Regional homebuilder looks for talented people in everyday places
One of the most prolific builders in the region, Lakewood Ranch-based Neal Communities, which sold 1,177 homes in 2017, is in hiring mode to meet growth demands.
The good news, co-founder and chairman of the firm's executive committee Pat Neal says, is the company has low turnover among the employee ranks. The opposite side: hiring new employees is getting harder because of competition for employees with specific skills, Neal says in an email response to questions. "Like everyone," adds Neal, "we are always constantly reaching out through the digital media, employment agencies and our friends and family to hire new team members.”
Tashara Cronshaw, vice president of human resources, says the company, for example, participates in an annual national compensation analysis that offers information about what other homebuilding companies pay employees, what benefits are offered and what titles are used for certain positions. It’s important to title positions correctly, she says, so they are both more enticing and more accurately reflect what the jobs are.
Positions at Neal typically remain open for 35 to 65 days, but the length of time can vary. “For positions that are more of a higher priority, a lot of times we’ll work with recruiters pretty regularly,” Cronshaw says. For the last five years, the company has increased its recruiter network substantially.
Another step: the company recently implemented a recruiting card campaign. It distributed cards the size of business cards to employees. The card includes company info and says in part, “You are awesome! Let’s talk.” Cronshaw says, “We thought a lot of time in our daily lives, we come across people who are doing a great job at what they do. It may be who we’re looking for. In this labor market, it’s important to think outside the box.”
The concept of engaging passive candidates — those not actively looking for a new job — is key for Neal Communities. The company started sharing employee stories online and on social media. That helps build a buzz about Neal, she says, and helps attract people who weren’t necessarily looking. “It’s about developing relationships," Cronshaw says.
Neal Communities also offers a referral bonus to current employees. Says Cronshaw: "If your employees love your company, there’s no better referral than that.”