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Coal: The Resource That Keeps On Giving

Coal: The Resource That Keeps Giving

Humankind has used coal for thousands of years and has looked upon it as a valuable commodity. Fast forward to the 21st Century, and the viewpoint of coal has changed drastically. Now seen as a detriment to the environment and health, coal has been demonized and regulated almost into extinction. However, this isn’t a full picture of what it has to offer.

The Big Mistake

In 2019, the U.S. became energy independent for the first time in 62 years, meaning that we produced more energy than consumed. This milestone was due to fossil fuels, which comprised 80% of energy production and consumption, and coal was key. Coal is used for much more than energy, and this war on coal could backfire.

Renewable Solar Energy

On the surface, it might appear that renewable energy is much cleaner than coal, but is it really? Solar panels use silver, titanium, and graphite, and these are all products that need to be mined from the ground and processed. While the panel’s final product itself may not be harmful, the manufacturing process emits incredible amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Discarded solar panels are also a threat to the environment due to their toxicity when they break down.

Coals Reinvention 

Recently, an exciting discovery was made. Mining

Researchers from the University of Wyoming discovered a way to turn coal powder into Nano-Graphite

So, why is this discovery important? 

Graphite is part of the manufacturing process for products ranging from fire extinguishers to lithium-ion batteries. This new process of creating graphite could yield higher quality and quantity of nano-graphite materials. With the help of researchers, coal is reinventing itself.  

Life is a journey

Johnson Search Group has helped thousands of individuals who have reinvented themselves find their next adventure. So, whether you are a company reorganizing and needing a different talent pool, or an individual who has had to reinvent themselves, JSG is the perfect partner to join you on your journey! Give us a call.

Mining Is Starting To Dig Technology

Mining Is Starting To Dig Technology

Over the last 100 years, the world has seen an explosion of technological innovation and growth that has made our lives more convenient and has given us a better quality of life. Initially, people resisted new technology and looked upon it with suspicion. Here are some fun facts:

  • Less than 10% of families owned a refrigerator in 1930
  • In 1960, less than 10% of families owned dishwashers and color TVs
  • Less than 10% of families owned a cell phone or had access to the internet in 1990

Fast forward to today, and you realize how quickly we have grown and embraced our technology. I think few of us can imagine a world without a refrigerator, dishwasher, color TV, cell phone, or access to the internet!  

Technology In The Mining Industry

The mining industry, pivotal in making those inventions possible, provides the raw materials that human beings have become reliant upon. However, it is one industry that has seemingly stood still in time. Although railcars and conveyors replaced Donkeys, mining has not readily embraced new technology and has traditionally preferred to stay with “the tried and true” methods and equipment. But times, they-are-a-changing! Here are some technological breakthroughs in the industry that have taken mining to the next level:

  • Geographic information system, or GIS as it is now known, was brought into the spotlight in 1968 by Roger Tomlison in his published scientific paper “A Geographic Information System for Regional Planning”  GIS has been lifesaving technology for monitoring and emergency planning in evacuating mines.
  • Drones burst into the mining industry in 2015, when BHP started trialing drones fitted with military-grade cameras to provide 3D maps and real-time images for their sites.
  • Autonomous Vehicles first came on to the scene in the 1990’s when Mining Engineers started to experiment with them. This technology took some time to be accepted. However, it now proves to be a valuable and lifesaving technology for the industry. These vehicles can go into areas that would be considered dangerous for the miners. The vehicles are not only helping production; they are saving lives.

Just as companies are exploring changing technology, Johnson Search Group stays on top of the most current hiring trends. Whether you are a company looking for assistance with a search, or a candidate who is looking for a new opportunity, Johnson Search Group has you covered. 

Give us a call, and let’s have a conversation and see how we can help!

Skilled Trades Positions

The Rise in Skilled Trades Positions

2020 has been one heck of a ride, and like almost everyone, I cannot wait to get off. However, there have been some shining moments through all the negativity. One of these moments is experiencing the work ethic and dedication of all the skilled trade laborers in the mining and heavy industrial industry. I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of roles with manufacturing and mining companies throughout my recruiting career. Nevertheless, the demand for talented maintenance workers, skilled trades professionals, and hourly workers has gone through the roof this year.

A spike in demand for skilled trade workers

Like most companies, my core clients’ hiring needs took a hit this year. As a result, they had to restructure, rearrange, and pivot in different directions. As I watched the job orders for leadership, engineering, and several other departments get put on hold or canceled, many of my clients still needed those skilled trades, operators, and other hourly positions filled. In some instances, the need for these roles became increasingly more critical. This can be an issue because there was already a skilled trades gap, and with this surge in demand, this gap might continue to increase in the future.

The heart of the company’s operations

This year was a great learning experience for me; over the past few years, at least 75% of the positions I recruited were engineering or management roles. This year it has completely flipped; the vast majority of the positions I have filled are on the skilled trades side. For example, I have been focusing on Electricians, Mechanics, I&E Technicians, Millwrights, Welders, Haul Truck Drivers, Plant Operates, Machine Operators, and several other positions. These are some of the skilled trades positions that are in the most demand in 2020. I have had the best experience working with the hardest working, driven, and savvy individuals, and I couldn’t be more thankful. These are the people who are not afraid of rotational shifts, 16-hour days, 60+ hours work weeks, and getting their hands dirty— the men and women who keep the plant operating and producing even in the most uncertain of times.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of the skilled tradespeople. I am looking forward to helping the hardest working people find new job opportunities this year and beyond. So, if you are looking for a skilled trades role, reach out to me. I can help match you with one of my fantastic clients that will appreciate your work ethic.

mining sites

5 Incredible Places That Were Once Mining Sites

Mining companies are in a continuous environmental battle. We frequently hear about the fines they receive and the lawsuits they have to fight; however, we rarely hear about the other spectrum and the positive stories of mining companies giving back to their communities and environment. Here are five incredible and mind-blowing examples of mine reclamation done right from mining sites across North America.

Butchart Gardens – Vancouver, BC

Robert Pim Buchart got his start in the mining industry when he founded Owen Sound Portland Cement Company in 1888, in Ontario, Canada. In 1904, he and his wife Jeannie Foster Kennedy moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where he opened the Portland Cement Mill to capitalize on the area’s rich limestone deposits.

As the years went by and the deposits diminished, Mr. Buchart’s wife Jeannie took over and started a labor of love, turning the scarred land into a beautiful garden. Mission accomplished! Butchart Gardens is a renowned tourist destination in British Columbia, and it is on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Below is a picture of the garden as an active mining site. The image above is the Butchart Garden as it is today!

Six Flags Amusement Park and La Cantera Shopping Center, San Antonio, TX

The McDonnell family started the Beckman quarry in San Antonio, TX, in 1934. Rich in limestone, this quarry produced until a fraction of it exhausted its output. This portion of the mine later became the new home to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and La Cantera Hill Country Resort. Eventually, the active section of the mine was sold to Martin Marietta in 1998.

Louisville Mega Cavern – Louisville, KY

The Louisville Mega Cavern started humbly in the mid-20th Century as a limestone quarry. The Cavern operated for 42 years, from the 1930s through the 1970s. However, it was purchased by a group of private investors in 1989. The investors brought in tons of recycled rock, brick, block, concrete, and dirt into the Cavern to transform it from a cavernous underground quarry to storage and office space with internal roads, spanning 100 acres.

Old Works Golf Course – Anaconda, MT

The Anaconda Copper Mining Company was founded by Marcus Daly in 1881, when he bought a silver mine, only to discover substantial copper deposits. The company built a smelter, and the copper mine went into production. In 1899, Marcus Daly sold his assets to Henry H. Rogers and William Rockefeller. In 1977, Atlantic Richfield Company purchased the mine, and not long after, closed the smelting plant. Tagged as a Superfund site by the EPA, Atlantic Richfield decided on a reclamation plan that became the Old Works Golf Course in 1997.

Subtropolis Technology Center – Kansas City, MO

Boasting itself as the “World’s Largest Underground Business Complex,” this repurposed underground limestone mine is a 55,000,000 square-foot city underneath Kansas City, MO.

The development of this project was lead by the late Lamar Hunt, owner of Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, Inc. Hunt was also once the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. The underground industrial park opened in 1964 and is still going strong.

Just as these mines have “reinvented” themselves, job seekers sometimes need to do so, as well. Partner with Johnson Search Group, and let’s work together to help you find your next career challenge.

Like the majority of professions, life as a recruiter has changed significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Recruiting During a Pandemic

Like the majority of professions, life as a recruiter has changed significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have had to make the personal adjustment from my regular schedule in the office to working remotely out of my home. However, this transition has been the least of my worries as I am genuinely grateful that I still have a job and get to continue helping people. Every day there are new stories of company furloughs, layoffs, shutdowns, and the future is certainly unclear. BUT it isn’t all doom and gloom! There is an extraordinary number of great things going on in the world; people helping each other and coming together (not physically), people and companies growing and adapting, and believe it or not, companies are hiring.

Manufacturers and miners are still hard at work

While most of my manufacturing clients have scaled back hiring, there are companies out there looking for talent. We have seen beverage manufacturers pivot and boost their manufacturing production of drinking water and have had an enormous push for contract employees. We are also seeing other manufacturing companies shifting their focus and resources to manufacturing equipment to support hospitals and healthcare workers.

Mining is a different story. Aside from my California clients, most of my mining clients are deemed essential businesses. As a result, they are still hiring but taking additional safety measures while interviewing candidates. With these new safety protocols, hiring processes have been significantly delayed. But at the end of the day, they are still hiring, which is undoubtedly a bright spot for everyone.

Good things are soon to come

It’s difficult for hiring managers to give a timeline on when hiring processes will get back to normal. However, as I connect with my clients, the general consensus is that things will pick up here in a few weeks. My advice to job seekers is to update that resume, stay positive, apply to jobs you fit for, and try and connect with a recruiter who specializes in your industry. Although companies and recruiters may be a little slower when it comes to hiring, we can still help you find a new role during these challenging times.

If you’re looking for a new opportunity during the pandemic, check out the JSG Talent Network. We have dozens of new jobs available and offer tons of helpful advice on navigating the current job market.

metals and minerals

3 Rare Metals and Minerals You May Not Know

Gold, Silver, Rhodium, and other metals have been mined and used by mankind for thousands of years. It has only been in recent years that we have shifted our gaze skyward and pondered what geological elements are still lurking in the vast frontier of space. While we are just starting to explore what secrets hide beyond our planet in terms of metals and minerals, there are many here on earth that most of us may not recognize. Here are three rare metals and minerals you probably have never heard of.

Indium

Discovered in 1863, Indium is an incredibly soft metal that resembles Tin in appearance. Today, we use Indium mostly for computer touch screens, solar panels, semiconductor products, and touch screen TVs. This rare metal was also used to dye cotton up until the nineteenth century. The “Indigo” color name came from the bright indigo color in its spectrum.

Painite

Next, we have Painite. When Painite was initially discovered, it was misidentified as a Ruby. It was not until 1950 that this rare, beautiful borate mineral received reclassification. For years, we believed Painite to be one of the rarest minerals on earth. Today, we use Painite in the design of jewelry.

Allanite

Finally, we have Allanite. Thomas Allen, a Scottish Mineralogist (1777-1833), was the first to observe Allanite. This mineral, which contains rare earth elements, can have radioactive properties. It was initially only located in specific areas of California and Texas; however, in 2011, it was located in other regions.

Even though the lure of asteroids holding an untold abundance of Gold, Silver, and Rhodium is ever-present, the earth still has untold secrets pertaining to rare earth elements.

Let us help you discover rare talent

Much like these precious elements, our recruiting team at Johnson Search Group are experts at finding the rarest talent throughout the country. We specialize in sourcing, screening, and placing one-of-a-kind candidates. Therefore, we identify talent that isn’t even on the market and find the best professionals in the business that aligns with your goals and culture. If you are having a hard time finding talented employees, we are happy to help you with your hiring efforts in 2020.

Contract Staffing

Contract Staffing in the Mining Industry? You Bet!

I was recently having a conversation with a customer of a mining operation in Minnesota. We were talking about the tremendous success of our partnership in 2019 and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in 2020. It dawned on me that all the placements we had with this organization in 2019 were direct hires simply because we never had the conversation about using contract staffing. The more we talked about 2020, the more we identified opportunities to bring people on for short term assignments. We are both excited to see the success of adding contractors and look forward to the opportunities that exist going forward!

So, if you haven’t looked at bringing on contractors, here are some of the benefits:

Eliminate hiring costs

The average cost to hire an employee hovers around $4,000. When you need to hire a new team member, there are dozens of direct and indirect costs, including your recruiting staff’s salaries, posting on job boards, application tracking systems, and so much more. Hiring a contractor through Johnson Search Group allows you to eliminate these talent acquisition costs. 

They’re Highly Specialized

Our contractors are highly specialized in what they do, and many of them have completed several successful assignments with us. They’re able to fully comprehend their assignment, adapt to the environment, hit the ground running, and make a big impact quickly.

Try before you buy

We know how important it is to hire someone with the right experience and background. But we know you also want to hire someone with the right soft skills and that will fit in well with the team. At Johnson Search Group, we don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. We tailor each search and bring you candidates that are solely interested in a contract to hire role.

Eliminate benefits costs

Do you know how much your full-time employees cost? It’s much more than just their salary. According to a study from MIT, an employee with an annual salary of $50,000 costs an employer between $62K and $70K. These higher costs are due to benefits and other expenses. When hiring a contractor, we carry the burden of those benefits, and you just pay their hourly rate.

Bring contract staffing to your team

Here at Johnson Search Group, we average approximately 5,000 contractors that are on assignment at any one time. We can help many companies across many different industries, including mining, and we can help you. If an extra set of hands would help you get through a backlog of work, complete a project, or get your organization to the next level, reach out to us. Let’s have a conversation about bringing contract staffing to your team.

Mining & Heavy Industrial

How to Get a Mining & Heavy Industrial Job in 2020

The world has changed. Industries and technologies are advancing at lightning speed during today’s revolution. Are you still looking at your job search the same way as you used to? Maybe it’s time to change it up! Mining & Heavy Industrial companies have changed. And so has the job market and the technology these companies use (just look at this recent Jobs Report!).

If you find yourself looking to make a career move, now is a great time to do so. The job market has been scorching hot over the last two years. Along with the new year, companies have new budgets and new goals. Additionally, they have grown accustomed to the tight labor market and developed strategies to quickly hire top talent and beat out their competitors.

To make the most out of this fast-paced market and increase your visibility during your job search, consider the following:

Appeal to Applicant Tracking Systems  

When you apply to a job through a website, your resume is probably not going straight to a hiring manager. First, your resume must pass through applicant tracking systems, internal recruiters, and sometimes even HR.

To ensure your resume gets through to the next level, it’s time to think about keywords. Don’t assume the first person looking at your resume is technical enough to know every area of your job function. For example, if you are an electrical maintenance professional, instead of using the acronym PLC, spell out “programmable logic controller.”

Additionally, be sure to cover all your bases. You took the time to apply to the company you want to work for, but did you do your best to ensure they understand your full potential? One of the benefits of working with a recruiter who specializes in the industry is we are your biggest advocate. We have strong relationships with hiring managers, and we will help champion you through the entire hiring process.

Find a company that’s right for you  

I like to think of this blog as a tool for improving your current position or better defining your job search. With the market this hot, there is room to really consider the right opportunity when making a change.

What skills do you have that can benefit an employer? What technologies are you proficient with that an employer will find valuable? Companies are looking to advance technology to increase every aspect of their operations: production, reliability, environmental compliance, safety, and inventory planning. Plant Managers today can look at a tablet, know the time of an order, the inventory on hand to complete it, and study a maintenance schedule all within moments.

This is where you can really bring it all together. Spend some time researching. Look at what development projects companies have in press releases. If you are absolutely against unmanned mining equipment, maybe don’t go work for a company whose mission statement is to decrease workplace injury by reducing the number of machines that require operators.

If you find a company that is continuously investing in R&D, and you just think it’s cool, say so! Stand out during the interviewing process by letting the hiring manager see your excitement. It demonstrates intent. Make yourself the prime candidate. Energy and intention, while highlighting your ability to do the job, could be the thing that puts you over the top.

Try before you buy  

Have you ever considered a contract opportunity? We place a tremendous number of contractors in the mining and heavy industrial space. This is a great way to “try before you buy.” Many contract opportunities also allow you to transition into a full-time position after the completion of your contract assignment. You can really get a first-hand impression of your potential new company with a contract position.

Need help finding your next career move?   

So, if you’re ready to pursue a mining & heavy industrial job in 2020, we can help. With 35 years in business, Johnson Search Group recruits on both contract and permanent roles. We have a team of recruiters that specialize in several industries across the U.S. and Canada. Let’s work together to find you your next big career move!

Mining and Heavy Industrial

2019 Recap: Mining and Heavy Industrial Recruiting Trends

We had another record-breaking year at Johnson Search Group in 2019, and we are excited to continue to help our clients fill their critical positions in 2020. When planning for the new year, I was reflecting on 2019 and noticed some common trends in the Mining and Heavy Industrial Industry: the tight job market, the gap in skilled trades, and the most popular jobs. These are popular trends from 2019 that I experienced and believe will continue to be prevalent in 2020.

Job Market

The unemployment rate staying under four percent throughout 2019 created a very tight and competitive job market. This directly affects companies and how they must go about landing top talent. Most candidates are not on the job market for long, and companies needed to adjust their hiring process to get the candidates they desire successfully.

This also results in candidates having the ability to be pickier when selecting the opportunities they pursue. Moreover, candidates can also demand more cards when negotiating their compensations and other benefits.

The skilled trade gap

This trend is probably the one that affected my recruiting efforts the most in 2019. So much so that I wrote a blog about this particular topic last August. Every client I work with has come to me in need of maintenance technicians, millwrights, mechanics, welders, etc. These are some of the hardest working and dedicated people I have had the pleasure to work with, and I was fortunate enough to provide new opportunities for a significant number of them last year. The hard part is, with the how in demand these skilled trade candidates are, you won’t find them unemployed. As an employer in need of these highly skilled professionals, you must be willing to provide better compensation and benefits to get them to move.

Most wanted mining and heavy industrial jobs

Throughout last year, many roles were in high demand all year long; however, there were three positions in Mining and Heavy Industrial Manufacturing that were hotter than the rest for my clients. EHS positions, Process Engineers, and I&E professionals were by far the most wanted candidates in 2019. And guess what? In the first two weeks of 2020, I am working on all three of these roles! I don’t see the demand for these positions slowing down in 2020. And with the push for Six Sigma and continuous improvement, I can see myself recruiting on Process Engineers all year long. And I can’t complain, I love filling these roles and working with that specific workforce.

Let’s work together to navigate today’s tight market

2019 was personally my most successful year, and I am looking forward to taking this momentum into the new year. If you are currently struggling to find the talent to help grow your organization or boost production, please get in contact with me ASAP so we can discuss working together.

Six Sigma

Why Manufacturers Want Candidates with Six Sigma Experience

As a Mining and Heavy Industrial recruiter, my team and I are all working with dozens of manufacturing organizations across the country. Over the first three quarters of 2019, we have noticed several hiring trends throughout the manufacturing industry. Many of our clients are creating a massive push for candidates with Six Sigma experience.

But what is Six Sigma, and why are employers searching for candidates with these qualifications?

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is the methodology that helps organizations improve the performance, production, and efficiency in their business processes. It decreases variation, reduces defects, and improves your organizations’ quality. Essentially, Six Sigma “views all work as processes that can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled,” according to the American Society for Quality.

Six Sigma was the brainchild of Motorola engineer Bill Smith in 1980. Six Sigma was Bill’s statistical approach designed to increase profitability and reduce defects. These manufacturing principals generated billions of dollars for Motorola. By 1995, Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, made this philosophy central to his business strategy at GE and this philosophy soon spread throughout the manufacturing industry like a wildfire.

Why is it so valuable to employers?

Six Sigma saves manufacturers money by improving processes throughout the company. Thus, if a candidate holds one of these certifications, they are a hot commodity in today’s labor market. These certifications validate a candidate’s skills necessary to identify errors in a given process and find solutions to eliminate them. In other words, candidates with these certifications can improve your operations by eliminating inefficiencies and reducing waste.

So, whether your organization needs engineers, technicians, or QC/QA professionals, candidates with these certifications are highly desirable. If your operations require candidates with such Six Sigma qualifications, reach out to me. Our team here at Johnson Search Group has a pipeline of professionals with these certifications that are looking to make an immediate impact within a new company.