Help wanted — Kennesaw call center looking to hire 250 before May
by Sheri Kell
business@mdjonline.com
February 27, 2013 12:00 AM | 9097 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Customer service representative Everette Kitchens of Smyrna, sitting, asks Homedepot.com supervisor Renee Price of Marietta questions after checking the order status for a customer at The Home Depot's national customer service call center in Kennesaw. `The call center is in its final phase of hiring 250 people in addition to its 400 seasonal workers for the spring.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Customer service representative Everette Kitchens of Smyrna, sitting, asks Homedepot.com supervisor Renee Price of Marietta questions after checking the order status for a customer at The Home Depot's national customer service call center in Kennesaw. `The call center is in its final phase of hiring 250 people in addition to its 400 seasonal workers for the spring.
Staff/Laura Moon
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KENNESAW — Home Depot is looking to hire 250 employees before May at its Kennesaw online contact center at 3074 Chastain Meadows Parkway. The center, which opened in October, supplies online support for its products offered on homedepot.com.

According to Eric Schelling, director of talent acquisition at Home Depot, this is the final wave of hiring for the center’s 700 employees.

“It’s a very large facility, very commutable with a lot of amenities,” said Schelling, whose team is responsible for all of the company’s new hires.

He said the full-time and part-time positions range from entry level to supervisors and include benefits. He said while experience is not necessary, customer service phone experience and basic computer knowledge is helpful.

Additionally, Schelling says the biggest hiring initiative of the year is under way as the company is also filling 400 seasonal associate positions for the spring season across its nine stores in Cobb County.

He says the initial screening is centralized at the company’s website, where applicants can indicate their preferred location. The seasonal hires sign on for 120 days.

“We average 30,000 applications per day,” he said. “We have our systems that go through the applicant pool.”

Schelling said retail experience is not required, but the company does look for those applicants who have good customer service skills and some home repair knowledge.

“We don’t sell products, we sell solutions,” he said. “Being able to find the solution is helpful.”

He said once the applicants are screened, the individual store managers interview the candidates in person.

“Many of our seasonal hires stay on in permanent positions following the spring season,” he said. “In fact, more than half in both 2011 and 2012 became permanent employees.”

He also says the company encourages veterans to apply because the company translates military skills to civilian skills for hiring purposes.

John Lippelt, store manager at the West Cobb Home Depot, located at 2350 Dallas Highway, said he has already hired 15 associates for spring and is currently interviewing candidates to fill another 20 positions.

“Most of the stores are all set for spring,” said Lippelt. “All the patio furniture, grills, mowers and tractors and cleaning products and such are all in.”

He added that it will be two to three weeks before the spring plants arrive.

“The vendors are waiting for some of this weather to break to start seeing more sun,” Lippelt said.

He said in his store, traffic is expected to increase from 10,000 customers a week to 14,000 to 15,000 a week during the season, and some of the best seasonal employees will be kept longer.

“We take the top performers, and we keep them through fall and winter,” he said.

Home Depot has local stores in Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, Austell and Lithia Springs. The company employees about 300,000 in 2,256 stores nationwide with 20,000 employees in Georgia, primarily in the metro Atlanta area.

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