Home Depot and a busy spring
Home Depot has announced they will be hiring1 80,000 seasonal workers this spring, 14 percent more than they brought on last year. The company will be bringing on full- and part-time workers, with need and availability varying by region and store.
Home Depot currently has 2,256 stores in North America, employing roughly 300,000 employees. After laying off thousands during the recession in 2009, the company has ramped up seasonal employment every spring since, bringing on 60,000 seasonal workers in 2011, then 70,000 in spring 2012.
“Spring is always a special season for us, when we can offer employment opportunities for literally tens of thousands of Americans,” Home Depot’s Vice President of Human Resources, Tim Crow said in a statement2. “We find some of our best associates during our peak season, and many of them have built long, meaningful careers with us.”
The company also recently launched its Online Military Skills Translator3, designed to help translate and match an applicant’s unique military skills with positions that might offer the best fit. The site lists military-focused jobs and career fairs to help transition veterans into roles in stores and within the corporate structure.
What does Home Depot know that you don’t?
Why is Home Depot hiring so many seasonal workers this year? It isn’t altruism, no, it’s a vote of confidence in the housing market.
The mass hiring is happening because Home Depot’s success runs parallel to the success of housing, so as the company prepares for a busy spring, it is because economic indicators for housing point to a busy spring for housing. New home construction surged 37 percent in 2012 alone, and the U.S. Commerce Department reports permits granted rose to their highest level since the summer of 2008 prior to the housing crash, meaning more homes are on the verge of being built, and builders need supplies to deliver their product. Builder confidence is edging closer to healthy levels and continues to improve, and with confidence comes plans to build. Not only do home builders need supplies, new home buyers tend to spend on supplies as well.
So is there an industry that you rely on that you can use to better forecast your own hiring, seasonal or full time? If your business relies on the health of another industry, are you closely monitoring forward-looking indicators instead of lagging economic indicators?