Mining & Heavy Industrial

Our team of experienced mining & heavy industrial recruiters play in this space all day.

Looking for industry on the industry, hiring, & what’s to come? Check back often for posts from our experts!

coal mines

Five Fascinating Mines from Across the World (Part 3)

I am pleased to bring you the next edition of my Five Fascinating Mines from Across the World blog series. As always, I’ll be sharing pictures and interesting facts about the mining industry. For the first time viewer, I am an executive recruiter in the mining industry. I get to spend my days working with my clients discussing their staffing needs and filling those roles with the most qualified candidates on the market.

Since we’re getting into the holiday season, I want to mention how thankful I am to have this opportunity to help change lives in the most fascinating industry out there. So, if your company is having a hard time hiring in this tight talent market, please reach out to me so we can discuss how we can work together to effect change on your organization or personal career path… Enough of the sales pitch, let’s get to the good stuff!

Rio Tinto’s US Borax Operation – Boron, California

US Borax Operation in Boron CA

Source: Rio Tinto

Individual Americans use an average of 40,000 pounds of minerals each year. That’s right 40,000 pounds! From vitamins to salt, to laundry detergent you are using mined minerals daily!

Bailey Mine Complex – Pennsylvania

Bailey Coal Mine Complex

Source: Wikipedia

The Bailey Coal Mine Complex is a group of three coal mines in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Together, they make up the largest underground mine complex in North America. In 2013, the Complex contributed nearly 20 million tons of coal.

As a matter of fact, in 2016, coal producers paid $39 million in federal coal royalties. Granted, half of these royalties were used to fund public schools.

Mponeng Gold Mine – Johannesburg, South Africa

Source: Volvo Construction Equipment

The Mponeng Gold Mine in Johannesburg, South Africa is the world’s deepest mine, reaching a depth over 4km (13,123.4ft).

Soquimich Mine – Chile

Soquimich Mine - Chile

Source: Research Tree

Did you know that lithium was once a key ingredient in the soda 7 Up!? From 1940-1950, Lithium was in 7 UP, and  Cadbury Beverages Corporation even touted the positive health effects of lithium in their soda! For example, the image above from Soquimich Mine in Chile illustrates brine deposits containing lithium.

Brine deposits are essentially underground reservoirs that contain high concentrations of dissolved salts, such as lithium. Not to mention, dry lakebeds create it!

Graymont Minerals – Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania

Graymont Minerals Pleasant Gap

Source: Graymont

This one is for my aggregates clients! 85,000 tons of aggregates are needed to construct just one mile of interstate highway.

I tried to cover a little bit of everything on this one. From minerals, coal, and even gold, I really hope you enjoyed these interesting facts and breathtaking images. In addition, if you haven’t checked out the first or second edition of the Five Fascinating Mines from Across the World, you won’t want to miss them!


The ABCs of Mining


Like in any industry, those in mining speak their own language. From the technical vocabulary to the slang, those not playing in “mining sandbox” need a dictionary to decipher what’s being said. Here are some fun, cool, and informative terms for you to ruminate on.

Interesting mining terms

  • Miners, in the early days, were known as “underground savages.”
  • A “windy shot” (no, it’s not what you are thinking…) was termed to explain when an explosion failed to break the coal.
  • When we hear the word “conglomerate,” the first thing most people think of is a too-big-to-fail corporation. In mining, it means a coarse-grained sedimentary rock composed of rounded fragments greater than 2mm, within a matrix of finer-grained material.
  • “Horse” refers to a mass of rock matter that occurs in or between the branches of a vein.
  • A “Bump” is a violent dislocation of the mine workings due to the severe stresses in the rock surrounding the workings.
  • What would we do without technology? Back in the day, “Muck” meant working by hand, with a shovel. Fast forward to present day, and operators who use “Muckers” are a hot commodity!
  • Back in the day, a “Nipper” was an errand boy who ran errands for miners. I think we call them “Interns” now…
  • “Slag” (my favorite term) is the waste left as a residue by the smelting of metallic ore.
  • “Diffusion,” not to confuse with “infusion” for you “foodies’ out there, is the blending of a gas and air, resulting in a homogeneous mixture; or, the blending of two or more gases.
  • Speaking of gases, does anyone out there know what a “Little Red Wagon” was? It was the nickname given to traveling toilets back in the day!

The mining industry is one of a kind

Mining has been a very important part of our history for many centuries and is a lifestyle for many. I have a passion for the industry, and hearing stories from the mining professionals I speak with on a daily basis and seeing the old photos they share on social media makes me so incredibly honored and happy to be a part of the industry.  There is only one legitimate mining industry, and those who work in it are the only true legitimate mining professionals.


Let’s Put an Even Bigger Emphasis on Safety This Winter


Winter won’t officially begin until December 21st. However, it’s already that time of the year when mining and heavy industrial professionals need vigilantly follow ALL safety practices with the goal to make it through the most hazardous time of the year accident-free.

Below are a handful of helpful reminders to help you get through the season safely:

Preventive Maintenance on Mobile Equipment

Make sure you have proper tires and tire pressure, reduce idling time, and regularly monitor for exhaust leaks. Never use an open flame to heat components and make sure only trained staff members are operating the equipment.

Limited Visibility

There are many factors that can decrease visibility. Fog, dust, smoke, and snow being the big contributors. Make sure to keep speeds down and allow more space between vehicles to give you more time to react to unforeseen hazards in your path.

Methane Gas Buildup in Underground Mines

Methane gas moves more easily throughout the mine due to the lower winter barometric pressure. Coal dust in the atmosphere mixed with the methane gas can cause an explosion. Make sure you know your ventilation plan, maintain it diligently, and liberally apply rock dust.

Slippery Walkways and Haulage Roads

Remove snow/ice and apply sand to maintain traction and reduce the chance of slips and falls. Be sure to take your time when walking or traveling on slippery surfaces.

Safe work is Great Work

At JSG, our safety slogan is “Safe Work is Great Work.” And as a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial space, I understand the importance of safety for every organization. However, many safety hazards, especially the ones highlighted above, are even more dangerous this time of year. If you are unsure about any additional winter season safety practices at your facility, please see your safety officer immediately and be safe. Have a safe holiday season!

Bakken Formation

The Resurgence of the Bakken Oil Formation

Bakken Formation

The Bakken Oil Formation has a history as rich as the oil it produces. The Bakken’s production took a hit in 2006 with barrel prices taking a hit. However, with new efficiencies and the comeback of U.S. produced oil, the Bakken is gearing up for a comeback. In 2018, 1.3 billion barrels are produced each day. And the Bakken Formation has enough fuel to produce upwards of 2 billion barrels per day in the near future.

The history of the Bakken Formation

The Bakken Formation has been producing oil since 1953, making it one of the largest U.S. oil producers. In 1995, geologist Dick Friendly realized the Middle member of the Bakken Formation was a better target for oil extraction. Through a groundbreaking discovery, Friendly determined that although there was less oil to extract, the Middle member was able to maintain open fractures more than both the upper and lower parts of the Bakken.

Additionally, horizontal drilling was much easier and made for great oil recovery. Through this technique, the Elm Coulee Oil Field in Montana was formed. In 2000, the Elm Coulee Oil field produced a total of 270 million barrels. By 2007, it was producing 53,000 barrels of oil per day, which was more than the rest of Montana just a couple years prior.

The oil surge in Bakken

In 2006, an interest sparked in the East Side Trap when EOG Resources when a single well drilled into an oil-rich layer near Parshall, ND, anticipating the production of 700,000 barrels of oil.  In 2007, the combination of this discovery and a huge tax break started the oil rush in North Dakota. The number of wells drilled in jumped from 300 in 2006 to 457 in 2007! The future of the Bakken formation was uncertain until 2009 when Brigham Oil & Gas achieved great success with large Hydraulic Fracing treatments with more than 25 stages.

With such a successful discovery, you may be wondering how this has impacted the state of North Dakota? The oil boom gave those who own mineral rights a large new source of income. The boom has reduced unemployment and gave the state of North Dakota a billion-dollar budget surplus!

The Bakken Formation has seen another surge thanks to dramatic improvements in drilling returns due to efficiency and productivity gains. The price of a barrel of oil will always determine what goes on in any of the oil basins, but at this rate, the Bakken Formation isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions: How They Impact Headcount

mergers and acquisitions

Business is good for many companies today and venture capital has hit record highs this year. The number of new facilities opening and the growth of existing operations has certainly led to more mergers and acquisitions.

This is a common occurrence. And in my experience, it has become more common as of late. I see more senior leaders who are focusing on integration and corporate structures, with many employees concerned about redundancy eliminating their job. A large percentage of candidates in my network have come to market after an acquisition. Others have found themselves on the market with even just whispers of a sale.

No one can say that their fears are not justified. Many of these positions will end up nonexistent anyway. So wouldn’t you rather take the opportunity in front of you, with an outlined structure, then wonder what today or a few tomorrows’ from now might bring?

As a company, I think that an emphasis on contributing and key positions approached with solid communication has a certain value on retention. Hearing you’re the only person who can perform your job regionally in either company from your boss has a definite calmness implied.

Continuing to recruit on important positions is essential; during a merger or acquisition, it’s nearly impossible to tell whose foot is halfway out the door. With the challenges and timelines surrounding today’s labor market, the fear of adding some red ink during a business deal could result in trying to fill two critical positions rather than one.

Find yourself in the middle of a merger or acquisition?

If you’re inclined to leave, the market is favorable for skilled employees. In fact, a transfer is actually likely to improve your own bottom line. Companies are adding more details to sign on and retention packages these days.

Certain you’re staying? Save yourself a potential headache down the road. You aren’t planning to stop working until the deal is done. Holding on hiring could be in essence resulting in the same outcome. With a vacant position, there is work not being done. Delaying that in the middle of a high turnover period could result in massive cost and production impact. And that’s not even incorporating the additional strain to the understaffed department.

After all, we’re just talking about communicating with the employees you hope to keep and continue to interview for open positions. If you are still swamped with your workload, new training, and interested in a hire, it may be time to partner with a recruiter who is solely focused on filling your positions.

future of mining

The Future of Mining: 4th Quarter and Beyond

future of mining

It’s been quite an exciting year so far in the mining industry. We have seen West Texas and the Permian Basin blow up as prime real estate for Frac companies. We’ve seen mines and mills reopen across the country and a documented 55,000 new jobs created this year alone in the mining industry.

Recruiting in mining and heavy industrial gives me a unique perspective on things. While I’m not in a mine every day like some of my candidates, I get to experience industry trends. I hear first-hand from candidates and hiring managers on their wants, needs, and changes within their organization.

The future of mining

The most significant trend I’ve noticed throughout the year is the growing number of mining jobs. With more mining jobs being created, the talent market begins to tighten. And companies that aren’t preparing to follow this trend are finding it harder and harder to attract top talent. I have witnessed first-hand candidates receiving significantly higher salaries for the same positions than previous years.

Progressive companies are landing candidates by noticing these trends and going after the candidates they desperately need. I have also seen companies take months to extend offers to candidates, and as a result, they seem to be consistently losing out on the best candidates on the market.

This year has flown by, but it’s not too late for companies to adapt to fast-pace hiring. In fact, during the Fourth Quarter, this is an ideal time for organizations to change hiring processes to match the competing companies and start preparing for 2019. The mining industry added over 106,000 jobs since October 2016, and by the looks of things, it doesn’t appear mining and heavy industrial companies will be slowing down anytime soon. As I wrap up a few continuous improvement engineering positions, I can’t help but urge employers to reduce downtime in their hiring process in an effort to boost their overall production.

If your organization needs help finding talent in this tight market, let’s have a conversation. I can help your team find the qualified candidate you need to finish the year off strong.

Underqualified Candidates

Take A Look Around At Your Next Company Meeting

Underqualified Candidates

As we approach 4th Quarter, the job market is on fire and has no signs of slowing down. The mining industry alone has seen a 10.9 percent hiring growth year-over-year. To sustain this, many organizations are having to look at candidates with little or no experience to fill some of their vacant positions.

And think about these stats:

  • 28% of workers could be leaving their jobs by the end of the year.
  • 87% of companies are hiring candidates with little or no experience.

Try to visualize it. Check off every fourth person in your office. They’ll be gone by the end of the year.

Now think of the extreme risks hiring an unqualified or underqualified candidate to replace them will put on your organization. With that being said, I know there’s a case to be made for hiring underqualified applicants. However, there are many roles and responsibilities in the mining and heavy industrial world that are so critical that they cannot be filled by somebody lacking the necessary skills. In fact, you can argue that underqualified candidates are unqualified because of what’s at stake.

As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t have to worry if the platform you’re standing on is secure. You should be confident that the electrical system is grounded correctly. Your employees should expect the underground ventilation system to pump air. You should be able to trust that your personal information is secure, and your check is going to be in the bank by Friday. Not to mention, by hiring an underqualified candidate, especially in the mining and heavy industrial industry, you could be putting lives at risk.

Don’t settle for less

Nevertheless, employees are going to leave. That’s the nature of the beast… Especially, in this tight talent-driven market. But you don’t have to compromise your standards when trying to fill the void, trust me on that. We have long-standing relationships with our customers because of our ability to deliver highly successful outcomes. As well as, actually raise the bar when an employee decides to leave a company.

If you’re worrying about pending retirements or are anticipating resignations, connect with me and I’ll be happy to help you raise the bar. Your company needs to be stable no matter the current market, and I can help you achieve that.

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.


The Construction Industry is Building Up and Creating Fierce Competition


It’s no secret, the labor market is incredibly tight, with some of the smallest candidate pools we’ve seen in decades. We’re talking about a time span larger than a majority of the United States current workforce’s age. And of course, it’s all over the news. If you’ve been in an understaffed department or involved in the hiring process, you’ve no doubt felt this first-hand. As a matter of fact, the unemployment market just reached a 49-year low. And in my experience, the construction industry has had an even tighter pool for top talent.

Construction keeps building stronger

I work in the Heavy Industrial, Oil and Gas, and Mining industries. And expansions, new sites, large civil and commercial projects are vying for some of the same talents. The mines and quarries that produce the stone or steel are adding construction projects, creating a self-feeding cycle of shrinking candidate pools. This carries into hospitals, financial institutions, and so on. Competition is fierce.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in construction continued to trend up in August 2018 with the addition of over 23,000 jobs. Over the past 12 months, the construction industry added a total of 297,000 jobs, with specialty trade contractors accounting for two-thirds of that growth.

Passive candidates are filling the void

Making calls into the industry every day and managing passive candidates is becoming necessary in battling this surge; bringing an already employed individual to their next career move takes involvement and perseverance. As many organizations with robust hiring departments know, the hiring process has been relatively smooth and efficient in the past. This trend has been changing over the last 18 months. And if your existing hiring methods are not producing similar results, do not despair. You are not alone in this candidate-driven market. It has become common for most organizations to focus their attention on a handful of their most critical roles.

And speaking from my own experience as an executive recruiter, I work best supplementing the existing staff and filling the most critical roles for my clients. Meanwhile, an important factor in deciding to reach outside of your own company for help with your hiring needs involves a different kind of thought process. You, as a company, have to think of the impact of the vacant position on production or services, and the added impact to the current workforce. These are tangible numbers, and in cases where the benefit outweighs the cost, it may be time to support your internal recruiting methods.

If you’re finding that you’re not able to fill your roles as quickly as you’d want, reach out to me. I have learned a lot about this current job market. And I would love to find the talent you need for your organization. Let’s work together today!


10 Interesting Facts About Silver


Silver was discovered in 5,000BC and has been overshadowed by Gold since its’ discovery. While there are dedicated miners to silver, most silver is produced as a byproduct of gold, copper, lead and zinc mining. And it’s not uncommon for many mines to use the silver byproduct to pay for operating costs. Silver is used significantly in heavy industrial applications and doesn’t get much love compared to other metals.

Here are some interesting facts you should know about silver:

  • The chemical element for Silver is AG
  • Silver has a melting point of 1,763°F (961.78°C) and a boiling point of 3,924°F (2,162°C)
  • In 1913, Silver traded for $2.64/oz. In January of 1980, adjusted for inflation, silver traded at $114.27/oz. And in April 2011, it traded for $54.54/oz. Today, September 19, 2018, it is trading for $14.24. Per the US Debt clock, silver should be trading at $599/oz!
  • According to silver expert Ted Butler, JP Morgan owns 700 Million ounces of physical silver!
  • There is less silver above ground than gold.
  • Silver is one of the most reflective metals in the world.
  • Mexico is the largest producer of Silver in the world.
  • Silver has natural antibacterial properties and the saying, “born with a silver spoon” came from wealthy families who would feed their young children with silver spoons for the germ-killing properties.
  • Unlike gold, silver is typically not recycled. Much of the mined silver used in TVs, electronics, etc., is buried in landfills.
  • Silver is slightly harder than gold.

It amazes me how little love silver gets! This incredible metal is so vital to our lives and yet receives very little respect. Silver has an interesting future; the high demand due to our technology consumption and the low physical inventory makes it incredibly important to our lives. I predict that this underdog will have its’ day and command the respect it deserves. Got silver?