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.

Prioritizing and Testing for Soft Skills

We have said it before, and we will say it again: Possessing particular soft skills are a crucial part of a good employee. It can be difficult to scan for these soft skills in a phone call or an interview. Having a lengthy conversation with a candidate can only take you so far. How do we properly assess soft skills?

Field Test

Have your serious candidates do a field test or shadow for the day. While some positions may typically require candidates to perform a literal test of their skills (e.g., welding), having them shadow your employee(s) may also benefit your hiring process. Have your employees show them the ropes of how your company functions. See if they adapt, question, seek to learn, etc. Through this, you can assess how well they work with others, how they respond to criticism, and how well they adapt to new ways of doing things.

Previous Experience

Tap into what they have done and how they reacted to situations in previous positions. During the interview, you can ask about dealing with different situations and how the candidate responded. You can also ask them their preferences about collaborating with people, trying new things, and the like. They will give clues about how they work with others and react to challenges. While it can be helpful to specifically ask about their experiences that will highlight their soft skills, take things with a grain of salt. We all try to make ourselves sound flawless/perfectly flawed in interviews.

Online Assessment

Ask your candidates to complete an online strengths assessment! These tests have been around for many years. They can give you a good idea as to what your candidate’s strengths are, as well as where they may fall short. Once a candidate passes the first round of interviews, you will send them the test to complete. You can discuss the results with them in the following interview. Give them the opportunity to speak to how accurately they think it represents them.

Recognizing the right soft skills is key to choosing the right candidate. Now more than ever, we have the tools to test for them. Get out there and fill that role with the best candidate!


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!

Employers: Hiring Trends to Follow

The market is constantly changing, and keeping up with hiring trends is crucial to attracting the best candidates. Many employers are no longer only hiring for hard skills or expecting candidates to simply come to them. Trends are changing, and candidates expect more from their interviewing experience.

Personal Recruiting Experience

Candidates are looking to trust their recruiters these days. It is essential that as someone enters the hiring process, whoever they are speaking to builds trust and sells themselves to the candidate. When the candidate trusts their contact at the company, they also trust their opinions (a.k.a. why they should work for the company, why they may be a good fit, etc.). Candidates do not want just to be thrown into the hiring machine; they want to be treated as human and recognize the person on the other side of the phone as human as well.

Employer Image

Candidates are looking to work for companies with values they believe in. Candidates want to see a well-branded company with a clear mission as well as defined goals and values. Is the company staying up to date? Is their brand kit sharp? Do the words in their mission/goals/values have meaning, or are they all just buzz words? Candidates have increasingly begun to look for more out of the companies they decide to work for.

Soft Skills

Hiring and retaining employees with good soft skills is essential to creating a healthy culture in which candidates will want to work. While some hard skills are critical for a position, good soft skills can make up for places where hard skills are lacking. In many cases, it may be better to have a quick learner without a hard skill than an employee who possesses that hard skill but lacks communication skills and takes a while to catch on to new tasks. Allowing some flex in your hard skills and going after the soft skills is key to hiring the right candidates to foster growth in your company.

Keeping up with candidate trends allows your company to grow steadily and stay relevant in the hiring community.

Expanding Your Reach

As a company, you may be struggling to draw in the right kind of candidates to work for you. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the days of candidates finding jobs in the Classified section of the newspaper are pretty much gone. Never fear: there are a few simple (and updated) ways for you to get noticed. Read on!

Online Presence

Many job seekers begin their search online—it is essential that your company has a significant online presence. Use professional sites like LinkedIn and Handshake to get your name out there! Don’t overlook more casual social media spaces, either. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more can all be used to drive people toward your company. Using social media regularly and staying up to date on trends implies that your company is keen on what is currently happening on the web and in the online hiring sphere.

Web Advertisements

In addition to your online presence, it is key to run targeted advertisements. Using different online platforms, you can run ads in specific areas that you are trying to reach! You can run ads or get your jobs boosted on job search websites. You can also use social media platforms for advertising your company or specific jobs you are looking to fill.

Job Fairs

Though many people do start their search online, a little face-to-face interaction goes a long way. Search for job fairs in the area where you are looking to pull candidates! This may be a specific college campus or in certain states and towns. Make your space at a job fair approachable and representative of your company. Appeal to the kind of person you are trying to hire! Send employees that best reflect your company culture and will draw good people to your job fair booth.

Expanding your reach is about putting yourself out there on all platforms possible. Get your name out there, represent yourself well, and get noticed!

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.

5 Industries to Break Into

Are you looking to change career paths? Break into one that is currently thriving and looking for more workers! Read below for the top five industries to get a great job this year.


Tech is growing rapidly. From coding to IT, tech is thriving. With more people working remotely or hybrid than ever, companies’ technology needs to advance and function properly. Companies are in great need of tech professionals to keep their offices running smoothly.


With companies searching hard for workers, staffing and recruiting firms are being put to use with increasing frequency. A recruiter can help a company seek out the candidates that are the best fit for the job. They are in demand, and this position can often be entry-level–great if you have not worked in this environment before.


Like tech, media is growing rapidly with the significant shift to work and community being online. Many forms of media communication are growing. From blog writers to film editors, employees are needed in these roles to get the job done.


The healthcare industry is currently looking to fill a lot of positions. The impacts of the pandemic have opened up many roles for jobseekers to fill. The healthcare industry is hiring anyone from hands-on medical care workers to biotech to medical data management.

Office Management/Administration

Working in an administrative role can help you break into any field. They are typically entry-level roles, and can give you exposure to an industry you are interested in before you may commit to more training or schooling.

The job market is your oyster right now! If you are looking for a switch, rumor has it that these industries are some you should be looking into. Check out this article about good timing and see the sources listed below for more industries and information about growing in them.




Surviving the Great Resignation

You have probably heard the term before—the “Great Resignation” refers to the record numbers of people leaving the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment has reached record lows, and employees are in high demand. Hiring and retaining employees can be challenging right now. Keep reading for a few tips on how to keep your employees happy.

Appealing Salary

Employees are human (not very shocking), so they naturally follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which can be translated into an Employee Hierarchy of Needs. Some of the most basic human needs translate to paychecks from a company. To support themselves, employees need to be making a fair living wage. If you are not meeting their demands salary-wise, it is highly likely that another company can. Now is not the time to cut costs by offering new hires the low end of the salary range—they will take another company’s offer.

Keep tabs on your current employees. If they have been taking on more work or are hitting anniversary milestones, it may be time to offer a raise. You must show your employees that you value them and the work they are doing. The most tangible way to do this is through their paycheck.


Employees want to be heard. We need to listen. As a leader in a company, it is vital to open the door to allow employees to make suggestions about improving functioning. Employees will appreciate that you recognize the impact they can have on company decisions. Make employees comfortable to bring issues and recommendations to you. Be open to criticism.

Benefits & Flexibility

It is 2022. Employees know what companies are capable of when it comes to benefits and flexible work schedules. People have begun to place more emphasis on work-life balance—they value their vacation time. The pandemic/Great Resignation has shown us what we can achieve while working from home. If your company can effectively work on a hybrid or remote schedule, offering that option can make you a lot more appealing to potential employees, and it can keep current employees happy!

Employees know their worth. The current state of the workforce is allowing them to find jobs at companies that not only support them but also make them happy. Be that company!  

Addressing a Negative Work Experience in an Interview

Most of us have had a job that left us feeling overworked, underappreciated, or just downright mad. Often, these jobs are on our resumes. How do you respond when you are asked about a bad job in an interview?

Why did you leave?

It is ok to be honest if asked why you left; just say it with grace. Instead of saying, “They treated their employees like dirt, and I just couldn’t take it anymore,” say, “I felt underappreciated at that job and felt that my skills could be better used elsewhere.” Try to end in a positive, e.g., “But it made me realize how much I loved {recruiting} and I would like to grow my skills at a well-rounded company like {JSG}.” By no means should you humbug your way through the interview as if everything is daisies and roses, but it is important to show the interviewer that you are hopeful for the future with their company.

What were the positives of the experience?

Very few negative experiences are all bad. You can talk about the parts of the job that you did enjoy. Did you learn to love the type of work you were doing? Have you learned to recognize the value of good coworkers? Did you gain some valuable experience in the field? Emphasize these points.

How did you learn from the negatives?

You can also talk about what you learned from the challenging experience. Did you learn the value of good leadership? Did you figure out what you do and don’t want in a company? How did you grow from this? Maybe you learned what does and doesn’t motivate you. Explain how this and other past experiences have molded your career path.

Past experiences are just that—part of our past! Do not let a negative experience impact you to the point where it jeopardizes future jobs. It does not deserve that power over you. Rise like a Phoenix from the ashes!

Using LinkedIn Effectively and Professionally

LinkedIn has turned into more than just a networking site. Some people have begun to treat it similarly to social media websites like Facebook. LinkedIn even has selected “LinkedIn Influencers,” approved to create notable content for the site. How do you navigate a content-sharing website with everything from promotion announcements to status updates about someone making it through their most recent breakup?

Share Professional Goals and Achievements 

LinkedIn is THE PLACE to share updates about your professional development. To some extent, it is a place to (humbly) brag on yourself a little and show what you can offer. Share the article you just wrote. Post about your new promotion. Talk about your latest professional goals. Keep things short and to the point. There is no need for dramatics and ultra-personal details—save the personal stuff for Facebook. If you are currently job searching, let your connections know! Share a post about your goals, what you are looking for, and call on your followers to let you know of any opportunities they may hear of. Most importantly: KEEP THINGS PROFESSIONAL.

Ask Questions and Be Real

Be sure to present yourself accurately. You do not need to pretend that you have it all together. Feel free to share a quick blurb about how going back to work after maternity leave was a big transition or post an update about how you stayed motivated after a death in the family—be sure to focus the post on your work. Sharing things like this on LinkedIn can be helpful to others going through similar things. Make sure you keep your post professional while also being honest.

On a lighter note, asking questions provides a space to engage with your connections in a way that can lead to some good networking conversations. Post a poll or a question for people to engage with. They can be lighthearted! For example, “Which K Cup flavor is the best to have in the break room?” or “Do you bring lunch to work or get takeout more?”


The primary purpose of LinkedIn is to network. Use it! Follow people in your field. Connect with fellow alumni from your alma mater. LinkedIn is a HUGE resource to find people in your specific niche. Message them and ask questions. Look to LinkedIn to find a career mentor or even just to connect with others in your field.

Use LinkedIn to your advantage! Connect with friends and fellow professionals to stay up to date on your field and your friend’s career moves.