Home Depot is trying to help its best customers find workers
Home Depot wants more people to think about a new career in the building trades because some of its best customers need new hires.
The largest U.S. home improvement chain said it has created a virtual training program to help its Dallas-Fort Worth professional customers find workers.
Starting Monday, Home Depot is introducing free job training for skilled trades such as welders, electricians and carpenters. The “path to pro skills program” also provides career coaching and access to jobs at Home Depot’s commercial customers.
Home Depot benefits when its professional customers operate smoothly. In this tight labor market, that means having enough workers. While only 4% of the company’s customers are people who make a living remodeling and maintaining the residential market, they represent 45% of Home Depot’s annual sales.
“Once people complete the course, we help introduce graduates to our professional contractor customers, or Pros, for them to hire and help fill the labor gap they’re facing,” Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith said.
The program isn’t for Home Depot’s own store hiring and job openings, she said. It’s “more focused on the contracting marketplace and business around us.”
Job seekers proceed at their own pace in an instructor-led boot camp that covers topics such as jobsite safety, tools, construction materials, team building and communication skills.
The program is free and open to anyone age 18 or older with a valid driver’s license and access to the internet. At the end of the training, participants get access to Home Depot’s network of potential employers. Here’s a link to register.
The Atlanta-based retailer also caters to its pro customers with a customized online experience, a dedicated sales force, delivery, credit and inventory management programs.
Employers are stepping in to help get workers the skills they need in the workforce. Walmart, and more recently Target, offer tuition and other benefits that had previously been white-collar job perks.
Home Depot’s training offer is the latest example of a business helping its own customers find workers. Malls and shopping centers have held job fairs and posted job openings on their websites to help their retailer tenants find new employees.
Home Depot has a couple of other inventive programs that look to the future by targeting teens. It has partnered with Girl Scouts of the USA to create workshops in building trades. The retailer’s foundation has a similar program with 100 Black Men of America Inc. that targets Black youth.