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Struggling To Fill A Job Vacancy?

Struggling To Fill A Job Vacancy?

Author:  Claire Jarvis

Although we’re in a candidate’s market right now, not every company is successfully filling advertised positions and attracting top candidates to their roles. If your biotech firm is struggling to hire new talent, there are a few probable causes worth investigating.

Why you have trouble finding candidates.

The salary isn’t listed in the job posting or website. With rapid rises in the cost of living, candidates are demanding higher salaries to account for the recession. If you are listing a salary range, check you aren’t offering below-market rates.

An unclear job posting: either the job description is too generic, it’s not clear what experience level you’re hiring for, or the job responsibilities aren’t spelled out. The end result means you attract the wrong candidates.

Bad company reviews or interview experiences are posted on Glassdoor. Candidates check review sites like Glassdoor to learn about company culture and check for red flags. Keep an eye on these sites for bad reviews that need addressing.

You don’t offer remote or flexible working. Even when candidates are willing to come into the office, they don’t want to feel like attendance is mandatory, or give up flexible working practices.

The job application process requires more than ‘one-click’. Candidates are used to applying for jobs via LinkedIn Easy Apply – which requires no more than a pre-uploaded resume and hitting the ‘apply’ button. They certainly don’t want to copy information from their resume into a job application form, or click through multi-page application portals at the start of the process. Consider whether you need this much information about all the candidates during the screening stage, and if there’s a more modern application software you could use.

Your company website is confusing to navigate or outdated. Candidates will apply to five or more jobs in a single session – if they can’t immediately find Careers information on your website they’re going to stop looking and move on to the next company.

What happens when you can’t fill your position?

Most of the issues outlined above can be fixed, though it might take a while. Other issues are harder to control (company location, need for a technical expert with specialized skill set). In both of these scenarios, consider short-term sourcing options to help your company meet its business needs.

Sci.bio is a specialist biotech recruiting agency that can accommodate most of our clients’ full-cycle recruiting needs. Our targeted, efficient, and scalable approach supports companies of all sizes: from agile start-ups to multinational conglomerates, with cost-conscious and scalable services tailored to our clients’ recruiting needs. Get in touch with us today and learn more.

Thinking About Rehiring Old Talent? Here’s What You Need to Know

Thinking About Rehiring Old Talent? Here’s What You Need to Know

Author:  Tara Smylie

When an employee is finished with you, they’re gone for good, right? Not quite. The “boomerang employee” has existed since the dawn of the workplace and is alive and well today. In the wake of the pandemic and the associated Great Resignation, many employees who left their jobs started to have second thoughts about their decision – and many employers are open to rehiring them.

Here we’ll discuss why employees seek to return to their old workplaces, and some of the pros and cons of bring former quitters back into the fold.

Why do employees return?

In a study of people who quit their jobs during the mass exodus that began with the pandemic, job leavers gave several reasons for wanting their old job back again:

  • Former coworkers (38%): workplace morale can make or break a job, so employees who don’t click with their new coworkers may soon find themselves missing their old work pals.
  • Former customers (22%): if your employee had customers at your company, perhaps they found them easier to connect with.
  • Familiarity with the old role (31%): your employee may have overestimated his or her ability to adapt to a different environment and seek a return to a familiar role they know they can perform well.
  • Paycheck (19%): Often, employees simply can’t find a better deal elsewhere (though they won’t want you to know that!).
  • Work-life balance (16%): if a new job demands overtime or gives little consideration to needs outside of work, people find themselves dreaming about a former position with more understanding management

As long as your former employee seems genuinely interested in returning and keen to keep performing well, you should at least consider taking them back. Feel free to ask what they preferred about their experience with you. That way, you can aim to keep them satisfied in those areas – and maybe gain some insight into retaining your other employees.

Advantages of rehiring previous talent

When training boomerangers, you’re not starting from scratch. They’re already familiar with company procedures and culture, so you won’t have to pour as many resources into training them. What’s more, their connections with former customers may encourage those customers to come back.

Rehires can also draw on experiences working elsewhere to bring you fresh insights into the current market. Maybe they discovered a more efficient way to manage lab inventory or learned new strategies for launching a cosmeceutical product online. Whatever they spent their time doing, they likely gained knowledge and experience you’ll want to hear about.

Rehired employees also tend to be more reliable than they were before. Having tested outside waters and found them less welcoming than they’d hoped, this time they’ll lean toward sticking around. They’ll appreciate that you took them back and feel a renewed sense of investment in your company.

Potential pitfalls

Take a good look at your own motivations and see if they stack up. Are you overlooking more suitable candidates in favor of an easy rehire? Think long-term and resist the lure of momentary convenience. If many qualified candidates exist for the job you need to fill, you have a good chance of finding that fresh star who will more than make up for training costs.

Another caveat: depending on their experiences after leaving your company, former employees may come back with higher expectations or a different attitude. To get a sense of their mindset, ask probing questions during the re-interview and consider whether you’re still a good match for each other.

Trust your instincts

Rehiring a former employee can save time, costs, and headaches. Just bear in mind that the process comes with some risks. Bottom line, no two rehiring scenarios look alike, so take some time to consider the pros and cons of your situation. And don’t ignore your instincts: sometimes your gut speaks more clearly than any checklist.

If you’d like some guidance on hiring—or rehiring—the best talent for your company’s current needs, Sci.bio has the life-sciences expertise to get you started.

References

  1. ‘Boomerang employees’ who quit jobs during pandemic may soon beg for them back
  2. Resign, Resigned, or Re-Sign?
  3. Want Good Hires Who Stick Around? Make Their Careers Your Business
  4. Research: Business should embrace ‘boomerang employees’
  5. Pros and Cons of Boomerang Employees
Hiring Freeze? Here’s How to Stay Busy as a Recruiter

Hiring Freeze? Here’s How to Stay Busy as a Recruiter

Author:  Tara Smylie

It’s not the easiest time to be a biotech recruiter: As you may know, biotech companies have been experiencing a surge in layoffs in recent months, and nobody knows for sure when this trend will ease up.

While an industry-wide dip in hiring may concern you, it also creates an opportunity to step back and take a look at your clients, your stats, and your marketing strategies. Here, we’ve compiled some ways to stay busy and hone your craft while you find yourself with a little more time on your hands.

Strengthen candidate relationships

If your stream of new talent is running thin, don’t despair – you can still reach out to your existing candidate pool and get to know them better. Find out how they’re doing, what they’re working on, and what their goals are. As you chat, be honest about what’s going on – and explain the action plan you’ll implement once the industry picks up.

At the same time, don’t limit your outreach to existing candidates. If you haven’t already, test out new talent engagement pipelines such as email, social media ads, and sourcing software. Experiment with different strategies and see which ones promise the best return on investment.

Review your process

Now that you have fewer day-to-day details to worry about, take a step back to look at the big picture. How is your overall strategy working for you? Any weak spots that could use some tweaking? Take inventory of four key metrics: average cost of hire, average time to hire, typical sources of hire, and employment acceptance rates. Are these stats where you want them to be? If not, use this time to make adjustments to your recruitment process.

You can also change or expand your strategy for attracting new clients. Assess your engagement rates, conversion rates, and the profitability of your advertising channels. Does your branding convey a cohesive message? All your social media should work synergistically and let prospective clients know exactly what you’re about.

Start planning now

When the hiring freeze ends, which may be sooner than you expect, you want to be ready to get back in the game immediately. To get into position, look at your databases of both candidates and employers. Take advantage of this time to reach out to new potential candidates and explain your services.

As you prepare for the next hiring surge, stay on top of hiring trends. When the economy booms again, demand for both traditional and non-traditional science roles will surge. A keen eye for upcoming trends, from health informatics to rare oncology, will give you an edge. Find out what’s hot and tailor your strategy to that.

Remember, you’re still in business

Companies rarely stop hiring entirely – even during a hiring freeze, you can reach out and ask what kind of roles potential clients are looking to fill. In uncertain times, businesses often place special emphasis on the quality of their new hires, while trying to cut down on the quantity. You’ll earn employers’ gratitude and loyalty if you can deliver top talent in trying times, so spend some extra time and energy finding hand-in-glove matches for clients who are hiring. By the same token, don’t forget about your existing candidate roster. In a frigid job market, candidates will need all the support they can get.

The takeaway

\When you’re a recruiter and there’s little recruitment to be done, it’s easy to get bored or restless. On the other hand, if you stay busy by investing in long-term relationships and business strategy, this hiring freeze may turn out to be the proverbial blessing in disguise. Before you know it, work will pick up – and you’ll be grateful you took this time to stay relevant and connected.

References

  1. Fierce Biotech Layoff Tracker
  2. Why Social Media Is Now So Important For Recruitment
  3. Qualified job candidates per hire: recruiting metrics that matter
  4. Hiring and Recruitment Trends To Expect In 2022
  5. The Hiring Freeze – What Is Happening? And What Can We Do?
  6. What is a Hiring Freeze? 7 Smart Things That a Recruiter Must Do During One
  7. How Recruiters Should Spend Their Time During a Hiring Freeze
  8. Biotech Layoffs: What’s Really Happening in the Industry and What’s its Market Outlook?
Recently Graduated and Unemployed? Here’s What to Do

Recently Graduated and Unemployed? Here’s What to Do

Author:  Tara Smylie

Ah, the job search. Universally hated, and unfortunately also necessary for almost everyone at some point during their career. If you’re a recent grad in the middle of the hunt, you might feel a little stressed out or overwhelmed. That’s totally normal – and luckily, there are several ways you can manage your anxieties as you continue casting your net.

Contact and Connect

Friends, family, old mentors or professors… chances are, you know a handful of people who’ve been through the same thing and have some words of wisdom to offer. If possible, reach out to peers who are in the same boat – you will all feel less alone if you have each other to confide in. Connecting with other recent grads also has the advantage of strengthening your professional network.

Take a chance and connect with people or organizations you’d really like to work for, perhaps even offering to volunteer for them. For example, if you’re interested in a medical research environment, email a lab coordinator in that field and ask them if they have any opportunities for an ambitious assistant who is willing to work hard and eager to contribute. When it comes to life science and biotech, your connections are your strength – so never stop making them.

Work smart, not hard

Don’t pressure yourself to apply to exactly X number of jobs every day. Instead, focus on finding jobs that match your interests and abilities. For example, let’s say you excelled in all your statistics courses and have some field experience as a scientist. Perhaps you could put your skills to good use as a biostatistician – or possibly an environmental analyst for the right company. The ideal job will make use of your existing skills while offering you opportunities to cultivate new ones.

And remember: you don’t have to rush to the finish line. They say that looking for a job is a full-time job, but you don’t need to spend a full 8-hour day on the search if that feels excessive. While you are searching, be sure to read all job descriptions – you don’t want to waste anyone’s time applying for a job that doesn’t click for you. And when you inevitably face some rejection, try not to dwell on it and remember that rejection will happen to any job hunter who aims high.

Constantly refine your approach

Mass applying to hundreds of jobs at a time can feel productive, but you’re not as likely to impress any single employer. Find a balance between quality and quantity – and yes, that will mean writing cover letters. Over half of employers prefer candidates who attach them, and they can help you sell yourself if you maintain a professional tone.

As you search, you may notice that some components of your process need work. If you think your resume could use some fine-tuning, ask a colleague to look it over and give you some feedback. Or maybe you know your interviewing skills aren’t quite where you’d like them to be. If that’s the case, consider watching some videos or taking a course on the subject to brush up your skills. Your job-seeking skills will drive both your short- and long-term career, and the perfect time to invest in it is when you’re actively looking.

Relax your standards

There’s no need to find the “perfect” job immediately – you never know what an opportunity can lead to. Instead of chasing your number-one dream position, focus your efforts on landing a “good enough” job and consider where it could take you in the future. Nowadays it’s very common to end up working in a different field than the one you formally trained in, so stay open to the possibility of doing something a little unfamiliar.

As a final note: remember to enjoy the free time you have right now. You may not get the chance to take time off work for a while once you do have a job – so make the most of it while you can! Take this opportunity to polish your skills, reach out to old contacts, and get back in touch with the hobbies that fell by the wayside during your college days.

Keep calm and carry on

Finding a job is never easy. Realize that you’re not alone, and take the search at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Remember, you can’t control when you get an offer – only the effort you put into the process. If you’d like some assistance finding your next opportunity, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help you take your next steps.

References

  1. It’s Who You Know: A Guide to Career Networking in the Life Science Industry
  2. How to Deal With Job Rejection and Move On
  3. 83 Must-Know Resume Statistics: 2022 Data on Length, Cover Letters & Valuable Skills
  4. Resume Writing for Life Scientists
  5. Managing Job Interview Questions
  6. Only 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major
Meet the Recruiters | Alexis and Janel

Meet the Recruiters | Alexis and Janel

Author:  Claire Jarvis

Today we’re learning a bit more about Janel Fields and Alexis Palazzolo – two Senior Scientific Recruiting Associates at Sci.Bio. They handle a mixture of contingency and RPO recruitment projects.

Entering biotech recruitment

Although relatively new to Sci.Bio, Janel and Alexis both joined the company with useful industry experience. Alexis spent several years as a physician recruiter. “I liked talking the lingo and having relationships with people out there saving lives every day,” she explains. Reassessing her career priorities after the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexis moved into biotech recruiting.

Janel’s background is in biochemistry, and she worked in a variety of roles within the pharma industry for over a decade. She sought a role that was more flexible than a traditional corporate position. “I wanted to lean on my transferable and soft skills,” Janel says. “I liked connecting the dots for people – so I decided to try recruiting.”

Difference between biotech recruiting

Alexis finds biotech recruiting a positive, smooth experience. She recalls that in her previous physician recruitment role it was often hard to form connections with potential job candidates. “A lot of physicians are really busy,” she notes, and not actively searching for work. In contrast, most biotech recruitment is mostly conducted through LinkedIn, and candidates with profiles there are more willing to talk to recruiters.

In addition to the flexibility afforded by a recruiting career, Janel enjoys the frequent client interactions. “In my previous roles it was me, my Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and my work instructions.” She also appreciates that recruiting allows her to bring more of her personality into the job. “Sometimes conversations with candidates require me to be empathetic if they’ve been laid off due to COVID-19 or company restructuring. People want to know that you care.”

Contingency vs RPO recruiting

Both Alexis and Janel handle contingency and RPO recruitment projects, and see the two as having distinct advantages. “I like the hunt of contingency,” says Alexis. “It’s gratifying because you’re finding the candidate and taking them through the whole process.” On the other hand, Janel likes that in RPO projects she can focus on finding amazing talent if the client already has a list of candidates in mind.

Outside of work

In her home office, Janel has set up her iPad and Chromebook as second and third screens to help manage her work. “I’m a stationary fanatic,” she says. “I need good pens and good notebooks.” On Janel’s main sourcing days, she often spends the day co-working in local coffee shops with her tech friends.

Alexis’ office essential is her noise-canceling headphones. However, she’s found some background noises are helpful for building new connections: “I have a dog, so sometimes if candidates hear my dog on the call we get a stronger interaction going.”

In addition to recruiting, Janel operates as a private chef for clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She sees entrepreneurship and recruitment as two sides of the same coin. “Recruitment is still business: we have to make sure we’re helping people, that we do a good job and we’re closing deals.” Janel says. “And if you’re not promoting your product or service, nobody is going to know who you are.”