Whether you’re an “Aggie” or not, you’re likely already familiar with Bayer CropScience. They’re a world leader in agriculture and environmental health products and create more than 50% of the canola in Canada (in fact, some of their products are probably in your lunch today).
What you might not know is that Bayer CropScience is as dedicated to growing the careers of students and graduates as it is to providing quality agriculture products and services. They have a robust Summer Associate Program and a wide range of year-round opportunities that they actively recruit for.
Cheryl Probert, a Recruitment Partner at Bayer CropScience, gave us the inside scoop on Bayer CropScience’s recruiting process and what they’re looking for in potential candidates. Read below for her tips on successfully hatching your agriculture career with Bayer CropScience.
What roles do you typically hire students and recent graduates for?
Cheryl: Our Summer Associate Program offers 130 opportunities with our Sales teams and our Agronomy teams across Canada. We also have a variety of positions not related to summer work that we hire for throughout the year.
When does Bayer CropScience typically recruit for these roles?
Cheryl: We start our summer student recruitment planning process in July, then send local “Hiring Teams” to campuses across Canada in September and October. The roles we’re recruiting for in the fall are for the following spring and summer work terms. We usually hire those students before Christmas. For roles not related to summer, we hire year-round.
How would you describe Bayer CropScience’s ideal candidate?
Cheryl: The ideal candidate for many of our roles has some sort of agricultural background, whether it’s from growing up on a farm or studying Agribusiness, Agronomy or a related discipline. Aside from that, we’re looking for well-rounded candidates who bring a combination of intellect, a positive attitude, flexibility and ambition to the organization.
Bayer CropScience has a wide variety of career paths and ultimately, we hire individuals with the long-term success of both that person and the organization in mind. We strive to hire employees who believe in our L.I.F.E. values (Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency).
What always impresses you when you see it on a job application?
Cheryl: Attention to detail, such as proper spelling and grammar, can be the difference between you getting an interview or not. As well, applications should be in a format that’s easy to read on a computer screen. Fancy fonts, graphics or animations don’t always translate properly.
In terms of content, I like to see accomplishments—things that are measurable. It could be as simple as how many customers you served in your average shift as a waiter or waitress. If you’ve received any awards or recognition as part of your work experience, you should include them, and any scholarships and academic achievements as well. The more information I can gather from a resume, the better!
What should candidates expect if they’re invited in for an interview?
Cheryl: We try to keep our interview process simple for everyone involved. Usually you’re interviewed by a panel consisting of two or three Bayer CropScience employees.
The interview itself is a behavioural interview, where we ask you about what you’ve done in the past that could be applied if we hired you. We’re looking to understand what your experiences are and what your thought processes are like.
Interviews are usually no longer than an hour, allowing time for your questions as well. Our dress code is business casual so we expect you to come to the interview well dressed.
In what ways can an applicant best prepare for their interview?
Cheryl: One of the most important things anyone can do is research the company! Find out what Bayer CropScience does, what our products are and who our customers are. Not only will this help you fully understand topics the interview panel might bring up, it also gives you the perfect opportunity to think of insightful questions to ask.
You should also look at your resume as a Hiring Manager might. Identify things the interview panel may be interested in and prepare yourself to address those things in your responses.
What can an interviewee do to impress you or other Bayer CropScience representatives during the interview?
Cheryl: Remaining calm and confident during an interview is difficult, but the ability to do so shows a certain level of maturity that is always welcome. A firm handshake and looking people in the eye when introducing yourself is an excellent way to leave a good first impression.
In the interview itself, be as specific as possible in answering the questions. This goes back to being prepared—researching the company and also assessing your background against the requirements of the job listing.
Why should students and grads choose to start their careers with Bayer CropScience?
Cheryl: Bayer CropScience provides some really unique opportunities to start a career in agriculture. Not only do we have lots of different types of jobs available, both contract and full-time, we have jobs in many locations across Canada.