Top Workplaces Case Study:
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation Leverages Top Workplaces to Win “War for Talent”

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is a top-five nationwide mortgage lender offering an array of innovative products that help make homeownership more affordable.
With headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, and Carrollton, Texas, the company has more than 500 branches and 10,000 employees nationwide.

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Madison, WI and Carrollton, TX
Mortgage Lender
Large Business (>999 employees)

Stand out among peers competing for talent during a period of intense industry growth.

Leverage Energage Top Workplaces awards to build a brand for employee recruitment and retention.

Prospective employees came to the company looking for opportunities, streamlining recruitment.

Leveraging culture to recruit and retain employees

When COVID-19 hit, few could predict that the demand for mortgages would skyrocket as remote workers looked for new homes. Fairway’s loan volume grew more than 62 percent in 2020, which made employee recruitment and retention a priority.

“Our surveys comprise the entire employee lifecycle, so we understand why employees join the company, why they stay and why they leave. One reason we have such a great culture is because we always ask.”

“We have historically been a company that operates under the radar,” said Julie Fry, Chief HR Officer at Fairway. “In 2020, there was a deep war for talent, so we leveraged our strong company culture and values to recruit quality candidates and retain our employees.”

Key to this effort was participation in Top Workplaces. The company won the 2021 Top Workplaces USA award, and has received top regional honors in more than a dozen markets across the country since 2017. In addition to being named a Top Workplace in the financial services industry category, Fairway also received Top Workplaces awards in numerous Culture Excellence categories in 2021: Appreciation, Clued-in Leaders, Communication, Compensation, Direction, Employee Value Prop, Empowering Employees, Formal Training, Innovation, Top Leaders, Top Managers, Work-Life Flexibility, and Values.

Fry’s team was able to parlay these awards to build their brand on social media and recruitment websites. “There was a direct correlation between our Top Workplaces awards and employee recruitment and retention,” said Fry. “People started reaching out when they heard we are a Top Workplace, and now we have a lot of candidates knocking on our door.”

Creating amazing experiences

The Top Workplaces awards are a natural fit with the company’s focus on faith, family, and work (in that order), and their #4 core value: to create amazing experiences.

“This core value applies to both our customers and our employees,” said Fry. “Our HR customers are our employees, and in order to create amazing experiences for them, we need to hear what we’re doing right, what they value, and how we can improve the experience.”

To keep tabs on employee engagement, Fairway participates in Top Workplaces and conducts a number of their own surveys, including onboarding surveys at 30, 60, and 90 days, employee pulse surveys, and exit interviews.

“Because we are in a fast-paced industry, there’s a lot of pressure on our employees. As a result, we constantly stress the importance of treating each other with respect and kindness,” said Fry. To demonstrate its care of employees during the pandemic, each employee who had been with the company at least a year received their choice of exercise equipment to keep healthy at home.

To learn more about Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, visit their Top Workplaces profile here.

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