JSG Employee Spotlight: Ben Shirley

Ben Shirley has been a Branch Manager with Johnson Service Group for over 10 years. We took the opportunity to talk with Ben about his time in the staffing industry, and how the Aerospace and Aviation industries have changed during his time partnering with them.

You’ve been in Aircraft Staffing for over 30 years. Tell us about that.

I started in the industry as a recruiter in 1987 and stayed with the company I was with for over twenty years. During my first year, I began supervising and coordinating the recruiting. I quickly became a primary contact for some of our larger clients. Soon after, I transitioned into an Account Executive role. Wichita was an aircraft center at the time, and I developed not only good business contacts in this industry but also great friends.

I have worked staffing with multiple industries but Aircraft and Aerospace quickly became what I enjoyed the most. The office had a division doing in-house engineering and I was fortunate to both learn from them and bring in work for them. Fast forward and JSG was looking to grow. They brought me in for a dinner with the owners and upper management and I felt right at home. I knew I had found a new home.

You work primarily in Aerospace and Aviation – what are some of the recent trends in these industries?

Technology is enabling exciting developments in the Aerospace and Aviation industries. The private sector started moving into spacecraft development a few years ago and now there is research and development starting on commercial drones, small air taxies, and electric powered aircraft. There are a lot of new developments coming in the next several years. The job market is really strong. These growth opportunities have been shining the light back on our recruiting strengths.

What are some of the hobbies you enjoy outside of work?

I have always enjoyed cars and dirt bikes. But if you ask me today, I am a St. Louis Blues fan!!!  We finally got the Cup!!!

June 2019 JOLTS Report

June 2019 JOLTS Report: 7.4 Million Job Openings

June 2019 JOLTS Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) latest JOLTS Report showed very little movement in the labor market from March 2019 to April 2019. The month of April resulted in an increase of job openings by 4.7 percent, totaling 7.4 million openings. However, with only 5.9 million people seeking work, there are 1.63 million more job openings than available workers to fill them, the largest gap ever recorded. Below is a brief summary of the BLS’ latest JOLTS Report.

June 2019 JOLTS Report:

  • Job Openings: 7.4 million
  • Hires: 5.9 million
  • Total number of people who left their jobs: 5.3 million
    • Voluntarily: 3.5 million
    • Involuntarily: 1.8 million

The Labor Market is Still Roaring

The recently released May 2019 Jobs Report revealed the addition of 75,000 jobs over the month of May. On the downside, this number missed projections by about 100,000 jobs, but the upside is shown through unemployment statistics. The unemployment rate has remained low at a rate of 3.6 percent. As a result, May was the 15th straight month of the unemployment rate at or below 4 percent. As of May, there are only 5.9 million unemployed Americans. The number of quits, layoffs, and discharges was stagnant throughout this quarter.

The labor market is steady with little change from month-to-month. And over the previous 12 months prior to April, hires totaled 69.6 million and separations totaled 66.8 million. This illustrates a steady and consistent market with more hires than people leaving their jobs. Furthermore, hires increased by 217,000 for private employment with the overall hiring rate sitting at 3.9 percent. Additionally, the good news for new hires is that wages are also positively trending, with an increase in average hourly wages of $0.06 for a total of $27.83 an hour in May.

Get the Right Help for Your Team

To summarize, the labor market reigns consistently competitive. With a slight decline in job growth this month, it may be time to expand your reach in today’s candidate-driven market. Thus, pairing up with a JSG recruiter to find talented and qualified individuals could be the solution to filling and retaining your organization’s critical roles. Reach out to a JSG recruiter today to optimize the trends of the labor market!

May 2019 Jobs Report

May 2019 Jobs Report

May 2019 Jobs Report

In the month of May total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 75,000, well below economists’ expectations of 175,000 for the month. However, The unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent, a near 50-year low and May 2019 is the 104th-consecutive month of job gains. Additionally, it was the 15th straight month of the unemployment rate at or below 4 percent. The labor force participation rate also remained unchanged at 62.8 percent, signifying that there are still plenty of jobs available for workers.

Additionally, the number of unemployed Americans stayed relatively constant in May at 5.9 million. And the number of long-term unemployed, defined by those who are jobless for at least 27 weeks, also experienced a small decrease, hovering around 1.3 million, or 22.4 percent of the unemployed persons.

Wages also saw a bump of $0.06 to $27.83 in the month of May.

Jobs Report Revisions

Total nonfarm payroll employment revisions are down over the last two months. In April, job gains are down from 263,000 to 224,000. Additionally, March job gains were revised down from 189,000 to 153,000. With these revisions, job gains over the last two months declined 75,000 jobs than previously reported. However, over the last three months, job gains averaged an impressive 151,000 jobs. And throughout 2019, monthly job gains have averaged out to be 164,000.

By Industry

Employment in Professional and Business Services continued to increase with the addition of 33,000 jobs in the month of May. And over the last 12 months, the industry has gained 498,000 jobs.

Last month, Healthcare generated 16,000 jobs, reaching a 12-month total of 391,000 jobs over the last year.

The Construction industry changed little with a total of 4,000 job gains in May. Over the past 12 months, Construction has generated 215,000 jobs.

There was little to no change in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government.

June Anniversaries and May New Hires 2019

June Anniversaries

June 2019 Anniversaries

Congratulations to all of our employees with anniversaries in the month of June. We appreciate your dedication to JSG and all of your hard work. Please join us in celebrating our tenured staff!

Bedford, TX

Bridget Uhles – 1 year

Birmingham, AL

Donna Kidd –  9 years

Blue Bell, PA

Rich Hanson –  4 years


Claudia Aristizabal –  1 year

Andrea Bonadeo – 1 year

Westmont, IL

Susan Sproule – 11 years

Cheri Schweiger – 5 years

Linnea Rummage – 3 years

Hayley Kanicus – 1 year

Michael Seibert – 1 year

North Charleston, SC

Tomeka Manigault – 4 years

May 2019 New Hires


May 2019 New Hires

JSG gained some new faces in May. Please join us in welcoming our newest staff members to the JSG team!

Atlanta, GA

Jessika Mauldin

Nichole Smith

Bedford, TX

Joshua Bredemeyer 

Jacksonville, FL

Adam Blue

Spokane, WA

Stephanie Brown

Patrice MacMillan

Ariel Evans

Westmont, IL

Brittany, Busse

Peirce Leavitt

Katie Churnovic

Amanda Walton

Employee Spotlight: Amanda Walton

Amanda Walton

Amanda Walton is our new Safety & Risk Manager at JSG. She will be taking over for Patty Rhoads, who will be retiring later this year. We had the opportunity to sit down with Amanda and get to know her a little better and learn about some of her goals for JSG’s Safety & Risk Management team.

You were officially announced as JSG’s new team Safety & Risk Manager last week. Tell us a little about yourself and career.

Before coming to JSG, I worked for another staffing firm where I was in the worker’s compensation arena for over four years. Throughout my four years with the firm, I oversaw multi-state compensations claims, which kept every day fun and interesting. Claims varied from federal (OSHA), state, local, and even company claims. There were always a lot of different layers and it was a very fast-paced environment.

How does your background as a Warranty Administrator help with your career in the Safety & Risk Management world?

My experience as a Warranty Administrator helped create a smooth transition into the Safety & Risk Management world. As a Warranty Administrator, you have to have extraordinary attention to detail. So, whether you’re dealing with people, vehicles, or property, everything affects the company’s bottom line. If you’re not careful and don’t pay close attention to timelines, you can cost the organization a lot of money. Developing a keen eye for thoroughness and details has definitely helped with my Safety career.

At JSG, our safety slogan is “Safe Work is Great Work!” What makes you passionate Safety & Risk Management?

I am truly passionate about the safety environment because I have the opportunity to help people. I am either helping protect my clients’ interest, an injured worker, or sharing safety knowledge with the staff on workers compensation.

The two largest costs to an organization are payroll and workers compensation. So, working in this field allows me to share my knowledge with others and ensure everyone within JSG, as well as our clients, understand how all of the processes work.

As you get settled in your new role at JSG, what are you hoping to accomplish in 2019?

My number one goal is to maintain and continue to grow the safety culture JSG has developed over the years. I want to maintain the partnerships with those out in the field (our contractors and clients) and provide the necessary education to all parties involved. Through continuous education and fostering our culture of “Safe Work is Great Work,” I want to help grow Johnson Service Group’s business SAFELY.

National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month

National Safety Month

Did you know that June is National Safety Month? National Safety Month is observed annually in June and focuses on reducing work-related injuries and fatalities. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), more than 6,000 employees in the United States die from workplace injuries each year. Another 6 million workers suffer non-fatal workplace injuries, costing employers $125 billion annually.

At JSG, safety is one of our top priorities year-round. Through the years, we have made great strides to improve the safety of both our staff members and contractors. In fact, our reported incidents were down 33.5% in 2018 from the previous year. We have thousands of contractors on payroll and it’s our goal to foster a zero-incident workplace. We can only achieve this goal through the participation of every employee in creating safe working environments. After all, that’s why our company’s safety slogan is “Safe Work is Great Work!”

In honor of National Safety Month, here are a few safety reminders to help ensure an incident-free summer in the workplace.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Did you know that slips, trips, and falls are the largest cause of workplace accidents? In fact, there were 849 deaths from slips, trips, and falls in 2016. Many slips, trips, and falls are avoidable with proper care and good housekeeping. Slips, trips, and falls are a common result of things like floor contaminations, lighting inadequacies, wet weather conditions, or objects obstructing walkways. Here are a few ways to properly avoid these incidents:

  • Use floor markings to guide workers through a workspace and to identify safety hazards
  • Implement a 5S System (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain) to ensure good housekeeping
  • Ensure proper lighting to identify safety hazards before they become incidents
  • Use signs and labels to inform workers or potential dangers in the workplace

Working in the heat

Summer is just around the corner. Temperatures are heating up, both in indoor and outdoor workplaces. Millions of workers are exposed to extreme temperature conditions on the job and exposure to the heat can cause serious illnesses. To reduce these heat-related illnesses, be sure you can properly recognize the symptoms of overexposure to these extreme conditions. If you’re not feeling well, tell your supervisor or co-workers and remove yourself from the heat exposure. Additionally, it’s crucial to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water!

Always report safety incidents

According to a recent study by the Accident Advice Helpline, one in six workers fail to report safety incidents. What makes this measure even more alarming is that 23 percent of people won’t report a safety incident because they believe it’s not their responsibility. If you see a safety hazard or dangerous working condition, please report it. Remember, safety starts with “S,” but it begins with “YOU.” If you are a victim of a safety incident or witness one, report it immediately to your supervisor and the JSG Safety and Risk Management Team at 888.659.8388.

Although it’s National Safety Month, workplace safety is crucial all year round. Remember, it’s the responsibility of each employee to work safely and to observe safety rules, practices, and procedures. Safe Work is Great Work!

JSG Employee Spotlight: Krista Portolesi

Krista Portolesi has been an Executive Recruiter with Johnson Search Group, a division of Johnson Service Group, for almost three years. We wanted to take the opportunity to chat with Krista and learn more about her career at JSG. Here’s what she had to say:

You have been with JSG for almost 3 years. Tell us a little bit about your career and your experience working for JSG.

I launched my career in banking, and eventually went back to school to finish my degree. I had a short stint in Marketing and from there, I ventured into sales. As I grew my career in sales, I found myself wanting to dive in even deeper and expand my experience and make an impact on people. Once I learned about the opportunity at JSG that perfectly tied together my background and professional goals, I was extremely excited to help others grow their careers.

In your opinion, what sets JSG apart from other recruiting firms?

Our division, Johnson Search Group, focuses on full-desk recruiting, so it’s nice to work with both candidates and clients. I enjoy being involved in every step of the process from start to finish. I also think we have an outstanding vetting process. We work really hard to ensure that candidates are represented accurately and that our clients’ needs are met.

You work within both the contract and permanent placement spaces, how do you balance?

I like working with contract because it’s a faster process and you’re able to put people to work right away. While permanent placements take a little longer, I love that I get to develop deeper relationships with my candidates and clients.

What do you like most about recruiting for the banking industry?

Because I had a background in banking, I came in with knowledge of the industry. I also enjoy recruiting locally, which allows me to meet with clients and people I’ve placed. The banking industry is so community-focused, so it’s nice to watch each person I place make an impact on their community.

When you’re not busy at work, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to do stuff with my two kids! They are very active, so we go to the park all the time.

For information about the banking industry, recruiting, and hiring trends, Krista Portolesi is your girl. Connect with her today!

JSG Employee Spotlight: Drew Hegarty

JSG Employee Spotlight: Drew Hegarty

Drew Hegarty is the Branch Manager of our Tampa, Florida office. He has been with Johnson Service Group for almost three years. We wanted to take the opportunity to chat with Drew and learn more about his career at JSG. Here’s what he had to say:

You started with JSG as a Sr. Account Executive before being promoted to the Branch Manager position. Tell us a little bit about your career and working for JSG.

My career has always been sales-centric, starting with desktop application software. I moved into the consulting/staffing industry in 2002, and have been all in ever since! When I first joined JSG, I was the sole employee in Tampa. Since then, with the leadership of Senior Vice President Mike Measures, we’ve been able to grow the team to 4 members here in Tampa. We’ve also been able to leverage other recruiters throughout the region as our portfolios grow. My strategy as a Branch Manager is to be hands-on, stepping in to help whenever I can!

What’s your favorite thing about working for JSG?

What I like most about JSG is the entrepreneurship-mindset. There’s so much room for growth when you are allowed to be autonomous while still having the support of a large company behind you. I also really enjoy working for our Senior Vice President, Mike Measures. He has created a comprehensive roadmap for our region. This has allowed us to grow and be extremely successful by keeping our focus on day-to-day tasks.

What is your goal for the Tampa office this year?

While we love the support of our region, we want to continue growing independently as a branch. We’d love to secure a couple of additional cornerstone accounts to keep our team in growth-mode. This will allow us to compete with local competitors.

What’s the biggest challenge that hiring managers are facing in this current market?

The hiring managers we speak with are struggling to find talent in this candidate-driven market. With so many opportunities out there, it’s also become difficult for great companies to retain their best employees. I always tell our clients to consider “lifestyle points” when trying to attract talent. This includes benefits beyond competitive salaries, including working remote, vacation time, healthcare, etc. The companies that offer these are the ones securing great talent.

What do you like most about working in the recruiting industry?

Making a difference in someone’s life. You think about the big events that everyone goes through marriage, kids, career. Helping people change their careers makes a huge impact on their entire lives. It’s extremely rewarding to be able to be such a positive influence and get that call from someone saying, “Drew, you changed my life!”

When you’re not busy at work, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to play and coach basketball at the local rec center. I will also be the Assistant Coach at high school my kids went to. It’s great to have the opportunity to give back to the community.

Chris Minutola

JSG Employee Spotlight: Chris Minutola

Chris Minutola

Chris Minutola is a Recruiter working in the Philadelphia, PA market and has a great background in customer service. He has been with JSG for nearly three years. We had the opportunity to sit down with Chris and learn a little more about him and his career.

Tell us a little about your career and how you found your way to JSG

I worked as a Workforce Management Analyst for both PHH Mortgage and then Lenox. With both of these roles, I developed great customer service experience. In October 2016, I joined the Johnson Service Group team as an Account Coordinator. This was my first job in the staffing industry, but it gave me a great foundation and understanding of the industry and its processes. After several months, I was gratefully promoted to a recruiting role in the summer of 2017.

You started working as an Account Coordinator and were promoted to a Recruiter in 2017. Tell us about this transition and why you decided to make the shift to a career in recruiting

The transition from an Account Coordinator to a Recruiter was great. It was an easy transition because I was able to develop a solid understanding of the staffing and recruiting world as a coordinator. I was responsible for onboarding activities, payroll, timesheets, I-9s, and other processes. As a result, these responsibilities provided an easy step to make the shift to a recruiting role. My time as a coordinator helped me better build relationships without clients and contractors, which has definitely transferred to my recruiting career.

How does your extensive background in customer service enhance your success as a recruiter?

My customer service background has helped me become comfortable on the phone. I was always talking with customers and helping solve their issues. Thus, it’s easy for me to be talking to hundreds of contacts and contractors every week and help our clients find the talent their teams need.

What are your goals for the rest of 2019?

My goals for the rest of the year is to continue to offer great customer service and support for my clients. I want to continue to ensure our clients’ projects are being properly staffed. I also want to grow in my new role as a recruiter and continue to get more comfortable.

Tell us what you enjoy doing away from the office.

In my spare time, I enjoy golfing, hanging out with my family, and spending time with my friends.

military veterans

Why Military Veterans Maybe Your Best Hire

military veterans

The month of May is National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM). Throughout the month, there are six national observances designated to honoring the brave military veterans that have, and are currently, serving our great country.

Many of us know at least one or two friends or family members that have served our country. But did you know there are actually 19.4 million veterans in the United States? And out of that group, there are 9.7 million veterans in the workforce, according to the Department of Labor. And according to the Department of Labor and Training, the labor force as of April 2019 is 162,470,000.

In other words, roughly 0.6 percent of today’s workforce is represented by military veterans. And do you know why? Because it takes a lot of guts, courage, and perseverance to serve in the military. And that’s exactly why military veterans make fantastic candidates! Here are three reasons why hiring a vet may be your best hire you can make for your team.

Tremendous training

Military veterans go through hundreds of hours of rigorous training throughout their military careers, both in the classroom and in the field. Our veterans receive exposure to new technologies, theories, situations, and environments that foster a culture of continuous learning.

Thus, veterans can make tremendous assets to any team because they have a culture of learning and training ingrained in them from their first day of service. This makes veterans adaptable in almost any situation and environment. Therefore, our service members are capable of picking up new ideas or processes extremely quickly.

Great soft skills

Throughout these hours of training, military veterans develop soft skills that are both valuable to an employer and difficult to acquire. The environments and situations that veterans experience help them obtain strong soft skills that are transferable and useful to any industry or employer.


Communication is key in the military. In the military, whether it’s on the battlefield or behind the scenes, clear communication amongst your team is essential. A lack of communication or a misunderstanding in the military can be the difference between life or death. In the civilian workforce, not all matters are that extreme but strong communication is essential to ensure there are no hiccups or road bumps.


Teamwork is also a huge part of military life. Almost everything you do is team oriented. In the military, you have to think of what’s best for the team and what will make the team more successful. Most employers rely on team synergies to accomplish company goals or solve complex problems. With a military background, veterans make great team players and know how to work with others to accomplish a task or goal.


Leadership is ingrained into almost every facet of military life. Many veterans were responsible for overseeing the training and development of their teams. Through rigorous training and unmatched experiences, our veterans often become great leaders. Military veterans must make tough decisions and lead by example. Many employers are looking for candidates with leadership characteristics to help take their organization and teams to the next level.

Strong work ethic

It’s nearly impossible to beat their work ethic, grit, and tenacity. Veterans must stick to strict schedules and guidelines to accomplish their jobs. Giving up isn’t an option in the military. They cannot just quit when a tough situation arises. They must think and move swiftly to ensure the livelihood of their team and their mission are not put at risk. This perseverance is desirable for any employer looking for a candidate who isn’t afraid of a challenge and won’t throw in the towel when the going gets tough.

Thank you to all those who have served

Memorial Day is just around the corner. While you’re enjoying the extra day off of work, barbequing with your friends or hanging out by the lake, take a moment to reflect on what this day truly means. Thank you to all of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Freedom isn’t free. It’s fought for.