Don Hunter Wraps up His Recruiting Career

How to Recruit Passive Talent in the Agriculture Industry

Poultry-Associated MRSA Strain Found

5 Things Dairy Companies Will Maintain Despite Milk Price Drop


Don Hunter Wraps up His Recruiting Career

One of the nicest men in the recruiting industry announced his retirement effective December 1st.  Don Hunter joined Continental Search as a contractor in the fall of 2010. He is the sole proprietor of DHS Recruiting, as well. Before joining the Continental Search family, he was the principal for Bay Resource Group Executive Search from 1995 to 2010. He retired for three months from Bay Resources when Dan Simmons, Owner of Continental Search, called him and asked him to join his team. Dan and Don had partnered on several projects over the years. Don and Dan jointly developed The Animal Science Monitor in 2004, a newsletter on careers and opportunities in the animal sciences. Don contributed many articles over the newsletter's 12-year history.

Don's skillset made him an ideal addition to the team. His knack for bringing together the most ideal company-candidate matches truly helped speed up the growth of the company. His prowess in recruiting is known by the people who matter in the industry. When Don announced his final retirement this month, we decided to write his #ConSearchStory.

I asked Don what makes him good at recruiting and if it could be taught. He said that he thinks his success in this demanding industry is due to three key factors. He works with a sense of urgency and perfected his time management skills. Don believes that "time kills deals." He also made sure to choose a reputable company to work with and says that being in the company of successful people like Dan Simmons opens doors. Lastly, he makes it a point to control what can be controlled and refuses to waste his time and energy on issues and circumstances beyond his control.

I asked him what he would teach future recruiters if he could mentor them. He said that the first thing any new recruiter should do is focus on time management before anything else. "Once again, time kills deals," Don says, stressing the first factor that helped him succeed.

"I think recruiters in all industries are facing a more demanding and competitive pool of candidates. It's becoming more competitive than ever, as we're all going for the same tier-one individuals in the feed industry. Continental Search is meeting these challenges by developing new and innovative ways of searching, contacting, and piquing the interest of top talent for their clients' jobs," Don says when asked about what makes recruiting in the feed industry challenging.

Don shares that he doesn't place candidates just because their credentials look like the right fit. He believes that corporate culture is one of the best ways to gauge if a candidate is perfect for a job opening. He always asks candidates what they are looking for in their next opportunity to ensure a good match. He has them describe in detail the type of corporate culture they're seeking to ensure their success and longevity. He also notes that a dysfunctional corporate culture was often the motivation for employees to search for better opportunities.

Being new to the team, I couldn't resist asking him if working for the company changed his life. Don says that his last five years spent working with Dan and the Continental Search staff was the perfect "final act" to his career. He says that it was fun and he couldn't have scripted it any better, as it exceeded his professional and financial expectations, which I admit as a newbie, is something I like to hear.

The whole team at Continental Search wants to thank Don for his contributions over the years and wishes him a very fulfilling retirement.  We will miss you!
Maria Codilla

Maria Codilla is the Content Manager for Continental Search. She writes about company updates/events, pet health, wildlife, and advances in the animal sciences. For comments and topic suggestions, you can reach her at

How to Recruit Passive Talent in the Agriculture Industry

Recruiting in agriculture can be difficult. Unemployment levels for professionals or managers in agriculture is extremely low. Therefore, passive candidates will always be significantly greater in number than active ones.  Passive candidates are those that are aren't actively looking for a new job. They are passively and selectively looking to further their career. In most cases, these candidates are your best bets to fill positions. They are gainfully employed and career minded.  Therefore, they are usually quite contented with their current jobs and will only take a job where they feel it is a great match for their skills and ambitions. Here are a few tips to help you recruit these passive candidates.

Schmooze and Familiarize

I tell my stable of recruiters to network heavily. However, that doesn't mean adding random people on Facebook or LinkedIn. You have to make a connection. Reach out and engage the person by commenting on their posts or sending them information that will interest them. However, online isn't enough. For best results you should have real-life connections. Therefore, I encourage my recruiters to go to industry seminars and events that are relevant to the people they desire to recruit. This allows them to network and learn "who's who" in the field they recruit in. This article by Recruitment Coach explains it all.

Developing connections with passive candidates, people who aren't looking for a new job "just now," opens doors for employers and recruiters. These passive candidates may introduce friends to them to help fill open jobs. These high-profile hires are hard to come by, hence the importance of networking and making connections.

Be Visible on Social Media

The best way to sell is not to really "sell" but rather, to be visible and interesting. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are sites where you can showcase your employment openings and share insights into your corporate culture. Remember to show career paths. No one wants a job, they want a career path. Being visible and active on these platforms will work on future candidates on a subconscious level.

You want to be remembered and visible when someone has a bad day at work and decides it's time for a change or has spent the weekend contemplating their life's goals and realize it is time for a career shift. They may then be scrolling newsfeeds or recruiter/employer pages on LinkedIn or Facebook on the weekend or at night. Being a familiar name and face will raise the probability that they will contact you.

Keep in mind that most job needs today are catered toward Generation X and Millennials. Both consume online content at least five to 10 hours each week, according to an article by Social Times.

Post Relevant and Insightful Content

Content is underplayed these days. Share information about new products, where your technical experts are speaking, and when your team will be at a trade show. My recruiters stay active by browsing through industry news. It pays to know the field they recruit in and who matters. Passive job seekers do this, as well.

Also, every generation in the workforce prefers blog articles. Want to know how to hire and retain talent from different workforce generations? We'll have a free e-book about recruiting across generations out in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

If you want more recruitment tips, feel free to visit my site, Continental Search. We have lots of training material that will help employers who are looking for fresh strategies. If you desire the talents of professional recruiters to fill your recruiting needs, feel free to contact me to see if we can help.
DAN SIMMONS, CPC, Sr. Recruiter
As Owner of Continental Search, Dan leads a team of four recruiters who search for talented leaders and solo contributors to fill positions for feed companies and their suppliers.

Dan Simmons has 25 years of experience recruiting and has worked in the animal nutrition industry since 2002. As owner of Continental Search, his firm has helped hundreds of professionals find positions that advanced their careers. Visit Dan's LinkedIn profile for more information and relevant updates regarding the animal science industry.
Dan can be reached directly at (888) 276-6789 or at

Poultry-Associated MRSA Strain Found

In a new study reported on Science Daily, researchers have found that MRSA can be transferred via poultry. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus is otherwise called MRSA. It is a dangerous superbug that can be considered deadly, as it can cause severe infections that can affect bones, surgical wounds, joints, the bloodstream, lungs, and heart valves, according to Mayo Clinic.

The study was published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal recently. MRSA can be transmitted through chickens, pigs, and other types of food animals. According to research, this MRSA strain can infect veterinarians, farmers, farm workers, and individuals who work closely with livestock.

While this would be considered an occupational risk and highly possible, new data suggests that there is a strain that infects people with no exposure to livestock. The study was done by an international team headed by Robert Skov, MD (Statens Serum Institut) and Lance Price, PhD (Milken Institute School of Public Health) at the George Washington University. The research they did shows that they may have gotten it by handling or eating poultry meat that was contaminated.

Diseases not only kill productivity, but can also threaten the health and well-being of individuals who come in close contact with the carrier of the pathogen. For the full case study, click here. You can read the article from Science Daily here, as well.

If you are in the poultry industry, it is important to assess the health and well-being of the flock on a regular basis to prevent development of serious conditions that can affect both poultry and humans.

With the emergence of the MRSA virus, more companies, both large and small, are becoming more stringent with their routine checks. Since the demand for poultry is great, this means more jobs for individuals in this industry.

In search of the freshest poultry job positions? Follow #ContinentalSearch on LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also visit our company website to view our list of available poultry job openings. If you have any questions about the jobs we have available, please send me an email.
Trish Valenzuela specializes in recruiting for poultry feed additive companies. She has filled positions in technical support, sales, and sales management across the USA.

Trish joined Continental Search in July 2015, and through hard study, she passed two certification programs. She is now a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and a Professional Recruiting Consultant (PRC). 

Send her your resume at or call her at (302) 248-8242. Visit her LinkedIn profile  to connect with her and stay updated with current poultry trends.   

5 Things Dairy Companies Will Maintain Despite Milk Price Drop

The recent rise in milk output has affected the price of milk drastically. This is why more dairy operations are closely checking every input cost to evaluate the value of each on to their operations. This article I found on Dairy Herd will be useful to organizations looking to make the necessary cuts.
It is natural to tighten one's belt, given the state of present milk prices. Even so, the article tells us that there are five reproduction factors that should not be cut. These are critical factors, regardless of economic problems.
  • Absolute Compliance to Protocol
Absolute compliance is non-negotiable. Protocol must be kept to make sure cows are bred at the right time. 
  • Transition
Transition remains important, as well, as this will play an important role in future lactation performance. Therefore, feeding and management has to remain constant.
  • Quality of AI Sires
The quality of AI sires remains non-negotiable, as well. Going for less would compromise the whole operation, as it is necessary to ensure genetic superiority to maintain or improve product standards.
  • Workforce Quality
Employee quality should not suffer, as well. A well-trained workforce can implement protocol in an efficient manner.
  • Veterinary Costs
Lastly, one cannot compromise the herd's health by cutting veterinary costs. The entire business rests upon the quality of the product. This means that you should not let go of your herd veterinarian despite the current dip in milk prices.
Making spontaneous decisions should be avoided to ensure the well-being of the whole enterprise. This economic hiccup will not affect the workforce. In fact, many large companies have asked us to find talent for various job openings. So it is still a good time to consider a vertical career shift in this industry.
Follow #ContinentalSearch on Facebook and LinkedIn for the hottest dairy job openings. We also have helpful interview tips on our company website.

Rick Pascual, CPC/PRC

Rick Pascual recruits in dairy nutrition for feed companies and their suppliers across the USA. Rick joined Continental Search in January 2015 and has successfully filled a number of searches for nutritionists, sales, and sales management for leading companies.

 After completing coursework and a grueling exam, Rick became a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) in November 2015, as well as a Certified Professional Recruiter (CPR) by AIRS in April 2016.  Visit his LinkedIn profile for more info and to stay updated with news about recent dairy trends.

Send Rick your resume to Call him at (302) 544-9288.

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