As of February 2018, Fortune reports that Houston-based David Weekley Homes had headcount openings of 109 positions in its 23 divisions, ranging from Tampa to Vancouver, and from San Antonio to Minneapolis.
Successful candidates for those 100-plus jobs would join 1,624 other associates at a company that in 2017 did upwards of $2 billion in sales revenue in its home building operations and re-secured the company's stature as America's No. 1-ranked privately-held enterprise.
Still, where the company ranks on our Builder 100 matters little to David Weekley--who founded the company 42 years ago as a 23-year-old with degrees in economics, geology and a flair for architecture--and his leadership team.
What matters to them is that those 100-plus open positions get filled by individuals not only capable of doing the job, but who want to work at Weekley for one simple reason: purpose.
David Weekley himself likes to say, "we're in the customer satisfaction business," and one of his more memorable nuggets of wisdom was, simply, "it's not about us."
Who, then, is this business about? It's about the well-being, ability to prosper, and feeling of "protectedness" that David Weekley Homes customers feel from the time they're welcomed to an experience with a personal builder shepherding the buyer through the process.
And it's about a cultural glue between profitability and social impact that adds up to why 109 people with the skill-set chops might choose David Weekley Homes rather than any other company as a workplace, whether or not they'll have to work longer hours, or not bring home the industry's best compensation package.
That's probably one of the big reasons that year-in and year-out, while other home builder names may surface momentarily on the coveted Fortune 100 Best Places to Work list, Weekley is the one constant, and more often than not, in the Top 50. Here's one distinguishing factor Fortune observes this year about Weekley:
How many employers help you foot your kids’ tuition bill? Here, staffers’ children can get four-year scholarships (as much as $2,000 per child), plus the possibility of summer internships at the homebuilder. The benefits are also sweet: Employees get a generous 401(k) match of up to 8% of salary—with a profit-sharing kicker.
Home building and home builders have been getting a bad rap lately, for being hidebound by old ways of doing things, dependent on government subsidies, hard to work with, and, generally, not focused on the needs, preferences, and desires of customers. A lot of this is myth--or, as might be referred to today--fake news, but the narrative has gotten purchase in such a way as it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Home building is good companies--small, medium, and large--that add up to a good business.
Do both the business and the amalgam of thousands of companies that make up the community have to improve, both in the eyes of end-user home buyer customers and to young women and men who are in the throes of making career decisions, choices of livelihood, and self-identification around their jobs?
That's why, year-in and year-out, we should be grateful for the work David Weekley and his leadership team do to set themselves apart among all home builders, and compare themselves instead to enterprises in all sectors with the best company cultures.
By so doing, David Weekley Homes elevates home building, because the organization elevates the industry community's expectations of itself as a business sector. Home builders that compare themselves only with other home builders are at risk. Home builders that look at other organizations that are good at serving customers and hiring talent--in or out of the housing business--reduce that risk.
Too, the firm chooses a role of leadership rather than followership, as an example for every privately-held home building operator out there, giving more than lip service to its own statement of purpose: "Building Dreams, Enhancing Lives." Being willing to set the example, to raise standards, to be the one others want to emulate is a service to home building in every nook and cranny of our ecosystem.
For a little minute, David Weekley and team, it's about you.