In the News

Posted on February 10, 2023

This article was originally published by Jodi Schwan of SiouxFalls.Business

With four divisions, record-building projects and continuous community involvement, Journey Group has earned a strong reputation for excellence.

That reputation has led the company to expand significantly over the years, with a current count of more than 300 employees – and growing.

“We’re trying to fill a record number of openings,” said Sarah Vicuña, human resources manager at Journey Group. “This is a record year for us – or at least, we’re hoping it will be.”

Journey is forecasting a need to hire more than 200 employees – up from 143 this time last year.

“And to be honest, we could have hired even more last year,” Vicuña said. “But it’s more important to us to hire the right people.”

Those are people like Dave Van Nieuwenhuyzen, who joined Journey last year as business development director.

“Journey really invests in our people,” he said. “That’s a genuine thing here. Many companies speak about living out core values, but Journey employees truly put them into action. You could walk around our office, and everyone could tell you our five values as well as provide a story on how they live them out. That’s pretty cool.”

And while employees continue to live out those values and share their stories, Journey readily looks forward to adding more professionals to fill more than 200 employee openings.

“The number of people we want to hire is almost mind-boggling. However, we’re focused on training and growing our team. It’s a huge commitment,” Van Nieuwenhuyzen said. “People are genuinely interested in learning more and going in new directions – that’s encouraged here.”

Journey has openings at all levels, from laborers to construction leaders and corporate staff.

“Hiring each position takes a different strategy and approach,” Vicuña said. “About 50 of the positions are skilled trades, like carpenters or welders that require advanced knowledge and about 45 are office, leadership and professional roles. There is something for everyone.”

But none of the roles can work without field laborers, which are among the most difficult to find.

“They’re the guys and gals really making it happen, so we’re taking some unique approaches to connect with them this year,” Vicuña said.

Here’s a look at how.

Walk-in hiring

Journey’s popular walk-in hiring events will start this month and continue into March.

“We’re hosting six events on Fridays in February and Mondays in March, and we’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” Vicuña said.

“You can come in without a resume, fill out a brief form, grab a snack and have a conversation with our leaders and HR. It’s a great way to meet people, and we generally get a good turnout. You can give an interview on the spot, which really streamlines the process.”

Additionally, Vicuña encourages those who are college-bound or college kids to apply because these positions can be a perfect fit for a summer job.

“These positions provide students with hands-on field experience that will be highly valuable as they move forward in their professional endeavors.”

For a full schedule of walk-in hiring events, click here.

Extra benefits

From day one, Journey’s new hires receive $100 toward a new pair of work boots – and the same goes for current team members.

“We want you to get a nice pair that’s going to help you and keep you safe on the job right away,” Vicuña said.

A new tool loan program also will support those who are new to construction.

“If you’re brand-new, we’re going to make sure the tools are available to help you get started, everything from a hammer to a tape measure,” Vicuña said.

International hiring

Using the federal H-2B temporary visa program for nonagricultural workers, Journey is hoping to bring up to 10 workers to South Dakota this construction season.

“They will be here from April until November on a temporary assignment. We’re looking at Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras,” Vicuña said. “We have a high population of bilingual employees at Journey, and we think that will be the best fit for our teams.”

Journey also is making plans to comprehensively support its temporary team members.

“We’re furnishing apartments for them, assisting them with banking needs and utilities, and showing them community things – like where to grocery shop and how to get around,” Vicuña said. “So it’s a big investment, but we’re hoping it’s a successful pilot we can repeat and grow in future years.”

New benefits

All Journey team members also are enjoying additional benefits this year to an already comprehensive package. An eighth “floating” holiday, to be observed July 3, will allow for an extra-long weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

Employees also will earn and can use paid time off faster.

“We’re proud of how we’ve enhanced our benefits and especially that the changes came as a result of employees’ feedback from surveys,” Vicuña said. “I think that’s telling from a culture standpoint. We listen to what employees tell us and respond the best we can.”

Hiring for culture

From Journey’s perspective, the right employee in any role must fit the culture.

“You don’t have to have the experience, knowledge or skills in some areas because we can train you for those things,” Vicuña said.

“We hire for culture fit and culture alignment – so qualities like integrity, being humble, being safety-sensitive and respecting that this is a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. We’re looking for people who value relationships and treat others with respect.”

And while there are many benefits to a career at Journey, the work is rewarding on its own, Van Nieuwenhuyzen added.

“The projects we’re being asked to pursue are just amazing, with plenty more awesome projects on the horizon,” he said. “To be part of that at every stage is really fun.

“You can do work across a wide area here, but if you have a community mind for Sioux Falls, this is the place to be. We’re super-invested in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas, which is evident in how involved we are in the community at all levels. Our leadership believes in it, and it shows.”

To learn more

Explore all Journey’s career opportunities by clicking here.

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