Keeping pace with the housing market’s upswing requires more than a larger inventory and new technology. You’re likely to need a few more hands on deck—and not just any old pair. We asked owners and managers of leading LBM operations—many of whom spoke at this year’s ProSales 100 Conference—to describe what post-recession growth will mean for their hiring and management practices. We found they’re focusing not just on bringing in the right people but also on how they plan to mobilize the talent that’s already making sales, stocking racks, and filling orders.
Video: Hiring & Growth
Meagan McCoy Jones, Vice President of Field Support Services, McCoy’s Building Supply HQ: San Marcos, Texas 2011 Employee Count: 1,758 2011 Pro Sales: $379.5 million
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Dealers clicking back into growth mode run the risk of seeing higher turnover rates and missing the chance to develop their next generation of leaders. San Marcos, Texas-based McCoy’s aims to make sure it won’t suffer that fate.
“We recruit for store-level employees and management at local colleges,” says Meagan McCoy Jones, vice president of field support services. “We have a lot of great rural colleges where we find hardworking people. … The challenge is keeping them in McCoy’s once we’ve trained them.”
To do that, the company puts its management-track employees in a training program that will qualify them to be an assistant store manager. Trainees spend 16 weeks in the program, alternating two weeks working in a store with two weeks training at headquarters. McCoy’s runs the program three times per year, with 15 to 20 students each round.
Although the goal is for participants to work their way up to manager at one of the company’s 83 stores, Jones says many end up in other roles. “The most critical position in the company is the store manager,” she says. However, she adds, “If you want to get into management at McCoy’s, [the program] is the best way to do it.”
The program mixes outside hires—some getting their first taste of LBM—and current employees looking to increase their responsibilities. The challenge, she says, is getting younger workers turned on to the career possibilities in LBM, which, she admits “isn’t a terribly sexy industry.”
McCoy’s business may not be sexy, but it is growing. In September, the dealer opened a yard in Taylor, Texas—its first since 2007—and this summer plans to open a 46,000-square-foot retail store and drive-through lumberyard outside of San Antonio.
“We know that when we’re a growing company, we give people the most opportunity to advance,” Jones says.