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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.


  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
How to Implement a Successful Internship Program

How to Implement a Successful Internship Program

If you’ve been relying on job-ready candidates to acquire new talent, you’re missing some valuable opportunities. To widen your net, be sure to build a talent-sourcing and -training pipeline into your company’s DNA so you’re never strapped for qualified candidates when you need them most. That’s where an internship program comes in.

Benefits of Internship Programs

Steady supply

In today’s competitive job market, an internship program makes it that much easier to secure a good match: you’ll broaden your network of potential hires, and you’ll have a greater idea of their strengths and goals than you can get from a regular interview process. Once your internship program is up and running, you’ll have a steady flow of candidates to consider the next time you have an unexpected hiring need.

The price is right

Most interns view their position as a temporary yet highly valuable personal investment. Because they are just beginning their careers, they’ll be highly motivated to perform well in their roles even at a lower pay grade. Of course, you should pay your interns for their contributions – but because they’re still learning, you can pay them less than what you’d pay full-stack employees.

Many hands make light work

Interns can help check off some of the less complex, less skilled tasks on your company to-do list. With the smaller stuff taken care of, your full-stack employees can enjoy uninterrupted focus on larger-scale projects.

That said, don’t deprive your interns of hard-hitting projects: a good internship program builds the skills needed to take on greater challenges in the future. Nowadays, only 8 percent of interns’ tasks involve clerical, unskilled work. The other 92%? High-level skills. Bottom line, prepare your interns to become your employees.

Implementing Your Program

Consider your needs

Not all internship programs need to follow the same template. While considering how to structure your program, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What role will the intern have within the company?
  • What skills and qualities do they need to have to be successful?
  • Who is available to mentor them?

Finally, think big picture: what is your long-term vision for your company, and what skills will future employees need to make it a reality? This is perhaps the single most important aspect of developing an internship program. Say you’re looking to build a patient information website in the near future. This means you’ll need tech-savvy employees who can handle its creation and maintenance. If you train interns in these skills and they return to work for you full-time, they can hit the ground running.

Recruit and hire

To get your program off to a good start, begin recruiting interns several months before your program launches. Consider posting advertisements on job boards, asking around, and working with a university to begin your recruitment process. Schools like Northeastern University have co-op programs that supply interns to biotech companies.

As you consider who to take on, think of interns as future employees, not just temporary assistants. Even if they don’t end up working for you, they’re likely to tell their peers about their experience with you, which can make or break your reputation among potential hires.

Onboard and train

If possible, assign every intern a mentor at the beginning of the program. This helps orient the intern and gives your existing employees a built-in leadership opportunity. As your interns integrate into your company dynamic, include them in company brainstorming sessions. They’ll appreciate the gesture and you’ll benefit from their outside ideas and insight.

Also consider conducting exit interviews to ask your interns what they appreciated about the program and what you could improve the next time. If you’re serious about your internship program, the learning experience should go both ways.

If all goes well, make them an offer

Recent interns make great employees – they’ve already integrated into your company culture and know the basic ropes of the job, making the training process easier for everyone. Once your interns have wrapped up their programs, discuss their contributions with your managers, mentors, executives and program directors. If you were all generally satisfied with their performance and trust that they can continue to learn and grow, make them an offer. If they’re like 79.6 percent of interns, they’ll eagerly accept it.

Internships bring long-term value to your company

Implementing an internship program is a long-term investment that can cut down on a lot of hiring risk and training time later down the line. In the short term, it’s the classic win-win: they need the experience and you need the help. Over the long haul, it makes your hiring process more efficient and broadens your talent pool. Another big win.

If you plan to start an internship program, but would prefer to payroll them through a third-party company instead of adding them to your payroll, Sci.Bio is available to offer payroll services. Sci.Bio will manage the employee and employer liabilities associated with contract/contingent hiring. We offer payrolled contractors benefits to help keep them satisfied in their role so that they could turn into long term hires once they graduate! And our payroll fee is remarkably reasonable. Find out more here..


  1. 5 steps to a successful internship program
  2. 14 Benefits of Starting an Internship Program for you Company
  3. Hiring During a Biotech Boom: The Talent Challenges Facing Companies Across All Markets
  4. Want good hires who stick around? Make their careers your business (Sci.bio post)
  5. The Benefits of Hiring an Intern
How to Successfully Hire During a Summer Slowdown

How to Successfully Hire During a Summer Slowdown

Author:  Claire Jarvis

Why we’re in a summer slowdown

Every year recruitment slows during the summer months, as employees go on annual leave, and travel to conferences. However, 2022 promises greater difficulties filling roles within the biotech sector.

For one, the American economy faces job growth slowing, rising inflation and the return to “normal” as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down. Many of these factors are a continuation of pre-pandemic trends. Increased inflation is leading to a demand for higher wages to compensate for rising consumer prices, and many startups are unable to compete.

After a period of sustained job growth in the biotech and pharma sector, the rate of layoffs at these companies is increasing, with some companies making drastic cuts to their workforce. Many of these cuts are due to disappointing clinical trial results or FDA decisions, though the pandemic also created additional hurdles for clinical trials.

How to reverse hiring slowdown

Despite the uncertain outlook, even smaller biotechs can work against the greater economic forces by implementing small changes to increase their rate of hiring.

With fewer candidates available per position, recruiters and hiring managers should lean into referrals during the slow summer months from current employers and recruiter’s connections. Former job candidates who performed well in late-stage interviews are another group to consider reaching out to again with new opportunities. These personal connections and words of recommendation are likely to carry greater weight and increase the likelihood of a successful hire.

The summer is also when new STEM graduates enter the workforce for the first time, giving hiring managers the opportunity to focus on filling entry level positions.

Companies can also use the summer lull to experiment with new hiring strategies and revamp their professional social media accounts and recruitment webpages. This is also the time to improve the candidate’s recruitment process experience, since the process itself plays an important role in the jobseeker’s decision to work for a particular company.

Need to fill technical roles at your startup? For many years Sci.bio has matched the best biotech candidates to the job. Contact us to learn how we can help you.

Having Trouble Selecting a Recruiter? Start with these Questions

Having Trouble Selecting a Recruiter? Start with these Questions

Author:  Tara Smylie

The right recruitment agency can help you find the superstar or diamond-in-the-rough that will help you grow your life sciences company. The wrong one can be a costly waste of time. Knowing when to partner with a recruiter, and choosing the best one for your needs, is a science in itself. You’ll want to work with an agency that understands not only the ins and outs of your industry, but how to find and attract top candidates.

You should feel free to ask a recruitment agency whatever you want. But if you’re stuck, we’ve compiled six questions you can use as a starting point.

1. How do you tailor your search process to the pharma/biotech industries?

You don’t want just anyone – you want a new recruit with highly specific knowledge, expertise and experience. If you decide to work with a recruiter, be sure to select one with deep ties to the industry. Life science recruiters often boast a specialized knowledge base and network1 that more general agencies may not have developed.

2. Have you placed candidates in similar roles before, and how did you do it?

Maybe your lab needs another technician to operate smoothly, or maybe you need to replace a retiring chemical engineer. Whatever your situation, asking the recruiter how they’ve found similar candidates in the past can give you insight into their strategy.2 Better yet, ask them to

provide testimonials from customers who had similar hiring needs. A reputable agency with a strong track record will welcome this opportunity.

3. How do you handle clients with continuous but variable hiring needs?

As your business grows and changes, you may reach a stage where you have to hire continuously. At that point, a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) model may give you the best value. RPO recruiters do more than just check boxes and fill in gaps: they build relationships with you and your team, and really come to understand the evolving goals and needs of your organization.

A recruitment agency with experience in RPO for pharma/biotech will also have an established network of suitable candidates, so they’ll be ready to fill vacancies without wasting time getting up to speed.

4. How do you manage referrals from internal employees?

A full 88 percent 3 of businesses report that their best hires are referrals. This makes sense: current employees understand the complexities of your business and have a vested interest in helping your company succeed.

The recruitment agency you choose should understand the value of existing employees. They should also have a trusted method of sourcing employee referrals and presenting you the best ones.

5. How much energy do you spend finding and engaging passive candidates?

Passive candidates usually offer high value – after all, they currently work in the field and can quickly transition into related roles. They’re also the rule rather than the exception, accounting for 79 percent4 of global working professionals. The best recruiters maintain ties with all candidates, not just those who are actively searching.

Potential passive candidates are everywhere – but getting them to entertain new opportunities takes some finesse.5 Your recruiter should have a systematic approach to contacting these candidates. Don’t leave it to chance: ask them to describe their approach.

6. What is your approach to positions that are difficult to fill?

Some positions have such specific requirements that it could take months to fill them. While it’s true that every day your position stays open represents a loss for your company,6 you also don’t want to rush into hiring a bad match and end up spending even more.

If you suspect a position might be tricky to fill, consider a recruitment agency that offers a contingency model. This means you only have to pay when you’ve hired a successful candidate,

typically a 15-30 percent commission on the new hire’s salary. For the right talent, it’s well worth it – and remember, you pay only for results.

Ask and ye shall receive

The more you chat with a potential recruitment agency, the more likely you are to find out make-or-break information about what they offer. And remember: there are no stupid questions. If a recruiter is serious about attracting new clients, they’ll be more than happy to discuss anything you’re curious about.

Here at Sci.bio we take pride in our versatile and customizable life science recruitment services. If you have any questions about how we match our clients with top industry talent, reach out to us today. We’ll say it again: there are no stupid questions, so ask away!


  1. Life science recruiting: the perks of working with a specialized firm
  2. 6 crucial questions to ask recruitment agencies when outsourcing hiring
  3. 23 recruitment statistics
  4. Passive candidates and why you should recruit them
  5. 6 benefits of using a good recruitment agency
  6. A vacant position is more costly than you think
How to Recruit for Biotech Startups

How to Recruit for Biotech Startups

Author:  Claire Jarvis

Recruiting for a biotech startup, especially in the first few years after its formation, presents several challenges. The main hurdle is your young company probably lacks the name recognition or legacy that drives recruitment at large pharma. Your dream candidates may not even know your start-up exists.

Fortunately, with savvy marketing you can attract prospective job candidates and raise company visibility.

Cast an SEO-friendly net

Most start-ups use an inbound marketing approach to attract the right candidates, using SEO content to attract a large number of potential job seekers towards your company website or LinkedIn profile, before engaging with the smaller proportion of interested, qualified parties who explore further.

Build a brand that attracts your perfect job candidates

In today’s job market, the most sought-after candidates are free to choose positions at companies most aligned with their values. To attract these candidates your company website – one of the first things curious candidates view – should articulate your company values. A well-defined company brand and culture is the strongest recruitment tool you possess. Your website should also be intuitive for interested candidates to navigate, with careers information and openings displayed in a prominent location accessible from the home page.

Jobseekers respect transparency from recruiters, and you should be open and realistic about your company values when communicating with applicants. In a dynamic start-up where every employee contributes to the company’s success, an employee who isn’t aligned with company values is often more detrimental than a vacant position.

Personalize and streamline the recruitment process

Candidates see the job search and recruitment process as a preview of life as an employee…and with good reason! As mentioned above, your Careers website and application process should showcase your company at its best: can job candidates submit their resume and cover letter with one click, or do they have to copy everything on their resume into an online application program?

To overcome any disadvantage of poor name recognition your company might face, attend networking events to connect with potential candidates in-person. As a recruiter, you are the first and most important face of the company to prospective employees.

When recruiting via LinkedIn, don’t just share company content. Instead, engage with potential job candidates.

Beyond the Resume – Choosing Candidates Who Will Succeed

Beyond the Resume – Choosing Candidates Who Will Succeed

Author: Claire Jarvis

Most seasoned recruiters and hiring managers begin job searches knowing the “perfect” candidate is unlikely to exist…but it doesn’t mean they won’t find a “successful” candidate.

Although the resume is sometimes the only source of information on a potential candidate, focusing too heavily on the match between candidate’s qualifications, technical skills and your job requirement means missing out on candidates who are perhaps more likely to flourish in the role.

Is the candidate coachable?
Teachability is more important than possessing a certain set of skills. A candidate with all the requisite skills for a particular job at a certain point in time – may struggle to adapt when the industry shifts and new skills become necessary for the position. Whereas a candidate with fewer of the requisite skills but who learns quickly and is receptive to coaching will grow with the position.

Is the candidate self-motivated?
The ideal candidate’s motivation should go beyond what is necessary to perform their job: a strongly-motivated candidate will list experiences indicating a broader interest in the biotech industry, for instance they may have sought out leadership roles and additional responsibilities within their previous companies. This self-motivation ensures the candidate contributes to their immediate team and the company as a whole.

Is the candidate competent?
Possessing the minimum skills to perform the job doesn’t prove the candidate will be able to carry out their functions efficiently. Competency can be teased out in the screening process by asking the candidate questions pertaining to their usual workflow process, and requesting examples of how they performed tasks within their previous roles.

Is the candidate loyal?
Is the candidate likely to stick around in the role, or do they tend to hop between employment opportunities? Loyalty can be assessed by length of time the candidate spent in previous jobs, as well as their involvement in industry beyond the scope of their position.

Taking into account these qualities, you are more likely to find and hire a candidate who will remain an asset to your company for years to come.

Looking to hire more successful candidates? At Sci.bio we have almost a decade’s experience matching biotech companies with talent. Get in touch to learn more about our services today.