Retail

Big Names Embark On Spring Hiring Sprees

Standing one’s ground in an Amazon-dominated retail market doesn’t happen by accident.

Home Depot is one of the few who have managed it – indeed, the $200 billion home-improvement merchant has even seen 135 percent growth in the last five years. But Home Depot didn’t get where it is today by resting on its laurels, and it’s not about to sit back and enjoy its successes now.

The retailer has announced that it will be adding more than 1,000 new employees to its technology teams this year, increasing the size of its tech department by more than a third. Today, noted CNBC, there are roughly 2,800 employees working in tech roles for Home Depot.

The decision was made in support of the company’s $11 billion multi-year investment plan to increase Home Depot’s lead over brick-and-mortar competitors such as Lowe’s, as well as keeping ahead of online competitors including, but not limited to, Amazon.

Over the next few years, Home Depot plans to make improvements to its online shopping experience, expand its warehouse footprint to accelerate delivery, and optimize store layouts to improve shopping and checkout efficiency.

While this marks Home Depot’s biggest hiring spree ever, the home-improvement retailer isn’t the only one reinforcing its ranks this spring to create or maintain a competitive advantage. ’Tis the season, it seems, for hanging “Help Wanted” signs in windows, both literally and figuratively.

Aldi

Discount-grocery chain Aldi has announced several hiring events across states including Michigan, Vermont, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey and Florida. The company is investing $3.4 billion to increase its store count to 2,500 locations by 2022 – and it plans to create 25,000 jobs to go with it.

The hiring events are scheduled to take place next week with the aim of adding hundreds of new sales associates to the team across these various locations.

Kroger

Also in the grocery category, Kroger is preparing to ramp up hiring and is sweetening the employee benefit pot to attract new talent.

Additions include a program to support ongoing education for all associates – both full- and part-time – after six months of employment, increased 401(k) matching from 4 percent to 5 percent, and additional aid for associates going through times of hardship.

The retailer is looking to fill 11,000 new positions, of which 2,000 are management roles. It will be investing $500 million in associate wages, training and development over the next three years, leveraging a windfall produced by recent tax law changes.

Tech Giants

Prominent U.S. tech companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel and Apple have been increasing their demand for H-1B visas obtained over the past few years. Tesla, Uber and General Motors were each approved more than 100 such visa petitions last year.

To take a more granular view, consider Facebook, which (in the midst of its current data scandal) is apparently also looking into building its own chips as it ventures into the hardware space. Yep – that means hiring. The social media giant recently posted a job listing seeking individuals with relevant skills for creating processors and chipsets used for machine-learning and artificial-intelligence purposes.

Microsoft, perhaps capitalizing on the positive momentum from its Xbox One X released six months ago, is now looking for a senior engineer as well as other employees to, presumably, develop its “true” Xbox One successor, one source reports.

Netflix, meanwhile, recently listed 500 job openings, marking its biggest hiring spree ever. The company points to growth in its subscriber base as reason to beef up its team. The subscription-content platform currently boasts 125 million subscribers and expects to add another 70 million by the end of 2020.

Interestingly, most of the Netflix jobs are in content, suggesting that the company aims to maintain, or even increase, its focus on creating quality in-house serials.

Hedge Funds

Perhaps inspired by this year’s rocky markets, hedge-fund firms have shown a sharp uptick in hires for marketing and investor-relations roles in the early months of 2018. Experts are saying that volatility can inspire people to move back to hedge funds, which offer different types of returns via understanding market volatility and making strategic moves around it.

The hires have reportedly been a mix of bolstering staff at existing funds and hiring for new ones, as many hedge funds and alternative asset managers have been launching niche credit strategies.

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