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What Role Do Managers Play in Creating a Collaborative and Safe Environment for Employees?

What Role Do Managers Play in Creating a Collaborative and Safe Environment for Employees?

When it comes to company morale, it is crucial to consider how management affects your companies overall work environment. If a manager shirks their responsibilities or micro-manages everything your employees do, it will lower office morale and often cause a rise in turnover. On the flip side, if a manager encourages collaboration and a fair workload, employees will feel more valued and produce a better work product. Take a look at some key factors that contribute to healthy work environments and strong teams.

How do your employees work with your manager? 

Do they feel they can approach him or her with ideas and questions? It is essential to see how your staff work as a team with their supervisor. If the manager is approachable, your team will work together well, and things will run smoothly for the most part. When your employees feel their ideas are heard and that their manager has their back when dealing with a tough situation, the office community will be stronger and employees are empowered to take appropriate risks that drive results farther. Everyone will be more motivated to do better work. If your manager is unapproachable, overly rigid, or micromanages your staff, you will find the team doesn’t work as efficiently, and it will often affect their work ethic as well. They may try to find employment in a more supportive work environment. The old saying that people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers, can be very true in this case.

Does your manager have clear roles and expectations for each employee?

When your employees know their role in the company, it is easier for them to excel in their position. They will come in, knowing exactly what they need to do and how it is expected to be done. They will know which responsibilities are theirs, and which are their colleagues. Without this clarity from management, positions can become chaotic, confusing, and frustrating. Projects can be started and re-started as different employees struggle to carve out their own niche, and inadvertently step on each others’ toes. Constantly changing expectations can cause uncertainty for employees and will affect their work performance in many cases. If there are clear, consistent expectations set for everyone, it is easier for them to become experts in their position and focus on their projects, which will lead to increased morale and productivity.

How your manager treats your employees as a whole.

The politics involved in managing your staff can be precarious. You need to make sure your manager treats all of your staff equally and doesn’t show favoritism towards anyone or group in particular. Everyone in the office should feel secure that they don’t need to try to “brown nose,” the manager to be treated with respect as an equal. Your employees will appreciate your manager more if they know they are respected for their hard work and dedication to the company. Not because they made “friends” with the boss and became a “favorite.” It is imperative that all employees feel respected by and confident in the management.

It is crucial your manager makes sure the whole staff is doing their job.

Unfortunately, those team members who work the hardest or fastest are often leaned on more than those who don’t may not consistently put in the time and energy. If someone is not pulling their weight, it needs to be addressed, and it shouldn’t be assumed that those who always work hard are the ones who should bear the brunt of making up for their coworkers’ laziness. Your manager should make sure to address the issues with anyone who is not contributing as expected and provide backup support to those who are doing more than their own jobs. It can be very easy for the manager to keep going to the people he or she knows will always show up, and will never say “no” when asked to do extra work. Still, the best way to keep your hardworking employees working for you is to make sure everyone is doing their fair share, and all employees have adequate time to step away from work and rest.

Business owners and managers need to make sure employees have safe working conditions.

Providing a safe, clean environment has become more important than ever. Now that Covid-19 has become a part of everyday life, following the CDC guidelines and regulations to keep everyone safe has become a management responsibility. Managers need to make sure employees are completing a health screening and have all of the PPE they need to stay healthy. If someone in the office does come down with Covid-19, your manager needs to follow protocol and make sure testing and tracing are in place with the state. All employees also need to be notified along with any customers who may have had contact with the person who was infected. Additionally, managers should be sensitive to the added stress and uncertainty that all employees are juggling outside of work. We are living through a “new normal,” and unless everyone feels physically safe and emotionally supported, your work environment will suffer. You want to keep the morale up in your office. It will promote employee well-being, which in turn allows employees to work better for your company.

3 Ways to Fix a Flawed Interview Process

3 Ways to Fix a Flawed Interview Process

As a life sciences professional, interviewing candidates is an important final step in what may have been a long hiring process. Getting the right hire can mean the difference between building a “good” team vs. having a “great” one.

However, at many companies, HR leaders and team managers haven’t updated their hiring procedures or taken the time to customize the recruitment process.  In the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” guise, many organizations go through the same basic routine they’ve done for years and fail to make the changes that would result in more effective interviewing and, therefore, stronger teams with less turnover.

While it’s not necessary to completely start from scratch when it comes to your interviewing techniques, it’s important to understand that markets shift, applicants change, and, especially during COVID-19, systems for interviewing and onboarding have become more flexible.

The following are three danger signs to watch out for – with suggestions on how to remedy your processes:

     1.      Your Interviews are Too Short and you’re all asking the same questions

A short interview – of 20 minutes or less – is not only insufficient to learn all of the necessary information about a candidate, it’s also disrespectful. Candidates spend weeks researching organizations, filling out applications, and doing their due diligence. To arrive at an interview only to walk out of the door less than half an hour later is anticlimactic at best, and harms your company’s reputation at worst. Adding to the insult of a short interview, interview teams are often not assigned to focus on areas of competence or skill and default to redundant, predictable, questions that fail to uncover a candidate’s true capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Solution: Try not to rush things. Learn a little bit about them and their interest in the role before you dive into prepared questions. Candidates should have time to ask questions throughout the interview, not just as it’s wrapping up, and you should ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of their background and skills. You’ll learn more about the candidate and be able to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Develop a Behavioral Based Interview format where interviewers are assigned competencies and values that resonate with the role. This will allow useful assessments that can be benchmarked against other candidates.

 

     2.      The Interview is Your Only Hiring Tool

Interviews should not be the sole basis of a hiring decision. An interview shows managers how candidates behave in a professional setting, but they provide little evidence of what each individual brings to the table. Some people may interview well and be a great fit on paper, but they may not fit in with the team culture. Others may interview poorly, but have great technical skills that your team needs. This is especially true for highly skilled positions in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences industries.

The entire application and interaction process from first interaction through references should be used as an opportunity for evaluation of candidates.  Attention to detail, timeliness can be assessed through email interactions as an example. Carefully worded reference questions can reveal weaknesses that may have not been apparent: ”Is there any additional training or development that candidate name  could benefit from in his/her development?” or “Why do you think candidate name wasn’t promoted, or left?” both allow opportunities for the reference to supply details you may not have uncovered yourself during the interview process.

Solution: Once you’ve narrowed down your selections to a handful of qualified individuals, you should find multiple ways to assess their skills and experience.  For example, if you’re hiring a life sciences writer, it doesn’t make sense to judge them purely on their personality or conversational skills. Examining each candidate’s portfolio of work or asking them to do a brief writing example would demonstrate if they’re right for the job. Similarly, if you are hiring a lead Scientist who will need to present data, ask them to prepare a short presentation and Q&A session.  Assess written follow up emails for both timeliness and attention to detail. Don’t ask cookie cutter reference questions that “check the box.” Instead ask questions that probe at the heart of candidate competency.

 

     3.      Only HR Personnel Conduct Interviews

Counting on only the HR department to interview and recommend the final candidate could lead to a poor hire. As capable as they may be, HR won’t know as much about the job as someone who has hands-on experience.

Solution: While HR can do the initial screening, hiring managers should conduct the follow-up interviews since they have the best understanding of the position’s requirements and the current team’s strengths and weaknesses. Most human resources professionals recommend that at least three company stakeholders become part of the  interview process, including the position’s direct manager, the manager’s boss, and the team’s relevant members.

 

Conclusion

Not every interview technique and process works for every company.  No two job applicants are the same, and no role is identical because a company’s needs change over time and so do roles and responsibilities. By being willing to look at your systemic flaws and adapting to what works and what doesn’t will help you attract and hire the best employees.

Sci.Bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries.  To learn more, visit our website today!

A Basic Interview Preparation Guide For Your Hiring Team

A Basic Interview Preparation Guide For Your Hiring Team

As important as hiring the right candidate can be, many employers or hiring managers don’t consider the ramifications of being ill-prepared for the interview process.

While inviting team members to interview the job seeker should be encouraged, the fact is, everyone may not be prepared for the process. The interview team can be distracted by their jobs and not have time to get ready to meet the potential new hire.

Just like candidates spend time researching the company, interviewers should be ready to evaluate candidates properly to avoid making costly hiring mistakes. Good preparation pays off: Here are some tips to ensure you and your team are properly prepared to meet your candidates.

1. Know your Candidates

Sitting across from a job seeker without having reviewed their resume or background can mean that important questions won’t be asked. And also shows the candidate that you’re not taking the interview seriously. By knowing the person’s background, you’ll avoid asking for information they’ve already provided. Be prepared beforehand by reading the resume and making notes of key points concerning their skills and experience. You can then use interview time to elaborate on these points or ask for the new information you need to help with your evaluation.

2. Plan your Interview Questions

Before the interview, you and your team should prepare a series of questions built on behavioral question models. Examples of how to phrase these include:

• “Tell me about a time…”
• “Give me an example of when…”
• “Walk me through…”
• “Describe for me…”

Questions constructed around these examples offer the potential for answers that say a lot about a candidate’s personality and interpersonal style. They can also spark a meaningful discussion that leads to the interviewer’s deeper understanding of past situations, tasks, and results the applicant has experienced.

3. Give Everyone on the Hiring Team a Role

Giving each member of the interviewing team a role helps them focus and enables them to have a specific goal for the upcoming interview. Providing a direction will also ensure your interviewers will be prepared with questions that will meet the goals set out for them. For example, each member could focus on a key piece of experience criteria or on the desired behavior.

4. Use the Same Criteria for Each Candidate

Be sure you and your team apply the same process and ask the same questions during each job interview. This approach enables you to gather information uniformly and make the next step — evaluating how well each person does — that much easier. It can also help minimize unintended or unconscious bias and other negative factors that may creep into the interview process.

A Last Word

The interview process is crucial in helping you find the right candidate. You need to assess their strengths and weaknesses quickly, but even more importantly, you need to evaluate whether they’ll be a good cultural and professional fit. A well-prepared interview team can give you a complete view of the candidate – helping to ensure the right hire!

Sci.Bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries. To learn more, visit our website today!

6 Reasons Employers Hire an Executive Search Firm

6 Reasons Employers Hire an Executive Search Firm

When looking to hire senior executives in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences fields, it’s important to remember that most of the great candidates aren’t hanging out in a database or waiting to be contacted on LinkedIn.

While using your organization’s in-house resources (HR department, hiring managers) may work for less specialized job placements, neither likely have the combination of research skills and the extensive network of professional resources needed to identify and hire top executive talent on time.

Instead of spending a lot of in-house time on an executive hiring search and hoping for the best, many science-based companies are reaching out to executive search firms to optimize the process. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider this strategy for your next high-level hire:

1. A Search is Incredibly Important at the Executive Level

Searches for senior management positions that report to the C-suite are too important not to go out to a retained search firm. Executives at that level can make or break a company. A retained search firm can help mitigate the risk.

2. The Position Requires an Executive with Unique Skills

If you’re seeking someone with very specific knowledge and skills, a search firm can help. The best executive search firms will deliver candidates with the right mix of knowledge, skills, and abilities, along with the requisite cultural fit you need.

3. Your Senior Leadership Team Lacks Diversity

Because women, Black, and Latinx candidates are not well-represented at the senior executive levels – especially at science-based organizations – search firms can help level the playing field by conducting searches that ensure equal opportunity for all candidates.

4. You’ve Just Created the Position

When an organization has a new executive-level role to fill, there can often be a lack of knowledge re: the kind of candidate you need. Search firms that specialize in the functions and sectors that are new to the organization can help fill that knowledge gap and identify the right talent.

5. You Have to Replace an Underperforming Executive While Still in the Role

Lining up a replacement while a senior executive is still on board, can be highly complicated. The last thing you want is for the individual to find out. Search firms offer a much-needed cloak of confidentiality. They can manage a confidential search and recruit candidates without even mentioning the name of the client company.

6. You’ve Exhausted your Personal and Company Networks

If you’ve burned through your network of connections for possible referrals, it’s time to access another network. Executive search consultants are among the most well-networked people in the business and can find the right candidates while you’re working on running your department or business.

Summing it Up

Executive recruiters who understand the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences fields can identify, contact, and engage executive talent beyond the reach of employers who go it alone. Before contracting with a hiring firm, be sure they understand your business, have access to the right talent, and provide communication throughout the process to ensure you’re meeting the best candidates.

Sci.Bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries. We can also help you understand and improve your cost per hire numbers – so visit our website today!

Is Work Taking Over Your Life? Here’s What to Do.

Is Work Taking Over Your Life? Here’s What to Do.

A career in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries can be very rewarding and fulfilling. But it often means working long, stressful hours.

Professionals in these industries are often mission-oriented, and aware that what they’re working to create, or manufacture can change lives. But what happens when there’s a significant amount of work that consumes everything else you do with no end in sight?

When your Job Becomes your Life

While it’s admirable and sometimes necessary to work whatever hours it takes to complete a project, it can be increasingly easy to forget to take time for yourself. As a life science professional, doing anything but work can seem like laziness or self-indulgence.

However, burnout is real, and if you’re not operating at full capacity because you’re exhausted, your work and personal life will suffer.

  • Try Keeping One Day Meeting-Free
    Often, meetings take time from being productive. Try establishing one day a week (or two afternoons) as “meeting-free.” Setting aside a day to get work done will do wonders for your productivity. You’ll get more accomplished during the day and take home less work (and stress) at night.
  • Don’t Always Be the First Person in or the Last Person Out
    Punctuality and a good work ethic are important. But professionals who spend ridiculously long hours at work may only be demonstrating poor time management. Make an effort to prioritize tasks and leave on time at least three nights a week. One tactic is to put an appointment on your calendar for the end of the day, so you have a reason to leave.
  • Learn to Say “No”
    Every time you say “yes” to another task, you’re increasing your work time, and decreasing your “me” time. Set a list of priorities and make decisions accordingly. Obviously, there will be times when “no” is not the right answer, but in those cases, ask which project is more important and set your priorities.
  • Protect your Time Away from Work
    If you have to take work home, make sure you set time limits for yourself, so it doesn’t eat up all of your personal time. Triage the important stuff. Respond only to the most critical emails, then leave the rest for when you’re back at your desk.
  • Make Family a Priority
    The people you love and who love you aren’t expendable – and your job should be built around that. If family emergencies happen, show up. Consistently make time to be there for the people that you love and count on you.
  • Take a Vacation (or Staycation)
    Remember: Vacation and personal time exist for a reason. Take the day’s you’ve accrued. You’re supposed to use these days, and you (and your manager) will ultimately be glad you did. Let your coworkers know you’ll be offline until you return. Your work and attitude will improve after taking a break.

Conclusion
As a life science professional, your work is important. But it’s also important to recognize that you can operate much more effectively if you regularly take some time for yourself. No one can survive for long – or perform at their best – by running at 100 miles an hour all the time!

5 Reasons Employee Referrals are a Great Resource

5 Reasons Employee Referrals are a Great Resource

As a hiring manager or recruiter working with a life sciences company, an employee referral program is an excellent source for locating talented candidates.

Employee referrals are a way of leveraging the existing employees in an organization to help identify and recruit quality talent. For many reasons, employee referrals have proven to be one of the best ways of sourcing.

Many life sciences companies have implemented employee referrals in their organizations – some using methods such as a referral program, and some are keeping it less organized. No matter how it’s set up, what matters most is to actively engage your staff through employee referrals.

Listed below are five benefits to implementing an employee referral program, and why it could be your best way to hire the most qualified talent:

1. Saves Time and Money 
Sourcing candidates requires a lot of effort, which means it can cost a company both time and money. It was found in one study that referred candidates are faster to hire. An advantage of employee referrals is that your current team member makes the connection and saves the recruiter the initial time of sourcing the candidate. Further, the candidate could be a better match compared to others who apply externally. This can help expedite the process and cut back on the need to find alternative options.

2. Receive Qualified Candidates 
Employees often want to work with someone who they know can do the job. With a referral, you can have much more confidence in the candidate’s ability to perform the necessary tasks, since they are “pre-sold.” In addition, a personal recommendation that is already within the company can instill confidence that the reference is in fact, valid and reputable.

3. Higher Retention Rate
Studies have shown that finding and retaining life sciences professionals is an ongoing challenge. The good news is employee referrals tend to stay around longer, perhaps because they are personally connected to their peers. That’s not to mention that the referrer themselves may feel more respected and valued after the company takes their recommendation. And when an employee feels respected and valued, they can become more dedicated in the long run. You may also want to give an employee referrer a bonus to show your appreciation!

4. Better Cultural Fit
A referred new hire will help alleviate the concern that a candidate may or may not be a good cultural fit. A successful employee referral program can help achieve this goal. Your employees are in the best position to understand the suitability of a referral to fit within your business.

5 Reasons Employee Referrals are a Great Resource

5. Improved Employee Engagement
Encouraging qualified referrals can be the best way to engage your employees in more meaningful ways. When a company asks staff members to find the next great hire in their organization, they feel more empowered. At the same time, it’s a feeling of accomplishment for them by helping their friends achieve their next career move.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding candidates with specific life sciences skills, employee referrals have proven effective time and time again. Referrals are a great way for recruiters and hiring managers to fill positions with “pre-recommended” talent that possess the critical skills and cultural fit you’re looking for.

 

Sci.bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries. To learn more, visit our website today!