For pro dealers, recruiting and hiring motivated, dedicated employees continues to throw a wrench into what otherwise has been an economically prosperous decade of record-breaking construction activity, one characterized by the emergence of new value-added sales channels and business expansion. Even San Diego–based Dixieline Lumber and Brazil, Ind.–based Timberland Lumber Co., co-winners of the 2004 National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association's (NLBMDA) Excellence in Human Resources Award, admit that finding qualified job candidates continues to be their No. 1 business challenge; however, it's one that they've successfully tackled head-on with innovative human resources programs focused on growth and leadership.
“Our business especially depends on the coordination of people,” says Timberland vice president of human resources Kim Emmert O'Dell. “If people gel together, they are going to be able to work and be more productive and efficient in the long run, but we still have huge challenges to getting talented people in the door.” Dixieline vice president of human resources Steve Solomon agrees. “If you are looking for someone with experience, for the most part they are already working [at another yard],” Solomon says, “particularly when the industry is growing and booming.”
Selected from dozens of applicants by a panel spearheaded by NLBMDA manager of member programs Pat Skinner and comprised of key members from the NLBMDA Subcommittee on Human Resources, Dixieline, the winner in the more than 50 employees category, and Timberland, the fewer than 50 employee honoree, both have created company cultures geared toward acknowledging and leveraging the talents of the employees they already have, and emphasizing career track possibilities and employee professional growth during interviews, at the time of hire, and throughout the year. As a result, Dixieline and Timberland have raised the human resources bar by evolving from employers of convenience in the communities they serve to employers of choice.
Team Builders Special Report
- Team Builders: Introduction
- Team Builders: Growth Opportunities - Dixieline Lumber
- Team Builders: No Holding Back - Timberland Lumber Co.