mentoring young talentGuest Blog Post by young talent expert Amy Crippen, Agriculture Future of America (AFA), Leader Fellowship


There is an old saying that goes, “It’s not enough to find your purpose. The real achievement is in helping others find theirs.” I never could attribute the wisdom to a single speaker, but the advice remains sage. For those of us in the talent development business, we know helping others find their purpose is the most rewarding.


Think of the moments when you have given someone real time to sort through their thoughts and feelings, and they come away with a nugget. What about identifying someone’s strengths they’ve never noticed in themselves before? How about when you’ve helped someone figure out they are in the wrong role?


These moments all happen within the business of mentoring and coaching. What has always been true is the time requirement to build the relationship, but there are a lot of other factors that play into mentoring and coaching as well. Do you give feedback in a way that builds a person up? Are you strength-based by nature? Do you keep conversations solution-focused? Are you viewing time with them as a gift and opportunity?

Published on March 6th, 2018

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managing offsite employeesOur world at work is changing, and more people are working remotely than ever before. has been no exception in embracing this trend, and we’ve grown to include more offsite employees in recent years. If I reflect on my own personal experiences, I would say managing remote team members is probably one of the hardest aspects of my role. This has nothing to do with the people who are offsite. It has everything to do with the level of intentionality required to successfully create a winning environment…and the journey is never really over in that regard.


We have to strive to keep learning from experiences, and continuously manage expectations from both perspectives. It’s very important to consider individual personalities and work styles. I’ve asked for feedback from remote team members here at in order to compile three quick tips to keep in mind when you have a remote team.

Published on March 1st, 2018

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new grad job offerAccording to agribusinesses surveyed in the recent Intern & New Grad Report, we’re approaching one of the busiest months (March) for filling and completing new graduate job offers. Meanwhile, there is increasing demand among employers for sales and production roles, the most hired categories for new graduates. This competition for talent necessitates that employers create compelling job offers for new grad hires.


College students are becoming savvier at analyzing and negotiating job offers. More than half of U.S. employers responding to our survey said they could offer sign-on bonuses to new graduate hires to entice them to accept the offer.

Published on February 27th, 2018

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lunch interviewA lunch interview is a common portion of the interview process. Often, a lunch interview is an opportunity to have a more casual conversation with a candidate over a meal while still getting to know them as a person and as a professional. Many employers even opt to do to the entire interview over lunch instead of in an office setting. Like all interviewing methods, a lunch interview has unique advantages. Check out this list of reasons to do a lunch interview.


It presents an opportunity to meet with a candidate on a more personal level.


Formal in-office interviews are typically more tense situations for candidates. A lunch interview, while it should still be taken as a formal interview, also invites the candidate to relax a bit more and be themselves. While they should still show a certain amount of nervousness, as it shows they are taking this seriously, it allows for more openness and casual conversation over a meal. Once the questions do start rolling, the candidate has been given an opportunity to ease into getting to know the interviewers as well. This type of interview also serves as a great indicator of emotional intelligence. How easily is conversation flowing? Do you feel like connections are being made? Are they able to laugh a little?

Published on February 22nd, 2018

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workplace wellness appsWorkplace wellness is any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes. A healthy workplace means more than just warding off colds and the flu. It is more holistic and takes into consideration the physical, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, emotional, occupational and mental health of employees. Wellness promotion doesn’t just benefit the employee because an organization filled with healthy and fulfilled employees is a productive workplace that retains its employees. More and more organizations are creating Health and Welfare Committees who are responsible for recognizing health and safety concerns and identifying solutions.


One way to implement a workplace wellness program is through modern technology. There are thousands off wellness apps available to track various aspects of wellness. Before implementing a program is it important to find out what your employees want, test potential apps and be ready to address potential resistance to the program. Here are some of the most popular workplace wellness apps:

Published on February 15th, 2018

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Kacey is privileged and pleased to welcome our newest member to our team Kacey Toews! Kacey joins us from a home office in rural Powhattan, Kansas as Talent Solutions Specialist.


What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with


I handle all of the new accounts as well as my established accounts and assist them in utilizing our products.


What do you enjoy about working with
I love that every day is something different and being able to build relationships with the different agriculture companies every day and see what I can do to assist them in their hiring needs. I also love working with our team, everyone is very helpful and encouraging.


What advice would you give to employers using for the first time?
Take time to familiarize yourself with the site and take advantage of the resume database, it is a great tool!

Published on February 13th, 2018

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virtual meeting etiquetteIf you rev up GoToMeeting on a regular basis or communicate with coworkers and clients via Skype, this blog post may be for you. A virtual meeting is no less formal than a face-to-face meeting and should be treated as such. Here are some tips to consider next time you turn on the webcam at work.


10 Rules for Proper Virtual Meeting Etiquette


Check your background. If you’re a professional, you probably don’t need to be told to remove anything offensive from your background, but anything distracting goes as well. Do you have something flashing in the background or people walking around? Try to angle your webcam away from whatever might be moving in the background so that you are shown against as clear and as tidy a background as possible.
Know your technology. We often tell candidates participating in virtual interviews to check their webcam and microphone technology as well as their Internet connection. It doesn’t hurt to do the same for a virtual meeting, especially if you rarely conduct them.

Published on January 30th, 2018

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candidate rejection letterKeeping in mind that every communication made on behalf of your organization makes an impact on its perception to others, HR professionals should take extra care when communicating with unsuccessful applicants after an interview process. Sending out rejections is often the last step of the recruitment process for busy hiring managers; however, it is important to take this opportunity to build goodwill with the candidates and leave them with a good impression of your company via the rejection letter.


Six Steps for Writing a Meaningful Candidate Rejection Letter

Keep it timely. Send the rejection letter within a reasonable amount of time after you have determined the candidate will not be hired. Candidates appreciate not being left wondering for weeks whether they will be offered the job.


Be direct, but gracious. Begin the letter by warmly thanking the candidate for considering your organization for their next career move. Then get right to the point, remembering to extend a compliment, if you can. For instance, “While your background and qualifications are quite impressive, we have selected another candidate for the position.”

Published on January 25th, 2018

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overqualified“Overqualified.” This is a term that everyone has heard of, but is it something that HR even considers these days? Unfortunately, no, but maybe it is time to look at so-called overqualified people in a different way. There are many reasons why a person with a lot of experience and/or qualifications might apply for a job that they appear overqualified for:


Why Overqualified Candidates Apply

– Changing careers
– After a lay-off
– After completing a contract position
– Relocation
In these situations, job seekers may be fearful that they are taking a step down in their career path, earning less money, and could be bored with reduced responsibilities. For these reasons, many HR professionals choose to not consider these candidates, expecting turnover. However, many HR professionals are now looking at this differently: either you are qualified, or you are not.

Published on January 18th, 2018

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office grouchIs a curmudgeon creating a conundrum at work? You know every workplace has at least one – the bad-tempered, complaining, irritable, negative, grudge-holding office grouch. You can hear their groans when there is an invitation to a company event or even when they’re asked to sign a birthday card. You must drag them out of their office to join coworkers for lunch. Change is inevitable, but a new office policy, product, or alteration in plans can really set them off.

What the Office Grouch Can Teach You


We’ve heard the concept that your worst enemy can be your best teacher. Enemy may not be an entirely appropriate word to describe the grouch (perhaps annoyance is better), but you get the idea. You can learn from people that you find the most bothersome.


NEWS ALERT: Curmudgeons can be valuable to an organization.

Published on January 11th, 2018

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