Skilled Trades: 3 Unconventional Places to Look for Your Next Hire

Finding experienced candidates to fill positions for skilled trades can be difficult. While it often seems like a no-brainer to go back to your common recruiting avenues like job board websites, LinkedIn, or networking events, there are a few positions that you might have better luck filling by looking elsewhere. “But where?” you may ask. Never fear; the answers are below.


You may be thinking, “Isn’t Craigslist just an old-fashioned version of Facebook Marketplace?” In some respects, yes. However, Craigslist has been a place where people have gone to look for open positions for a while! If you are looking for people to fill Senior-level positions in skilled trades, this could be an amazing place for you to look! If someone has been in the industry for years, this may have been where they found some of their jobs in the past. People tend to return to the habits that have brought them success in the past. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch their eye on their tried-and-true platform!

Reddit or Quora

Reddit and Quora are online communities where people ask questions and help each other out with advice and information. There are plenty of threads on both sites that are industry an trade-specific. You may have some luck posting links to your open jobs on these boards or even starting your own thread for people who are looking for jobs in your industry. You would be surprised who you might come across!

Newspaper Ads

I know. You may be thinking, “Ugh, looking through the newspaper for job ads reminds me of my dad!” Guess who probably has a lot of experience in their field? YOUR DAD. Like Craigslist, the newspaper might be a tried-and-true method of job-searching for some, especially in skilled trades. If you feel like you aren’t attracting candidates with the right experience level, try putting an ad in the paper!

While some of these methods of candidate searching may seem unconventional, they may just lead you to your next great hire.


Are you looking to GET HIRED? Check out JSG’s current openings here.

Advantages to Hiring Recent Graduates

What is black, white, and red all over? A recent graduate’s resume with all of the blood, sweat, and tears they put into it! Recent grads are fresh off the press and eager to start working in the field. What are the advantages of bringing them on to your team?

Excitement for Work

Fresh grads are excited to begin work in the field they have now been training in for years. These hires will be productive workers, not to mention that they will also likely be relatively tech-savvy. It never hurts to have someone who naturally knows how to navigate new systems and easily takes on unfamiliar tasks. These recent grads will be ready to learn and be guided by the expertise of older, more experienced coworkers. This can lead to healthy symbiotic relationships between coworkers, trading wisdom and new ways of efficiently working with each other.

Fresh Canvas

Eager to learn more, new graduates are quick to pick up on how your company runs. Whereas experienced workers may have picked up some bad habits or be stuck on outdated ways of doing things, recent grads have yet to develop habits, for good or for bad.

New Perspective

Recent graduates bring a fresh perspective to your company that could update/improve your processes. When they come right out of school, they will be up to date on the most current practices in your field. Having employees with a range of skills and experiences can make your company more effective. You are more likely to have a range of understandings of your target populations, and their diverse knowledge can help you effectively reach the groups you are targeting.

New graduates can be a major asset to your company. Do not overlook them just because they are young or lack experience. These people can prove to be essential additions to your teams!

Attracting the Right Candidates

When adding to your team, it is essential to bring in people that will strengthen your company’s brand. Bringing in suitable candidates before you even start the interview process can save a lot of time for both you and the candidates.

Determine your ideal candidate

Who exactly are you looking to hire? Going by “whoever feels like a good fit” can only take you so far. Do you want the wisdom of someone who has been in the industry for 40 years? Do you want the fresh perspective of a new college graduate? Determine what kind of availability you need or their willingness to work in-person/remote. When you know what you are looking for, it will be much easier to attract the right people and narrow your candidate pool.

Write effective job descriptions

Bring the right people in by writing a compelling job description. Choose your words carefully. Lay out your expectations clearly. Certain descriptor words used in job descriptions can unintentionally signal to the candidate that you are looking for only a man or only a woman. Check out this article about removing gender bias in job descriptions. Candidates respond strongly to words that they think describe them. Avoid the cliché “self-starter” or “team player” language—everyone uses those. Using language like “motivated to see change” shows that more thought was put into the description than just a bunch of clichés in a row.

Go where your people are

Find out what platforms your target audience uses most to job search. Look in geographical areas where your target is often living. If you are looking for experienced engineers and the closest large city has a considerable engineering industry, target your ads to that city. If you know your target population is more likely to respond to print ads than online Facebook advertisements, invest in the print ads. Are you looking for recent grads? Attend college or high school job fairs and get some face-to-face interaction with your candidates.

Putting in the work on the front end of the candidate search will save you time in the long run, and you will be more likely to attract your perfect fit! Need help with your candidate search? Check out how JSG can help you!

Hiring for Growth

When looking to grow your company, hiring the right people for the right positions can be the difference between success and, well. . .not success. Make sure you are hiring to create the culture and growth you envision. Growth is only a few steps (and employees) away!

Hire for Culture

Look for people that will help push your company culture in the right direction. You can be honest that you are looking for a culture fit. If some skills are not necessary but can be acquired, you may want to compromise on someone having them right out of the gate. It is better to hire someone who brings the right energy to your company with a few skills to be learned rather than an expert who is not helping cultural growth in the right direction.

Hire at Growth Points

Hire the right people for the right positions. Do you see a need for a new department? Hire for one! Want to expand your offices to another state? Interview there! It is easy to want to keep things in the safety of your controlled office, but you cannot grow unless you take some leaps of faith. Trust that your new hire can help plant a presence in that new state while you have regular check-ins with them. Trust that the hire for the new department can run the show with a bit of help/support from the established departments. Stay flexible and be willing to shift expectations and timelines.

Attract the Right People

Writing job descriptions and advertising those positions properly is key to attracting the right people to join your team. Your descriptions should draw people in. Make sure to include the daily tasks of the position and your expectations for the employee as a part of your company. If they will be an integral part of your company’s growth and have the license to make decisions for their role, let them know! Freedom to assist in development is exciting, and more people will likely jump at the opportunity to participate.

Hiring the right people is vital to your company’s growth and prosperity. Reel in those excellent candidates!

What Sets JSG Apart from Other Recruiting Firms?

JSG has over 35 years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, marked by hard work and steady growth. We use our reach to not only provide our clients with the best candidates but to connect our candidates with the best companies. We love to see you succeed!


As a company, we are committed to building strong relationships with our clients. We are dedicated to constantly building on our industry expertise so that we can serve you well. We have gathered a strong network of recruiters to bring you the best candidates possible. JSG works hard to understand your needs and requirements as a company so that we can represent you and your values well while translating that to the way we recruit for you.


Starting in 1984, JSG has worked hard to establish itself as a top-rated cross-industry staffing and recruiting company. We have grown our reach to extend to offices across North America. JSG has a large team of recruiting experts with specific industry knowledge that they use to find individuals with the specialized skill sets you require. We understand the challenges of the job market, and we overcome those to bring you the best candidates your specific industry has to offer. JSG has been named to three of the Staffing Industry Analyst (SIA) lists for seven consecutive years. 


As a leader in our industry, JSG is always looking for ways to develop and adapt to the changes in the job market. We grow with our clients. JSG seeks to foster growth in companies by providing them with candidates who have similar goals and values to our clients. We are constantly looking for ways to expand our resources and better our recruiting processes to provide for our clients in the most efficient way possible.

JSG loves to see our clients grow and our candidates thrive—that is why we love to make perfect matches for you here at JSG. Check out the growing list of industries we serve here!

Putting Candidates at Ease Before an Interview

If you want to see your candidate’s true character and personality shine, make them feel comfortable around you! This will give you a taste of how they will function within the company once they settle in and get comfortable.

Ask Ice-Breaker Questions

Ask the candidate a few questions to get them talking without feeling the pressure of having the perfect answer. You could ask them how their drive was or how their day has been. Ask them anything that has almost nothing to do with the job they are interviewing for. Creating no-pressure conversation allows them to settle in and get comfortable.

Be Vulnerable

When the interviewee inevitably asks you, “How are you?” respond honestly. If it has been a busy day, say so! Had a tough commute, but a great day? Tell them! Try to be open and comfortable with them to remind them that you are just a person too! Being real instead of the classic stiff, “good!” will put the candidate at ease.

Offer a (non-alcoholic) Drink

Within reason, try to provide things that the candidate may need during the interview. When you get the candidate situated in the room you are interviewing, offer them water or coffee. This welcomes them in and puts them at ease. If they do not bring a pen or paper with them, it gives them something to hold. If possible, provide tissues in the interview room so the candidate can use them if needed. (There is nothing worse than a “sniffley” nose during an interview.)

Comfort Bonus Tip: Show them around the office when they first arrive and LET THEM KNOW WHERE THE BATHROOM IS! If they must go during the interview, they can excuse themselves without having to shamefully follow you to the bathroom.