recruiting a to zWe thought we’d have a little fun and explain recruiting from A to Z. Let us know what other things you associate with each of these letters when it comes to recruiting!


A. – You didn’t really think I’d start anywhere else, did you? Neither should you!


B. Benefits – Beyond the norm, what are some unique benefits you offer and can share?


C. Compensation – Make sure your comp is in line. Use our Compensation Benchmark Review™.


Published on May 9th, 2018

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effective managerIt has happened – you’ve made the jump and are now managing people!  But wait, what do you do?  How do you handle transitioning from peer to boss?  Are you prepared for this promotion? The quote, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers,” definitely has some truth to it – not solely, but some. No pressure! Becoming an effective manager takes training, time, and quite frankly practice. In today’s workplace you’ll be hit with all sorts of scenarios, from work related issues to personal challenges that creep into the workplace. And, something that I still am getting used to, is the time needed to give it its due consideration. is holding a Leadership Enhancement Development Course in Ames, IA, June 5 – 6. We’ll talk about a lot of ways to become an effective manager. This is a great workshop for those new to managing or for those that need a little fine-tuning to their efforts. This is limited due to the interactive nature, so if you have interest, please sign up early.


Here is a sneak peek and a few of my keys to strengthening your managing skills:

Published on April 3rd, 2018

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personality assessmentsI’m a Blue, a Yellow Hat, an ISFJ. I rank high in responsibility, self-awareness, and conscientiousness. You guessed it, results from a few of the personality assessments I’ve taken in my time. Assessments aren’t for everyone, but personally I find them pretty intriguing and have experienced both personal and team advantages from the intel several have provided.

There are so many personality assessments on the market and consultants ready to share the next greatest thing. I’m definitely not bashing on consultants because I do think there is a lot of value in pairing the use of an assessment with guidance of someone that is trained to help you interpret and take advantage of what the results are telling you. However, I think assessments can offer plenty of value out right.

We are going to answer the What, When, How and Who of personality assessments! I’m not an expert but base my offerings on personal experiences.

Published on November 2nd, 2017

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returning from maternity leaveWhile very rewarding, being a mom is hard. Period! When you add working on top of things, that brings about additional challenges. One of the toughest? Transitioning back to work after being on maternity leave. Dads, not leaving you out. I know this transition can be rough on you too. Let’s face it though, I don’t have quite the same perspective on your situation.
As a mom of two young children, I’m not far removed from my own transitions back into the workplace after having them. I have my own opinions on maternity (paternity) leave policies in this country and have also been influenced by working with fellow mothers from other countries that have different policies. The truth is, I think there are pros and cons to all. I’m going to share a few tips that helped me and a few things I wish I would have known during that time.
1. Know your policies ahead of time. Ideally this would be discussed during the offer/benefits discussion before you are even employed, but not all of us had baby fever when we accepted our jobs. If you are employed and considering starting a family review the company’s policies. Some companies offer a short term supplemental plan in lieu of formal maternity leave. These can have a waiting period before they are able to be used.

Published on October 26th, 2017

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One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is the Ag & Food HR Roundtable. From the gathering of ideas and input of our Organizing Committee and then molding that into an agenda that will intrigue and provide solutions to the challenges our audience faces. To the meeting new people and making valuable connections for myself but also among the participants. Each step along the way is rewarding, knowing that this event provides a unique opportunity for human resource and university/college career services professionals within agriculture and food found nowhere else.


It is hard to believe that this will be the Roundtable’s fifteenth year. Yes, I know this ages me, but I’m lucky enough to say I’ve been a part of all but the first one! Plan to join us for a fun celebration of 15 years of success, August 1 – 3 in Kansas City, MO. Our Organizing Committee, yet again, has developed a great agenda and we have plenty of fun networking opportunities – can I say, Boulevard Brewery!!!


Published on June 13th, 2017

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social media recruitmentWe stress the importance of social media in the job search to job seekers all of the time. However, it is just as important a discussion for employers and their use as a tool for recruitment. Yep, that’s right — investing some time on social media can ease the recruitment struggle!


According to the recently released Agribusiness HR Review, social media recruitment continues to increase. Seventy-two percent of participating organizations utilized social media in 2016. Facebook was the most favored platform among participants.


So how do you get started?

Published on January 31st, 2017

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holiday giving in the workplaceFruit cake, gift card, bonus, product, or something else…agh! What do I give? Holiday giving in the workplace can be as tough as figuring out what to get your Great Aunt June! If you are thinking about giving holiday gifts to your staff this season consider these few things.



Before you put the effort in to finding the perfect gift, double check your company handbook (or ask your superior if necessary) to make sure holiday gift giving is allowed. Then develop a consistent approach for selecting who and how much you’ll invest. Remember gifts can come in many forms, not just money. I’ll share a few ideas below!


Consistency doesn’t mean you have to give equally across all employees, but you do need logical reasoning to justify your decisions. For example, if you are providing a Christmas bonus, perhaps you base the value on % of salary or weighted based on revenue generated.


Being consistent across employees is obviously the easiest, but doesn’t always make sense. And, it could depend on what you are gifting. Just remember, you don’t want holiday gift giving to become a demotivator for the team because there is unexplainable inconsistency amongst what various team members receive.

Published on December 15th, 2016

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becoming a referenceYou’ve been asked to be a reference for a previous intern. Uh-oh! Now what?


Whether you are acting as a reference for a former employee, intern/student or friend, knowing exactly what to say and how to say it can come with some pressure. For many you are asked to be a reference for, you just want to do them justice and help them succeed. And then, you have those that maybe wouldn’t naturally get your best recommendation which adds even another level of complication.


Whichever the case, here are seven tips to becoming a reference maverick!


7 Tips to Becoming a Reference Maverick


1. Let’s take a step WAY back! If you know you may get asked to be a reference, particularly relevant for interns/students or employees, be sure to provide candid feedback on performance and skills throughout your time interacting with them. Help them learn where they need professional development and focus effort and time in helping them achieve that while you have the opportunity to influence. Helping to build the person up only makes your job as a reference that much easier.


2. Make notes. It can be hard to recall which employee or which intern did what from year to year. Keep a file folder or better yet, an electronic file (I have an email folder too) where you can house examples of work/notes that can easily be referenced and sorted to quickly refresh or access during a reference check.

Published on May 4th, 2016

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Ag & Food HR Roundtable 2016Ahhh! The Ag & Food HR Roundtable…for those that know me, you know that this is a BIG deal. I’ve had the privilege to be a part of the planning of the Roundtable since nearly the beginning. I’ve missed only one, the first one. This year will be hosting the 14th annual conference. Register today, so you don’t miss out!


The Ag & Food HR Roundtable brings together human resources professionals, business leaders, university/college career services staff and association representatives from across North America within the agricultural industry to discuss, learn and influence change around recruitment and retention within the industry. It truly is a one-of-a-kind event.


The thing that I’m most excited about for this year’s Roundtable is pretty simple! I’m excited for our participants to enjoy it! I’m fascinated with the planning aspects of this event, particularly the crafting of the agenda through the help of the Roundtable Organizing Committee. It is always fun to see the thoughts and discussion mold itself into a dynamic and unique conference unlike any other. This year is no exception! The committee has developed a great educational agenda and a dynamic line-up of speakers is expected. I’m looking forward to the event kick-off, Tuesday, August 2nd in Des Moines, Iowa on our host’s, DuPont Ag & Nutrition, campus. Thank you to DuPont and our other sponsors for what is sure to be an exceptional conference.

Published on April 27th, 2016

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Top-brand-publishers-on-social-mediaCoca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks all have the same thing going for them: They’re easily recognized brands. When a consumer sees one of those logos, certain expectations are associated with it, right?


As consumers we are inundated with brands on a daily, hourly, every minute basis. But, branding isn’t just necessary for marketing products, it is imperative for recruiting talented employees as well. Over the past 10+ years we’ve seen employer branding become crucial in this competitive job seeker market. More and more employers are focusing on it, but why?


Dr. John Sullivan ( provides a concise list of excellent reasons for employers to focus on their employer brand:


Advantages of Becoming an Employer of Choice

  • Ease in attracting quality talent
  • Retention rates for current employees
  • Maintaining the corporate culture is relatively easy
  • Customers and strategic partners are also attracted by your favorable image
  • Employee motivation can be easy to maintain because of a shared pride/vision
  • A positive image often results in a higher returns

Published on August 19th, 2015

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