20 Questions with Alex Kimball

September 30th, 2015

Getting To Know Palmer Group Employees – 20 Questions Style

by Katie Klohs

At Palmer Group, our employees are committed to your success every day.  Our staff is the best in the business and we’d love for you to get to know them.  Each month we will be highlighting a new face.    Mr. Alex Kimball is the lucky one this month!

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1) Your name?  Alex Kimball

2) What is your title here at Palmer Group?  Payroll Specialist

3) How long have you worked for Palmer Group?  Almost 4 years.

4) What is your favorite thing about working for Palmer Group?  There is always something to eat.

5)  Three words that describe you?  Hardworking, Sarcastic, Loyal

6)  Pets?  I have a 9 week old dachshund named Frankie “Lil’ Smoky” Kimball.

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7) Favorite thing to do with Frankie ?  Watching her attempt to run through the grass.

8) Favorite local hang out?  Exile Brewery

9) Favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla

10) Favorite author?  John Steinbeck

11) Favorite Place to Travel?  Anywhere with warm weather and a beach.

12) If you could have lunch with anyone in the world living or dead, who would you want it to be?  Alex Trebek

13) Favorite radio station?  Sirius XM AltNation and 90’s on 9  

14) Hawkeye / Cyclone / Panther / Bulldog?  Panther!

15) What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?  Doing anything outside.

16) Biggest pet peeve?  Slow drivers.

17) Favorite Des Moines event?  Des Moines Arts Festival, Wine/Beer Fest, 80/35

18) Favorite sport to play?  Headhunters Softball Thursday nights at The Sands

19) Favorite Des Moines area restaurant? I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but Mullet’s breakfast is delicious.  I recommend their breakfast burrito with a side of sour cream and green salsa.

20) Favorite candy bar?  Mambas are where it’s at.

To learn more about Palmer Group, please contact our office at 515-225-7000 or log on to our website at www.thepalmergroup.com.


Getting To Know Palmer Group Employees – 20 Question Style

August 28th, 2015

By: Katie Klohs

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At Palmer Group, our employees are committed to your success every day.  Our staff is the best in the business and we’d love for you to get to know them.  Each month we will be highlighting a new face.    Ms. Linda Stober is up!

1) Your name? Linda Stober

2) What is your title here at Palmer Group?   Senior Administrative Assistant

3) How long have you worked for Palmer Group?   Eleven years

4) What is your favorite thing about working for Palmer Group?  The great people and my various responsibilities!

5) What would you consider your biggest achievement?  Aside from my career at Palmer Group – having written a book of fiction (For those wanting an awesome read, Common Ground can be found on Amazon!)

6) Favorite author?  John Grisham.  He has a distinct talent for detail.

7) Favorite Place to Travel?  England

8) What was the best thing about it?  The people and their unending patience with travelers

9) Favorite food that you tried while you were there?  Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting at the National Gallery Café in London

10) Vanilla or Chocolate?  Vanilla

11) What is the question you get asked the most?   “Why aren’t you married?”

12) What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?   Writing and spending time with friends and family

13) Biggest pet peeve?  People who ask “Why aren’t you married?”

14) Words of Wisdom to those looking for a new position?  Keep a positive attitude and don’t lose heart.   Your job is out there

15) Favorite Des Moines event?  The Des Moines Arts Festival

16) Favorite sport to play?   Tennis

17) Favorite Des Moines area restaurant?   Exile Brewery

18) Favorite vacation spot?   London

19) Favorite candy bar?   Milky Way

20) Favorite teacher / grade in school and why?   Ann Josten – freshman English.   She taught that English is a wonderful language when spoken and written correctly.

To learn more about Palmer Group, please contact our office at 515-225-7000 or log on to our website at www.thepalmergroup.com.

Getting To Know Palmer Group Employees – 20 Questions Style

July 31st, 2015

by Katie Klohs


At Palmer Group, our employees are committed to your success everyday.  Our staff is the best in the business and we’d love for you to get to know them.  Each month we will be highlighting a face at Palmer Group.    First up… Mr. Cody Franson!

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1) Your name? Cody Franson

2) What is your title here at Palmer Group?  Account Executive

3) What does that position entail? I match our clients’ needs with the proper candidates for the job.  I also work to develop new clients and relationships within the banking and mortgage industry.

4) How long have you worked for Palmer Group? 4 years

5) What is your favorite thing about working for Palmer Group? The people.  It sounds cliche because it’s our motto, but it’s true.  The people here are like family and because of that, I am very passionate about my job and the company I work for.

6) What makes you unique from your competitors?  I get to know my clients on a personal level and many have become more of a friend to me than they are a business partner.  I think they would say the same about me.

7) Tell us about your family. I have been married to my wife Abbi for almost three years.  We have a son Cooper, who is 16 months old.

8) Hawkeyes or Cyclones? Hawkeyes

9) Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla

10) MLB or NFL? NFL

11) Cubs or Cards? Cubbies. This is the year!

12) What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Spend time with my family and friends.  Going on new adventures and seeing my son experience new things is at the top of the list.

13) Biggest pet peeve? Bad grammar, especially written. There’s a big difference between their, there and they’re.

14) Favorite sport to play? Tennis

15) Favorite Des Moines area restaurant? Nick’s

16) Favorite vacation spot?  Costa Rica

17) Favorite candy bar?  Snickers

18) Favorite fair food?  Cheese curds

19) Words of Wisdom to those looking for a new position?  Do your homework.  Know what you want, do as much research as you can about that position, and go for it.  Be thorough – fine tune your resume to speak to the job you want and make sure it’s clear to the hiring manager why you are interested in the position.

20) Without using names, favorite success story at Palmer Group? My favorite success story is seeing one of our clients take a chance on one of our candidates with a completely unrelated background.  We knew she was a great candidate, but she had a teaching background and nothing remotely related to banking.  In a year’s time, she went from a temporary resource to hired on full-time in her processing role to a manager in the department.  It is very rewarding knowing through the trust and relationships we have with our clients, we can encourage them to “take a chance” on someone and see great things unfold.


To learn more about Palmer Group, please contact our office at 515-225-7000 or log on to our website at www.thepalmergroup.com.

The Importance of Networking

July 10th, 2015

 By: Linda Stober

The dictionary’s definition of networking

A supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest

Networking can be a valuable source for gathering contacts and information for your company, forming alliances with other organizations as well aiding in your own job search.  It’s the opportunity to get to know people and allowing them to know you.

There are events within your community that can be a great resource for you or your company.  Do not disqualify or assume that a local meeting or seminar may be too boring or that you would gain nothing by attending.  Community groups such as Rotary Clubs, any Chamber of Commerce, volunteer or charity groups, and national organizations can be a rich reserve of data at the grass roots level.

Visit a variety of functions to find the sources that best benefit you.  Networking also allows you to learn a great deal about your surrounding community – various industries and small businesses as well as local entrepreneurs.   Companies that are familiar with one another may be more likely to support and exchange ideas and information.

When you choose an event –

  • Arrive early or on time.
  • Turn off your cell.
  • You want to leave a good impression or make an impact. This could be anything from a green dress to a bow tie.  Make yourself memorable, but keep it professional.
  • Have informational materials on hand. Be prepared to hand out business cards, but no need to blanket the room with them.  Be selective.
  • Smile and present yourself positively and approachable.
  • When speaking with someone, maintain eye contact and really pay attention to what they are saying. Listen twice as much as you talk.
  • Chat with the people you know when you arrive, but sit with groups or individuals you don’t know.

Do not become discouraged!  Great contacts will not happen overnight.  Stay in touch with those you meet and spend time each week touching base with new contacts and do not be afraid to reach out to friends.  They can be a helpful source as well.

5 Ways an Employment Firm Can Help Jump Start Your Career!

April 1st, 2015

By: Danielle Gohr

The process of searching for a career, whether you are a new graduate or an experienced professional, can be compared to a car that has been in the garage for years. Like the car, your interview skills and resume may be rusty. You may have your foot on the gas, sending out applications left and right, but have yet to hear anything back from the companies you yearn to work for.  Employment firms are a great tool to help put you in the driver’s seat when trying to land your next job!


  1. Tune Up Your Interview Skills and Resume – Employment firms offer an opportunity to brush up on your interview skills. Typically, they offer an initial interview as well as mock interviews to help prepare you for your next interview with a company. It is a great way to learn your strengths and weaknesses in interviewing and get real time feedback from the Recruiter at the firm. What employers look for on resumes is constantly changing with evolving needs at each company. Furthermore, every organization looks for something a bit different. Employment firms are able to stay ahead of the game and give tips on how to update your resume to gain more traction with employers.


  1. Open Up The Door To New Possibilities – Employment firms may know about opportunities before they are posted on a job board or website. They also work with hundreds of companies that you may not have known about prior to working with them. If you are seeing the same old openings on your search engines, then seeking help from a firm may yield new results.


  1. Test The Engine – For one reason or another you may be unsure about whether a particular company or job is the right fit for you. Employment firms , with temporary openings, give you the ability to test out the organization and position, to see if it is something you want to pursue long term. If you prove yourself in a role and you feel like it is a great fit for you, it could lead to a full time position. This is a win-win for you and the employer!


  1. Fuel Up Your Tank of Experience –Many job openings state that they are looking for a certain type or amount of experience. Employment firms offer the ability to seek opportunities in your desired field to help get you where you ultimately want to be. When you land a temporary or contract role, you are able to gain great experience and build up your resume.


  1. Enjoy Your Free Service – How often can you say that something is free? Employment firms are a no cost solution to many of your employment needs. While there is no guarantee of placement, they are a great resource to take advantage of when looking for your next career!


For additional information on this topic, please reach out to one of the employment professionals at Palmer Group.

Keep Your Head in the Game During the Madness

March 9th, 2015

By: Nick Conlon

It’s getting to be that time of year where basketball is on our minds and everyone in the office is busting out their brackets to pick who will be winning it all! As March Madness nears, make sure to cheer on your team; but also be sure to take time and think about what you as a job-seeker can learn from March Madness so you can ace your interview. Who knows?  Maybe YOU will be the Cinderella story in getting a new job.

  • Know The Basic Fundamentals – Coaches win games more often than not by teaching their players the basic fundamentals and finer points of the game. This ultimately helps eliminate turnovers which cost teams the game. In an interview, you should always know the basics which include; dress your best, prepare to arrive early, turn your cell phone off, or better yet, leave it in the car, make a strong opening/introduction, bring copies of resumes and a notepad to take notes, have questions prepared to ask at the end and always make sure to send a thank you card or email following the interview to whom you met with thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in the position.
  • Study Your Opponents – Players and Coaches prepare heavily for their upcoming opponent by watching film and doing their homework. You should be doing the same thing when preparing for an interview. Research the company, position and hiring manager you’re meeting with. For example, you may have read on the company’s website that they are launching a new product. Bringing that up in an interview can score extra points and demonstrate your interest. With most professionals today on LinkedIn, more than likely the manager you are interviewing with has a profile. You two may share similar connections and you didn’t even know it.
  • Make Your Free-Throws – For a team to win, it is crucial that they make their free-throws down the stretch. Players practice these time and time again so it becomes second nature. While you’re seeking out new employment, you should also be practicing your interview skills. Take an opportunity to do a mock interview or set aside 20-30 minutes every night or every other to practice with someone or video tape yourself. You always want to make the standard interview questions count so you have the upper hand on your competition. Some questions might include “What are your strengths/weaknesses?” “What can you offer us that someone else can’t?” “Give me a time you have gone above and beyond on a project.” “Describe a difficult situation in your past position and tell me how you handled it.”
  • Work With Your Teammates – I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “there’s no “I” in TEAM.” No player will win the game alone and fewer candidates these days get hired without a great team to support them. Think of your network as your team and use them to help you score. Work closely with a Recruiter and/or apply to companies where you happen to know where a former colleague works at. These are the people that can introduce you to the right people and put in a good word on your behalf.


For additional information on this topic, please contact one of the employment professionals at Palmer Group. www.thepalmergroup.com / 515-225-7000.


February 23rd, 2015

By: Katie Klohs


How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  Are you hanging in there? If you are like most people, the luster of resolutions have worn off.  If that is you, don’t give up just yet.  We want to help you put meaning behind your resolutions.  Resolutions that are not only meaningful to you, but also good life lessons.  Here are 5 to try out…even if it is the end of February.

VOLUNTEER : Giving of your time and talent.  The great thing about volunteering is it doesn’t have to consume your schedule, it can be as simple as one hour a week.  Out of 168 hours in a week, 1 seems manageable.  if you can commit to more than that, great.  But starting off small can seem less daunting.  I can guarantee just one hour a week will give you such an intense feeling of compassion and gratitude.  It will make your commitment worth it.  You will gain significant life experiences and who knows, maybe your kind act will inspire others around you to do the same.

MAKE AN EFFORT WITH CO-WORKERS:  Since you spend the majority of your time with them, try and get along the best you can.  Always put your best foot forward.  Effective communication is a good way to start.  Be good listeners.  Be positive.  Be supportive.  If something is bothering you, let them know how you feel in a calm and rational behavior.  Be courteous and respectful of their feelings.  Remember that there are two sides to every story and if the lines of communication remain open it is easy to resolve conflict in an easy manner should it arise.

BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT: This skill alone can help alleviate stress & worry, which in turn can make you a better co-worker.  Prioritize tasks.  Ask for deadlines when given projects so you are able to create order.  Focus on those that are most important.  Work in the moment, don’t worry about things that are due next week.  Avoid procrastination. If there is something on your plate that you are dreading, do that one first.  It will leave you with a sense of accomplishment to better able tackle the others without it looming over your head.

ATTITUDE: Probably the most important.  Make it a top priority to have a good attitude every day.  It is one of the few things we actually have control over.  Attitude is everything and can easily MAKE or BREAK a situation.  Be appreciative.  Start your day off with three reasons why you are happy to be at work.  Start with a positive and you will be surprised how such a little thing can make the rest of the day positive as well.

EXERCISE: Start small.  Then add on as you feel ready.  The whole point with exercise, isn’t to make you feel bad if you miss.  Exercise makes you feel good, which in turn makes you happy! Exercise creates more energy which will make you more productive both at work and at home.  Try and find an exercise that you enjoy!

Don’t be discouraged to start resolutions in February, July or December.    It’s never too late to start a positive lifestyle change!

Why Des Moines

January 20th, 2015

By: Linda Stober

Maybe you are interested in, have interviewed for, or better yet have been offered a position in Des Moines, Iowa.  You’ve hesitated considering Des Moines as your new home — wondering if the land of “cornfields and tractors” would appeal to you.  Here are a few points that may help change your mind.

“Location, location, location”

 Iowa’s capital city of 456,000 citizens is situated at the crossroads of 1-35 and 1-80 and has easy access by vehicle to a number of major cities:  Omaha (two hours away) Chicago (5 hours) Kansas City (3 hours) Minneapolis (4 hours).  An International airport is available for the vacationer as well as the business traveler.  The Central Iowa area is rich with agricultural, industrial, and professional opportunities and is one reason a number of major American companies call Des Moines home.

“When in Rome”

Living in Des Moines would allow you to take advantage of a variety of entertainment options such as a vibrant downtown area with a nightlife that includes a civic center and concert/sports arena that bring in world-class shows and a beautiful triple-A baseball stadium.  With miles and miles of trails connecting the city to the suburbs and countryside, it’s a guaranteed great workout for any biker, runner or walker.   The area sports many family-friendly parks to enjoy with the change of seasons as well.

Feeling hungry?  Des Moines is home to a wide variety of ethnic and nationally-known restaurants that would please any taste bud.  Des Moines boasts a top-ten nationally ranked farmer’s market and plays host to one of the nation’s top-five summer art shows.

“Home Sweet Home” 

Des Moines enjoys a strong local economy and has been named “#1 America’s Best Cities for Young Professionals” by Forbes Magazine.  Des Moines is well below the national average for unemployment at just over 4% compared to the nation’s 6% and the metro area enjoys a lower cost of living.  For example – if you relocate from Minneapolis, housing will cost you an average of 29% less, and groceries 11% less.  Utilities, transportation and healthcare are reduced as well.  The per capita average income is $45k and the city and suburbs support great school systems.

 So with all that Des Moines has to offer, maybe the better question should be – “Why Not Des Moines!”

First Impressions Are Lasting

November 20th, 2014

By Linda Stober


This is a phrase my sixth grade teacher, repeated over and over and if I’ve forgotten everything else from that year, I’ve remembered those words.  When introducing yourself for the first time to a company (and this is what you are doing), a good first impression is paramount.


To accomplish this — be prepared.


Make sure you know the name of the business and location where you are interviewing.  As attached as we are to technology, don’t rely on checking last-minute with your mobile app or devices to get you there.  Know exactly where you are to be.  Arrive fifteen minutes early and if you think you will run late, call ahead.  They will appreciate the courtesy call.  And, if you are calling a business for any reason – ALWAYS identify yourself.  The person on the other end of the line should not have to ask who they are speaking to.


Upon arrival, turn off or silence your cell phone.  You don’t want it to ring during your meeting and there are very few calls worth ruining your chance at a good job opportunity.


Know the name of your interviewer.  You may already be nervous and nothing will be more unsettling than when you are asked at the receptionist desk who you are meeting with and all you can offer is a blank stare.  If you are unsure, call the day before and verify the time and person you are to meet.


Do not arrive carrying a large soda, coffee or water in hand.  Leave those items in the car.  Generally a water fountain is available on location or a beverage may even be offered.  You should have a notebook to write in along with plenty of copies of your resume with you for the meeting, that’s it!


Attire is an important decision as wellBe professional.  When in doubt:  err on the side of play-it-safe.

Guys – while those cargo shorts and t-shirts may be comfortable for summertime — unless your interviewer specifically states otherwise, your best foot forward is a suit and tie.

Ladies – if you are wondering if your skirt is too short – it probably is.  If you are questioning if the cut of your blouse is too low – always err on the side of caution.

Colognes and perfumes that are too strong are a big distraction in a small interview room or even a group setting.  You never know when someone may be slightly allergic or simply find a fragrance distracting.  You don’t want the end result of the meeting to be the lingering scent of a popular fragrance.


Simply use common sense during the process and you’ll be successful in your job search!



Accountability: What You Need To Do To Get A Job And Keep It!

October 23rd, 2014

By: Danie Gohr


Are you wondering why you haven’t landed your dream job yet? What are you lacking? What are the company leaders and hiring managers looking for? You would think it is the specific experience and knowledge you already possess right? Well, that is only one piece of the puzzle. The biggest and single most important attribute that you need to showcase is accountability.  Accountability is what drives this economy, gets you the promotion you want and keeps  your boss happy! It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Well, it can be simple but it takes effort to express where you have been accountable and how you have made an impact to your previous and/or existing roles. You may think you are accountable, but what matters is that the interviewer and powers to be think and believe it as well! Perception is reality and it is your responsibility to make sure you are perceived as a hard working employee and not the opposite!

Take a second and imagine this scenario. You are sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room. While sitting there, you notice two receptionists behind the front desk. When a new patient comes through the doors to check in, one of the receptionists is sitting there, messing with their phone, looking down at the ground, and not even acknowledging the patient. The other receptionist, greets the patient the second the door opens, is quick to check them in and quick to let the doctor know they are present. Furthermore, you see that same receptionist walking all over organizing the magazines in the waiting area, dusting the furniture and opening the blinds. Each and every small gesture adds up and doesn’t go unnoticed! This receptionist shows accountability. Below, I will show you how you can explain your accountability in an interview and ultimately get the job


In The Interview

Interviewers want to be able to have something to grab onto. They want something that not only sticks out but gives them something to remember you by.  You can do this by explaining you have been punctual, have went above and beyond the typical duties and helped the company work towards a certain goal.

If you want to let them know you are accountable, go beyond the bullet points on your resume and dig into how you’ve specifically went above and beyond the duties assigned to you. You can do this by first stating what your designated duties are/were, but then explain how you have specifically made an impact outside of those duties. To refer back to our previous example of the receptionist, she might explain that she checked in and greeted customers. She would then go further and showcase that in addition to those duties in her job description, she was a self-starter and created efficiencies for the entire company. The more specific the example the better impact you will have.

Another way to illustrate you are accountable is by simply showing up. Sounds like common sense right? Well, it is! If you want to prove that you would be a good hire for a company, then it is important to explain that you are punctual, took limited sick time, and made sure to be present for the entire shift.  If you can honestly say that you showed up early or stayed late whenever needed to get the job done, then all the better!

Finally, if you want to demonstrate accountability in an interview, then it is important to show that you have worked alongside your co-workers towards a goal at your previous  or current employer. For example, you may have initiated a process change or helped the company reach a sales goal. The only thing you want to keep in mind is that your examples should relate to the position you are interviewing for.

Whether you are trying to get a job or prove you are an asset to your existing team, possessing the qualities discussed in this article are pertinent to proving you are worth it!

For additional information on this topic, please contact one of the employment professionals at Palmer Group. www.thepalmergroup.com / 515-225-7000