Issue #165

4 Forms of Compensation That Motivate Top Candidates
How Would You Answer:
'What Are Your Core Values?'
Animal Science Events for the Month of March!
In the News: High-Tech Cow Apps and Cow Herding Drone Art


4 Forms of Compensation That Motivate Top Candidates

(By Dan Simmons)

Have you ever lost an employee you wished you hadn’t?  Candidates are often wooed by what they believe are greener pastures, and if your retention program is lax in any area, it can provide an opening for your best employees to pursue other opportunities.

One part of your retention program, whether your realize it or not, is your compensation structure.  However, the traditional compensation structure, one based almost solely on incremental raises and paid benefits like medical and dental, won’t cut it in today’s marketplace.

It all boils down to one thing: ensuring that you’re giving your most productive employees what they need when they need it, regardless of whether that involves their base package or an incentive package, as well.

The key is to be flexible, both in terms of what you offer and how you offer it.  In addition, what can you offer that will differentiate you from everyone else?  And here is where you can employ flexibility and creativity in order to make yourself more attractive to star candidates (as well as effectively retain those you already have on board).

Giving raises that are larger than average for excellent performance (the average raise this year is expected to be less than 3%) is one place to start, but that’s just the beginning.  Today’s employees and candidates are motivated by other forms of compensation, too, four of which I’ve listed below.

  • A flexible working schedule—We live in an age of almost constant communication (smartphones, tablet devices, etc.).  Allowing some flexibility when employees need it not only counts as a form of compensation, but it also builds a sense of loyalty with that person.
  • Opportunity for more paid time off—Workers in America take less time off than in any other country in the world, but I’d be willing to bet that it’s not intentional.  Rewarding top producers with more paid time off is an inexpensive yet valuable investment in those employees.
  • The chance to earn bonuses—Rather than giving across-the-board raises, more companies are opting for variable compensation structures that reward the best employees with bonuses.  These aren’t paid out at the end of the year, though.  They should be given when the employee reaches certain production levels and goals 
  • Promotions—If an employee is excelling and could be given additional responsibilities in a supervisory role, it makes perfect sense to promote them.  This is not in lieu of a raise or other earned compensation benefits, but in addition to them.  Of course, such a move should only be made if it makes sense for the company (i.e., will allow the employee to continue to grow and be more productive).  Consider each of the key people on your team and see if you can provide a way that they can develop professionally and/or provide a career path. 

You should look carefully at every aspect of your compensation structure.  The first question to ask is, “Will this structure do its part to help retain our star employees?”  If not, decide what changes need to be made and then implement them.

The next question to ask is, “Will this structure help us to attract the best and brightest candidates in the industry?”  Chances are good that if your structure is helping to effectively retain employees, it will also help to attract candidates.

You can make 2015 a highly productive year for your company by ensuring that your compensation structure is balanced, targeted, flexible, and most of all, fulfills the needs of your star employees and top-notch applicants.

If you’re currently working on a difficult search and need the help of a pro, call me at 888.276.6789 or send an email to  I would be happy to discuss the specifics of the search and explain how my services can help.

(Don’t forget to join the Animal Science Monitor Group on LinkedIn and connect with Dan to leverage the power of his 13,000 LinkedIn connections!)

How Would You Answer:
‘What Are Your Core Values?’

(By Dan Simmons)

Candidates consider all types of questions while preparing for an interview.  Most of them prepare for traditional interview questions.  Some of them even prep for behavioral-based questions, as well.  However, would you be ready for this question?

“What are your core values?”

More and more, core values are becoming a central issue during the interview process, for both candidates and companies.  The reason?  Because they often signify whether or not a truly compatible fit exists.

If everything else about a new position—the job description, the salary and benefits, the company culture—are all falling into place, and the company’s core values are in step with yours, then it’s a slam-dunk.

But what if you’ve never conducted an evaluation of your core values, those standards by which you prefer to live and work?  Well, it’s not too late to do some introspection and discover exactly what your values are.  Once you’ve done that, you can compare them to those of your present or prospective employer in the interests of determining compatibility.

You might be asking yourself what things constitute your values.  Furthermore, are your professional values different from your personal values?  You’ll find that if you make a list comprised of both types, more likely than not, there will be plenty of overlap.  That’s because it’s nearly impossible to keep them separate; your personal values have a tremendous impact on what you value professionally.

Below are some examples of “core value” principles:

  • The desire to build long-term relationships
  • The need to treat others with respect and to appreciate their time
  • Placing an emphasis on effective communication
  • A healthy work-life balance, which includes adequate vacation and recovery time

As you can see, the majority of these apply to both the personal and professional realm.  It makes perfect sense that would be the case.  People practice their core values consistently across the different areas of their life.

So what are the core values of your current employer?  Are those values readily apparent?  Can you tell what they are just by observing the company in operation?

It’s extremely important that an employee’s values are in line with their employer’s values.  If that’s not the case, then it’s difficult for that employee to find ultimate fulfillment with the company. 

If you’ve had the feeling that things just aren’t right, but you can’t put your finger on the problem, mismatched values could very well be it.  Don’t underestimate the importance of aligned values between employee and employer.

Once you’ve completed an assessment of your values, take a hard look at where you stand with your current company.  If an acceptable alignment doesn’t exist, then perhaps it’s time to find a place that values the same things that you do.

For more on this topic, write to

(Don’t forget to join the Animal Science Monitor Group on LinkedIn and connect with Dan to leverage the power of his 13,000 LinkedIn connections!)

Animal Science Events for the Month of March!

(By Matt Deutsch)

Could the weather get any colder?  Wait, don’t answer that.

We’re back with events in Animal Science and Animal Nutrition, and while these events offer tremendous value, they’re not being held in the warmest of locales.  Although there’s “only” a month of winter left, places such as Alberta, Canada; Madison, Wisconsin; and St. Paul, Minnesota; will still be plenty cold during the month of March.

But don’t let that stand in your way!  If you’re going to be cold, anyway, you might as well be cold AND grow your career at the same time.

With that in mind, below is a list of the industry events for the month of March, including a link to more information about each event.  Keep warm and heat up your networking and training efforts!

The 33rd Western Canadian Dairy Seminar on March 10-13 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Midwest Poultry Federation Convention on March 17-19 in Saint Paul, Minnesota March 18-19 in Madison, Wisconsin

Feed Mill Management Seminar on March 25-26 in Nashville, Tennessee

If we’ve missed an event, please let us know!  Send your information to so that we can add it to our upcoming schedule of events as soon as possible.

In the News: High-Tech Cow Apps and Cow Herding Drone Art

(By Matt Deutsch)

In the Animal Science Monitor, we strive to share timely news and information about Animal Science and Animal Nutrition, specifically items that impact both the present and the future of the industry . . . or an item that’s so interesting that we just have to share it.

This month, we have three such articles.  (Click on the titles below to access the full article.)

“Cow Farmers Get High-Tech Tracking App”

In Brazil, there are more cows than humans.  The country is the world's largest exporter of beef in the world.  A new startup wants to connect the dots between each of those 200 million cattle, the ranchers who own them, global companies that buy the beef, and consumers who want to know where their filet mignon came from.

“Cowgirl Uses Horses to Motivate At-Risk Kids”

For the past 30 years, Patricia Kelly has helped children in Hartford, Connecticut stay on the right track through her nonprofit organization, Ebony Horsewomen.  The program offers horseback riding lessons and teaches Animal Science to more than 300 young people a year.

“Watch This Farmer Herd Cows to Make Drone Art”

Some people are very, very good at herding cattle.  Among those bovine bosses is Derek Klingenberg, a farmer who’s become a minor YouTube legend for his videos poking fun at pastoral life.  His latest upload: “#CowArt with a drone,” in which he used a drone to record aerial footage of his artful mastery of pickup truck-based cattle herding.


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