The Home Depot on Wednesday said that, since November, it's been using a new tool, "Candidate Self-Service" that is available at all times on any device and allows job applicants to schedule in-person interviews themselves, according to a company press release.
The home improvement retailer is expanding use of the tool because it needs to fill more than 80,000 seasonal positions for spring, the company said. Candidates who have completed an application for an open job in a Home Depot store or distribution center can choose the most convenient interview appointment available.
About 80% of the retailer's job candidates have taken advantage of the app since November, according to the release. Home Depot is also using other tools, like a 15-minute application, Mobile Apply and Text-to-Apply capabilities, and has seen a 50% increase in candidates after rolling them out.
At the end of the year, Home Depot executives painted a picture of a confident retailer prepared to weather economic downturn or a slack in the housing market, which since the Great Recession has catapulted the home improvement retailer to robust sales both on and offline.
The retailer in November reported a third quarter sales rise of 8.1% to $25 billion. The next month, the retailer acquired The Company Store, a catalog and e-commerce retailer of home goods and textiles, from owner Hanover Direct. And that same month the company reportedly had its eye on logistics and trucking firm XPO, which provides services for several large retailers.
Home Depot's moves are offensive rather than defensive, noted Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom in an email, which he said is important. "Said differently, [Home Depot] continues to take steps to stay ahead of its competition, which should translate into continued market share gains and likely upside to its 4.5%-6% [same-store sales] view through 2020."
In a statement, Home Depot EVP of Human Resources Tim Hourigan said that the hiring technology helps the retailer to better serve shoppers as well.
"Just as we're continuously evolving to meet the changing expectations of our customers, we're harnessing new technologies to do the same for job seekers," he said. "This consumer-like experience helps us hire the best talent to serve our customers."
Competitor Lowe's is also looking for talent for the season, and last month announced it is hiring more than 53,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees, significantly more than the 45,000 in-store seasonal hires last year, which came amid corporate layoffs. That home improvement retailer is operating under its larger rival's shadow, and is under activist pressure as well.