In this edition of The Hiring Squad, Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates, a leading national real estate recruiting firm, connects with Brooke Birtcher Gustafson, managing director and co-owner of Birtcher Development LLC, one of the preeminent industrial real estate developers nationwide spanning five generations of family ownership. They discuss the company’s milestone-rich entrepreneurial path, as well as the importance of thoughtful recruiting to support strategic growth and change.
Birtcher Development recently announced the launch of the next iteration of its 78-year-old family-owned company, which celebrates Brooke Birtcher Gustafson at the helm of the fifth generation and future of the company.
Kent Elliott (KE): What does Southern California’s booming industrial market mean for hiring?
Brooker Birtcher Gustafson (BBG): Demand for logistics warehousing and industrial product in Southern California continues to remain strong, driving both domestic and international investment in speculative development and acquisition, especially within LA’s infill markets and the Inland Empire West. This continued growth is great to see and will require us to continue to build our team, which from a hiring standpoint, is proving to be tough. Employees who work at companies doing especially well aren’t as eager to make career moves, as their personal and professional career growth goals and opportunities are currently being satisfied. Recruiters must be prepared to outline strong growth opportunities when approaching talent. The candidates that are most likely to make a move are those that are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and express a desire to have a hand in shaping a company.
KE: What does entrepreneurship mean to Birtcher?
BBG: Since its inception in 1939, Birtcher’s business plan has evolved because of its leadership; who have been willing to take calculated risks in product design and in competitive markets. For Birtcher, entrepreneurship means maintaining the vision and desire to continually reinvent oneself in order to remain relevant in our real estate sector. Over the decades and through more than a dozen economic cycles, Birtcher has put a great deal of energy towards hiring candidates and building a team mutually aligned in this vision, while drawing on our collective rich history and success. RETS Associates, a leader in national real estate recruiting, has played an instrumental role in building Birtcher’s team over the years as they have a keen understanding of our core values and long-term vision for the company.
KE: How do you overcome hiring issues in light of the thriving market?
BBG: In a robust real estate market, candidates who are currently employed might be more reluctant to make a move, so we have had to rely on the expertise of RETS to help us identify and secure those ideal candidates who have the mindset and desire to become part of our now five generation development legacy. RETS has done a fantastic job of identifying and providing all-star candidates who demonstrate the same entrepreneurial spirit that has served to shape Birtcher’s history and the desire to drive its future success.