When you hear the company name John Deere, the distinctive green and yellow logo probably comes to mind. John Deere was included in the 2011 list of 100 Best Global Brands. But, as Bev Curtis explained to us, “…we’re not just a tractor company anymore.”
Curtis started working in HR Recruiting and Staffing in June of 2006. She originally worked in the Risk Management area of the Treasury Department until a manager encouraged her to try something different. After applying to a few different areas, she received an offer to work in the HR department. At first she was a little out of her comfort zone. She preferred numbers, graphs and analysis and wasn’t sure if she had the right personality for the position.
I’m sure others would agree with me in saying the she has definitely warmed up to the idea and continues to flourish at John Deere, as well as in her personal life. But, there are some things about her that may surprise you. The following interview was from our 2011 Annual Meeting and Conference:
Nancy: What is your specific job at John Deere?
Bev: My actual role is a Staffing Specialist, so I do a combination of recruiting, staffing, media planning and career events. I have a large variety of responsibilities.
Nancy: What’s the corporate culture at John Deere?
Bev: The thing I probably enjoy the most about the culture at John Deere is just the passion and loyalty for the John Deere brand that has served the farming community originally in the Midwest. I think that’s one of the things it’s like for all of us working there. The technology and how our products have advanced is also interesting.
Nancy: Since you moved into HR, what is one of the biggest changes you’ve noticed?
Bev: I have definitely seen the impact of social media from when I started in HR 5 years ago. There is constant change and a need to stay on top of things because there is so much out there to learn and understand.
Nancy: What are some things that you wake up and go “Isn’t this great? I really enjoy my job.”
Bev: Personally, for me, it’s the variety of responsibilities that I have because I go from social media, to event planning with the career fairs, to actually doing recruiting. I do advanced sourcing, so I get to talk to passive candidates, and tell them about our company and educate them. For myself personally, I learn something new every day, and just to look around at the talent that surrounds me not only in my own department but also in the company as a whole is sometimes overwhelming.
Nancy: That’s great. I want to find out more about you personally. Can you tell me a little bit about your family, and what you like to do in your free time?
Bev: I’m married, I have one son is in college full time and who also works full time. I belong to the Quad City Outdoor Women’s Club and in the last year I’ve done paintball, I tried working out with our local roller derby team, I’ve done inflatable sumo wrestling – I’ll try pretty much anything once. So I’m fairly open to any activity and I just love meeting all different kinds of people. It’s intriguing to hear how their life has played out, what they’re interested in, and how they add to the world globally.
Nancy: Are people shocked when you tell them all the things you’re involved in?
Nancy: So tell me about that – you have this one persona of being so organized, but you’ve tried inflatable sumo wrestling.
Bev: I think it’s just because I’m very open to everyone, and I think working with diversity and inclusion at a large corporation like John Deere has actually helped motivate me to move in that direction and be open to a lot of different things.
Nancy: What are the key benefits for you as DirectEmployers Member?
Bev: Definitely peace of mind, because I truly appreciate the fact that they do our compliance postings with the State Workforce Agencies and handle that part of my job – take that manual and kind of unknown field off my plate. I also really enjoy the education, networking and the knowledge that I gain from the other members as well as the staff of DirectEmployers.
A special thank you to Bev Curtis for taking time to talk with us and her your story!