Leading The Way: Walker & Dunlop Stands Out as Magnet for Millennials
Whether at a local or global level, NAIOP SoCal companies are leading the way, providing benefits that extend beyond four walls to improve the industry, business, workplace and community. We’ve asked a few of our member firms to share their stories.
Fortune magazine recently released its ranking of the 100 best workplaces for Millennials, and several employers in the commercial real estate sphere appear on the list, including NAIOP SoCal member and sponsor Walker & Dunlop. Paula A. Pryor, senior vice president of Human Resources for Walker & Dunlop shares more on their workplace initiatives:
Why is the millennial generation so important to attract?
With Traditionalists and more Baby Boomers preparing to retire, and Gen X comprising only a small portion of the workforce, it is critical to attract and retain Millennials and Gen Z in order to meet the staffing needs of our growing organization. Walker & Dunlop hires over 100 professionals annually with more than 30% in entry level or positions requiring three to five years of experience – the Millennial and Gen Z sweet spot. Millennials and Gen Z are a growing percentage of our customers and industry counterparts. Having a foundation of talent that understands their peers and can help us advance in this ever-changing tech-savvy society is crucial.
How does your firm recruit this generation?
Walker & Dunlop’s recruiting efforts are evolving. We have an expanded our online footprint to include numerous job boards, not just LinkedIn. We map out our college recruiting strategy each year to make sure we are building relationships and our brand at key universities. Additionally, we leverage a highly effective employee referral program. 96% of our employees are proud to work here and share that sentiment by helping us to recruit through their networks resulting in over 40% of our new hires being sourced by employee referrals. We’ve launched videos that provide insight into working at Walker & Dunlop and are developing more video content.
What other incentives/culture aspects of WD make it so popular with this group?
Our incentives include: $150/month for being healthy, flexible working arrangements, numerous opportunities for upward mobility, high potential program, management training program, weekly emails from our CEO, 4 hours of volunteer time a month, regular exposure to senior management including “executive lunches”, performance recognition through quarterly awards and spot bonuses, highly competitive pay and benefits including previous equity awards and additional 401(k) profit sharing valued at $4,500 in 2016, meaningful service awards ranging from $2,000 for 3 years of service to $25,000 for decades of service, and company team building events are just a few.
How do you think this next generation will change our industry?
Gen Z born between 2001 and 2011 comprises more than a quarter of the US population, coupled with Millennials they make up half of the US population! These two generations will transform our industry. Gen Z and Millennials have grown up with technology as an integral part of their social and educational experiences. They expect real-time access and fluid social networks to the workplace. This expectation will lead companies to leverage technology to automate work processes, making data collection and analysis seamless, in turn raising the level of performance and efficiency, all while working to change the world and give back to their communities.