Growing Your Future
in Agriculture

Recruiting 6 posts

2 June 2011
Topic: Recruiting

What a Recruiter Can Do For You

Over the last couple of months, I've written a couple of blogs discussing how to select the right recruiter and then how to work with that recruiter. In thinking about the next blog post, it dawned on me that I might have gotten the cart ahead of the horse!!! While both of those topics are important, neither does much good unless you understand the value a recruiter brings to the table. Thus, I thought it might be a good idea to discuss my thoughts on what a good recruiter should be doing for you……

Assuming you have selected the right recruiter, this individual will fill two different roles for you: First as a job center, then secondly as a career counselor.

As a job center, a recruiter provides you with exposure to specific or hidden jobs (ones that are not advertised). Good recruiters will have strong relationships with the hiring managers of their clientele and are often privileged to human resource needs that even the HR department is not aware of. In addition, even if there is no job currently open and a recruiter believes you would be a good fit, they can market you in and often a job is created for you.

Also, the use of a recruiter will save you great amounts of time (especially if they pre-screen you to uncover your needs & goals) Instead of wasting time searching for jobs, you can apply this time to your current job. Furthermore, recruiters can operate in a confidential manner to ensure that your current employer isn't aware of your search. This is more of a short-term function.

Then from the career counselor perspective, you can expect a recruiter to look at your career strategically and offer up options based on your needs and goals. For example, they should be able to outline the advantages/disadvantages of different positions or explain which companies are known to have good/bad cultures. They can offer resume suggestions, give advice on whom to use for references, enlighten you to the current salary ranges, or instruct you on what types of questions to ask during the interview process. These are more long-term functions.

The key to this is simple honest communication. Once a recruiter understands how to help you, they can, and most often will. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Those who don't ask, don't get. Career Solutions is here if you have any questions at all.

5 April 2011
Topic: Recruiting

How To Work With Recruiters AND Be Successful With Them

A few weeks ago, I discussed the keys to selecting a good recruiter. Today, I want to follow up on that discussion by reviewing how to effectively utilize a recruiter's services. Before doing that, I think it is critical to note that most recruiters work on contingency searches, meaning they only get paid when one of their candidates is hired by a client. Therefore, the two most important commodities to this type of recruiter are time and reputation. That being said, being respectful of these points will help greatly in understanding how to work your selected recruiter.

1) Don't play games, be honest - trust me, recruiters have seen it all and heard every sugar-coated excuse, so don't try to fool them……this will only get you dropped from their list of candidates (recruiters won't risk their reputation or time on someone who tells half-truths). Just be up front about everything. If you won't relocate, tell them. If there is a certain dollar amount required, tell them. If you have a non-compete, tell them. If you don't like a job they present, tell them. Don't string them along if you aren't serious about taking a new job, because you will be the boy who cried wolf!

2) Ask for their opinion - good recruiters won't judge you, and they have a wealth of knowledge to draw from. Ask them about your situation, your career path…...ask them about the company, the position, the interview…..pick their brain, but don't waste their time. This is also a good gauge on whether they are going to help you - a recruiter who spends the time doing this, probably actually cares about you. One disclaimer on this: Be prepared...some of the answers given may not be what you want to hear!

3) Give the recruiter an opportunity to work for you - things don't always happen overnight, so don't get mad if the results aren't immediate or in your time frame. Sometimes it takes me six months to place a candidate due to various restrictions or objections. Trust me, recruiters are always trying to move the process forward. It's okay to check in with the recruiter weekly (in fact this shows good follow-up skills and proves your interest), however, don't become a pest. Never go around the recruiters back direct to the hiring company. This only makes you look bad in front of the hiring manager and makes the recruiter mad!

4) Give the recruiter as much detail as possible - the more we know, the more we can help. Detailed information helps us sell you to our clients better. It helps us better understand your needs, so we don't present job opportunities that you wouldn't have interest in. Sometimes this may take two or three conversations or a face-to-face meeting. I am always better at helping those I have seen in person!

5) Handle your discussions with the hiring company professionally - recruiters can do some buffering of relationships, but if you torch a bridge, often you can take the recruiter down with you, so be professional. As I have stated before, making the recruiter mad by hurting their reputation is not a good idea, especially if you expect future assistance from them. The common example I see is when a candidate turns down a job offer…..instead of going off on the company as to the reasoning behind declining the position, handle it tactfully, so the door is left open. Things may change in a year (new hiring manager, new ownership) and you may need a job. Recruiters always appreciate and respect those candidates who make them look good if front of the client, even if they don't take the job.

When working with a recruiter, you have to remember that it is just like building any other relationship…..there is give and take. Once the relationship is built it needs to be maintained, as a good recruiter can not only be one of your best assets to a successful career, but a trusted colleague and friend. Please let me know if you have any questions.
8 March 2011
Topic: Recruiting

Don't let the wrong recruiter bring you down


Recruiters are just one of the multiple avenues available to you while taking that next step along your career path. A good recruiter can launch your career to the next level, whereas a poor recruiter can move you back to down the ladder.

Think of it from a carpenter's perspective. When they're on the jobsite, reaching into the toolbox and pulling out a dull screwdriver or a broken hammer costs them time and money, not to mention frustration!!! Therefore, it is critical that only high quality and dependable tools make it into their toolbox. In order to accomplish this, carpenter's tend to buy tools referred to them by their counterparts. However, referrals are not always available, so occasionally these skilled tradesmen have to test out a tool by the old trial and error method. I think this thought process applies well to the job search and selecting a recruiter.

Having a colleague or coworker direct you towards a recruiter that they have prior experience with is ideal, but not always reality, so there will be times where you have to go in cold turkey!!! With that in mind, here are some tips that may help:

  • Seek out a recruiter who specializes in your industry or concentrates in your profession. This will keep you away from the recruiter who tries to be everything to everybody.
  • Reference checking the recruiter with either candidates who have worked with them or clients who have hired from them is something to consider.
  • Ask them why the got into recruiting and then probe around this topic with some follow up questions. Don't be afraid to engage them in this topic. Your goal is to uncover their intention. Are they in it for the placement or do the genuinely want to help the candidate/client.
  • Find out how they work. Do they keep your information confidential or are they resume blasters? What type of career planning approach will they take with you? How do they handle the interview and negotiation process?

If you currently have a job but are seriously considering switching companies, I would suggest only using one or two recruiters in order to safeguard confidentially and to keep from over-extending yourself. Should you find yourself out of work, then turning up the heat by using three or four recruiters might make more sense. It is important to understand that your initial impressions may be wrong after a couple of test runs and in a couple weeks your portfolio may need some reorganizing!!!

Once you have completed this selection stage, you are prepared to move into the search stage. In my next blog, I'll discuss how to properly interact with recruiters and how to let them help you.
7 February 2011
Topic: Recruiting

A fresh approach to recruiting

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago on the process of recruiting, or at least on the process Career Solutions takes when it comes to agricultural recruiting. We feel that recruiters in the past have been given a bad rap, and some of them, I'm sure, deserve this reputation. But not all recruiters have the same ethics. We have four major categories in which we base our model on.

  • We want long-term partnerships with our clients
  • Our responsibility is to ensure our clients hire the best people
  • Contingency only, as we only want to get paid for what we do
  • Do not recruit personnel currently employed by clients

  • Client centered, we build the process around the client
  • Thorough needs assessment that may include an onsite visit
  • Detailed screening of candidates, we do not blast resumes
  • Our internal sharing of candidates creates a larger selection

  • Each recruiter is specialized by industry sector and/or region
  • We utilize a professional, ethical, hands on approach
  • All information is treated with the highest confidentiality
  • We are flexible and available to meet your schedule

  • We save time and money by freeing up internal resources
  • Our diverse and extensive network of candidates
  • Our industry knowledge can be tapped for data/trends
  • We assist with scheduling interviews and providing feedback

How we work means a great deal to us from working with our clients to working with our candidates. We want to do things the right way here at Career Solutions, and if that's what you're into, then it's time for a deeper conversation.

Have you had any less than great recruiting experiences? We'd like to hear about them.

7 January 2011
Topic: Recruiting

Debunking any recruiting myths - How we do it

We know there can be scary stories out there on "headhunters" or "recruiters," so we've decided to just strait up let you know the way we do things here at Career Solutions: Here is our application process.

Career Solutions Applicant Process

How we are structured:
  • We never charge candidates a fee
  • All candidate information is strictly confidential
  • We never disclose your name or information without your authorization
  • Recruiters are industry and geographic specific
  • All candidates are shared internally within the recruiting team
What you should do initially:
  • Go to our website:
  • Search our data base of current job openings
  • Clink on our Application button
  • Complete the questions and attach your resume and references
What you should do long term:
  • Monitor our web site for open positions that you are interested in
  • Apply to other positions you are interested in and qualified for
  • Keep us informed of changes to your career needs
What we do initially:
  • We notify you via email that we received your application
  • We review you resume, qualifications and references
If you don't meet our clients requirements:
  • We keep your information on record
  • We search for other appropriate career openings and call when they turn up
If you DO have the necessary qualifications our clients are looking for:
  • We contact you to assess your career needs and goals
  • We arrange a time to interview you - on the phone or face to face
  • Internally we search all Ag industries for additional career opportunities
  • We contact your references and industry professionals with your approval
  • With your endorsement we present your resume and credentials to our clients
  • You are contacted to make arrangements for an initial interview with our client
  • After the interview we provide you with our clients evaluation
  • Further interviews are scheduled if needed
  • We help you review the offer and assure your needs are being met
  • After your new career starts we contact you to evaluate your position
  • We welcome referrals from other industry professionals in need of your services
That's it in a nutshell. We want to help you find a job you're secure with and want to help the companies that work with us find the most qualified candidates. Any questions?
3 January 2011
Topic: Recruiting, Agronomy

Welcome to the Career Solutions Blog

Thanks for stopping by our new blog. We're pretty excited to finally get this thing launched. We're also pretty new at blogging, so we're getting a bit of istance. However, what we ARE good at is finding some of the best agricultural positions out there, all over the country.

Why choose a career in the Ag world?

This is one of the number one questions we get asked. Did you know that over 1/4 of the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is Agricultural-related? There are millions of people who don't know this. Here are some more benefits of choosing a career in the agriculture field:

  • Stability - When you think about it, people have to eat every year. Period. Farmers' will always be planting and harvesting product.
  • Diversity - the multiple sectors in agriculture field require varied ag backgrounds and skill sets.
  • The agriculture field is international in scope, which increases the number of job locations.
  • The United States is the world leader in agri-business. As mentioned above, 1/4 of the US GDP is from agriculture. People all over the world rely on this constantly evolving industry.
  • Cutting edge technology and new innovations are constantly being developed.
  • Compensation has steadily been increasing. We'll talk about salary negotiations soon.
  • The culture and people of agriculture make it a great place to work.

Most of us have grown up in this industry. You could call it a way of life. What we're here to do is give you the most current information, give you hot jobs of the week, and help you walk into your Ag career with your eyes wide open by giving strait-forward resume and interviewing tips.

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things agriculture-related.