Banking & Finance

Our team of experienced banking recruiters play in this space all day.

On the JSG blog, they offer their insights into the industry, hiring, & what’s to come.


Now’s the Time for a Change in the Banking Industry


Now that the elections are done, we can get back to somewhat normalcy in our lives. Thank goodness! Those ads were getting really annoying on every radio station, billboard, and tv station constantly.

So, how is the banking industry going you ask? Great question. The recruiting in the banking/credit union space is fantastic, but not on all fronts. Overall, banks are hiring like crazy. They are expanding divisions, growing departments, and of course, replacing those that leave. Right now is the best time to be looking if you have been with your bank for some years and you are ready to grow even more in your career.

The banking industry is hot

This is fantastic for candidates that are looking to make a move before January 1st. The unemployment rate is at a 48-year low and the number of unemployed persons has declined by 449,000 workers. If you are in the banking industry, your options are abundant. But for hiring managers, this is a different story. Employers are struggling to find qualified candidates as the market gets tighter and tighter.

I wouldn’t recommend looking if you have been with your current organization for less than two years unless there are extenuating circumstances (bank changes credit box, leadership changes, bank selling, etc). 2018 was such a great year for growth. Banks are needing more people then they can find. Your skills are wanted and needed and you get to decide what you want to do.

Get the help you need before the new year

2019 will allow you to grow the way you want and put you in the place you need to be to grow into the next phase of your career. I have never been so excited about what lies ahead for the banking industry. As you are looking, answer that call from the recruiter; they might just have the opportunity that you are looking for. Reach out to me if you are looking for a change of scenery in 2019. I can help you find the next step in your career.

And if you’re a hiring manager and having a difficult time finding the candidates your organization needs, let’s have a conversation. I want to work with you to fill some of those vacant roles before the new year begins.

Banking Trends

Banking Trends Heading Into 2019

Banking Trends

With the end of the year fastly approaching, it’s hard to think that 2019 is right around the corner. Especially, because this year we’ve seen such a big growth in the banking industry. And well, in all career’s as a whole it’s been a record-breaking year. Even though it may be nerve-racking to think about next year, it looks like the trends we’re seeing now will continue.

In 2019, it looks like there are several trends financial institutions will continue to see into the new year. These are the three banking trends that are projected to grow throughout the 4th Quarter and into 2019 in the banking and financial services industry.

Customer Experience

Organizations will need to continue to keep up with the ever-changing digitization and needs by consumers. Consumers want easy access to their accounts and the flexibility to engage with the institutions when it’s convenient for them.

Consumers are geared more towards digital experiences rather than physical or in-person interactions, even when dealing with their money. Banks are closing branches at a higher rate than ever before. According to CBS, “Only 66 percent of Millennials visited a brick-and-mortar branch within the past six months, compared to 81 percent of Baby Boomers and 80 percent of Traditionalists.” To attract the younger generations, financial institutions must continue to innovate and enhance the user experience for all consumers.

Cybersecurity risks

As threats from hackers become more sophisticated, institutions will need to continue to be aware of these factors and try to anticipate the risk involved with the adaptation of new technologies. According to the Global Banking Outlook for 2018, banks and financial institutions place cybersecurity as their top priority for 2018. We anticipate this trend will continue to increase throughout 2019 as more and more banking functions digitalize.

Tight-talent market

There are more open positions than candidates on the market. Institutions will need to find new ways to attract and retain talent if they want to compete in the marketplace. According to Forbes, salary may not matter as much as employers think.

Yes, it is a big factor in whether a candidate will accept the position or not, but the culture of the company is crucial. Conveying the benefit of working for your institution and telling candidates why they should come work for you is an essential piece of attracting new candidates. No longer is it the bank picking the right candidate; in this tight job market, candidates are now picking the right institution for them.

Get the help you need

One thing that is for certain is the market is intense. And there are no indications of that changing as we get closer to entering the new year. If your banking or finance institution is struggling to attract qualified candidates to your organization, let’s have a conversation. I can help your team find the right candidates that are ready to make an immediate impact on your bottom line.

industries in review

JSG’s Industries in Review: Looking Towards 4th Quarter and Beyond

industries in review

It’s officially the 4th Quarter of the year. The labor market is as strong as it has been in almost two decades. With current projections of 3.1 percent growth for the U.S. economy for 2019, it doesn’t look like the job market will be slowing down anytime soon. We sat down with Johnson Search Group’s divisional managers to hear their thoughts on our candidate-driven market and the challenges their teams face moving into 4th Quarter and even 2019.

Mining in Review

Dana Belstler, Mining Divisional Manager

What trends do you see in the Mining industry as we approach 4th Quarter and 2019?

The mining industry is on fire. The Permian Basin is expanding faster than talent can be brought in and mining companies across the U.S. are growing. Frac sand companies are opening multiple new plants across the country. Even the gas and oil companies are getting into the frac sand business. Since October 2016, the Mining industry has added a total of 104,000 jobs; 6,000 jobs were added in the month of August alone. It’s a good time to be in mining, and I see this growth trend continuing into and throughout 2019!

What challenges is your team facing in this tight job market and how are you addressing them to help your clients find qualified candidates?

Candidates are in the driver’s seat, without a doubt. With 6.7 million job openings and only 6.3 million people to fill them, the disparity is glaring. The mining team at JSG has noticed that candidates are becoming more selective with the opportunities they will consider. They are sticking to their guns on salary requirements and many are choosing to not relocate. This is where our partnership with our clients and our understanding of who they are and their vision for the future, comes into play. We take the time to educate the candidates on the companies; My team shares the company’s vision and helps them visualize how their career could grow. We are truly matchmakers, and our goal is to make both our client’s and candidate’s happy with their mutual decisions.


Tracey Smith, Healthcare Divisional Manager

What trends do you see in the Healthcare industry as we approach 4th Quarter and 2019?

Technology is being integrated more often to meet many of the challenges faced with additional patient load and regulations; that includes addressing organizational planning, patient outcomes, and protection of health information. Technology has become a huge part of healthcare and I see it continuing to be this way. Although, this can be both good and bad and it may create unforeseen challenges when there aren’t enough people to address the need. And this is especially true when we are so reliant on technology to fill this need. One example we addressed in a recent blog discusses the human difference compared to the technology of applicant tracking systems. This illustrates how technology differs from the human touch, but it’s certainly needed because of how rapidly the Healthcare industry is growing!

What challenges is your team facing in this tight job market and how are you addressing them to help your clients find qualified candidates?

With Healthcare becoming the number one employer in the U.S., hiring managers are becoming busier than ever. Finding time for interviews is a huge challenge for many hiring managers. Which is why now is the best time to be working for a recruiting firm whose process is concise like ours. This includes us doing all the initial interviews, so we can get to the very best talent. This helps to not waste hiring managers’ valuable time, that could end up taking away from patient care.


Tracy Isakson, Banking Divisional Manager

What trends do you see in the Banking industry as we approach 4th Quarter and 2019?

All things are looking very busy. The fed rate will rise again, but the economy appears so good, it will most likely only create a small hiccup in the future. With that being said, banks and financial institutions are busier than ever. We will also see more mergers and acquisitions activity as institutions are looking for strategic growth.

What challenges is your team facing in this tight job market and how are you addressing them to help your clients find qualified candidates?

We are seeing candidates who are ready to make a move today. When a candidate is ready to find a new career opportunity, they are getting in contact with three, four, or even five institutions that are all wanting to hire them. Some banks are not making hiring a priority which is causing them to lose great talent. When they take weeks to ask great candidates for an interview they are leaving the door open for another institution to move in on the candidate. This creates a problem for banks who need to fill their critical roles quickly because they lose out on great candidates to the competition. It’s essential that financial institutions are moving quickly in this tight job market.

Let’s work together

4th Quarter is among us, and many organizations are looking to add talented candidates to their teams. If you are struggling to fill open positions in this tight market, you’re not alone. Reach out to us and let’s have a conversation. We can help you find the talent your organization needs as we quickly approach the new year.

job market

How to Capture Talent in The Commercial Lending & SBA Space

job market

The recruiting market in the Commercial Lending/SBA space is on fire. Banks are desperately scrambling to capitalize on the small business growth in the market. Every bank and credit union today is looking for growth in this space. If you want to capture top talent for your financial institution, you must be willing to be flexible with your hiring process and budget.

Have an efficient hiring process

Make sure you are prepared to interview and hire that talent in very little time. With the job market so hot, the “A-players” are off the market in as little as five days. For example, I recently placed a $20 million SBA BDO candidate to a bank and they went through the interviewing process and hiring process all within four days.

My client knew that if they didn’t move quickly, they would have to compete with other institutions, and as a result, could be faced with a bidding war. And when that happens, the candidate often decides to not accept the offer. In other words, you have to be confident in the criteria you are looking for in a candidate.

You have to pay to play

Talent today costs money, and sometimes BIG money. Candidates that are producing big results and really moving the bottom line are being highly compensated. That means you need to be ready to fork over the top end of your salary range, and sometimes, even expanding that range. Because of our candidate-driven market, banks and credit unions are going to have critical job openings open longer if they aren’t willing to make some adjustments. As a result, traditional recruiting methods aren’t as effective. To keep the top talent interested, you have to be willing to pay them well.

We work with our clients to help them move that needle as needed. However, with a top-tier recruiter, they can still find those hidden gems. The best candidates are becoming harder to find, but they are not completely out of reach. Pay for performance is a trend we are seeing more and more, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

To hire (and retain) the talent your organization so gravely needs, it may be time to work with a professional. The best candidates are the ones that are not even on the market. If you want the best candidates that are ready to make an impact on your company, it may be time to partner with a recruiter that specializes in your field.

Let’s work together

digital age

How the Digital Age is Influencing Financial Institutions

digital age

In the world of IT, data security is a big deal. What is interesting is that according to a recent article in Forbes, financial institutions have established a comfort level with customers, more so than many other industries. Of course, we have been sharing sensitive information with our bank since we opened our first savings account.

However, we are starting to understand the value of our information and asking for more benefits in relation to the data we share. Better interest rates, a wider range of loan offers, even simple recognition demands are expected.

The Digital Age is demanding more integration

Millennials are considered more “tech-savvy” and growing up in the Digital Age is encouraging them to demand more innovative financial services. They want more convenience; they want more integration and features from their phones, or any device, that they carry.

However, it isn’t as simple as you may imagine. The younger generation wants to know that their data is safe, and when there is a problem, they want someone in-person to fix it and fix it now. Mobile features are important, but customers of all ages and demographics still want human interaction.

For example, a bank may offer multiple products and services, depending on the type and size of a business. Consumers are capable of searching a website or mobile app to access these offerings; however, this will never replace the human touch that builds trust and security. Technology is wonderful with training and complicated plumbing without. The physical banking branches thrive in a high tech and high touch environment.

How data is shaping financial institutions

The ability of consumers to trust their bank with personal data protection is what drives loyalty in the financial industry. Security, responsive service, and easy access to the branch (and its features) are important to every generation. In fact, according to the 2018 Cybersecurity Market Report, banks are doubling their spending budgets to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. And a lot of this budget is going towards fintech candidates.

Sharing data benefits consumers, but we must remember that it also can leave us vulnerable if not properly protected. Banks continue to grapple with these challenges and look to solve these issues by better understanding the data we share. This creates opportunities and new jobs in many areas that keep expanding as fast as technology itself. There’s a huge shortage of manpower with a lack of people with the necessary skillsets. This is changing the recruitment process of financial institutions, forcing them to rely on recruitment headhunting to find the talent needed to improve integration and ensure consumer data protection.

Three Must-Have Skills Necessary to be Successful in the IT Field

The IT industry is continuously evolving, especially within the banking and financial services industry. IT and Banking are both heavily influenced by the economy and today’s younger generation. The demand for instant results and greater access to banking at consumers’ fingertips is in high demand.

These are the skill-sets necessary to have a successful career in the IT world within the financial services industry.

Flexibility and adaptability

This is a crucial part of the IT industry. Since the digital age is upon us, IT professionals need to be able to adapt quickly to changes and have the vision for what the future looks like. Since consumers are driving the change. According to, “72% of Millennial consumers are optimistic about tech advancements in banking, saying they will positively impact their relationships with banks by 2020.”

Young adults’ demand for more technological integration into the banking and financial landscape, since it is constantly changing the IT environment. If you are not flexible and ready for change, you will be left in the dust.

Deliver multi-channel integration

Gone are the days where customers are forced to use multiple channels to complete any transaction with their bank. Year’s ago if a consumer needed to make a deposit, they would have to visit a branch or drive to an ATM. And if they wanted to check their balance they would have to call customer service. However, nowadays institutions are making it easier for consumers to complete most transactions online or within the branch, AKA establishing a multi-channel integration.

User experience is very heavily weighted on the accommodation and accessibility of the banking institution. Having multi-channel integration is a cost-effective way for banks to allow the necessary accessibility for its consumers. If IT professionals are unable to offer new interactions for consumers, they will leave for another bank, that makes their lives more convenient.


PMP- Project Management Professional

This certification is transferable across all industries. In a recent survey, the PMP certification was regarded as the highest paying certification. Recipients make on average of 15% more than someone without their PMP.

CISSP- Certified Information Systems Security Professional

This certification is listed as the third highest paying certifications in IT. Security and risk management are one of the biggest threats to banks these days. Organizations want to hire IT personnel that will help ensure the safety and protection of consumer’s information.

CISA- Certified Information Systems Auditor

The average salary for CISA holders is $106k. The CISA certification is often mandatory in the IT sector; hiring managers are interested in candidates that can assess and prevent potential risks.  With recent data breaches in organizations across the board, hiring managers want to ensure their IT candidates have their privacy protection in their best interest.

As IT professions grow in all fields, especially banking and financial services, it’s important to remember how impactful these jobs are. These positions are changing the job landscape because of our reliance on computers and technology. If IT is something you’re passionate about, there are tons of different opportunities for you. Specifically, with the banking and financial services field.

coolest banking facts

The Coolest Banking Facts

coolest banking facts

Banks and financial institutions have been around for centuries. Every bank offers the same essential services, however, not every bank is exactly the same. Some offer their clients unique features while others are rich in history. Here are some of the coolest banking facts from across the world.

Coolest banking facts:

  • The banking institution with the most branches is Agriculture Bank of China. This bank is the largest financial institution in the world with a total of 441,144 employees and over 24,000 branches. Agriculture Bank of Chines is headquartered in Beijing and was founded in 1951.
  • The largest fine/settlement by a bank in the U.S. was a whopping $16.65 billion from Bank of America. This was the largest settlement in U.S. history between the U.S. government and a corporation. The settlement is derived from the housing crisis where mortgage-backed securities were not as financially sound as investors led to believe. This dwarfs the few fines Wells Fargo has received in recent years.
  • The oldest bank in the world is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) in Italy. BMPS was founded in 1472. That’s 546 years old! BMPS is actually Italy’s second fourth largest commercial and retail bank with over 2,000 branches.
  • The oldest bank in the United States is Bank of New York-Mellon (BNY). BNY was founded on June 9, 1774, by our former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. This makes the bank 244 years old! The BNY actually provided the U.S. government with its first loan in 1789 and was the first company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The most thrill-seeking banking branch is the ‘Skyslide’ attached to the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles. The tower is the tallest skyscraper west of Chicago and is a staggering 1,018 feet tall. The building has a 45-foot long glass slide from the 70th to the 69th floor that is on the OUTSIDE of the building. Can you image sliding down a glass slide over 1,000 feet above downtown LA?
  • In 2008, Washington Mutual (WAMU) became the largest bank to go under, as it succumbed to a severe financial crisis. after the FDIC seized WAMU assets, it settled a deal with JPMorgan to acquire the bank for a measly $1.9 billion. When it went under, WAMU had assets totaling $307 billion and deposits of $188 billion.
  • The only state-owned bank in the U.S. is the Bank of North Dakota (BND). BND is based in Bismarck, North Dakota. The bank was founded in 1919 and has assets totaling $7.3 billion.
  • The only bank with a direct phone line to the CEO at every branch is Umpqua Bank. Umpqua touts itself as “the world’s greatest bank” and believes it’s essential that each branch has a direct line to the CEO to build trust.

Banks are one of the true mainstays of our society. What are some of the cool features you’ve seen banks do to stand out from the crowd?

Dodd-Frank Repeal

Congress Repeals Dodd-Frank Banking Rule

Dodd-Frank Repeal

A decade after the financial crisis dragged the United States into a recession, The House of Representatives just passed a bill that significantly changes aspects of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The Dodd-Frank bill was introduced after risky decisions and loose lending by financial institutions resulted in the financial crisis of 2007-2008. This crisis ultimately led to the country’s worst recession since the Great Depression. The bill was designed to restore control and tighten regulations an avoid the country from having to experience another economic meltdown that forced banks into bankruptcy, homeowners to foreclosure on their home, and markets to collapse.

What the repeal of Dodd-Frank means to the banking industry

The repeal of Dodd-Frank frees up thousands of small and medium-sized banks from the harsh regulations that were supposed to prevent another financial crisis. According to the New York Times, the legislation will “leave fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to stricter federal oversight, freeing thousands of banks with less than $250 billion in assets from a post-crisis crackdown that they have long complained is too onerous.”

This new bill also rolls back two crucial rules implemented by Dodd-Frank:

  • Mid-sized banks will no longer be in the category of “too big to fail.” By increasing the threshold at which banks must comply with certain regulations, from $50 billion to $250 billion. Thus, banks of this size will now face lower levels of scrutiny over their preparedness for another financial downturn.
  • Banks with less than $10 billion in assets are now able to engage in proprietary trading. In other words, smaller banks can now trade with the bank’s own money instead of just with consumer deposits.

Who does this benefit?

By repealing Dodd-Frank, smaller businesses will have better access to loans; smaller banks make two-thirds of the country’s small business loans. This will ultimately lead to more jobs being created not only in the banking and finance sector but also in many small businesses across the nation.

Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo stated, “this step toward right-sizing regulation will allow local banks and credit unions to focus more on lending, in turn propelling economic growth and creating jobs on Main Street and in our communities.”

First Tech Credit Union

The Coolest Banking Centers Around The World

The Banking Industry has been making waves in the digital world. This shift in focus and new target market has given them the opportunity to transform their banking centers into digital-friendly hubs that appeal to technology-dependent customers. These customers want flexibility, fast service, and innovative ways of working and digital friendly spaces.

Here are some of the coolest banking centers in the world.

Standard Bank- South Africa

coolest banking centers

Source: BusinessTech

This institution created the “Playroom” in hopes that this hub will allow them to get a better sense of data and market testing strategy. The Playroom is basically a lab to research and test in a controlled environment before releasing new solutions into the market. The Mastermind behind this project is Vuyo Mpako, head of innovation and channel design at Standard Bank. “The centre will be at the forefront of solutions testing to make the customers’ banking experience simpler and more seamless. The ultimate aim will be enabling convenient, 24-hour banking from any location.”

Macquarie’s – Australia

This investment bank headquarters in Australia aims to enhance a more collaborative and creative approach amongst its employees. This building includes a library, a dining room, individual pods for workers, plazas, and even a tree house! It’s a 330,000 square foot building that the bank has dubbed as a “workplace of the future.”

In fact, employees don’t have designated workstations or cubicles. Rather they’re given an “anchor point” — their designated “home base” with a locker and storage. This allows employees to choose how and where they work every single day!

C1 Bank- South Florida

The bank designed the branch to show off the art and design galleries around it. Instead of the standard desks that most banks have, this location offers ‘pods’ that are similar to restaurant booths with round tables. Each pod has a unique design and instead of using computers, the bankers use iPads.

After hours, the inside of the branch glows in neon green, which makes the building stand out in the evening! C1 Bank is currently developing three more branches in South Florida and each are expected to continue with this unique design.

First Tech Federal Credit Union- Bellevue

Instead of traditional desks, First Tech Federal Credit Union has comfortability in mind. This allows bankers and customers the flexibility to sit on the couch and talk about transactions. This allows the credit union to be more consultative with a ‘Central Relationship Center.’ There are also private member suites for more complex, private conversations. The financial representatives are able to facilitate this more casual setting with their mobile technology right at hand.

“To be a true partner, we believe we must transform from a servicing environment into a stronger consultative environment where we’re collaborating with our members, determining their needs and recommending solutions that help them move forward financially.” Noted Stephen Owen who is First Tech’s Chief Retail and Marketing Officer.

Umpqua Bank- Portland

Umpqua Bank

Source: Medium

For starters, each Umpqua branch offers a phone that dials directly to the CEO, Ray Davis. Each branch offers two conference rooms, available to reserve to the public free of charge. Rather than aggressively trying to sell their products, Umpqua tries to create an environment that people would like to go and visit. Tellers hand out chocolate to customers whenever they make an account withdrawal. Financial reps are equipped with iPads, outdoor seating, loaner bikes, and interactive touch screens.

A new age in banking

The banking industry seems to be in the midst of a digital shift. As the years go on, we are going to see major changes in how banks and financial institutions are going to shift their focus and make it easier for their customers to interact with one another and the way they bank.

Are Banking Careers Actually Over?

The times are changing, and so too is the way we use certain services. For example, malls are seeing far less traffic than ever due to an increasing number of online retailers. Why waste gas and time heading to a few different shops when you can get the same thing over the computer? The world is changing.

The same can be said in the banking industry. From personal to investment banking, online applications and websites now make it easier than ever to bank from the comfort of your own home.

With all of the advancements in technology, the future of banking careers is being put into question – and probably for good reason. We’re here to give you both sides of the argument, as well as our expert advice so that you know what to expect for the future of the banking industry.

Some say they are over

And maybe they’re right. After all, research shows that traffic in bank branches will decrease 36% between 2017 and 2022. That’s an average of 6% per year, which is a significant decrease that will no doubt be noticed by branch managers. It could be possible that the decrease in customers will lead to a decreased demand for bankers, thus minimizing careers.

There’s also the fact that many banking jobs require less-skilled workers, which is why automation is inevitable. Many experts say that there are too many steps in the chain, deeming some jobs unnecessary. Instead of a diverse branch full of experts in different banking sectors, the future of bank branches, according to some, might see only a handful of experts who are technologically skilled.

Some say they aren’t over

And there’s a great chance that they’re right. After all, banks are one of the most important institutions in the world. It would make sense that jobs within these established institutions aren’t going anywhere. From tellers to loan officers to regulators, there are quite a few banking careers that can’t be automated.

Even with automation, many experts think jobs will only increase, despite the inevitable decrease in branch traffic. Banks can afford to bring on technologically-savvy employees to improve their applications and automation process, all while keeping those employees who butter their bread working in the branch.

Here’s what we say

I talked to the recruiters on our banking team, and they believe that the future of banking will continue to produce great careers.

Krista, who recruits in the Western Washington region, stated that “people trust people more than they trust automation.” When things go array, or when an important decision needs to be made, customers want to talk in-person. They don’t want to talk to a machine or find the answers online. When it comes to their money, people want to trust their information.

Mike, who recruits in Texas, also believes that banking careers will advance. He stated, “Whenever there’s change there’s always growth.” Regardless of automation, change will bring growth and new opportunity for a successful career in the banking industry.

Tracy, a recruiter in California, believes the same thing that Krista does. “People like to deal with people. Sure, there might be situations where automation is necessary. However, when it comes to trusting a bank with millions of dollars, you’re going to want to look someone in the eye and know your money is safe with them.” Automation may help, but people matter more.

With so many factors playing into the future on banking jobs, we can’t fully predict what will happen. What we can predict, however, is that when it comes to trust, human interaction is much more valuable than technology. Until that changes, banking careers should continue to be successful.