We have associates in each department as well as cashier positions, operational positions to manipulate freight, department supervisors, assistant store managers and a store manager. We also have human resources managers in each of our stores.
Store support positions are present only in a few locations. They include various administrative positions such as marketing, our legal team and accounting.
JB: In terms of recruitment, which positions are most frequently available?
NEDL: We are always looking for great talent and there are always open positions at The Home Depot. This is especially true when the outdoor season starts, since multiple departments in our stores are dedicated to the outdoors! We have positions that require working at night as well as day shifts.
JB: What are the main tools you use to find and recruit talent today?
NEDL: First and foremost, we publish our job openings online. In our opinion, we have a great website that allows potential candidates to easily see all of the open positions available with the company. We also engage closely with the communities where our stores are located to help spread the word about job openings.
We also organize job fairs several times a year and partner with other organizations, such as schools, to help attract new talent to The Home Depot. We actually just held more than 300 hiring events across the country for our spring season. Finally, we have an employee referral program that allows us to identify whether a referred candidates is a good fit for us or not.
JB: What are some essential qualities you look for in your employees?
NEDL: The most important thing we are looking for, in both new and experienced employees, is a willingness to provide amazing customer service. For us, being able to serve customers in a way that makes their experience better is really important.
We are also looking for employees with team spirit and the desire and ability to learn. We provide our employees with a great learning environment and we invest in it, and that’s why we are looking for people who are a good fit for us!
JB: When is the best time to apply for a job at Home Depot, and why?
NEDL: As I mentioned, seasons that are conducive to outdoor activities are often busy for us, and we hire a lot during these periods. For example, during the spring we typically hire around 6,000 new associates across Canada!
JB: What are your qualities as an employer, and what sets you apart from other employers?
NEDL: The first thing is that we really live our values and refer to them on a daily basis. At The Home Depot we’ve created an environment where our employees have space to grow and better themselves. Our goal is to help our employees to build a career.
We also have great benefits programs; we are very competitive from a compensation perspective. But the main element that distinguishes our company is our desire to offer a great environment for our employees.
JB: What are the elements that help The Home Depot attract and retain talent?
NEDL: Besides what I already mentioned, we have two other elements that help us retain talent. We are very inclusive: mutual respect is one of our main values and we make sure that it is respected by employees. We also offer tuition reimbursement benefits for both full-time and part-time employees who are students.
JB: What kinds of opportunities for advancement are available at The Home Depot?
NEDL: Because we invest a lot in training our employees, they can grow the way they want to. Currently 75% of our store managers in Canada started out as store associates. Our current President of The Home Depot Canada, Jeff Kinnaird, started with us 20 years ago as a part-time lumber associate in one of our Vancouver locations!
This interview has been edited for clarity.