All Business Myth Stories

  • 9 Myths that Affect Your Bottom Line

    From customer care and human resources to land strategiesand purchasing, misconceptions abound about how to operatea building business...

  • Bob Mirman

    Customer care myth: Home buyer satisfaction increases in an up market.

  • Jamie Pirrello

    Finance myth: Every dollar of revenue should generate the same return.

  • Jason Forrest

    Service myth: The customer is always right.

  • Tony Callahan

    Purchasing myth: Price and cost are the same thing.

  • Veronica Ramirez

    Hiring myth: It's all about money.

  • Fletcher Groves

    Operations myth: Bigger is always better.

  • Jeff Handlin

    Land strategy myth: Builders need to pay more for land than developers.

  • Clark Ellis

    Operations myth: Land is the answer to all problems.

  • Martin Freedland

    Labor myth: Talent lost during the recession is easily replaced.


Many of the most talented industry employees are wooed by companies that value their contributions and make them feel appreciated, human resources expert Veronica Ramirez tells BIG BUILDER. What’s the No. 1 misconception builders have about recruiting top talent?
There are three:
—That everyone wants to work with a large public home builder;
—That with enough compensation, a builder can attract anyone;
—That a builder should always hire local talent.

We are seeing an increasing number of employees with public and/or high-volume experience wanting to work for private home builders because they desire a defined culture that follows their values, beliefs, and personal interests. They also desire more chances for independent decision making and to work for a company that runs in an entrepreneurial way. These workers also are wooed by a company that values their contributions and makes them feel appreciated.

I advise clients to work toward being recognized as a “best local company” to work for, because it spreads your reputation in the industry nationwide. Builders like Shea Homes and Ashton Woods have this recognition, which makes them more attractive in the recruiting process.

Is compensation increasing?
Due to an increase in home sales, compensation structure and packages are changing because of the increased demand of talent with a decrease of supply of exceptional employees in the marketplace. Some builders are willing to pay on the higher end of the compensation scale, but many are still being conservative.

Professionals understand they are not going to return to the compensation packages of 2005 to 2007, but I do hear time and time again, “It is not just about the money.” As I mentioned above, employees say they want to work for a builder with clear ownership/leadership, a strategic direction, financial stability, growth potential, and a culture that they are proud to represent.

Interestingly, many of the major markets have become very incestuous in terms of hiring and executives say they would rather recruit someone from outside the market. Companies desire currently employed talent and would rather look outside the market to hire someone still active in the industry versus someone who is not. Builders in secondary and tertiary markets are definitely seeing the difficulty of hiring locally, especially with the decreases in competition. They are now locating stronger talent outside the market. Companies are also finding that certain skill sets have become scarce and that they have to be open to bring someone from outside the market. I encourge my clients to be open to situations when they can bring in outside talent. At times, a fresh new outlook can be beneficial.

Veronica Ramirez is CEO/president of Joseph Chris Partners in Kingwood, Texas.