hiring manager interview dressAs agribusiness employers, we typically have high expectations for the candidates we interview. Arrive on time, come prepared with questions, and conduct yourself professionally. This includes dress. While interviewees are held to high standards, does the hiring manager in your organization hold him or herself to those same standards of professionalism, including appearance? How an interviewer dresses can tell the candidate a lot about the organization and its culture. Here are some tips for conveying this truthfully but still making known that you also came prepared and are taking this interview seriously.
 

Why the Hiring Manager Should Dress Well

 

Why does it matter, you ask? You might feel like you’ve got the upper hand here–that your candidates want to work for YOU, after all. THEY are the ones needing to make an impression. But in this job seekers’ market, your impression matters just as much. A candidate will judge on your appearance. It will reveal to them whether or not you take your role seriously, your workplace culture, your expectations for your employees, whether or not your in-person brand matches your online presence, and whether or not the workplace environment is friendly and comfortable. With all that being said, dress in such a way that your candidate could conclude favorably that your organization is the place they would like to work for.


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Published on January 31st, 2019

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office holiday givingTis the season for giving! I love giving. I seriously do. It is my favorite thing to buy things for others (my husband will show you our credit card bill to prove it). And I’m thankful and glad to be in a workplace environment where office holiday giving charity initiatives are implemented. However, I’ve learned over the past few years of doing things in the office that there are some things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to be mindful of when doing office holiday giving initiatives.

 

Choose Something Fun!

 

Pick a charity that will be fun for staff members to participate in. Choosing gifts for a giving tree initiative or toy drive is easily fun for shoppers during the holidays. Or choose something with a prize incentive that makes for friendly competition.

 

Encourage Participation But Don’t Require

 

Participation is awesome and really unites the office. It can also lead to a really successful initiative. Many offices, in fact, hold incentives to encourage participation like getting to wear jeans to work or paid time off for every so many dollars worth raised or cans of food collected. While it’s great to encourage participation, don’t require it. Not everyone may have the means to give back, whether financially or timing-wise. Participation should also be optional because of the following point.


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Published on December 18th, 2018

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jessica bartowJessica Bartow joined the AgCareers.com team earlier this year as our Western US Talent Solutions Specialist. Jessica is based in a home office in California.

 

What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?

 

I help my clients with whatever they need – posting jobs, compensation data, registering for events, etc.

 

What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?

 

I love the ag industry and am so thankful for the opportunity to help our industry leaders find and retain talent.


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Published on November 1st, 2018

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the office hr managementIt’s no secret to those close to me that The Office is my favorite television show. My husband and I have probably Netflix’ed the entire series at least 10 times. I’m constantly quoting lines and relating my life experiences to something that happened on the show. Though I have learned much about HR since joining AgCareers.com nearly five years ago, I must say that I also often see parallels between my industry colleagues’ work and the humorous and often outrageous scenarios played out on the hit NBC sitcom. Here are lessons The Office has taught me about HR and management that I think are relevant and valuable to anyone working in this field.

 

1. How NOT to Behave in the Office or Workplace.

 

This probably goes without saying, even if you haven’t seen The Office. Between spending weeks planning pranks to pull, creating playlists for your office crush, constant parties, and pointless meetings, not a lot of work is actually done on this show. Are your employees really working behind their computers? But more than that, unethical and inappropriate happenings that would make any HR professional spill their chili are the norm in Scranton, PA.

 

2. Show Your Staff They are Appreciated.

 

Aside from his unacceptable comments to and about women in the workplace (which would certainly never fly on a sitcom today) and his treatment of Toby, Michael Scott has to be commended for his treatment of his staff. He holds an award ceremony for them, he participates in great initiatives like “Take Your Kids to Work” Day, he sponsors a (albeit ridiculous) charity 5K for his employees to run in, he gives the entire staff the Friday off before Jim and Pam’s wedding, and don’t get me started about all the goodbyes he gives his staff in “Goodbye Michael.” I could go on. Take cues from the golden Michael Scott moments, after he gets all his fake firing and “that’s what she said’s” out of the way: he goes the distance for his staff.


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Published on June 28th, 2018

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Kate AgCareers.com Summer InternKate Boeckenstedt joins the AgCareers.com office in Ames, Iowa this summer as our Marketing Intern. Kate just completed her junior year at Iowa State University as an Agricultural Education major with the Communications option. Last summer, Kate worked as a Crop Scout for AgVantage FS in Alburnett, Iowa.

 

What will you be doing this summer with AgCareers.com?

 

I’ll be in charge of the student success kit we’re working on as well as the Internship Benchmark Survey. Organizing some pages on our website as well as a few special marketing projects will be some other things I’m working on this summer.

 

What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?

 

I like the flexibility and getting to know the indoor work environment. I like the opportunity to grow and share my ideas. The research side and blogging has been new to me. I never thought I’d be a blogger.

 

What advice would you give to employers using AgCareers.com for the first time?

 

I think the resume database is a useful tool. Sometimes personally looking for the right candidate can serve as an advantage.


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Published on May 29th, 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?


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Published on February 22nd, 2018

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Kacey ToewsAgCareers.com 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 AgCareers.com?

 

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 AgCareers.com?
 
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 AgCareers.com for the first time?
 
Take time to familiarize yourself with the site and take advantage of the resume database, it is a great tool!


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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.


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Published on January 30th, 2018

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unplugging from work over the holidaysWriting this blog post is on my list of things to get done today, as I leave the office for a holiday break, so I don’t have to work during my time off. However, being the AgCareers.com employee that I am (and I know many of my coworkers would agree with me), I intend to bring my laptop home over my break to tend to some small duties while absent from the office. I wouldn’t say that I struggle unplugging from work, but at times, like during my two-week vacation this summer, I wonder why I can never just totally leave work at the office.

 

Google unplugging from work and you’re sure to find many research-backed articles explaining the benefits of taking time away from your computer such as an increase in productivity and creativity when you return. It’s true; I often feel recharged and ready to tackle challenges after I’ve stepped away from my desk for a time. Soaking up time with your families and friends, pursuing outside hobbies and interests, and simply relaxing instead of worrying about what emails may be coming in is not only healthy for us but also for those around us and our relationships. It all sounds good, right? And deep down, we know we all want that feeling of revitalization and peace of mind to just let go of work.

 

If only it were that simple, you may be thinking. Well, it can be. Here are some tips for unplugging from work over the holidays or a vacation:


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Published on December 20th, 2017

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Office Christmas PartiesAhhhh ’tis the season for office Christmas parties…necessary in a way but oh so difficult to pull off appropriately while still having fun and showing appreciation. Office Christmas parties are meant to give your guests (and perhaps their significant others) a nice evening out to show your appreciation for all their hard work this year. And let’s be honest: it’s kind of tacky if you don’t do something to show extra appreciation to your employees. Here’s how to throw a nice office Christmas party for your employees without getting out of hand or being boring.

 

What To Do: This is the trickiest task: doing something fun but simple. First, try taking the party offsite. It will be more fun for your employees to get out of the atmosphere of the office and experience something more interesting. A dinner is a simple, go-to choice for office Christmas parties, but shake up the mold by going for a theatrical performance or a sports event afterward. To make the event more formal, consider a progression dinner at various fine dining establishments throughout your city. Start somewhere for hors d’oeuvres and light drinks followed by a different main dining location and concluding with a dessert location. If you’re interested in holding the event to just one location, choose a restaurant or banquet setting (such as a hotel) with plenty of room to socialize and say a few words of thanks.


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Published on December 7th, 2017

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