Build the Bench – The Draft: Building the Team

Josh Lebar, Senior Vice President and General Counsel & Michael Gallagher, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer


build the bench

Our Head Coach, Malcolm Stewart, introduced the concept of Build the Bench in Build the Bench: Developing the Team to Win the Game.  This is our companywide initiative to cultivate the next generation of leaders at Camden and enable each of us to develop our skills and potential.  Now that our Build the Bench Task Force is in full swing, Coach Stewart has tasked us with sharing the first step: Building a Camden playbook for The Draft.

Building a winning team starts with The Draft. At Camden, we want to hire the right people, matching them to a specific position and role within their team.  With our focus on Camden’s culture, it is important we hire people who will thrive in our unique work environment and continue to build our culture. The Draft phase of our Build the Bench strategy puts a plan in place for recruiting and retaining talented team members who will make Camden successful and become the next generation of leaders.

Building the Draft Playbook: To write our playbook, we created a task force with sub-committees comprising team members in diverse locations and roles within Camden. Sub-committee members shared their best recruiting practices and ideas and determined which strategies will work best on a national level.

Implementing the Draft Playbook: We looked at our current teams and focused on positions with the highest turnover rates in an effort to re-evaluate our recruiting and onboarding processes. By identifying the gaps in careers, we can help those individuals in their efforts to achieve their career goals at Camden. Resources Camden makes available include:

  • $4,500 per year for tuition through Education Assistance
  • Peer mentoring through Camden’s Mentor Program
  • Training classes, online courses, and workshops

Implementing the playbook is where we lean heavily on our sub-committee members and the best practices they shared.  We are evaluating the best way to incorporate these ideas so Camden team members can focus on their development and growth, and hopefully, achieve the long tenure that has been so valuable to Camden.

Drafting New Players: We are developing a more comprehensive and involved recruiting playbook to get Camden’s name in front of candidates looking for meaningful careers.  College campuses are an important target market because we can target large pools of job-seekers in one place.  Involving current team members with college programs, job fairs, and career offices is critical to this effort.  Each interaction builds Camden’s employer brand and makes students more likely to consider Camden as a career option when they graduate.  We encourage our employees with ties to a particular university and who would like to engage students on behalf of Camden, to please speak with their manager and/or our Director of Recruiting to get started.

We are also conducting a deep dive into Camden’s internship program and looking at ways to improve the process from beginning to end.

  • We will more selectively target schools and focus on recruiting juniors as opposed to students who may have longer to go before graduation. We will start with the alma maters of our current employees and develop connections through alumni programs at the schools. Additionally, we will look to sponsor clubs and events having to do with real estate in an effort to create buzz and familiarity about our brand.
  • Our Playbook will dictate expectations for both the intern and Camden. We will continue to formally establish those goals before each internship begins.
  • We will evaluate each intern for a future position with Camden and make offers to qualifying students before they graduate.
  • We will look at other variables of our internship programs: Do they run for 6 weeks? 10 weeks? Is there an opportunity for our interns to get college credit? Do we expand our program to fall, winter, and spring?
  • To keep Camden’s name in front of students we identify as good hires for Camden, we will stay in touch with these students throughout the school year.

Onboarding New Teammates: As part of the recruiting process, we are also re-evaluating our onboarding process for new employees to help them feel part of the Camden team right from the start.

  • New on-site employees will spend their first day on the job at their regional office rather than their community. This will enhance the first-day experience, enable them to quickly experience Camden beyond their communities and get to know people outside of their immediate teams. Starting day one at the regional office also creates a more cohesive process for first-day paperwork and training.
  • We will appoint “cultural ambassadors” who will reach out to welcome new employees before their first day so they have another Camden connection point.

Building the Bench is about creating opportunities for Camden team members to identify their career paths and develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals. It is also about finding new talent that will contribute to Camden’s future success and add value to our current teams. Camden’s first priority is, and will always be, taking care of our team members.  Build the Bench is another way Camden enhances the team member experience.

Malcolm Stewart

Malcolm Stewart is Chief Operating Officer of Camden Property Trust and Chairman of Camden’s Investment Committee. Mr. Stewart is responsible for all property operations across the United States. He is actively engaged in community services and an active supporter of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets.

Josh LeBarJosh Lebar is Senior Vice President-General Counsel of Camden Property Trust. Josh is responsible for dotting the “I”s, crossing the “T”s, and basically keeping us in line and out of trouble. He graduated from the University of Texas where he met his wife and he enjoys trying exotic foods.

Michael GallagherMichael Gallagher is Senior Vice President-Chief Accounting Officer of Camden Property Trust. He is responsible for keeping the lights on at Camden- literally because he’s the one that pays the bills. He has both his bases covered with degrees from Texas A&M University and University of Texas at Tyler.

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