Corporate Eye

Places I want to work (Surprise #1)

Home Depot Careers

As I surf around looking at Careers sites, I try to put myself in the place of someone who really might want a job at that company. For example: If I wanted to work at (say) Home Depot, how would I react to their Careers presentation?

Let’s specify that Home Depot would not be a natural fit for me. Although I actually am very handy, and love tools–I’d be hard-pressed to work eight hours a day in a retail environment. (At least for more than a few weeks.) And for various reasons, I don’t think they would hire me! But I was surprisingly charmed by Home Depot’s Careers site, and found myself wishing that I could join “the team.”

What won me over?

  • A clean look that captures the company brand, but also adds a Careers personality.
  • Attention to detail—little things about the messaging that add up to a nice impression.
  • An inviting, inclusive emotional appeal that’s not too obvious.
  • A “bigger picture” view of opportunities with the company.
  • A feeling that the company respects job seekers.

Drilling down to specific sections of the page:
Home Depot Careers

First, I like the picture at top in the main area because the smiles seem sincere, not posed. Second, I like the picture because the diversity seems natural, not forced. And third—I like the effect of the whole composition, especially how the word “Passion” stands out and draws my attention.

Attention to design detail shows up with the reflection effects beneath the three smaller pictures. A simple touch, but it creates a depth and reality that wouldn’t be there if the images were set in flat. And care for messaging is evident in the headline question: “What Will You Build?” It uses the brand-appropriate metaphor of building in just the right way—to connect the Home Depot business model with my personal career.

The next bit of detail adds a little fun:
Home Depot Careers

Since video testimonials are found on so many sites now, the extra touch of a playful title (“Behind the Apron”) makes this feature stand out. And the photographs have active energy—especially the Merchandising high-five and that great attitude from the “Pro Sales Associate.”

Home Depot Careers
A big plus for me was the prominent list of Career options. As a Home Depot shopper, my image of the company was mainly about people stocking and selling in the warehouse-style stores. I hadn’t thought about EXPO Design Centers as part of Home Depot, or about opportunities in Installation, Call Centers, etc.

So this information expanded my perception of the company and made me think—wait, there might be a job fit for me somewhere in Home Depot after all.

Home Depot CareersFinally, I appreciated the easy access to tools and information provided on the left-side navigation bar. I get a quick impression that Home Depot has taken my needs into consideration, both as a site visitor and as a potential employee. They have provided a language choice and search functionality, and they are offering me information on customized employment programs, growth opportunities, and the Home Depot work environment.

Plus–the employee access gateway invites me to wonder what’s on the other side of that “Career Depot” button! And here we take a crucial step in engagement, because now I’m imagining myself as an employee.

All in all, Home Depot Careers doesn’t break any new ground—but it covers the basics very well and connects effectively with the visitor. So it’s made my very short list of sites that sell the company well!

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.