laid off

Laid Off – Now What?

laid off

A large percentage of us will experience being laid off from a position in our lifetime. We never want to think about it, but it does happen. I, personally, have experienced four such events during my career and each return into the job market has held a different experience. I will not lie and say it got easier with “practice.” With Millennials on the heels of the Baby Boomers as being the largest living adult generation, there is fierce competition for available jobs.

According to Pew Research, 71 million adult Millennials and 74 million Boomers were registered in 2016. With 2019 being the anticipated break out year, Millennials should surpass the Boomer generation – reaching 73 million – with Boomers declining to 72 million.

The Dreaded Day

You show up for work like any other day and at some point throughout the day, you are notified that your services are no longer needed. Now what? You are most likely going to immediately experience shock and will go into autopilot as you reluctantly leave the premises. Here is what you may experience once you get home. Some take a few days to work through it and others get through it quickly. Everyone is different, but just remember to take the time to understand, acknowledge, and process what you are going through.

The Five Stages of Grief

  • Denial and Isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Once you reach the acceptance stage, you are ready to tackle the job market. The two biggest hurdles of the stages are avoiding putting yourself into isolation and falling into a depression that stymies you getting back into the workforce.

Remember this

You are not alone! LinkedIn is an incredible platform to keep you connected and in charge of your destiny. A good LinkedIn page will get you noticed by recruiters! Make sure you take the time to create a professional and completed profile!

  • Network, network, network! Don’t be ashamed – get the word out – you are on the market, and ready for the next chapter in your life.
  • Update that resume. Resumes are your first interview. Remember to list all your experience, skills, certifications, and degrees. Don’t go into that first interview underdressed!
  • Look at job openings and sign up for job alerts.
  • Update all of your social media sites! If your Facebook profile is a memory lane of a wild Vegas weekend, beer bongs, and crazy nights, you might want to swap it out to something more job search friendly.
  • Avoid dating yourself. You do not need to put the year you graduated high school or college on your resume.  There is debate as to how far back you should go with your career history, but remember this: could you be leaving off vital work experience by only going back 10 years? I personally like to see 15 to 25 years’ experience, where applicable.
  • Above all else, believe in yourself!

Losing a job is extremely stressful and can be life-changing. These are some steps to help you get back into the workforce and on track. It’s okay to have a small pity party, but don’t extend it into a recurring event that overcomes you. Take charge of your life and future. Reinvent yourself if you need to and remember: sometimes a step back will get you five steps ahead.

Pride, ego, and stubbornness are not friends in your job search. Believe in yourself, be humble, take your experience, talent and great attitude and make it happen – I know you can!

If you’re in this unfortunate situation right now, let’s connect! My team and I may be able to help you find your next career move and get you back to work.

job market

2019 Job Market Outlook with SVP Perry Paden

job market

Job growth in 2018 ended on a high note with U.S. employers adding a whopping 312,000 jobs in the month of December. Over the last three months (after adjustments), employers have generated an average of 254,000 jobs per month. The 4th Quarter of 2018 ended strongly, and all indications look like 2019 is poised for another big year of job growth.

We sat down with Perry Paden, Senior Vice President of Johnson Search Group, and discussed how the job market is looking in 2019.

2019 Job Market Outlook with Perry Paden

The jobs report for December 2018 just released showing signs of strong growth for the job market. Do you think the job market will continue to strengthen in 2019?

2018 was a fantastic year for job growth and economists expect the labor market’s historically tight trend to continue throughout 2019. In fact, economists project the job market to reach highs not seen since before the Great Recession.

If we maintain 2 to 3 percent of growth throughout 2019, the U.S. has the opportunity to have an even stronger year in 2019. Moreover, the unemployment rate remained steady in 2018 and economists are predicting that the unemployment rate will decline below 3.5 percent. As a result, employers will continue to face hardships when it comes to attracting (and retaining) top talent.

The Healthcare, Mining, and Banking industries experienced tremendous growth throughout 2018. Will we see this growth continue in 2019?

The three industries Johnson Search Group operates in (Mining, Healthcare, and Banking) illustrated strong growth throughout the entire year of 2018.

Mining and Heavy Industrial

One of the biggest trends in the Mining industry is the aging workforce. As we see more and more workers retire, employers will continue to face difficulties finding qualified workers for open positions.

Job growth in the Mining industry started out strong and slowed down a bit towards the 4th Quarter. However, over the year, the Mining industry added 62,000 jobs.


We will start to see more opportunities as healthcare organizations continue to incorporate artificial intelligence into everyday working lives.

Healthcare job growth was outstanding in 2018. Last year, the Healthcare industry added 346,000 jobs compared to the 284,000 jobs in 2017. The Healthcare industry is continuing to expand and will look to continue this trend in 2019.


Despite the fluctuating stock market over the last month or so, the Banking/Financial industry continued to add jobs in December. Throughout 2018, the Finance and Banking Industry grew by 110,000 jobs.


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.

hiring trends

Hiring Trends Heading Into 2019

hiring trends

The Labor Department reported that there were over 7 million job openings in the month of August 2018. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October 2018, marking a 48-year low. The nation currently has more than one job opening for every unemployed person. This is quite the difference from the Great Recession when there was over six unemployed Americans for every job opening.

In other words, the job market is on fire right now and there are no signs of it cooling down as we get closer and closer to the new year. This is fantastic for candidates! Workers in all industries have their pick of new opportunities. They have the chance to test the waters and see what else is out there; to find their next stepping stone in their career.

However, this is a nightmare for many hiring managers. The competition for talented candidates is fierce and many employers are struggling to fill critical roles as a result. Candidates are ghosting interviews, or in some cases, completely failing to show up for the first day of work. And with the lowest level of unemployment claims since December of 1969, teams are becoming depleted and hiring managers are desperate to find the talent they need to keep operations running smoothly.

Need help? You’re not alone!

All of these jobs are creating opportunities for workers around the country. However, there are simply not enough workers to fill them. Current market conditions have placed job seekers and new employees in the driver seat. Candidates have complete control and if you’re onboarding or hiring process is inefficient, chances are, candidates will move on to other opportunities. Even if they already accepted an offer from your organization.

Many employers are feeling the struggle of these hiring trends. In fact, 60 percent of employers across industries are experiencing longer fill times for vacant positions due to the tight hiring environment. And to make matters worse, almost a quarter (23 percent) of employers have seen delays in filled positions up to three weeks or even longer.

This is a hard pill to swallow for many hiring managers. Especially since 55 percent of candidates are giving up and pursuing other opportunities if they haven’t heard from a prospective employer within two weeks of applying for a job. And even when a candidate accepts a job offer, the market is so good right now that 51 percent of candidates continue to search for other job opportunities after they’ve accepted a job and are currently finishing up pre-employment screening. In this crazy job market, one in seven candidates walks away after accepting an offer.

JSG is here to help

If you find yourself in a similar boat, it may be time to reach out to a professional for help. At Johnson Search Group, we have a proven track record that will help you streamline your hiring process and get you the right candidates when your team needs them. Partner with an executive recruiter today that is a professional in your industry. The thoroughness of our process ensures when a candidate accepts your offer, they’ll show up on the first day, ready to make an impact.

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.

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.


3 Reasons Why Banks and Financial Institutions Should Use Recruiters


Okay, let’s just get this out of the way first. If you’re a hiring manager, a human resources director, or even a talent acquisition superstar, you cringe at the thought of asking a recruiter to help you find top talent for your organization. You’re probably thinking “that’s my job! I don’t need some outside recruiter who doesn’t even work for our institution coming in and making me feel like I don’t know how to find the right people for my department!”

Well, I have good news for you, that’s not what I do. That’s not even the reason recruiters exist. I wanted to share with you three reasons why it’s helpful to YOU to use someone like me.

Reason 1: YOU’RE BUSY!

You and I both know your world doesn’t revolve around sifting through hundreds of resumes. No matter what title you hold, you weren’t hired solely to find and place talent in your organization. Nope, that’s what I do. So, while you’re going through your day putting out fires and making things happen to excel your own career, leave it to me to weed out the people that simply do NOT check off the boxes of who you’re looking for to add to your team.

Why would you waste the perfectly good productive hours of your day reading about a background of someone who is only qualified for underwater basket weaving when you’re looking for a 20+ year banking executive? I know you’ve seen those people apply for that exact job… I don’t get it either but leave it to me to save you the time and agony of having to deal with that headache.

Reason 2: I talk to people in your market daily

As someone who recruits for only banks and financial institutions, I have the advantage of diving deep into the candidate pool daily. Why is that? I talk to many qualified candidates every day who are both actively and passively looking to make a move. I know, you can do the same thing, right? What’s so special about me? Well, let me tell you. Part of the advantage that I have is that I get to talk to people in your competition that are producing and helping their current organization have a fantastic year! We both know that even if you’re having a good year financially, that doesn’t outweigh a great work-life balance and an organization that makes you feel like more than just a number. Those people want to move, and it could be to the spot that helps you bring on your top producer.

Reason 3: Stuff still gets done your way

We have a process here, sure, but part of my process is making sure that I support your process. You have an established timeline of who, what, when, where, and how. I get that and I’m not here to try to fix something that isn’t even broken in the first place. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m not here to tell you how to do your job or to make you feel inadequate. I’m simply here to link arms with you and help add value to your organization.

I just read that 80% of turn-over is reported to be from impulsive hiring decisions. I’m here to help your turn-over stay low and to ensure that your people aren’t getting burned out by filling in for open positions. Let me, an Executive Recruiter, help take a little bit of stress off your plate. It’s a win-win for you because I take my job seriously. I am not in the business of sticking a round peg in a square hole. I’m on your side and I am eager to partner with you today!


What to Do When the Smoke Clears In Your Career


For notorious reasons, this time of year is known as ‘Fire Season.’ There have been over 5.1 million acres burned thus far in 2018. In my lovely state of Washington, 891 fires have raged thus far, burning over 113,00 acres. Where I live (Spokane), the air quality has been entering in and out of the “Very Unhealthy” range for several weeks. And it’s also reached “Hazardous” levels according to the Air Quality Index. Thankfully, a combination of wind and rain has cleaned our air, allowing us to finally glimpse the clean and beautiful blue sky.

When it comes to the job market, the Third Quarter is a notorious time of the year for organizations to start moving and shaking. Much like the fires that have ravaged the country, employees are busy putting out fires in the workplace. And as a result, leading many to be seeking new opportunities, whether it be passively or actively.

You are your greatest asset

Prior to joining Johnson Search Group, I experienced a layoff during the holiday season. It was devastating. Rightfully so. It’s always a shock to hear that a company is moving on, even if you’re lucky enough to see it coming. Finding yourself without any irons in the fire or next career steps can be daunting. Keep calm, stay indoors, and breath deep.

The greatest tool you have in your box post-position is YOU and your network. Realizing this will quickly get you back onboard with another company that deserves to have your passion, experience, and knowledge. Once you’ve realized your own self-worth, dig deeper into your toolbox and utilize the myriad of job boards, references, and literal production tools to secure your next opportunity. LinkedIn is a fantastic outlet to help secure the next step in your career path.

Many candidates I come across are fortunate enough to have employment but are incredibly unhappy in their current role/position. This unhappiness happens because of burnout. Whether it’s a result of being overworked, company re-alignment, or the lack of fulfillment from one’s current role.

Let a recruiter reignite your career

For many job seekers, getting back on track and realizing one’s goals can be a daunting task. Sometimes it takes a team to smother the blaze and a timely wind to clear the haze. Utilizing a recruiter typically isn’t something that crosses the minds of most seeking new employment; however, working with a recruiter has immense benefits.

As this job market continues to heat up, its just as important for candidates to find the right role for them as it is for employers to land the right candidate. Having someone who is deeply entrenched in your market and profession, representing you to companies you may not even know are looking, maybe the exact thing that gets you to the next great opportunity.

Plenty of things are burning these months, days, sometimes at both ends. Keeping your head up is the only way you can guarantee you’ll land the next opportunity once the smoke clears.