Home Depot announced Wednesday it will add 80,000 seasonal employees nationwide this spring — 400 of them in its 10 Cobb County stores.
That is 10,000 more than were hired last year by the home improvement retail giant.
The company would not comment on whether the surge is necessary because of more new home builders needing supplies or more do-it-yourselfers making do with homes they can’t sell.
“We’re hiring more to support anticipated sales growth in the spring,” spokesman Stephen Holmes said.
Holmes called spring “our Christmas,” with which west Cobb store manager John Lippelt agreed.
“Spring and summer is when our foot traffic increases dramatically,” Lippelt said. “We go from 10,000 customers a week up to 14,500 or 15,000 a week in this particular store.”
He said the company is ramping up to beat previous sales, which were $70.4 billion in fiscal year 2011, the last date for which annual figures were available.
“They’re also taking a look at the economy. They’re seeing the housing industry not continuing to fall down or get worse, but to stabilize,” he said. “They’re even seeing some growth in areas in metro Atlanta like Marietta and Cobb County.”
Home Depot employs about 300,000 people in 2,256 stores nationwide, with 20,000 employees in Georgia, mostly in the metro Atlanta area.
“We expect to hire over 4,000 for our 90 stores in Georgia,” Holmes said. “You’re looking at more than 2,200 just in metro Atlanta.”
The company’s home office, national retail staffing center, national store support customer care center and regional store support center are all in Cobb.
The company has stores locally in Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, Austell and Lithia Springs.
“I’d say we’ll add about 400 people in Cobb County,” Holmes said. “We expect to hire 40 to 50 per store.”
The new hires sign on for 120 days, Lippelt said, constituting a farm team of sorts.
“This store alone will hire 35 seasonal employees. Out of those 35, we take the top performers, and we keep them through fall and winter,” he said. “You have attrition throughout the year. The ones we kept from the seasonal hiring fill in for all that attrition.”
The seasonal work pays “above the average retail rate,” Holmes said, and should appeal to a wide range of applicants.
“Retirees make fantastic associates for us because they have life experience with their own home,” Holmes said. “For college and technical students, it’s a great thing to have on your resume. For anyone out there, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door.”
Holmes said the jobs will be filled on a schedule that depends on the weather.
“Spring is at a different time everywhere in the country. In this area, it’s probably going to be in March,” he said. “We’ve already started hiring in some of the deeper Southern states. Now is the time to apply.”
Applicants can bring a variety of assets to the table, Holmes said.
“If you have a certain skill that is applicable, a cashier for example, or if you have home improvement or construction experience, that is a plus but it is not required,” he said.
Successful applicants, Holmes said, will share a quality.
“The No. 1 attribute is someone with a passion for customer service,” he said.