How to Entice Top Performers to Work for You

Can "Coasters" be Re-engaged and Rehabilitated?

Video Presentations: 2016 NIAA Annual Conference Proceedings

Grazing Livestock Nutrition Conference Set for July

Target Career Success with a Targeting Excellence Scholarship!


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How to Entice Top Performers to Work for You
(By Daniel C. Simmons, CPC)

When a hiring manager begins looking for candidates to fill an open position, they often consider this a one-way proposition, that there is only one person on the hot seat trying to sell themselves and that is the candidate who is interviewing. However, that's not necessarily true because while you're sizing up the candidate, he or she is doing the same regarding you, the open position, and the company as a whole.
Most candidates are interested in finding out all they can during a job interview, so you can expect them to ask questions. Hiring managers should be ready to answer their questions in an honest and forthright manner, providing all the facts and information requested while establishing a nice rapport.
Keep in mind that good candidates may receive multiple offers and must decide which one is the best opportunity for them. In making this decision money is not the only thing they're looking at. They are trying to evaluate the entire situation, so compensation is probably not going to be your strongest selling point. In all likelihood the compensation package you have in mind is more or less the same as what other companies are offering.  If it isn't, then you have a problem that should be addressed prior to beginning the search.
I have listed three important selling points that you can use in enticing top candidates to accept your offer, rather than one from a competitor:
1. The goals for the future of the company - Candidates like the idea of working for a company that's going places. You must have a pretty good idea of your company's goals, but it's unlikely that this candidate has any idea of where the company is headed. The candidate wants to feel confident that they would be joining a company that has a common vision for the future and a plan for achieving that vision. If you don't discuss company goals in the interview, the candidate might easily assume that there are no real goals, or if the company has them, they are not significant enough for you to bring them up,  Get the candidate to 'buy-in' to your plans.
2. The growth potential for this position - Additionally, you can expect the candidate to be interested in knowing what the growth potential is for this position. A top candidate wants to grow with the company and the more potential there is for growth in this position, the more attractive the opportunity.  Discuss learning opportunities, future challenges, special projects and a career path.  Top candidates already have a job, what they want  is a career path.  The reason they are speaking with you is that they no longer see, or believe in a career path where they are. Show them a great career and you'll hire an enthusiastic employee.
3. Company culture - This isn't something that's easy to articulate or describe, but it is a definite selling point. The company culture is the personality of the company, the way it operates, the type of environment that exists in the workplace. It consists of the guidelines that have been set up to create the most favorable working conditions for all employees. It includes the way your team communicates, your company's vision and most importantly your values. Talk about each of these to make certain the person you are speaking with will know if they will fit into your company culture.

How would you describe the best attributes of your company and the opportunities afforded employees? If you want to attract top candidates, these are the factors that count. You've got to convey to each candidate your company's best attributes and what a great opportunity this position offers if you want to hire the best.
If you would like more information on this topic, call me at (888) 276-6789 or send an email to (And don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn!)

Can "Coasters" be Re-engaged and Rehabilitated?
(By Daniel C. Simmons, CPC)

What, if anything can be done with "coasters"? And I don't mean the kind you place your drink on. What I want to discuss here has to do with long-standing employees who seem to have lost the drive they once had, and for some reason seem to be satisfied just "coasting" along.

With the economy in such an unpredictable state, it's surprising anyone feels secure enough to simply coast along at work, just doing the bare minimum. But this is a problem in the workplace, no matter what is going on in the world. If you were the employer, how would you handle an employee like this? Any course of action would of course depend on the company and the particular employee and their position within the company, but there are some guidelines and steps that you may want to employ.

Once you recognize the problem and decide that some sort of action is in order, what you do next depends a great deal on the employee and their position within the company. You need to give this careful consideration by asking the following questions:
  • What level of success has this employee enjoyed in the past?
  • How well do you know this person, both personally and professionally?
  • How long has this person been employed with the company?
No matter how you answer these questions, the situation still needs to be resolved, with the goal being to get the employee back to their "old self," the person who was motivated to succeed, who was enthusiastic about the challenges ahead. The most effective way to achieve this, as we've said before in the Animal Science Monitor, is to try to get them to be "actively engaged" again. This won't be easy since they've disengaged and lost their fire and your task is to try to reengage them so they can regain their passion.

That being said, the following are some strategies to help those who seem to be coasting revert back to the kind of employees they once were:
  • Reengage them through a mentoring relationship: You can set it up for them to be the mentor or have another employee mentor them, Either way, this is an effective way to reengage them.
  • Give the employee a challenge: You can assign them a special project or task added onto their normal responsibilities. This just might be the impetus that gets them fired up again.
  • Offer new training: They may have unintentionally fallen into a rut; maybe they feel technology is passing them by. Some additional training may help them regain their footing; give them fresh ideas and skills that they can welcome with enthusiasm.
  • Ask them if they need something to assist them in doing their job: Do not put them on the defensive because you have no idea what's on their mind. Make this an open and engaging conversation. Prepare yourself to be surprised by what you hear, and be ready to help.
If you've taken all these steps and nothing works, then you may want to have a heart-to-heart. This is only appropriate if you know this employee really well. If not, you need to have a straightforward and honest meeting-of-the-minds to take you where you want to go. The key to being effective at this is in how well you communicate and make clear your expectations. Without putting the employee on the defensive, probe to find out why this employee is coasting, and remind them of their past success and what you expect of them in the job.
If none of these efforts makes a bit of difference, you may want to transfer them to another department. It may be that working with new people will re-energize and refocus them. If this fails then it may be time to "de-hire" this employee. I think you know what this means. Dale Dauten, an employment guru that writes a syndicated column on all kinds of employment issues, coined this phrase. It sounds a lot less brutal that "firing" them, don't you think?
That reminds me, now that 2016 is well underway, you may want to take a hard look at the lower one- third of your team. Does anyone need a challenge? Are there people that need some more motivation? See what you find out, what you can do about it and if nothing works, maybe more employees should be de-hired!

Do what you can to make sure 2016 is a year you can be proud of. Whatever you can do to spur on this particular segment of your team, do it, so that you don't have anyone else "coasting" along and not really working up to his or her potential.

Companies in this market cannot afford to carry along any coasters. If you would like more information on this topic, or how you can ensure that all employees are working to their potential, call me at (888) 276-6789 or send an email to (And don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn!
Video Presentations: 2016 NIAA Annual Conference Proceedings
The proceedings for the 2016 National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) Annual Conference and BVD Forum held in Kansas City last month are now available on the NIAA website.

Synchronized audio/video accompany the presentations, and PDFs of many of the PowerPoint presentations are also included. For those without presentations, audio is still available. Audio/video capabilities are provided by Truffle Media.

The theme of the 2016 NIAA Annual Conference was "From Farm to Table: Food System Biosecurity for Animal Agriculture - Identifying Risks, Challenges and Solutions." Speakers on biosecurity included industry experts, regulatory agency authorities, academic specialists, and animal agriculture professionals who deal daily with these issues.

NIAA Species Committees and Special Issue Councils also met during the conference to discuss ongoing and current concerns to the individual industries within animal agriculture. Presentations from those meetings are also available.

After the close of the conference, the NIAA co - hosted an important forum BVD: an "Industry Prevention Strategies & Solutions Forum" with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The presentation from the Forum is available HERE.

Click here to view the proceedings. Select "Video" next to the speaker’s presentation to go directly to their presentation.

Grazing Livestock Nutrition Conference Set for July
There's only two months left before the 5th Grazing Livestock Nutrition Conference! This year's event is scheduled for Sunday, July 17, through Tuesday, July 19, at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah.
The meeting will focus on enhancing management, production, and sustainability of grazing ruminants in extensive landscapes. The event will include exciting and informative plenary sessions, posters, and networking opportunities.
Click here to see the draft meeting schedule.

Click here to register for the conference.
Click here to reserve your room at the hotel.
From now until Thursday, June 2, the cost of regular registration is $250 and the cost of student registration is $150.
If you'd like to feature your organization's event in an upcoming issue of the Animal Science Monitor, please send your information to

Target Career Success with a Targeting Excellence Scholarship!

If you're applying for graduate programs in food animal agriculture or already enrolled, then you may be interested in scholarships offered by the non-profit organization Targeting Excellence. These scholarships are for undergraduates, as well as graduate students who are planning careers in food animal agriculture.
With the high cost of higher education, it only makes sense to plan ahead and apply for any and all available scholarships. You may want to start getting organized now to meet the qualification and application requirements for 2017, when a total of $165,000 will be awarded to deserving students, including those attending graduate programs.
If you're a top student and highly motivated to land a job in the industry, then it may benefit you to attend one of Targeting Excellence's fundraising events. This will give you an opportunity to meet key professionals in the industry. In fact, students attending events will be given top priority in awarding scholarships.
Events this year will be held in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Ohio, and North Carolina starting in late June. You can sign up on to receive the organization's email newsletter containing all of the details, including dates and specific locations. Students are NOT charged for attending and participating in these all-day events.
The qualifications and application process are fairly straightforward and spelled out in detail on the website. Submissions must be accompanied by two references. One is required to be from a professor in animal agriculture and the other must be from a professional working within the industry. This could be someone you meet and get to know at one of the events.
Because students fully participate in these clay shooting events, you will have a chance to get to know more about the industry and meet the kinds of professionals who could actually offer you a job upon graduation. These opportunities are not easy to come by, so don?t get left behind. Good luck!


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