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
Year in Review: Our Blog Highlights of 2023

Year in Review: Our Blog Highlights of 2023

Author:  Natalie Zimmerman

Here’s a look back at ten of our blog articles which sparked the most conversation among clients, candidates, and recruiters alike in the last year:

Biotech Recruiting into the Dark: Hiring in Uncertain Economic Times

As we look towards 2024, this article outlines the growth trends within the biotech sector within the last few years, particularly in response to the Covid-19 boom in hiring.

How to Beat Recruiter Burnout

Perhaps especially useful to look back on at the end of a year – this article lays out ideas for avoiding and combating burnout as a recruiter.

The Biotech Culture Problem

Biopharma start-ups often tout the noble aspiration of curing all that ails the world. Many of these illustrious, high-flying organizations are in fact perpetuating ‘mistruths’; their claims of a virtuous, meritorious, transparent and science based approach are often misleading or outright untrue. Careful observation reveals some serious rifts, cultural divides, and outright lies beneath the surface, all of which our founder Eric Celidonio explores in this article.

Job Perks that Matter Most to Candidates

The pandemic has radically shifted the kinds of benefits employers will consider offering, as well as what is most desired by employees. This article outlines some of the most important job perks to the workforce of today, and how this has changed in recent years.

Most In-Demand Majors in Biotechnology

If you’re a student or recent graduate, you may be wondering what are the most in-demand majors for pharma companies right now – and, perhaps more importantly, what is driving demand? This article explores the most useful majors for college students wishing to enter the biotech industry.

Job Hopping as a Career Path: Is It Right for You?

Job hopping has become an increasingly common practice, but there are pros and cons. On the one hand, you probably want to upskill in your field, experiment with what you like, and ascend as quickly as possible in your career. On the other hand, you may crave a sense of stability at work, long-term office friendships with coworkers, and a track record of loyalty to flex to your next employer. A combo of personality, risk tolerance, and career goals – and this article – can help you determine your path.

As a Life Scientist, Do You Need Communication Skills?

You might think of a “science job” as a lab-coat-wearing, number-crunching, sitting-and-calculating kind of affair – but basic communications skills are very useful in the modern life science and biotech industries. This article debunks the myth that life scientists don’t rely on communication skills, and outlines some useful communications skills for the life scientist of 2023, and how to go about cultivating them.

Best Practices in Recruiting

Whether you’re considering becoming a recruiter, in the midst of a recruiting career, or interested in using recruiting services, this article compiles our best recruiting-related blogs and will give you the insights to optimize your recruiting strategy no matter which side of the equation you’re on.

Improve Your Memory to Improve Your Relationships

Research shows that the average American consumes at least 100,000 words and 34 GB of data per day. Given all of the information you consume on a daily basis, your brain cannot possibly store everything in your long term memory. But remembering aspects about a person is essential, not just for creating new relationships with people, but also for strengthening existing relationships: it shows you genuinely care about them. Recalling details, and asking additional questions, will cause them to associate positive memories with you – people love to talk about themselves. Here are some tried and true techniques to help you improve your memory, and better your social and professional relationships in the process.

Are Your Friends Sabotaging Your Career?

It’s important to consider whether those you choose to surround yourself with truly have your best interests at heart. Whether because of jealousy, insecurity, or because they are simply not a true friend, there are some for whom your successes might be unpleasant, who may relish in your failure as it comforts them about their own shortcomings. This article explores the concept of ‘Schadenfreude’, referring to the delight one might feel in another’s misfortune, and how to identify those in your life who might not truly have your back.

 

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. We also work with a variety of candidates from new graduates to experienced executives, with myriad open roles, and we pride ourselves on connecting our highly discerning clients with candidates who fit their specific needs. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, check out our job search page to see current openings, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

Related Blogs:

  1. Working in Biotech
  2. Hiring in Biotech
  3. Life Sciences Today
Recruiter Spotlight: Sahana Nazeer

Recruiter Spotlight: Sahana Nazeer

Sahana Nazeer is one of Sci.Bio’s wonderful Scientific Recruiting Partners, as well as a recent graduate from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Here, she talks about her growth as a recruiter, how her medical training connects to her work as a recruiter, and more.

Sahana Nazeer, how did you get into recruiting, and how did you end up at Sci.bio?

After I graduated from Brown, I was searching for a full-time position that would utilize my neuroscience degree. I partnered with a recruiter who noticed that I was not keen on benchwork roles at the time. She recommended that I apply for a position with scientific recruiting. I sent in one application – to Sci.bio – and met with Eric later that week. I was drawn to learning about a new industry from an interesting angle that was still anchored to my love for science.

What do you enjoy most about being a recruiter?

I enjoy the search to find not just the right person for the job, but the right person for the team, especially for smaller companies focused on developing a specific company culture. Part of my growth as a recruiter has stemmed from focusing on building teams as opposed to filling requisitions.

What do you find most challenging about recruiting?

Balancing a process that works well for you while also incorporating new techniques to search, screen, and negotiate. For me, there is a fine line between a systematic approach and a monotonous one. And so, it really helps to work within a team as I have the chance to learn from my colleagues and share insights with them.

What are your passions and interests outside of work?

I recently graduated from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and I will soon start my residency in Psychiatry – Child Track at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. I am an avid fan of the Boston Celtics! I also enjoy swimming (although now non-competitively) and playing tennis with my fiancé.

What do you think your greatest strength is as a recruiter?

My passion for supporting diverse, equitable, and inclusive hiring extends into my approach to recruiting, collaborating with hiring managers and talent acquisition partners, and developing relevant educational materials for clients. By keeping the priority of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging at the forefront of my interactions with candidates and clients, it has become a strength of mine to help build cohesive teams and contribute to a company’s growing culture.

What advice would you give to someone entering the world of biotech recruiting, or recruiting in general?

As part of my medical training, there was an emphasis in being not only aware of our own biases but also cultivating actionable changes from that recognition. Being cognizant of my own biases has helped me better understand candidates and serve as their informed advocate when needed (especially as recruiters facilitate a majority of the candidate communication during the hiring process).

Recruiter Spotlight: Kay Chow

Recruiter Spotlight: Kay Chow

Author: Kay Chow/Natalie Zimmerman

Meet Recruiter Kay Chow

Kay Chow is one of Sci.Bio’s wonderful Scientific Recruiting Partners. As her three year anniversary with Sci.Bio approaches, we thought she’d be perfect to kick off our upcoming Recruiter Spotlight series, which will shed light on the work and lives of Sci.bio’s recruiters.

How did you get into recruiting, and how did you end up at Sci.bio?

For my first co-op at Northeastern, I worked at a Brain & Cognitive Sciences lab that focused on studying the effect of exercise on brain health in older adults. I first started out on the clinical research side, but later found myself on the recruiting end picking up phone calls from prospective study candidates. I soon realized that I enjoyed that side of the work much more and thought I could pursue a similar career in the biotech industry given my academic background in neuroscience. A couple of interviews later with Eric and other team members, I was hired at Sci.bio and it’s been nearly three years since in May 2023!

What do you enjoy most about being a recruiter?

I enjoy being a part of someone’s life milestone when they accept a new role. When I hear an enthusiastic yes from a candidate, I get excited for them to explore a new part of their career and work with new people. I try not to become desensitized to the fact that switching jobs is an important milestone in people’s lives.

What do you find most challenging about recruiting?

I find that the most challenging part of recruiting that I’ve had to learn to manage are the ups and downs, and accepting that this is a profession where many factors can be out of your control. Recruiting can be an emotional rollercoaster – one day you can have a top candidate accept an offer and you feel on top of the world, then a few hours later, you can have your fourth offer for a role rejected. You can do your best to find a great candidate and provide a stellar offer, but at the end of the day, you can’t make a candidate say yes if they don’t want to.

What are your passions and interests outside of work?

I’ve been a part of a cornhole league in Assembly Row for the last two years and I’ve won four seasons! Prior to the cornhole league, I hadn’t played any cornhole (minus the intramural cornhole league I was participating in where we lost every game!). I’m also a powerlifter – I competed in a local meet last summer and plan to compete again this summer! On top of that, I love electronic music. You can find me dancing at a show or festival on the weekends.

What do you think your greatest strength is as a recruiter?

I believe my greatest strength as a recruiter is my ability to read the recruiting process and anticipate next moves. By understanding a candidate’s motivations, a hiring manager’s priorities, and reading into subtle nuances, I can get a sense of how a situation might pan out. This helps me to prepare for what’s to come.

What advice would you give to someone entering the world of biotech recruiting, or recruiting in general?

I would suggest finding a style of communication that is comfortable and effective for you. Candidates can tell if you’re uncomfortable or not being yourself and it doesn’t always help foster trust and rapport with them. I find that when I exude my own personality on a call (which might be a little quirky and goofy when the time is right), it helps put me and the candidate in a more comfortable state.

What are your goals that you hope to accomplish as a recruiter?

At this point, my goal is to gain as much experience in as many different environments as possible. So far, my main experience as a recruiter has been with smaller to medium sized biotech companies in an RPO setting. I think I thrive in RPO settings but hope to gain more experience in contingent recruiting and BD. After dipping my toes in more environments, then I’ll narrow down what my niche will be and work towards that.

Biotech Recruiting into the Dark: Hiring in Uncertain Economic Times

Biotech Recruiting into the Dark: Hiring in Uncertain Economic Times

Author:  Claire Jarvis

Is there a Biotech Recruiting Slowdown?

Workforce statistics from the past two years paint a concerning picture of the biotech recruiting sector in 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a boom in hiring and growth, but now that the initial biotech demand is leveling off, many companies are ‘right-sizing’ to pre-COVID-19 levels. Statistics predict the growth of the biotech sector slowing in 2023, in part to rising inflation.

The overall trend means biotech companies are slowing down their hiring. It’s not clear how much growth will slow in 2023, and hiring managers might wonder whether it’s worth adding more workers to the payroll if layoffs are coming. Due to its ability to consolidate and diversify their portfolio, Big Pharma is in a stronger position than agile biotech start-ups, but industry experts still urge caution.

Attracting Biotech Talent in 2023

Despite an economic slowdown, the biotech sector is continuing to grow, and companies are still looking to hire top talent. Here are a few ways biotech recruiting is filling positions and attract candidates.

First, it’s important to understand candidates’ motivation for switching roles, because there are many professionals considering a job switch, even if they’re currently employed. A lot of candidates are seeking appropriate salary increases to combat inflation. Or, perhaps instability at their current company has created a threat of layoffs.

As a recruiter, there are several ways to appeal to these candidates and fill your client’s vacancies.

  • Highlight remote, hybrid and flexible working options. Thanks to rising gas prices, commuting is expensive, and many employees don’t like feeling pressured to come into the office. Flexible working remains a high priority for jobseekers as they explore new roles.
  • Emphasize supportive work culture for new hires. Work culture is not just about throwing money at employees, but thoughtful initiatives to support new hires and integrate hybrid teams. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many workers feeling adrift from their colleagues, and they want to better integrate into their teams, virtual or not.
  • List opportunities for career growth and developmental opportunities within the company. The new hire is more likely to make long-term commitment to the role if they think they can progress in their career without needing to switch companies again.

With over ten years’ experience serving biotech companies in the Boston area, Sci.Bio knows how to guide your company through economic changes. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more.

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.

Alexis and Janel 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.”