40,488 views. 2,224 likes. 57,800 followers.
When Keaton Turner sees numbers like that, he gets almost as excited as if he were viewing his contract mining company’s latest productivity or profit figures. And it’s not because he’s a social media fan. Oh, no — far from it.
“I really, truly hate Instagram. But I use it to give everyone a peek behind the scenes and try to make this fun and sexy and appealing to the younger guys that I’m going to build a company around,” says the 31-year-old CEO of Turner Mining Group.
Build a company he has. And it’s as different from a traditional mining contractor as Instagram is from your grandparents’ photo albums. In an industry where the average age is 53, the average Turner employee is 27.
How is this blue-collar business winning the battle to attract today’s Millennial and Gen Z workers to mining jobs? It starts with social recruiting — but it doesn’t end there.
Keaton Turner woke up at age 27 and realized a third of his life likely was over. With family history in mining and mass excavation, he also recognized there was a hole in the industry — the need for a nationwide contract mining company that could help mining operations scale up or down quickly. A no-regrets kind of guy, Keaton took the plunge and formed Turner Mining Group to close that gap.
“I knew the industry was begging for a professional services company that could be the one-stop shop and do it all,” he says. “I also knew that young people were underutilized and that there was a huge opportunity to pair those things together and make something special.”
That was 2017. Fast forward to today and Turner Mining Group employs 250 people across the country working on anywhere from 15 to 20 active projects at a time. They’re united by a simple purpose: “to make life better for the mining industry.”
Most of those employees found Turner Mining Group on Instagram or another social media channel. With a focus on social recruiting they’re able to show millennials and Gen Zers that Turner is the place to make a good living, make a difference and make it fun.
“Making dirt exciting” on social media is Keaton’s objective and it’s then-content director Zach Stinton’s mission in life. Zach joined Turner Mining Group after producing a freelance film for the company that earned more than half a million views online. His videos, photography and drone footage from Turner sites give a unique, and often personal look inside mining life.
“My first visit I could see these guys were different — not just Keaton and the operations team but the guys in the dump trucks and the dozer operators,” Zach says. “The feeling in the company was completely different than places I’d worked in the past.”
Scroll the @turner_mining_group Instagram feed and you feel that difference right way. Sure, there are shots of big yellow equipment and cool mining landscapes. But there’s just as many posts focused on Turner people — showing off their operating skills, their $500 “miner of the month” checks, even their dance moves.
“If you look at all the stuff we put online, we’re making our people the heroes of the story,” Keaton says. “That does more for culture than anything.”
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