How to Build Your Professional Network

How to Build Your Professional Network

Author:  Tara Smylie

About one thing, modern psychology is certain: we humans are social creatures. Whether you’re looking to skill up, or take on new projects as a freelancer – don’t underestimate the power of connections!

Below you’ll find some useful tips to help you build a thriving network of connections in your professional life.

1. Social Media Is Your Friend

Intentional outreach on Linkedin is a fabulous place to start. Don’t be scared to pull the trigger and connect with someone you don’t know – especially if you add a short, sweet, and to-the-point note to go along with it.

Joining intentional groups on Linkedin is another great way to meet people in your field. Let’s say you’re a chemical engineer looking to learn more about the management aspect of the life science field. By joining a group of like-minded individuals, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of perspectives, resources, and ideas that you may never have even thought of.

2. Expand your reach – geographically and topically

You never know who you’re going to cross paths with, and how you might help each other when you do. Though it’s important to know people with similar goals, another key part of building a solid network is finding people different from yourself to connect with. If you’re all bringing the same thing to the table, there’s a limit to how much you can partner with each other and learn from each other.

3. Get out to in-person events

They’re not obsolete yet! There’s nothing quite like in-person connection to get the ball rolling with someone new – and your wheels spinning with new ideas for collaboration. In-person events allow you to gain a sense of someone’s personality more quickly, and to ask questions that you might not feel comfortable asking in an online setting. Often there are activities, workshops, or other focal points of in-person networking events too – so you’ll likely have a career-relevant icebreaker to get the blood flowing.

4. Reach out for assistance

People love being asked for help. It makes them feel important, and builds their confidence in their own skills and reputation. If you’re seeking opportunities to learn something new, are trying to start a new group, or simply desire someone to talk to about your latest career undertakings, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone. Asking for help is a vulnerable thing to do, and will only deepen the connections you have.

And as long as you’re not being pushy about it, don’t worry about being a burden. Before you know it, the shoe will be on the other foot, and it will be the helpers who came through for you that need your assistance.

5. Enroll in a course

What better way to meet others in your chosen field than to learn the same new skills together, at the same time?

Nowadays, it’s trickier than ever to meet people in a school setting – so many offerings are online-only. Of course, it’s possible to connect with classmates online if you’re determined enough – but consider in-person courses first if you’re looking to fast-track the expansion of your network.

In an educational environment, everyone is looking to improve themselves somehow, and to add something new to their lives. This openness to change makes people especially open to new connections, too – so grab the chance to take in-person courses and classes whenever you can.

The Takeaway

If there’s one thing we know about connections, it’s that they lead to more connections. Stay home and think about how great it would be to have a network, and you’ll probably find yourself expanding your circle at a snail’s pace. But choose to leap out of your nest and into the world – even if you have to flail and fumble a little bit – and you’ll come away happier, more fulfilled, and ready to soar into the next phase of your career.

Here at Sci.bio, we work with a variety of candidates from new graduates to experienced executives, and have myriad open roles. We pride ourselves on connecting our highly discerning clients with candidates who fit their specific needs. Check out our job search page to see current openings and follow us on LinkedIn for more information.

Related Blogs:

  1. Why Online Networking Can Make a Difference in a Job Search
  2. How to Build Relationships with Recruiters
  3. Useful Online Courses to Beef Up your Resume

Upcoming FDA Decision Dates (PDUFAs)

When you work in an industry as rapidly changing as biotechnology, it’s crucial to stay up to date. Awareness of the FDA’s new drug approval dates is especially crucial: the decisions put forth on these dates can significantly affect the outlook of the companies involved, and these ramifications often reverberate through the industry as a whole.

Read on for a rundown of the FDA’s upcoming decision dates for new drug approvals in the first quarter of 2024.

 

DATE

COMPANY NAME

DRUG NAME

USE/THERAPEUTIC AREA

01/20/2024

Merck

Keytruda (pembrolizumab)

Locally Advanced Unresectable or Metastatic Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma

01/22/2024

Theratechnologies

Tesamorelin F8 Formulation

Reduction of excess abdominal fat in adults with HIV who have lipodystrophy

01/23/2024

Heron Therapeutics

ZYNRELEF (bupivacaine and meloxicam)

Post-Operative Pain

01/24/2024

Liquidia Corporation

Yutrepia (treprostinil)

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH); Pulmonary Hypertension associated with Interstitial Lung Disease (PH-ILD)

1/26/2024

Defender Pharmaceuticals

scopolamine (DPI-386)

Motion Sickness

1/31/2024

Sanofi and Regeneron

Dupixent (dupilumab)

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

1/31/2024

Vyluma

NVK002

Myopia

2/13/2024

Ipsen

Onivyde (irinotecan liposome injection)

Metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

2/22/2024

Venatorx Pharmaceuticals

cefepime-taniborbactam

Complicated Urinary Tract Infections (cUTI), including Pyelonephritis

02/24/2024

Iovance Biotherapeutics

Lifileucel

Advanced Melanoma

02/24/2024

Alvotech

AVT02

Inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis

02/26/2024

Minerva Neurosciences

Roluperidone

Schizophrenia- Negative Symptoms

3/4/2024

Eyenovia

APP13007

Post-operative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery

3/4/2024

Vanda Pharmaceuticals

HETLIOZ (tasimelteon)

Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (Non-24) in adults

03/08/2024

Viatris and Mapi Pharma

Copaxone (Glatiramer Acetate Depot)

Relapsed forms of multiple sclerosis (MS)

3/13/2024

Mirum Pharmaceuticals

Livmarli (maralixibat)

Cholestatic pruritus in patients with progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC)

3/14/2024

Madrigal Pharmaceuticals

Resmetirom

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

3/14/2024

Bristol Myers Squibb

Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel)

Relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL)

3/16/2024

Optinose

XHANCE

Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP)

3/18/2024

Orchard Therapeutics

OTL-200

Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD)

3/21/2024

Italfarmaco Group

Givinostat

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

3/23/2024

Incyte

ruxolitinib

myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and graft vs. host disease (GVHD)

3/26/2024

Merck

Sotatercept

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)

3/27/2024

Akebia Therapeutics

Vadadustat

Anemia in patients with CKD undergoing dialysis

3/27/2024

Esperion

NEXLETOL (bempedoic acid)

Lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood

3/30/2024

Vertex and CRISPR Therapeutics

Casgevy (exagamglogene autotemcel)

Severe Sickle Cell Disease and Transfusion-Dependent Beta Thalassemia

3/31/2024

Rocket Pharmaceuticals

RP-L201 (marnetegragene autotemcel)

Leukocyte adhesion deficiency-I (LAD-I)

3/31/2024

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Odronextamab (REGN1979)

Relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma or relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Author: Gabrielle Bauer, Natalie Zimmerman

To attract the best, your offer has to speak to them.

You’ve found The One – the candidate who stands out above all others, who holds promise of taking your company to new heights through their contributions. The only thing left is to get this candidate, likely highly sought after, to say yes to your offer.

First Steps in Making an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Perhaps most importantly, ensure you contact the candidate with an offer ASAP – ideally on the same day you’ve decided to hire them. The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood that another employer will snap them up. Pick up the phone, rather than sending an email: only through a voice exchange can you properly communicate your excitement about them coming on board, as well as gauge the candidate’s emotional response to your offer.

The STEM market is suffering from a talent shortage, with the best candidates in very high demand, so expect your candidate to come to the negotiation table with a clearly defined wish list. While you don’t have to grant every item on the list, this is not the time to argue about menial details such as the wording of the job title, or the flexible start time on a given day of the week. Showing a bit of flexibility here helps keep the negotiation flowing, and may be just the thing which convinces the candidate to give you a “yes”.

Put on your Candidate’s Hat

“The employer-employee relationship doesn’t start the first day on the job. It officially starts with the job offer. Make that moment memorable for the candidate.”  – Jeff Haden, Contributing Editor, Inc. magazine

Your candidate will likely prioritize five areas when evaluating an offer: salary, short-term incentives, long-term incentives, benefits and perks, and of course the job itself. If they’re moving from an existing position at another company, they’ll likely expect a pay increase of at least 10% to make the switch. But don’t just pick a figure based on salary history or industry standards: tailor your salary offer to your candidate’s knowledge, skills and experience – and let them know how you’ve arrived at the figure. Transparency never hurts, especially at this crucial stage.

“Using past salaries to determine a future salary perpetuates the gender pay gap and shows an unwillingness to pay employees their true worth.”  – John Feldmann, Insperity

In addition to discussing base salary, explain the benefits, bonus plan (if any), and any other monetary perks in detail, following up with a written summary of these details you’ve discussed. By the same token, come clean about any constraints. If you’re a startup and have limited cash flow, for example, explain that you can’t currently match a top-dollar salary but can make up for it with an attractive equity program.

Think beyond monetary benefits: today’s jobseekers also place a high value on the ability to work remotely, at least part of the time. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, with many people discovering they enjoy the ease of working from home, or the adaptability of a hybrid schedule. Flexible hours and paid volunteer days can also help attract top candidates looking for employers who value work/life balance.

As for the job itself, bear in mind that science professionals highly value their work being stimulating. As revealed by a Talent in Science survey, most rate the opportunity to do challenging work as a key factor in deciding on a job offer. With this in mind, be sure to highlight the challenging nature of the work, and the opportunities for growth within the company. For example, working on a team that successfully commercializes a drug can galvanize a career, so let your candidate know if you have a big one in the pipeline.

When in doubt, ask.

No two candidates have the same life circumstances, and a perk that means the world to one candidate may not inspire another. Instead of guessing, ask outright: “What working conditions or benefits do you value most?” If you can meet these needs, even partway, you’re on your way to a deal.

Even if the candidate doesn’t push back on any of your terms, resist the temptation to ask for a firm commitment right away. Giving them the time and space to reflect on the offer signals respect, and indicates the culture of the company they’re considering joining. That said, it may be useful to probe them gently to gauge their interest in moving forward, particularly if met with a lack of response. You can simply ask: “I understand you need time to think about this, but how do you feel about the offer?” If you sense hesitation, you can ask further questions or provide information that could move the needle.

What you don’t want is a lukewarm, half-hearted acceptance. A new hire who starts out with an undercurrent of dissatisfaction won’t give you their best. When you finally seal the deal, you want both parties to be enthusiastic about the deal.

If you’re looking to fill a role with a highly qualified candidate, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help. We know that no two clients are the same, so we provide customized recruiting support that adapts to a given client’s structure and needs, and have placed successful candidates with a variety of companies. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

References

  1. How Can We Attract Engineering and Science Talent to Life Sciences?
  2. How to Make the Perfect Job Offer.
  3. 10 Tips for Making Job Offers to Top Candidates.

Related Blogs:

The Cost of Keeping a Position Open

The Cost of Keeping a Position Open

Author:  Tara Smylie

It can be unexpectedly difficult to fill an open position. Naturally, you’re looking to hire someone with an excellent set of both hard and soft skills, experience, and the right mindset for the role – but how much time are you willing to devote to the process?

In an ideal world, you’d find the perfect hire immediately, and suffer next to no financial loss. In reality, the search process takes time – and money. Luckily, there are ways to quickly fill a vacancy without compromising on quality of talent.

Nuts and bolts: The cost of keeping a position open.

We all know that vacant positions rack up a hefty bill extremely fast. But what exactly is on the receipt? Here’s the breakdown:

The biggest factor, unsurprisingly, is lost productivity. When an important role is left unfilled, the corresponding work is completed more slowly and less expertly than it should – or in some cases, is not completed at all. Many companies with a vacant role will turn to a temp agency to bridge the gap – but naturally, an interim employee is unlikely to be as efficient as a fully trained team member. Other companies may opt to pay existing employees overtime to compensate, which hampers productivity for the same reason.

Depending on your strategy, job boards can rack up significant costs as well. Generally, the larger ones charge a few hundred per job posting – so with a few different sites on the go, you’re already out over $1000. If you post on specialized boards in addition, you’re looking at $2000 or more. Not a huge expense in the grand scheme of things – but to reap the full benefits of job sites, you’ll need a carefully crafted candidate selection process.

The indirect effects of a job vacancy can add yet another layer of expenses. Hard to measure and easy to overlook, these “soft costs” are still very real risks of leaving a job vacant for too long. These can include long-term harm to a company’s reputation and resulting growth, deflated morale of current employees, and negative impacts to customer experience. In the biotech world, where process-driven workflow is everything, the effect on overall productivity can be especially devastating.

The exact amount lost per day for a given open position is highly variable, of course – but it’s almost always in the hundreds. Given this financial toll, it’s natural to feel like you have to rush to fill an empty role. But get too hasty with the process, and you risk missing out on the right matches. In this situation, partnering with a recruiting service can streamline the process.

The best talent in the shortest time

To secure a hire you trust in a reasonable timeframe, you need to act quickly – and make sure you’re maximizing all the strategies at your disposal. To start, think LinkedIn, social media, and your own professional network. And never forget the power of word-of-mouth: existing employees have their own contacts that they can call upon to spread the word about the open position.

All of the above steps are made even smoother with the use of recruitment services. A recruiter can help you tap into hidden pockets of talent in your existing circle, while providing their own vast network of candidates. From there, they will come up with a custom-made, cream-of-the-crop shortlist for you to consider. When they help you fill a vital position quickly and effectively, the up-front costs of their services can pay off in spades.

Bottom line: it pays to act fast!

Keeping a position open is expensive – more so than many people realize. To cut back on costs, consider fast-tracking the process by bringing a recruiter on board your talent scouting ship. Whether you’re a small start-up trying to stay afloat or a larger company looking to maximize revenue, a recruiter can speed up the sourcing and hiring processes and land you with better-matched talent than you’d otherwise find.

If you’re looking to fill a role with a highly qualified candidate, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help. We know that no two clients are the same, so we provide customized recruiting support that adapts to a given client’s structure and needs, and have placed successful candidates with a variety of companies. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

Related Blogs:

  1. Struggling to Fill a Job Vacancy?
  2. Hire Faster, Hire Better
  3. How to Successfully Hire During a Summer Slowdown

References:

  1. How Much Does Recruitment Advertising Really Cost You?
  2. How to Boost or Build Your Brand Reputation
  3. How Much Does a Vacant Position Cost a Business?
  4. Word-of-Mouth Recruitment: Key Points You Can Implement in Your Business Strategy
Struggling To Fill A Job Vacancy?

Struggling To Fill A Job Vacancy?

Author:  Claire Jarvis and Natalie Zimmerman

Despite being in a candidate’s market currently, it remains difficult for many companies to attract top candidates and successfully fill advertised roles. If your biotech firm is struggling to hire new talent, there are a few probable causes worth addressing.

Why You Have Trouble Attracting 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 change, and often want to know that this is the case before applying. Consider increasing your transparency with salary ranges for posted positions. However, if you are listing a salary range, ensure that you aren’t offering below-market rates.

An unclear job posting. Perhaps the job description is too generic, it’s not clear what experience level you’re hiring for, or the job responsibilities aren’t clearly spelled out. Wherever the confusion may lie, you will likely end up attracting the wrong candidates unless your posting is straightforward.

Bad company reviews or interview experiences are posted on Glassdoor. Candidates check review sites like Glassdoor to learn about company culture and to check for red flags before applying to jobs. 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 as though attendance is mandatory, or give up flexible working practices they may have enjoyed during recent years. Consider offering a hybrid model, where employees can strike a balance between in-person and remote work.

The job application process requires more than one click. Candidates are often 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 whether there may be a more modern application software you could implement.

Your company website is confusing to navigate or outdated. Candidates looking for a job will often apply to five or more positions in a single session – if they can’t immediately find Careers information on your website, they may well stop looking and move on to the next company. Make navigating your website and subsequent application process streamlined and straightforward for candidates.

What happens when you can’t fill a job vacancy?

Most of the issues outlined above can be fixed, though some may take time and work to rectify. Other difficulties, such as company location or need for a technical expert with a specialized skill set, are harder to control. In both of these scenarios, consider short-term sourcing options to help your company meet its business needs.

If you’re looking to fill a role with a highly qualified candidate, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help. We know that no two clients are the same, so we provide customized recruiting support that adapts to a given client’s structure and needs, and have placed successful candidates with a variety of companies. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

Related Blogs:

Questions to Ask Life Science Job Candidates

Questions to Ask Life Science Job Candidates

Author:  Tara Smylie

“Tell me about yourself.”

…Not today! Nowadays, more specific questions for life science candidates are in style – not to mention, far more useful. Instead of ultra-vague cliches, consider carefully thought-out inquiries to really get to know your candidates.

Of course, you can never know for certain how an interviewee will perform based on a short series of questions. That said, some questions are meatier than others, and can get you a pretty good idea of how a candidate might fare if offered the position.

The Four Questions for Life Science Job Candidates

Question 1: What first made you interested in a career in the life sciences?

From reading their resume, you probably already know where a candidate has worked, and what they can do with their knowledge. What you may not have read is the human story behind their choice of career.

Maybe they’ve traveled extensively, and were inspired by the many opportunities for biotech innovation around the world. Or maybe they’ve been reading life science magazines since they were six years old, and have always been fascinated by the potential of technology to save lives. Learning a candidate’s backstory will give you a sense of the passion they would bring to your company, and where it might lead them within their new role.

Question 2: What is the most complex life science project you have worked on? How did you overcome the associated challenges?

There’s nothing like past behavior to help you predict future behavior. That’s why you should ask any candidate about their past experience – ideally, working in a setting that closely mirrors the work environment of the position in question.

If your candidate has experience with large projects like running clinical trials or developing new products, you’ll want to hear about the specifics. Education is great, but it’s their experience, and of course their success stories, that really tell you what they bring to the table.

Question 3: What Do You Know About Our Company, Our Products, and Our Product Pipeline?

Looking to test whether an interviewee has done their homework? This question will speed-track the process. Let’s face it: if they didn’t think to do a quick background check for the interview, they probably won’t be the most thorough workers, either.

Assuming they can answer the question, their response will shed some light on their interests and values as a life scientist. If they have a penchant for a particular product, or a specific reason they’d like to work for you, this question offers them the chance to share.

Question 4: How Would You Improve or Expand Our Current Product/Trial?

Above all, this one is a test of critical thinking. To answer this question well, a candidate will have to think about your business through a big-picture lens. This takes in-depth knowledge of the workings of the biotech/life science industry, both internally and externally, and the ability to apply it to the context of a single company. If your candidate hasn’t prepared for this one, cut them some slack – but if they do land on their feet with an intelligent answer, they definitely deserve bonus points.

Other Important Questions to Ask

At the end of the day, the particular cocktail of interview questions you settle on will depend on what you really need to know. If the position in question will be data-heavy, for example, ask candidates how they go about evaluating new information as it becomes available. If they’d be in charge of enforcing regulations, ask them which ones they feel would affect your current product pipeline.

Depending on the candidate and the role in question, you can also ask about their lab experience, biotechnology experience, and/or their knowledge of a specific technology or lab technique.

Well-Thought-Out Questions, Well-Thought-Out Answers

Choosing a new candidate to onboard is an exciting process! It’s also a scary one – especially when you consider the immense costs of training someone new. Naturally, you’ll want to find the candidate that checks as many important boxes as possible. Specific questions will let you zoom in on those essential areas, leaving less room for vague, useless answers.

If you’re looking to fill a role with a highly qualified candidate, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help.

References

The Best Biotech and Life Science Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates