traditional recruiting

Why Aren’t Traditional Recruiting Methods Working for Me?

traditional recruiting

Whether you’re a hiring manager or a candidate looking to land your dream job, you’ve probably been impacted by today’s surging job market. More than 600,000 workers re-entered the job market last month. And the low unemployment rate has been hovering around 4% all year. With this tight market, traditional recruiting methods may not be as effective for both candidates and clients.


The stars have aligned, perhaps you are actively looking, or have a search alert, and the job you’ve been searching for is available. Maybe it’s the company’s reputation, the location, or a combination of the two. You’re directed to apply to a portal on a job board and you receive your confirmation email. Time goes by and you never hear another word. They must have filled the role or didn’t think you were a good fit, right? Not necessarily.

Companies are so busy with growth that they are struggling to find the time to review every submitted resume.

Picture this vicious cycle a contact in an underground mine recently told me: Due to a long-standing vacancy, he and his crew are working overtime. Because of the lost time at home, everyone’s tired, and there’s a risk of losing more good employees. The hiring manager has to do his own job and now has had even more added to his plate by the vacancy. Somehow he has to spare some time to filter through mostly underqualified applicants. The result of this situation could net even more open positions. People are falling through the cracks.

HR departments and hiring managers are swamped. Many of them need help filling their most critical positions. If you, as a candidate, just submit your application on a job board, there’s a good chance you may never hear back.


More companies are reaching out to recruiters directly for help because traditional recruiting methods are no longer netting the results they desperately need. Companies are opening and reopening closed locations. With more job openings than available workers to fill them, there’s more demand for talent and less talent to be had. Finding qualified individuals willing to make a transition from the job they already have, just isn’t exciting enough to beat the drum to get resumes rolling in. There has to be something going on outside of just trading companies to facilitate this. A catalyst, if you will.

We are always managing our pool of qualified candidates. We here at JSG’s use our proprietary talent network, to have real-life conversations with real-life people. Understanding what excites candidates makes a big difference. Especially, when it comes to relocation.

Building strong relationships with our skilled candidates and having more in-depth conversations with them is key. It allows us to bring qualified candidates directly to the hiring manager’s desk. As well as, freeing up a lot of time for our client’s HR departments and hiring managers by doing the heavy lifting for them.

Partner with a recruiter

The job market isn’t the same anymore. Traditional recruiting techniques aren’t as effective. So, it may be time to look at streamlining your recruiting process by partnering with a recruiter.


Opportunity is Calling – Where Are You?


As recruiters, when we are conducting searches for top candidates for our clients, we virtually make thousands of calls. Some of those calls lead to messages like: “You have reached a number that is no longer in service” or “the subscriber you are calling has a voicemail that is not set up or the mailbox is full.” You’d be surprised with how many numbers end up being incorrect on resumes. Or when they are correct, I often hear “The subscriber you are calling is not accepting calls at this time.” The list goes on and on.

Everyone knows the old saying, “Opportunity only knocks twice in a lifetime.” So how many times does it ring, and how many people are missing out on that one significant role that could change your life or the lives of others? If you want to be offered the next big thing in your career, you must be prepared to answer the door.

Tips for not missing that ring:

  • Have the correct phone number and email address on your resume. Not a day goes by that we don’t see this one. I can’t even tell you how many wrong numbers I’ve called trying to get ahold of a candidate for a stealer job opportunity.
  • Add a contact number when you leave a message. This has become a lost art. Leave a callback number so I can quickly get in touch with you if I miss your call.
  • Set up your voicemail. If you put your contact number on your resume, WHY would you not set up your voicemail? If I can’t leave you a voicemail, how can I tell you about this amazing opportunity?
  • Empty your voice mailbox. What else can we say about this one? If your voicemail is full, I can’t leave you a message.
  • Always have an updated resume. It is easier to update your resume periodically than to always have to rewrite it.
  • If you can’t answer your phone, set it up so it will go to your voicemail or forward it to a message phone. Have someone that is reliable and willing to answer the call and take a message on your behalf.
  • When you only have an email on your resume to contact you, reply back. I understand that some candidates do not want to receive calls. It is common courtesy to reply, even if you are not interested or available for the role. Trust me, I will stop bugging you sooner if you let me know you’re not interested!

These are a few ideas that should help the next time you are wondering why you are missing out on that next missed opportunity.


Why Won’t My Recruiter Tell Me Which Company They’re Recruiting For?


As a recruiter, I run into this question all the time. Why do recruiters often keep a search confidential? Why can’t you tell me what company you’re recruiting for? It’s my responsibility to place the best candidates with the best role for them. If you’ve ever wondered why the secrecy, here’s what’s going on from my position as a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial industries.

It’s a private search

This happens a lot. I have clients who are replacing a current employee and it’s sensitive. I have to keep my search private so the candidate or someone within my client’s organization doesn’t catch wind of the search. Sometimes there are internal candidates who are not ready to step up, and we don’t want to lose them to advertising that fact.

Ensuring it’s a right fit

Most people are honest, and I honestly want to help you. If I know exactly what your strengths are, I’m not going to put you in a role that you can’t handle. Getting a resume before you see the job description allows me to ensure I’m fitting the right company and the right person together. It would be a lose-lose situation if I place you in a role that isn’t a good fit for either you or my client.

Why you can’t apply directly

I don’t want you to apply directly because it may hurt your chances of getting the job. By applying directly to the job, your resume just gets added to the heaping stack of resumes in my clients’ database. I am brought in to fill critical roles.

If I call you, I am already considering you for the role. I will directly represent you to the hiring manager. Instead of your resume getting lost in an Application Tracking System after receiving your permission, I pick up the phone and get your resume right into the hands of the hiring manager. I have a conversation with them and explain why they need to schedule an interview with you.

You may be working for the competition

Sometimes there is sensitivity associated with a hire, and I’m not at liberty to disclose new ventures until I’m confident we’re on the same page. You may be currently working for my client’s direct competitor. As a result, I cannot reveal all the details until I am positive you are a great fit for the role and are genuinely interested.

JSG managers

Movin’ on Up: Meet JSG’s Newest Managers!

JSG managers

Johnson Search Group is continuing to grow! The job market is hot and there are no signs of slowing down. To better accommodate the candidate-driven market we’re operating in, JSG is excited to announce the promotions of Dana Belstler (mining) and Tracy Isakson (banking) to divisional managers!

Let’s hear what they have to say about their new roles:

Dana Belstler – Mining Manager

I am the Manager of the Mining and Heavy Industrial team at JSG. I cover the Southeast and have been fortunate to have worked here for the past three years. My path at JSG has been a hard road, but I would not trade the time or experience for anything!

Why do you like working at Johnson Search Group?

This is hard work, and at times it can wear on you emotionally and physically. But the support and great people I work with make it all worth it… that includes JSG management; they are people, after all!

What challenges do you believe you’ll face in your new role as a manager?

That is a tough question and I really don’t know how to answer it, but let’s try. As a manager, I have been mentoring an incredibly talented bunch of people: Alex Price, Jeremy Johnson, Ken Heller, and our newest member, Jill Pittmann are incredible! I think to be able to be there for them when needed; continuing to help them grow, identifying their needs while balancing my own responsibilities, will take focus.

What are the goals for your team going forward?

To establish a reputation for honesty, industry knowledge and credibility, and to build lasting relationships. I never want our team to lose a client or candidate due to bad rapport or miscommunication. Building lasting relationships of trust is a very important goal for my team. If we have that, everything else will fall into place.

How do you see yourself growing as a recruiter?

Wow! I don’t think we ever stop growing in this industry. We deal with people and that is the greatest challenge. Honing “people skills” is really going to be an ongoing lesson and path of growth. We are dealing with Baby Boomers, Generation “X”, “Y”, “Z” and the infamous “Millennials.”  The movie “Sybil” comes to mind (The BB’s and X’s and maybe Y’s will get that joke).

Why do you think you will be a successful manager?

I can only hope that I will be. Everyone likes to think highly of themselves and our faults are often brushed aside. I have faults, but I know I have good attributes as well. I’ve had an interesting life with incredible adventures and experiences. I have dealt with so many different personalities, lived in different cultures, and am proud to have dual citizenship as an American and Canadian. My experiences have given me tools to help me succeed in life and understand people. This along with the incredible mentorship I am receiving at JSG can only stack the deck in my favor – I hope. (Okay- that was redundant; one of my faults!)

Connect with Dana on LinkedIn!

Tracy Isakson – Banking Manager

I manage the Banking/Credit Union Division for JSG. I work primarily in California, Utah, and Arizona.  I’ve been with JSG for 3 ½ years.

Why do you like working at Johnson Search Group?

We have the ability to truly change lives and impact communities throughout the country. The banks that we help are impacting communities, businesses, and individuals with growth. That really helps all people in the community, not just the banks.

What challenges do you believe you’ll face in your new role as a manager?

I think the only challenge is that of time. Time is always the most precious commodity and being able to allocate the right amount of time into my job and into the team that I lead will always be the hardest part.

What are the goals for your team going forward?

Our goals are pretty simple. We want to be the leader in recruiting for the banking industry. We want to be the top division within the company and see growth through tough times as well as great times.

How do you see yourself growing as a recruiter?

Being able to share with my team is the best growth. Watching my team grow from where they are to what they can be is going to be the best part of my new role.

Why do you think you will be a successful manager?

I’m a leader. I prefer to think about this new role as one of leadership, not just managing people. I’m looking forward to helping motivate and empower my team to do the best they can is where I see my strengths. I lead by example first and foremost and learn from my team how to help them grow.

Connect with Tracy on LinkedIn!

A Little Luck Can Go A Long Way

A Little Luck Can Go A Long Way

A Little Luck Can Go A Long Way

As a member of the JSG team, I see the ups and the downs of recruiting. I see some planned successes and some lucky ones. I see the time and effort that our recruiters put in to help both clients and candidates fill and find the right spots for them.

I’ll be the first to admit that I got pretty lucky holding the position I do here at JSG. Speaking of my own experience, and those that I see on a weekly basis, finding a job or filling a position requires a bit of luck. Trust me when I say, a little bit of luck can go a very long way.

It starts with the job description

The job description may have one phrase or even one word that strikes a candidate a certain way. It makes them see themselves working at your company for a very long time. The more time you put into your job description, the better your chances are of getting lucky with a great candidate.

Partnering with JSG

Next comes your partnership with JSG. I don’t mean to brag, but we have some excellent recruiters who really know what they’re doing. Not only do they care about you as the client, but they care about the candidate. They would never fill a position for you with a candidate that doesn’t fully fit or want the position. They know what to ask, which means you don’t have to. Partner with JSG, and see your luck increase over the next few months.

Closing the deal

The last bit of luck comes once the deal has been done. Once the candidate starts with your company, watch them blossom. We pride ourselves in vetting our candidates to give you the best ones available. Our work will turn into luck for you, as you see the candidate succeed in their role. Don’t be surprised when they exceed your expectations.

As St. Patty’s Day approaches, expect a little bit of luck coming your way on behalf of the JSG team. We’ve got you covered for your next open position.

Now I just need a little bit of luck to stop slipping and falling on ice.

Important questions recruiters ask

Why Recruiters Ask You Important Questions

Important questions recruiters ask

I work with recruiters everyday. I hear dozens of stories about successes and even some of failures. There’s one thing that unites them all, however, and that’s what you hear in the recruiter’s voice. I always hear care and passion behind all of the stories. The best part is that it’s 100% genuine.

I decided to dig deeper and ask them what the most important question they asked their candidates. For some it was a breeze – they knew right of the top of their head. But for others it was tougher – they love all of the questions they ask their candidates.

“What has you on the job market?”

This one comes from Ken, and it is one of the first things he asks. It’s so important because it helps him find the candidate the best fit. It also helps set the building blocks for a strong relationship between him and his client.

“Do I have your permission to represent you?”

This seemingly straight-forward question is Jeremy’s most important. It’s so simple, but it’s so necessary. As soon as the candidate says “yes,” Jeremey will give you the best chance possible to get the job.

“Where do you see your career going?”

This one comes from Dana, and it’s a gem. Dana isn’t being snoopy, she’s just genuinely interested. She has a few roles that need to be filled, and she wants to make sure that the candidate’s long-term goals line up with the client’s long-term goals as well.

“Can you relocate?”

Relocation is one of the biggest factors when switching jobs, and Alex wants to make sure the candidate is serious about the position. If it requires them to move to a new state, he wants to make sure they can and will move elsewhere.

“If you like this opportunity would you accept it?”

This comes from Tracy, and he means business. There’s no use wasting the candidate’s time if they won’t accept the opportunity. At the end of the day, honesty is the best policy.

“What do you like the most and the least about your current job?”

James wants to know what his candidates consider pros and cons of their current job. If he can align current pros to future pros and ensure current cons won’t become future cons at the new position, then he’ll be all in for the candidate.

“What is your motivation for a new job?”

Meredith wants to know the meat and potatoes behind the candidate. Do you want to get up and move? Are you tired of working at the same place? This question’s purpose is not only to get to know the candidate better, but to also get a glimpse of their outlook.

“Are you willing to work in contract?”

Ric wants to know if the candidate is willing to take a contract position. It could be only a few months, but it could also turn out to be a permanent hire. Ric just wants to know what it is the candidate is looking for in the future.

“Why are you looking for a change?”

Theresa sees it how it is, and wants to be on the same page as the candidate. She wants to know the candidate’s successes and struggles. This way, she can help lead them in the right direction.

“What’re you looking for in a workplace? Your fit? Passion? Teamwork?”

Dallas is diving even deeper with this question. What does the ideal workplace look like? Dallas wants to know everything the candidate is looking for at their next location. That way he can find the candidate their best fit.

“Will this location work for you?” 

This comes from Krista, and she’s just trying to get to the point. She’s got a position open and she’s looking for the best candidate possible. She needs to know that this location is something you can manage so she can keep the process rolling.

“What does a new opportunity look like for you? Money? Availability? Location?”

Mike wants to match the candidate’s needs with what the client is offering. Are they on the same page or are they completely different? He wants to make sure that the client and candidate both maximize this opportunity for the long-term.

Nothing too fancy and nothing too scary, right? When recruiters constantly ask candidates questions it’s not just for fun. They’re trying to build a relationship so that they can help the candidate get a position that suits them, all while giving the client the most awesome candidate on the market. The next time you get contacted by a recruiter just remember: honesty is the best policy!

Your Job Description Is Scaring Away Candidates. Here's How To Fix It

Your Job Description Is Scaring Away Candidates. Here’s How To Fix It

Your Job Description Is Scaring Away Candidates. Here's How To Fix It

As a recruiter, I spend considerable time reviewing different job descriptions for a variety of mining and heavy industrial related positions. They are usually 1-3 page documents outlining job duties, key responsibilities, and requirements, giving an in-depth explanation of what is to be expected for the position. But even the “best” job descriptions are scaring away candidates. Either they are too long, too confusing, or not exciting enough. Here are a couple tricks I’ve learned to get the most out of your job description and start attracting the best candidates.

1. Keep it brief. In today’s world, people have a lot going on. The best candidates are still employed while they are searching for their next role. On top of that, they have families, social lives, and hobbies that are all competing for their time. They do not want to invest what little spare time they have on trying to decipher your multi-page job description. Remove any unnecessary information or industry standards to keep your job description concise. Things like “communication skills,” “Microsoft Office experience,” and “organization” are a waste of space and your candidate’s time.

2. Share specifics. Some job descriptions are incredibly generic and don’t give too many details about this specific job and how it’s unique within your company. Through experience and research, you can begin to learn what specifics the job generally requires. For instance, when I get a job order for a Reliability Engineer and the job descriptions says, “must have bachelor’s degree,” through experience I know they are generally looking for an engineering degree usually in mechanical or industrial with hands-on experience and preventative maintenance experience. This goes for all job orders, you must know your industry and understand the candidates that you are trying to attract in order to effectively recruit on positions.

3. Add personality. Culture fit is becoming more and more important in today’s world of recruiting. Candidates want to understand how they will fit in with your team, and what the company’s mission and visions are for the future. Take a paragraph in your job description to describe the team makeup and the company. Do you have casual Fridays? Monthly team happy hour? Does everyone get really into March Madness? I’m sure your organization is a great place to work, just make sure to let candidates know that right off the bat!

How To Hire For Culture Fit

How To Hire For Culture Fit

How To Hire For Culture Fit

As a company, we have been putting more and more emphasis on hiring for culture fit both internally and for our clients. “Culture fit” is more than just a buzzword, it is rapidly becoming a standard in business around the world. But… what exactly is it and how the heck do you hire for it? At its core, cultural fit means that employees’ beliefs and behaviors are in alignment with their employer’s core values and company culture. (Business News Daily) And as important as it is for us to define culture fit, it’s just as important to define what culture fit is NOT. It is not a way to hire all of your best friends, it is not a strategy to hire people who are all the same. You still need to hire a diverse team that brings different experiences, different points of view, and even different goals. So how do you sort through the thousands of candidates on the market to find the one or two people who are not only going to be a great fit but also make an immediate impact on the growth of your team?


This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but please take a moment to step outside your shoes and look at your company through the eyes of a candidate. Is your company culture obvious right off the bat? Does what you read online align with what you’ll see in the office and hear when you talk to current employees? If the answers to these questions aren’t clear, it’s time to make some adjustments. It may be as simple as making your brand known, or a little more complicated process of defining your culture and getting everyone on board.


So often, we put candidates in rigid boxes because they do or don’t check off every box on our desired skills list. This is resulting in so much missed value! Just because someone doesn’t have every skill doesn’t mean they can’t come into your open job and make a huge impact. Remember, skills can be taught but culture fit cannot. If you’re intrigued by someone’s background, or they fit some criteria but not all, put them in the “yes” pile. You will be amazed at how much you learn and gain just by talking to these candidates.


We’ve all seen the standard list of questions that everyone asks during an interview. “What are your weaknesses?” “Tell us about yourself…” By changing the way you ask questions, you change the type of talent you bring on board. I love this list of culture-fit specific questions from Harvard Business Review. And don’t stop at just changing the questions you ask! Maybe ask the candidate to sit in on a meeting and give their thoughts on a current project, or give them a homework assignment very similar to what they would be doing day to day, or even take them out to a team lunch to see how they interact with everyone. By taking candidates out of the “typical” interview process, you will be able to uncover outstanding talent.


Something that I love to say when I’m interviewing someone is “this interview is a two-way street.” I like to put the power in the candidate’s hands by asking them to tell me what they are looking for in a job or career. Trust your candidates enough that they feel they’re able to open up to you, and you’ll be able to get to know their true selves and if they will truly be a culture fit on your team.

Why You Should Partner With a Recruiter for your Next Hire: From Someone on the Outside, Johnson Search Group, JSG, people, reach, hire, inspire, recruiting, recruiter, marketing, why you should use a recruiter,

Why You Should Partner With a Recruiter for your Next Hire: From Someone on the Outside

Why You Should Partner With a Recruiter for your Next Hire: From Someone on the Outside, Johnson Search Group, JSG, people, reach, hire, inspire, recruiting, recruiter, marketing, why you should use a recruiter,

When I first found out about a marketing internship available at Johnson Search Group, I was slightly confused. What was this company? I had so many questions, so I dove into the website and did my research. “Ooooh okay. They’re a recruiting firm,” I thought to myself.

I had answered parts of my questions, but I was still confused. Sure, I saw the front page of the website that says, “We help businesses hire talented people.” However, I still didn’t understand what that really meant.

I still had questions that were left unanswered until my interview. Once I learned what I would potentially be doing, it became clearer to me who Johnson Search Group was and what they did. And on my first day it all finally clicked when I took a walk through the office.

It has been just over three months since I began here, and let me tell you it has been a lot of fun and I have learned so much. Not just about marketing, but about recruiting firms and why they are so important. The people here do three distinct things, and those make them who they are. These three things are so invaluable, and they’re why you should partner with a recruiter for your next hire.

1. They are relationship builders

This was something I noticed right away. As soon as I met all of the recruiters, I felt like I had been in the office for years. Not only did they make me feel welcome, but they made an effort to get to know me and they made me feel like I was part of the team. And as I got to know who they are over the course of the summer, every day in the office has felt like a family gathering.

In the same way that they all built a relationship with me, they build relationships with their clients and candidates. Every conversation they have is way more than just “work.” They build a relationship with each and every person they talk to and get to know them on a personal AND professional level. They learn as much as they can about candidates so that you get the best fit for your open position. And they’re constantly going the extra mile for their clients, too. They make an effort to know more than just the job description. They want to fill your position with a candidate that is not only qualified, but one that will gel with your company and make a lasting impact.

2. They are professional

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s more to it than you think. When I ask for industry help, they are constantly there to answer my questions, and when I ask for feedback, they are honest and helpful.

Likewise, the recruiters here show so much respect and are extremely professional with their clients and candidates. They’re available practically 24/7 for both clients and candidates. They know when to push, and they know when to ease off the pedal. They know what you want to hear, but they aren’t afraid to tell you the truth. If they can’t find a candidate perfect for your opening, they’ll tell you. They won’t sugar coat it and they won’t lie to you. They’ll always ask the tough questions so that they can give you the best service possible.

3. They care

This is what sets the recruiters here over the top. They are constantly checking in on me and making sure I am succeeding. Whenever I go to them with new ideas or projects, they’re always willing to help. They are constantly enjoying the time they spend in the office and on the phone because they really do care about their work, and it shows.

You can hear it in their voices and see it in their messages. The team of recruiters here live and breathe what they do. I have experienced it first-hand. When they fail, they’re disappointed in themselves. When they succeed, they’re ready for the next challenge. No matter what they are doing they put everything into it. They make you feel special and they want you to succeed as well. Recruiters will get you the best candidate for your opening because they care about their work, and they want to make a difference for you.

As someone who knew nothing about the recruiting industry coming into this position, I sure am confident in saying that using JSG is any company’s best bet. These recruiters will not only have your back through the hiring process, but most importantly, they will help you find the perfect fit for your company’s opening.

Hiring For Culture Fit: Do Or Don't?

Hiring For Culture Fit: Do Or Don’t?

Hiring For Culture Fit: Do Or Don't?

Cultural fit within a company can be defined in so many ways. According to Business News Daily, “cultural fit means that employees’ beliefs and behaviors are in alignment with their employer’s core values and company culture.” 

If you think about it, it is such a simple concept. Companies want to evaluate how well potential candidates will fit in with their team and if they have the same short and long-term goals. Skills have always been an essential part of hiring employees, but hiring for culture fit has rapidly gained popularity in the business world and is making an impact on companies everywhere. But is it okay to completely overlook a candidate’s skills in order to hire a great culture fit?

Let’s look at the potential pros and cons of hiring candidates as a cultural fit over prioritizing their skill set.


Increased Productivity

When you hire like-minded individuals, it can make collaboration and teamwork easier, which can increase productivity. The employee will be less likely to get burnt out, show any signs of fatigue and be better performers.

Mentally Happier People

Studies often show that a culture fit along with a positive work environment promotes great mental health for employees. If an employee is happy with the culture, their self-worth and value they place on their workplace go hand-in-hand.

Employee Retention

By harboring a great work environment with people who have the same morals, outlook, and values as the company, you create more productive staff who are willing to work harder to achieve great results. It has been proven that individuals that fit in well with their company’s culture are less likely to leave their jobs than those who do not hold the same values.

Skills Can Be Trained

Most skills on a job can be trained. What can’t be trained is someone’s values or attitude towards a common goal or how a company operates.


Lack of Diversity

Having a team of all like-minded individuals can create a situation where complacency is imminent. When you have a well-rounded team with different ideas, you have a better chance of having a diverse organization and less of a chance of seeing the same ideas being used over and over.

Missing Out On Great Talent

If you’re so concerned and wrapped up in what type of person you are looking for to fit your organization, you may be losing out on a great potential employee. Many companies miss out of amazing candidates by hiring too many employees that are “just like them.”


Millennials have become the largest, most diverse generation in U.S. History. It would be extremely difficult to categorize any millennial into one sort of ‘culture’. Not only that, but millennials tend to seek a diverse workplace, above anything else. If you have a cookie cutter team in your organization, chances are this won’t appeal to many millennials, making it a less attractive place to work.

Lack of Skills

If you’ve become so consumed with culture fit that you start to completely overlook skill sets, you may be selling yourself short. If they don’t have experience with the skill sets required to complete the job, more training may be needed to get them up and running. Even then, you’re taking a risk that they won’t be up-to-speed like the last candidate you passed on because they weren’t quite the right culture fit for your team.

There must be some sort of balance. A candidate that fits the culture and has the necessary set of skills would obviously be the best-case scenario. Unfortunately, those candidates can be hard to find and secure. Which is why every single candidate search is unique and requires an experienced team with a complete understanding of the job description, desired soft skills, team makeup, and future goals.