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What is Construction Management?

Some of the many roles we hire for at JSG fall under Construction Management. These roles work closely with engineers, architects, property owners, and contractors. With plenty of room for growth, Construction Management is ranked #1 in Best Construction Jobs by U.S. News and World Report.

Primary Responsibilities: Planning and Overseeing

The Construction Manager sees a project through from the planning phase to the close-out. According to procore.com, the four main sectors of a project are planning, preconstruction, construction, and close-out. During the planning phase, the construction manager works alongside others to establish goals, determine needs, set a schedule, and agree on a budget. Preconstruction involves laying out basic plans to obtain building permits and hiring contractors for different parts of the job. Moving into the construction phase, the building/breaking ground begins, and the Construction Manager monitors EVERYTHING—quality control, safety, budget, schedule/timeliness, and insurance. The Construction Manager also continues to submit permits and monitor them when necessary. Lastly, during close-out, everything is passed over to the property owner. They are given the keys, the manuals/warranties, and all project information. At this point, as the Construction Manager, your work here is done!

Challenges of the Job

As a high-stakes job, Construction Management keeps you on your toes. With any construction project comes unexpected changes and bumps in the road. You never know what exactly you will find when you break ground. If you like to problem solve on the fly, Construction Management may be for you! You must be meticulous about safety, as construction involves quite a bit of safety risk management. Construction timelines often get extended, and budgets are often surpassed. The Construction Manager must be flexible and able to adapt quickly and efficiently to changes and bumps in the road (both literally and figuratively).

Construction Management can be a fascinating career. Responsible to the property owner, they are in charge of getting the job DONE. If you like the sound of an exciting job with some twists and turns and a rewarding end product, Construction Management may be the job for you!

Moving Up in Your Career

Sometimes, it is easy to feel stuck in your current role in your career. For a while, it may just be comfortable. However, if you want to progress in your career, you will need to push yourself a little and put in the work, possibly making some changes.

Face Time

Be sure to get face time with the people who are in charge! These may be people at the company you already work for, or they may just be others in your field you respect. Connect with people you can learn from, and do not hesitate to ask them for advice. Find out what they did to get to the position they are in now. Check out this recent article about networking!

Changing Jobs

You may be at a point in your current position where there is really no way to move up at your company. This requires you to push yourself a little and start looking for another job with growth opportunities. It may be necessary to do some networking to figure out which companies in your field foster growth within their company.

Continuing Education

Depending on your career path, it could be necessary to go back to school or enroll in more training in order to move higher in your field. Not only does this prepare you with more knowledge for the potential jobs ahead of you, but it shows your dedication to your career. Some companies will even help pay for you to enroll in programs at local schools while you work for them.

Although staying in your current role can be comfortable, moving up usually requires you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. This could mean putting yourself out there and networking, taking the risk to change jobs, or taking the time to get a new certification or degree.

Staying Safe at JSG

Here at JSG, safety is of the utmost importance to us. Because of this, our Safety Team (led by Amanda Walton) is constantly seeking ways to keep our employees safe and learn how to best support them if an accident happens on the job. Read on to hear about what our safety team has been up to recently.

Best Practices Training

Over the past month, Safety has attended some events to stay updated on the latest safe work practices. At the end of April, the entire Safety Team attended the Illinois Chamber of Conference training class for Best Practices for Post-Accident Procedures from a Legal Perspective at the Connor Gallagher office. This training covered how to best investigate claims and support workers through legal documentation and communication. The Safety Team will continue to use their processes to maintain a safe and productive work environment for all JSG employees.

Occupational Safety and Health Training

The entire Safety Team also completed the worker occupational safety and health specialist training with the Berkley Labor Occupational Health Program. This four-part training highlighted promoting effective safety programs, as well as identifying and controlling workplace hazards. The program also focused on health & safety rights and responsibilities and workers’ compensation/OSHA.

JSG cares about health and safety!

Safety Team

Safety Team at Illinois Chamber of Conference training

Five Aviation Facts

The Aviation Industry is one of the exciting industries that JSG works with closely. Whether you are a career Aviation guru, interested in pursuing a career in it, or just a curious observer and plane frequenter, you may learn something below:

  1. The airplane fleet size worldwide is expected to nearly double by 2040. According to Statista, North America’s fleet will increase by 42 percent. In comparison, the Asia Pacific fleet is projected to increase by a whopping 139 percent! The European fleet falls somewhere in the middle, expected to grow by 76 percent.
  2. The busiest airport in the U.S. (and one of the most active globally) is the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Pre-pandemic in 2019, ATL had over 110.5 million passengers come through their facilities, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While passenger numbers are steadily climbing back up from 2020, the Atlanta airport has yet to bounce back to its normal traffic levels.
  3. According to the Sheffield School of Aeronautics, flying is the safest mode of travel. There are many crew members involved in the flight of a plane—pilots, flight attendants, ground crew, air traffic control, etc. These different teams constantly check and balance each other to ensure a safe flight. Crews have in-depth training, and the technology used is top-of-the-line.
  4. The oldest operating airline, KLM, is almost 103 years old! This Dutch company was started on October 7th, 1919.
  5. Airplane lifespans are based on the number of pressurizations the plane is subjected to. According to The Aviation Base, most planes are retired around 75,000 pressurizations. This usually calculates out to 20-25 years of service.

This is just scratching the surface! Aviation is a fascinating industry that JSG is privileged to work with. Are you interested in pursuing a job in Aviation? Our Atlanta office specializes in hiring for Aviation jobs across the country! Check out our job search page to look for opportunities near you.

 

Check out last week’s “Look into HR!

May Highlight: Welcome Back, Linnea!

Our HR department welcomed back a familiar face this past month—Linnea Rummage! For the past year and a half that we were without Linnea, JSG was always in the back of her mind. Dare we say, she missed us. Linnea says that she loves the people at JSG, as well as the opportunities for growth and making an impact. Her passion for service and people is what drew her to Human Resources. We are so grateful to have her back on the team!

Some fun facts about Linnea:
– She loves to read and is currently participating in a book club.
– Linnea is the proud parent of two cats, Harry and PJ (see below).
– She is a college football fan—most Saturdays in the Fall, you will find her watching and rooting for her favorite team (“Go Hawks” – Linnea Rummage).
– Linnea likes to spend her free time with the people she loves, her friends and family. Bonus points if they are going to a concert together.
– She likes to travel. She recently went to Mexico, and you will find her in St. Maarten in early 2023.
– Linnea originally wanted a Fashion Merchandising and Marketing degree but realized she wanted to pursue a degree in Human Resources.
– *EXTRA Fun Fact*: The president of the Society for Human Resources Management club at the University of Iowa (her alma mater) worked at JSG in HR and helped her get a job here in 2016.

 

Check out our Employee Highlight from April–Frank Pytel!

A Look into HR

Are you considering a job in Human Resources? You may be wondering what different roles HR offers or what exactly goes into working an HR job. Let’s take a look at a few options in the HR field:

Learning & Development

An HR employee overseeing Learning and Development is responsible for uptraining employees in the best practices for their roles. Learning and Development can work with both new and current employees. Often, they train new employees, but they can also continue training for employees where they see a need for more skills training. They work to develop employees’ skills and track engagement to make the company the more efficient it can be!

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion 

The HR employee responsible for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion ensures that the company gathers employees from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences. It is crucial that a company employs people from all walks of life and treats everyone equally. As a DEI HR employee, you would be responsible for monitoring hiring and office dynamics to ensure all are heard and given an equal chance. You will be the driving force behind creating a company culture that fosters inclusion and collaboration.

Benefits

This area of Human Resources is pretty self-explanatory. If you were to specialize in benefits, you would be processing employees’ selected healthcare and 401k plans, as well as disability and life insurance. A Benefits Coordinator will be the contact person for employees that need help navigating or changing their plans. In addition to this, they work with brokers to get the best options for yhe company and employees.

Payroll

HR employees that work in payroll process timecards, PTO, and expenses. Suppose you work in the payroll corner of Human Resources. You will likely be receiving employees’ timecards/expenses, processing the data, and ensuring that everyone gets paid the correct amount on time.

 

Human Resources offers many options, from those that are more business-focused to those that focus on people and interpersonal dynamics. Check out JSG’s current HR position openings at careers.jsginc.com!

 

Negotiating a Job Offer

When looking for a job, it can be intimidating to make demands about your salary, benefits, and anything else important to you about a job. However, it is crucial that you advocate for what you deserve when it comes to compensation. Negotiation is necessary!

Use industry standards to set expectations.

The first step to determining your “worth” as an employee is researching what those around you are being paid. You can use websites like those listed here to gather information about salaries in your area for positions with your education level and work experience. Use the average of your findings to create a range of what to reasonable to expect. Before going into an interview or negotiation situation, determine your goal compensation, the lowest you will go, and the highest you will ask for. This way, there is little to no need for you to do quick math on your toes during the conversation.

Weigh your benefits

Remember to take benefits (or lack thereof) into account when negotiating. Benefits have a monetary value as well, so make sure you are not overselling or shortchanging yourself! Are you looking to work from home or have flexible hours? Ask about these things—they have value too!

Shoot high

Typically, you should ask for a little above what you would like to be paid. Most employers will try to meet you somewhere between their offer and your counteroffer. Avoid suggesting an outlandishly high number—this will only result in laughs. Counteroffer with the high end of the salary range for your position and try to meet them in the middle at your goal rate.

Consider other options

If you have multiple job offers on the table, it doesn’t hurt to let them know! If another company offers you better compensation, ask the company you want to work at to match it! While it doesn’t hurt to ask, be careful how you do it—threatening to go to the other company instead can come off as insolent. A respectful suggestion could go like this, “{Company} offered me $000,000 for the same position. Is there any chance you could match that?” Asking lets them know that you have other options, but you are still serious about accepting the position at their company.

KEY TIP: Do not “threaten” to decline a job offer unless you are ACTUALLY willing to let it go. Otherwise, you may have significant regrets if the company does not budge on its offer.  

For some rules to follow when negotiating, check out this Harvard Business Review article. As always, go into these interviews and meetings with confidence and humility!

April Employee Highlight: Frank Pytel

After working with Johnson Service Group for an incredible 37 years, Frank Pytel has made the exciting decision to retire this month! Although Dale and Ken Slater are quite convinced that he will simply return to work after a week or two of rest, the Chicago office threw a retirement party to celebrate all the excellent work that Frank has done over the decades that he has worked for JSG.

Frank Pytel started with JSG back in 1985, when the company was just a small operation. He stuck with us as we grew to what we are now—one of the largest staffing firms in North America! We’ve had our share of successes and struggles over the years, and Frank’s contributions to JSG extend far beyond contractor placements and AVM reports.  

Frank is a kind-hearted, intentional person. He was always a reliable resource for both seasoned salespeople and brand-new employees–someone to give advice and bounce ideas off. Frank built strong relationships with both his coworkers and clients. He made a point to understand clients’ exact needs and communicate those to recruiters in order to find the perfect candidate. The office will not be the same without Frank’s stories and jokes!

After his last day on April 15th, Frank will retire to spend more time with his wife of 40 years, Karen, as well as his children and grandchildren. Frank will spend his time golfing, watching sports, and taking frequent trips to Florida and Arizona. We wish him the best for this upcoming season of rest.

Thank you for all your fantastic work, Frank! You will be missed.

Some words from JSG leaders, Dale and Ken Slater:

A lot happens when a person spends over 37 years with the same company… not the least of which is that they become part of your family and you theirs. We wish Frank the best in his retirement and hope that the future for him and his family is filled with many great days and years ahead. Congratulations, Frank!… and THANK YOU!”

Five Fun Fabrication Facts

Here at JSG, we employ many in the fabrication industry. Let’s celebrate our talented workers with some interesting facts about metal fabrication!

  1. Fabrication can be dated back to as early as 4000 B.C. Archeologists see evidence of the process used to shape gold and other metal jewelry. Source: MetroSteel.com
  2. According to EVSmetal.commetal fabrication can help save the trees! They assert that the metal framing for a home can be built with the recycled metal of 4 cars. If the same house were constructed with wood, it would require 40 trees to be cut down!
  3. More than 50% of products used daily were created with some form of fabrication. This includes cars, cell phones, and things as simple as your fork and knife! Source: ManyFabrication.com
  4. Earth’s atmosphere is the only barrier keeping two metals from automatically bonding! If we were in a vacuum, any two pieces of metal that touched would automatically bond. On Earth, a minute layer of oxidized material is the only thing keeping two touching metals from becoming one! Source: TWS.edu
  5. The deepest wet weld ever performed underwater was at a depth of 2000ft. This weld was performed by the U.S. Navy. The deepest dry weld was performed at a depth of 1075ft. Source: EVSmetal.com

Check out this previous article for some cool facts about mining!

Benefits of Accepting a Contract Position

When working with a staffing company like JSG, many open positions may be contract positions. Why should you take a contract position? What are the benefits? First, let’s define what a contract position is.

According to ZipRecruiter, it is “. . .an arrangement between an employer and a person who works as an independent contractor—not as an official employee of the company. Businesses and government organizations hire independent contractors to perform all types of work—computer engineering, marketing, technical or content writing, construction, and more.”

Flexibility

Often, contract positions are shorter assignments (usually around six months to one year). This is generally because the company hires for a specific project. As a result, there is flexibility for people who like to try new things and go to new places. If you want to work for concentrated periods and travel between jobs, contract work may be perfect for you!

Higher Pay

Many (not ALL) contract positions offer higher pay because of the brevity of the work and (sometimes) absence of benefits. This allows you to choose what you want to do with your money, whether health insurance, investing, etc.

Experience

Contract work can allow you to get experience in many different roles. Because it tends to be project-based, you can try a plethora of projects in your field to figure out what you like best. Many companies have opportunities for their contract employees to be hired as direct employees after working with them for some time. This means that if you find something you like to do and want to stick around, there is a good chance you could be offered a direct contract with that company.

If contract work sounds like a good fit for you, check out our listings across the U.S. and Canada here. You may just find your perfect fit!