32 INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION / March/April 2014 www.inddist.com
Q&A: Training With
HD Supply Waterworks
ID: Briefly describe the overall hiring and training process for HD
Supply Waterworks. How do you find candidates, and how you
decide to train them?
Laura Schneider, HD Supply Waterworks Vice
President, HR: HD Supply Waterworks has a three-pronged approach for attracting the best possible
external talent and ensuring our internal talent is
ready for the next step in their career.
We leverage current associates to help us navi-
ID: What steps did you take to create and implement this pro-
gate the talent landscape in their market and provide recommen-
dations on who might make a great team member. Recruitment
technologies are also important. Our team partners with our
Global Support team which is always looking for cutting-edge
tools such as social media and job distribution sites to exponen-
tially broaden our reach to candidates. We also use our enterprise
(HD Supply corporate) talent community and candidate tracking
system. Lastly and importantly, we look to local leadership and
frontline managers to identify candidates and assist us in uncover-
ing training opportunities.
Schneider: Our company values the important role of attracting
and retaining great talent to ensure we are the best we can be.
Leadership at all levels is involved in the talent management
process — it is truly a team effort across the organization. To that
end, talent management goes beyond just being an HR function
to being part of our competitive strategy; my team has a seat at
the table when it comes to helping chart our company’s future.
ID: What do you think is the most successful component of the
Schneider: Our sales training classes are designed to reinforce best
performance translation across our business. Leaders at HD Supply
Waterworks come together to design and facilitate training in
partnership with HR, which reinforces that learning is keenly valu-
able to our organization. Our teaching methods include a combi-
nation of sales-style awareness, business activities, open discussion,
case studies, and follow-up action items. We also strive to create
an environment of continuous, peer learning. We follow-up, pro-
vide post-training feedback, and encourage associates to continue
conversations with their peers and assigned mentors. This helps
us to see post-training metrics continue to tick upward over time.
And, participants are accountable for implementing actions to
improve their sales performance going forward.
Additionally, one of the most valuable by-products of our trainings has been seeing cross-country relationships and peer mentor-ships flourish among associates. Our mentor program matches up
sales associates with similar customer bases and varying experience levels. These associates develop a strong bond during the
in-class sessions. They support each other post class in achieving
ID: How do you think well-trained people have helped HD Supply
Waterworks stay alive – and even grow – in the recent recession
Steve LeClair, HD Supply Waterworks President:
Our sales training programs allow all of us to learn
from and coach each other. For example, we’ve
identified new strategies for serving our markets
from participant feedback. We have also incorpo-
“Training is an essential activity for any business
looking to enhance individual and company
performance. After evaluating a wide array of
programs, it became apparent that our internal
talent was better equipped to develop a targeted, inspirational, and high level training program
focused on providing value to our customers.
Since the initial development phase, the train-
ing has expanded to a significantly
larger associate base and has had
results both quantitatively and
- HD Supply Waterworks CEO Jerry Webb
HD Supply Waterworks has built a succession planning program that focuses on injecting milennials into the business and
preparing them for a future with the company.