When it comes to recruitment and development practices, Centex uses a variety of channels to cull—and keep—fast, smart, and competitive people. Centex recruits heavily from colleges and universities—the builder already has hired nearly 500 students from more than 70 different colleges—with a particular goal to increase minority representation in the residential construction industry.

The company's flagship initiative in this area in 2005 was the inaugural “Build Your Future” event, a Centex Homes/University Faculty Conference held in Frisco, Texas. Forty-three professors of construction management from 20 colleges and universities attended two days of seminars hosted by Centex experts. The goal was to bring academia and the real world business of home building together to discuss how best to prepare students for careers in the industry.

But it's not just about recruiting. Centex offers several training programs to employees through Centex Homes University. The courses are offered as credits earned, with the idea that employees can use the education to advance along their career paths.