Meet Brian Kevin Johnston: "Seeking Extra Ordinary People This World Needs More of"

This profile is one in a series titled Monday Member Showcase. It was originally published on RecruitingBlogs.com, a recruiting and HR community, where I am a featured contributor. To read the whole series please click here.


QUOTABLES:

"I tell my wife and children every single day before bed and when we get up, that I LOVE them dearly"

"I have realized customer’s buy from people they know, like, and trust, and a fancy office, and corporate brand in this business is overrated."

"Your the kind of person this world needs more of because you live what you believe in and make a difference"

"I believe staying on top of the latest trends in social media, lead generation, and following up (auto responders/direct-email marketing) with customer is essential. If you are not using technology to leverage your brand, and relationship, you going to be swimming upstream in the near future."



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• Community Volunteering: Coach/Team Manager for Temecula Valley Soccer Academy, Club Soccer/TVSA Hawks, and Temecula Youth Baseball
• Personal Causes: Financial Support/Volunteer for Rancho Community Christian
• Office: 951 639 0288
• Cell: 619 861 8653
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Q&A with Brian Kevin Johnston

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Brian: I have been married to Tracy for 12+ Years, who I met in College at Chico State University. We are blessed with two children, Jacob, 9 and Madison, 4. We have two pets a Dog, and a cat.
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Our family is a very strong “unit”, and if you are like most powerful, faith based families you realize it takes hard work and dedication to be successful, which is much like recruiting. Both of our children are in competitive activities/sports, so we enjoy spending free time traveling for tournaments and competitions. It is NOT for everyone, however we have made a decision as a family to support activities and community that encourages teamwork, dedication, winning and losing gracefully, and physical fitness. I tell my wife and children every single day before bed and when we get up, that I LOVE them dearly and that “GOD has big plans for you today.” (Creating expectations)

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry? Brian: I have been in the third party recruiting arena for 12 year as an Engineering Recruiter in “niche” market, Medical Devices, Media/Broadcast, and Data Storage, with over 250 hires.

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Brian: In late 1997 I was approached by a girl I went to high school with, and she mentioned her firm was hiring degreed sales professionals interested in a dynamic career in staffing industry. (It has been a creative/wild ride!)

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Brian: There is a recurring event that has the most impact on my career, and that is when a client or candidate thanks me for matching them together. It reminds me that my career vocation has “meaning”.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?


Brian: My mentors are my parents. They taught me that if you want something in life you need to go get it, through massive action. My Dad is in the medical/optical sales field, and he always told me to focus on prospects/leads/people that have a need or pain, and work your ass off to fulfill that need, and you will have a career in sales for life. (He was 100% correct)

Six Degrees: Tell us about your staffing firm:

Brian: I run a small boutique staffing firm, and I run my own desk, and outsource all of things that I am not good at or bore me (bookkeeping, sourcing, etc) so I can focus on what I love, recruiting and selling. I am a client focused firm, and while we are not huge, my customers are not only fans, they are personal friends, and we like it that way. I have worked for a billion dollar a year staffing firm, and a 2 person outfit. I have realized customer’s buy from people they know, like, and trust, and a fancy office, and corporate brand in this business is overrated.

Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?

Brian: I enjoy and respect the work of Bill Vick, Bill Radin, Lou Adler, and Scott Love to name a few.


(B) In what aspects are they superior?


Brian: More than anything, they are ethical, honorable folks in our industry, and they strive for greatness in the people they surround themselves with.

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Brian: I heard someone say the other day, You are either in the internet business, or you are out of business, and I agree with this. I believe staying on top of the latest trends in social media, lead generation, and following up (auto responders/direct-email marketing) with customer is essential. If you are not using technology to leverage your brand, and relationship, you going to be swimming upstream in the near future.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry

Brian: I DO NOT attend staffing industry events, because the ROI is not there for me personally. I do however attend niche industry events, like storage networking world, and National association of broadcasters. I have spoken at some event in Southern, CA, however this is an area I am interested in and would be interested in to giving back more to my community. I want to speak at events where there are Executives that need me to help with their staffing solutions. I love all recruiters/HR, but the executives with hiring pains is where I want to invest my time.

Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche? Has it effected your job or that of your fellow team members within the organization?


Brian: My business in 2009 was down 10% from 2008, and I believe the future is very bright. While I feel bad for the folks who have lost their jobs, it actually has created A LOT more business into my pipeline. When you have been through 2 recessions, and done well, people start to notice your ability persevere, and it proves you are an industry expert in your niche to key people, and decision makers.

Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities.

Brian: I use Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook to start a conversation, drive traffic to my website (which I track on Google Analytics), then if it makes sense, I do what any expert sales professional does, I pick up the phone, and build rapport.

Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do? Be specific

Brian: Great question! Do not go to a social event and start talking about your product or service to someone. (icky) Genuinely show interest in someone first, start a conversation, and engage. If I go to an event and someone hands me there business card, and starts to give me there elevator pitch, I kindly give the card back and tell them to go talk with the used car salesman down the road. SHOW PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR THEM PERSONALLY/COMMUNITY, the universe will take care of everything else!

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Brian: I want to reach the million dollar mark in a year as far as billings. This is a unique fraternity in third party search industry, but I know I will do it soon. I need to hire/outsource more than I already do and totally immerse myself in client/candidate development. (I actually want to even start outsourcing my email)

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Replies to This Discussion

Nick- Thank you for the comment... Would you please elaborate on "at least he isnt horrendouslyy overweight"
Not sure what this means? Until you respond. EnJOY your day... Brian-

Nick Leslie-Miller said:
At least he isnt horrendously overweight!
Brian,

I really enjoyed your interview and it sounds like you have a great work/family balance. I checked out your blog and am intrigued by the videos you have there describing different searches. What kind of response have you gotten with that? I'm always looking for new ways to broaden my social media reach, but haven't dipped my toe in the video waters yet.

Pam
Pam- Thanks for the comment.. I sincerely appreciate it.. Youtube is #2 search engine next to google.. (Google owns Youtube) I create the content for the videos/tag them with key search terms (Using Google Key word search tool) and then I push the video's to tubemogul (video aggregator/like simply hired for job posting, or Ping.fm etc) Linkedin, Facebook, Broadcast to my list, Twitter, etc. If you need any help with videos, please feel free to reach out to me, I LOVE helping people... I believe VIDEO/Youtube will take over google search in the nest 3-5 yrs, so if you start adding content rich videos now, you are ahead of the curve.... The ROI is great.. IE I have made placement directly from people searching, stumbing onto my video, and intern making placements with my clients...

Best,
http://www.johnstonsearch.com/about.php
Brian-

pam claughton said:
Brian,

I really enjoyed your interview and it sounds like you have a great work/family balance. I checked out your blog and am intrigued by the videos you have there describing different searches. What kind of response have you gotten with that? I'm always looking for new ways to broaden my social media reach, but haven't dipped my toe in the video waters yet.

Pam
Great interview and I like your videos. Keep them coming and thanks for sharing them with us here at RecruitingBlogs.com
Slouch- Thanks for the feedback... I appreciate you for that... I certainly continue to send videos... Best, Bri-

Slouch said:
Great interview and I like your videos. Keep them coming and thanks for sharing them with us here at RecruitingBlogs.com
Thanks for the clarification.... I viewed your profile... I liked the fact that you talk about 1) The phone 2) the PUB as great recruiting tools.... No technology will ever replace Face to face and phone time... Best, Brian-

Nick Leslie-Miller said:
Brian,

It was a compliment about you and a joke about Americans in general.

Best Regards

Nick

Brian K. Johnston said:
Nick- Thank you for the comment... Would you please elaborate on "at least he isnt horrendouslyy overweight"
Not sure what this means? Until you respond. EnJOY your day... Brian-

Nick Leslie-Miller said:
At least he isnt horrendously overweight!

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