Happy Holidays

Animal Science Monitor Expects a Busy 2017

Dan's 25th Anniversary as a Recruiter

Is it Time to Move On?



The year is coming to a close. The holiday rush is here. It's that time of the year where we look back at all we've accomplished. We celebrate our victories and learn from our mistakes. We think about the new people we have met and the ones who've believed in us over the years. Yes, the holidays are the perfect time to reflect and give thanks. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being part of our 2016. We hope 2017 will bring you everything your heart desires.

Animal Science Monitor Expects a Busy 2017

The Animal Science Monitor is going through an evolution. This 2017, we have decided that we want you to be our stars. Aside from showcasing the latest industry news and offering career advice, we will feature people who we consider influencers in the animal science industry. Each month we will interview influential individuals in industry and academia.

We also plan to showcase these interviews with the latest industry news in our Animal Science Monitor LinkedIn group. We would love to learn more about the industry in which we recruit. Feel free to interact with the comments section of the conversations we start. We would appreciate your opinions because we believe that knowledge should be shared.

Who is your animal science influencer bet? If you have anyone in mind who you would love to have us interview, please do not hesitate to reach out. Nominate an influencer today! You can reach me at maria@consearch.com. 

Dan's 25th Anniversary as a Recruiter

Continental Search recently turned 20. Most recruiting firms last less than 10 years, but Continental Search celebrated!  This year, Dan Simmons, the owner and president of Continental Search celebrates his 25th year as a recruiter, as well.

Dan is well known in the animal agriculture industry in which he recruits. He is known for his ability to recognize the best candidate-company match. He is known to be a fast closer. Dan is the person you want to speak to when you want to find out about the freshest job opportunities or land the best job position in this demanding field. In short, Dan gets the job done-in record time, if I may add.

Dan has been recruiting for a quarter of a century. I asked him how that made him feel. He says he's quite happy. He's helped dozens of companies across the America and in Canada find great talent. He's helped over 650 candidates find jobs that they felt have improved their careers.

Dan was placed by a recruiter early in his career. When the company he worked for downsized, he contacted every recruiter in that industry. One of them sent him on an interview that lasted for just five minutes. The hiring manager told him that he was good at what he did and the company was good, but said it was a lousy match. Dan says he was right.

So Dan went home and told his wife that if the recruiter could make a living, the he could make a fortune at it. His wife Deb told him to go get a job as a recruiter. This is how Dan started out his career in recruiting.

When asked why he choose to recruit in the feed industry, Dan says he got lucky. After the employment marketplace crash following 9/11, he contacted a feed company in Pennsylvania hoping to place a computer programmer living in their town. They didn't want the candidate, but they asked Dan to help them find two salespeople.  After quick success, he began recruiting for other feed companies.

Dan quickly became enthused by the people he got to talk to and the work they did. He began focusing on animal nutrition in 2002 and says he has loved every minute of it since.

Bringing potential employees and employers together is an art. I asked Dan how he can tell if it's a good fit. He says that the first thing he looks at is cultural fit. "For an example, you want to make certain that people who think outside the box and like to be self-managed are sent to clients who have an entrepreneurial environment," he said. "You introduce people who like to follow a program to a company that has a system and structure."

He also says that matching pace is important. The speed at which things are done at the average cooperative is much slower than fast-growing, privately-held companies and that you need to match candidates pace to company speed.

Dan also looks at the key components of the job and makes certain they fit the interests of the person you are suggesting will fill the role. "If the role is 80% sales and 20% technical, you don't want someone who is only turned on by the technical piece of the work," Dan states.

Lastly, he says it would be wise to make certain the person who will do the work has the experience, education, and skills to do the job, not that they just desire to be in that role.  A recruiter must interview for people who have accomplished things that would lead them to be successful in the job order they are trying to fill.

I wanted to know what lessons Dan has learned over the span of 25 years as a recruiter. He says the keys to success include doing high-quality work, going the extra mile, perseverance, integrity, and optimism.

Each person faces at least one major obstacle in life. I wanted to know what Dan's greatest obstacle was and how he was able to overcome it. "There are times when world events or economic downturns greatly depress the employment marketplace," he said. "I've seen a bunch of these.  When they happen, you persevere, look for unique opportunities in the market, and stick close to your clients. Most of them will be hiring again in six months."

Dan's wife, Deb, has played a huge role in making him who he is today. Dan says her initial suggestion to pursue recruiting and her ongoing encouragement have been a key to his success. Deb began working with him at Continental Search in 2000 and has provided a great balance to the team.

A quarter of a century in the recruiting industry is rare, especially in the animal science niche. I asked Dan if he had any advice for new recruiters who are starting out and want to last as long as he has in such a demanding industry. He says that they have to make sure they're interested in the field in which they plan to recruit. "You don't have to know it; you must like it. You can learn it. Your name is all you have.  Make certain you keep your reputation spotless. Believe you can't fail, and you're probably right.  Work hard and work smart," Dan says sagely, with years of experience to back these statements up.

While other companies may slow down over time, Continental Search is still a work in progress, having hired a recruiter every 12 months for the past three years.  I wanted to know what Dan thinks Continental Search will be like in 25 years. "I've been lucky. I have hired some very talented young people who are working on my team. I believe they will keep this going long after I have hung up my headset," Dan says, always looking towards the future.

We'll keep it going as long as we can, Dan. Congratulations on your 25th recruiting anniversary!

Is it Time to Move On?
By Trish Valenzuela
If you want to be successful, you must like what you do for a living. There are many dedicated employees who are loyal to their company. Loyalty is helpful. However, passion produces the best results. With the year coming to a close, this is a good time to sit back and look towards the bigger picture. The question is this: will your current job get you there? 

Take This Quick Quiz

Here are five basic questions that will help you determine the answer to the age-old question, "Should I stay or should I go?":
  • Do you feel passionate about your job at least four days each week?
  • Does your employer have a realistic plan for the future of the company or are they setting their expectations too high?
  • Do you see potential growth opportunities for you in your current role? (Promotion, more responsibility, being tasked to work on new technologies, and/or additional training qualifies.)
  • Do you honestly believe that you are in the career track that you want to be in? (Could you have possibly taken a turn due to a specific project assigned to you and have veered from your goals?)
  • Do you enjoy a healthy work-life balance? Are you able to spend time with the people you care about and doing what you want to do? Are you working too hard that you are unable to enjoy your days off?
Don't Wait Until It's Too Late

In most cases, you'll already know deep down which option you should consider. But the truth of the matter is that the good majority of us wait until it is unbearable before even starting to look for a way out. There's a big difference between being a quitter and knowing what's right for you - bottom line, you must strive to find balance and to keep yourself emotionally, physically, and psychologically healthy.

Every few months, and particularly with the new year approaching, it would be wise to take a pause and analyze your current work situation. Are you heading where you want to go in your current position? Does the thought of doing thisin five years make you feel happy and content? If the thought alone makes you cringe, then it's time to start looking for a job that will allow you to grow and feel fulfilled after a long day at your workplace. You should feel happy or at least at peace, not drained of energy. If you are truly happy in your role, great! Celebrate!

However, if you're not fulfilled or fully engaged, don't be afraid to make that change if you truly feel that your career has hit a dead end. Procrastinating will not help, as you will feel the same way in the foreseeable future. When it comes to making a career shift, the motto "It is never too late" does not apply. Don't wait for "too late."

Are you thinking about "flying the coop"? You might be looking for a company that can provide you with the growth potential that you're seeking. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like someone who can help you find a workplace that will offer you what you're searching for. You can reach me at trish@consearch.com.

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 trish@consearch.com or call her at (302) 248-8242. Visit her LinkedIn profile  to connect with her and stay updated with current poultry trends.

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