About Us

Our Purpose

We strive to offer the most customer-centric recruitment service available while positively impacting the lives of our clients, candidates, and the communities we serve.

Our Goal

We aim to find the best professionals suited to the technical requirements of the role who will enhance your organizational culture, leaving you confident in the process and your new hire.

Our Approach

We take the time to truly understand what your company does and how you do it differently than anyone else. We want to know what makes you unique. Then we market you to a large pool of talented people - people who are passionate about achieving goals and want to make a difference on their team and within their organizations.

Our Expertise

Led by founder Joel Peterson, who has over 15 years’ experience recruiting across 3 continents, we understand what it takes to make a great hire. We are known for our personal and tailored approach to recruitment, specializing in finding placements for those hard-to-fill jobs. We have recruited hundreds of employees for many unique companies, with a particular focus on Marketing, Sales, HR, and Engineering roles. Meeting new people, listening to their stories and aspirations, and hearing how new hires are thriving is why we do what we do.

Our Values

Have integrity by being accountable and trustworthy, communicating clearly, openly, and with candor.

Give respect and treat all clients, candidates, and colleagues with dignity and professionalism.

Express curiosity for other ideas, perspectives, and paths, being open to consistent growth and development.

Stay passionate for what we do, aspiring to excel in all aspects of our work.

Nurture collaboration and be part of a team to achieve common goals.

Support community by being an advocate for inclusivity and innovation in vital and developing industries.

Our Team

Joel Peterson

CEO and Founder

About Me

Joel is an authentic, enthusiastic, and captivating individual who thrives on fostering connections between forward-thinking, diverse companies and talented professionals.

With over 15 years of combined experience in corporate and agency recruiting, Joel has a remarkable track record of assembling high-performance teams for renowned employers in Canada, as well as leading recruitment projects across the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His passion lies in technology, engineering, and manufacturing, and he has perfected a personalized approach to effectively match candidates with their ideal positions.

Driven by a mission to bridge the gap in the market, Joel established Arbutus Search Group, a boutique recruiting firm that offers high-touch services catered to organizations seeking to enhance diversity within their teams. He specializes in professional-level roles and is committed to finding exceptional candidates who will contribute to fostering inclusive work environments.

Among his notable accomplishments at Arbutus Search Group, Joel takes pride in the creation of the Mary Louise Peterson Award in Business for IBPOC Students and the Arbutus Search Group Centennial Indigenous Scholars Award at the University of British Columbia.

When he’s not working, you can find Joel trail running, hiking, and mountain biking in the local mountains.

Leila Lawrie

Senior Recruiter

About Me

Leila is an insightful recruiter with a keen eye for talent and an innovative spirit. She approaches the placement process with authenticity and enthusiasm, gaining motivation from helping others make meaningful career moves. Leila’s expertise lies in fostering open and sincere conversations while bridging the gap between clients and candidates, ensuring successful placements and thriving new hires.

Growing up in West Vancouver and Richmond, Leila has worked for several of BC’s Top Employers in the finance and education sector, garnering over 17 years of agency and corporate recruitment experience. Her specializations include C-Suite, finance, manufacturing, biotech, and pharmaceuticals. One of Leila’s standout career highlights was her pivotal role in staffing security teams for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Erika Scorsoni


About Me

Erika is a talented and dedicated Human Resources professional committed to being an advocate for both clients and candidates. Originally from Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Erika brings a wealth of knowledge to the team, with an academic background that includes a BA in Civil Law, an MBA in Human Resource Management, and a Post-Degree in Marketing Management. Erika has 5 years of experience in HR Generalist roles with a strong focus on recruitment, project coordination, and people management. Her expertise includes overseeing the complete recruitment cycle, undertaking market research, improving employee retention and satisfaction, and refining HR programs, policies, and procedures to optimize organizational performance.

Specializing in the Construction and Engineering sector, Erika has a proven track record in recruiting for a broad range of technical and non-technical roles. These include Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Controls & Automation Engineers, Field Operations Managers, and Drafter/BIM Tech positions. Her keen eye for talent, combined with her in-depth industry knowledge, ensures she is adept at matching candidates with the perfect roles.

Gabriel Rodriguez


About Me

Gabriel is a tenacious and determined sourcing professional who brings a perfect blend of optimism and pragmatism to his work. Originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, he has been settled in Vancouver with his family for the last 2 years.

Bringing a decade of Talent Acquisition experience to the table, complemented by a Master’s degree in Human Resources, Gabriel is a specialist in sourcing and research across various skill sets and sectors. His expertise enables him to successfully tackle a wide range of recruitment challenges. Notably, Gabriel is particularly skilled at identifying and attracting unique hard-to-find talent, regardless of their location.

Gabriel’s passion is ignited by technical positions. He thrives in the dynamic and rapidly-evolving landscape of the automotive, electronics, technology, engineering, and manufacturing sectors.

Tegan Nevison

Operations Specialist

About Me

Tegan is the Operations Specialist at Arbutus Search Group, where she plays a pivotal role in overseeing the daily administrative and operational functions of the company. She has a versatile skill set that encompasses bookkeeping, financial analysis, web design, and resume writing.

Coming from a background in legal bookkeeping, Tegan brings a unique perspective and an interest in finance and accounting to our team. She thrives on understanding the underlying structures of a business, leveraging her insights to support and guide our vision with sound financial decisions. Tegan’s skills also extend to the digital realm with an aptitude for web design, this capability enables her to contribute to our online presence. Her proficiency in resume writing allows her to provide valuable assistance to our candidate clients, helping them present their value effectively to prospective employers.