3 Steps for Planning a Successful Hire

3 Steps for Planning a Successful Hire

One of the most challenging tasks hiring managers face is properly planning ahead for positions they would like to open later in the year. It’s not uncommon to forget about the leg work that goes into implementing an efficient process for reviewing resumes, which can lead to chaos at crunch time. But, by constructing a game plan early on, hiring managers can cut down the time it takes to interview and give out an offer by half, or even more! Here are a few quick tips on how to best set yourself up for a successful hire:

Start sourcing 3 months before

Many times, I’ve witnessed a company open up a position without doing any planning and they always seem to end up with the same results: unqualified candidates, months of interviews, and candidates turning down their offers.

Closeup on businessman holding a card with text EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM, business concept image with soft focus background and vintage tone

To ensure better results and a talented hire, target candidates three months before opening a position. By doing so, you’ll have a good idea of what the market is currently looking like, and depending on different factors, a chance to make adjustments to the position if needed.

Plus, one of the benefits of searching proactively is that you open up your talent pool to more candidates. Often times, talented candidates are interested in different opportunities in the market, but just aren’t ready to take a gamble yet because they don’t want to leave the security of their current job.

When hiring managers reach out to candidates beforehand, not only does this give them enough time to sell the position and benefits of their company but also gives the candidate enough time to weigh the benefits of the opportunity altogether. A candidate is more likely to leave their current role for a better opportunity when they feel like they are personally being selected by a company.

When the time does come for interviewing, the candidates who were reached out to in advance are likely to perform significantly better in interviews because they’ve had time to properly research and will feel more confident that it’s a beneficial career decision for them. For any contracting/consulting roles, this is also an efficient process because you can target candidates who are finishing up a contract and can transition them smoothly into a new project.

Learn more about finding better candidates

Keep a shortlist of candidates you are interested in and contact them every quarter on company updates

Often times, hiring managers come across professionals who they know would be a great resource to their team. However, they lose out on hiring these candidates because they are often 1. Forgotten about and 2. Aren’t sold enough on their company.

To avoid this, using something as simple as an Excel sheet with candidates and their contact information can save months of interviews. By taking 30 minutes every quarter to send out a quick company update to your hot list, you can establish a pipeline of communication that will always benefit you and your company.

Always keep track of talented candidates who interview well.

I’ve seen many candidates over the years, who met all qualifications of a position and performed phenomenally in the interview stage, lose out to another candidate who may have been internally referred or did just a little better than them.

It’s easy to lose track of these candidates because you feel so confident about the new hire you’re bringing in and you’re pleased that your team is set for the foreseeable future. However, these candidates that lose out often go on and obtain more valuable skills with other opportunities that could benefit your team in the future.

I recommend following up with them once a year to see what type of experience they’re developing. In the world of recruiting, timing is everything, and knowing a candidate who is familiar with your company only helps to lessen the time it takes to re-interview them.

By following these tips year-round, you will not only save time but money as well. For more tips on saving money throughout the recruitment process, check out our post, Quick Hits on How Your Company Can Save on Recruiting Costs.

Selecting Your Recruiter: The Do’s and Don’ts

Selecting Your Recruiter: The Do’s and Don’ts

Hiring is an extensive and rewarding process, but it’s not immune to stagnancy. From long stretches without any fresh candidates to getting turned down when using outreach marketing to advertise your role, many obstacles present themselves in the task of hiring new employees. Sometimes there’s only so much you can do and you need someone else to lend a hand. In these types of situations, it’s often wise to bring in the expertise and support of a third party staffing resource to get the role filled.

Selecting the right recruiter is extraordinarily similar to choosing the right candidate; there are aspects of both technical and cultural fit to consider. In a highly competitive market, many staffing agencies, firms, and companies will do anything possible to place themselves on a preferred vendors list. So, bringing in the right partner is a critical step to not only fill an open position but also to incorporate sustainable growth for your company. But, how do you go about doing so in an honest, efficient, and value-based manner?

Look for honesty.

We’ve all met recruiters who say, “Of course, I can get this filled for you in a week!” or “Everyone I send over will be perfect.” As enticing as these promises may be, accepting such temporary relief will often lead to more stress and long-term headaches. Sourcing for talent is not a step-by-step lab experiment but rather an abstract puzzle; since there isn’t one right answer, you’re often left with many alternate solutions. During the initial introduction call, poor recruiters will emphasize false beliefs so as to impress you and gain your trust. Not to invoke a cliché, but trust should be earned.

Talented and efficient recruiters often walk you through their methodology and approach and discuss how to integrate those with your preferences and your company’s process. Keep an ear out for questions such as, “What have been your pain points in finding competitive candidates?” and “To be frank, there is currently no one in my active pool who fits this role, but I will reach out to my network which has always helped point me in the right direction.”

Find out what their niche is.

Often times, a recruiter will state “Sure, I can work on any role that comes my way!” during their first conversation with you, and in some cases, this could actually serve as a huge benefit if hiring is across multiple departments. For more specialized circumstances, however, that same recruiter may not provide effective resolutions. So, don’t be shy in asking a recruiter specifics regarding their recent and related placements.

When a recruiter has built up a talent pool with direct contacts, they have a natural jump start, which often lends to impressive referrals – a jackpot in our industry. For example, let’s say you have a Senior Medical Science Liaison role that targets an individual with not only a doctorate degree and at least five years of experience, but also hands-on research experience in epilepsy and the flexibility to travel to Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. Recruiters who have never worked in Medical Affairs roles may have a tough time stepping in and efficiently sourcing for this position. Don’t write them off yet! Rather, inquire about their background in neurological Medical Affairs and their approach for this search. If they mention referring back to a previous search/pool or colleagues who have a related network, then that’s a good start and a potentially good partner for this position!

Set expectations up front.

Possibly, the most antagonizing aspect of hiring is not during ruts, but when issues arise in the contract/agreement phase that puts everything to a grinding halt. When a problem crops up so late in the process, it can be related to a misstep or oversight during early communication efforts. Again, look for honesty. You need to find recruiters who not only value, but also practice it. In the initial call, such issues can be deftly navigated before it proceeds to review. Even after the discussion, ask for paperwork regarding agreements and contracts to be sent over and have your legal team review it.

Moreover, to avoid constant rescheduling and unqualified or non-ideal candidates, be sure to set up a weekly meeting with your recruiter. Hiring will always be an addition to your day-to-day responsibilities, but ten minutes each week of clear communication with your recruiter could save hours later.

At the end of the day, do not let hiring create an unwarranted burden on your business. Staffing resources are vital because finding the right addition to your team will impact how the company grows and even how you develop as a leader.


Tools for Setting SMART Goals

Tools for Setting SMART Goals

Setting goals, whether short or long term, is an ongoing and effortful process. Many people tend to set personal and professional goals with a to-do list mindset and superficial consideration. Goal-setting is adeptly illustrated by Aesop’s “The Tortoise and The Hare” fable. When we rush to set goals and consistently compare our progress against others, we become the hare who eventually loses the race. So, let’s take a look at the tortoise’s strategy. And find out how you can begin to set smart goals. 

  1. The hare ran the race to ridicule and beat the tortoise. The tortoise ran the race to prove he could run. They both ran for the specific reason why, a reason that reiterated or added to their self-image. Similarly, start with why you want to set goals in the first place. By understanding the origins of your ambitions, you can discern in which ways your goals will set you up to succeed. When goals tie back into your long-term vision, even if they are short-term in nature, you are much more likely to adhere to them. By framing the why behind the what, you can better define what your goals are and develop strategies to maintain your commitment to them.
  1. The extract above from the fable dually serves as a reminder of how to effectively define our goals. For the hare to be successful, it mattered solely on the tortoise’s progress – not his own. He is not the main character in his definition of success. But, the tortoise established a firm, self-relying reason why he proposed the race. After creating a list of goals, evaluate if how you define success relies on you or others. When you define success in relation to your ability only, you are more readily accepting of difficulties as challenges you can overcome rather than setbacks you cannot surmount. 
  1. The tortoise set an extremely effective goal following the SMART framework: run one marked distance (specific), timed by a judge (measurable), a task he knows he can accomplish (achievable), to prove he can run (relevant), starting as soon as possible (timely). When you adhere to the SMART framework of goal-setting, you provide an effective way to measure your progress towards a goal you know is both doable and supportive of your vision. The more ambiguous you are when defining your goals, the less likely you are in maintaining your drive to achieve them.
  1. As extensive as the process is in setting your goals, the journey to fulfilling them is equally as intensive. Unlike the hare, do not get complacent and procrastinate! The tortoise was able to achieve his goal because he remained steadfast in his pacing and his focus. Be sure to keep your goals in a visible area.  In this way, you will be frequently reminded of your potential destination. Schedule reminders to check on the progress of your goals weekly or biweekly so you can evaluate if your current strategy is effective enough. Goals should not be viewed as something to achieve in the future. They should be seen as daily tasks. If the process of achieving your goal is embedded within your daily routine, then you will be that much more likely to stick to it. 

With the holiday season around the corner, we all have the opportunity to get an early start on our goal-setting for the upcoming year! 


Quick Hits on How Your Company Can Save on Recruiting Costs

Quick Hits on How Your Company Can Save on Recruiting Costs


Shrink Your Bottom LineHiring “right” can be an expensive, time intensive process. a recruiter or recruiting firm can run the gradient of talent ‘ally’ to ineffective gatekeeper and from a cost perspective: tremendous value to incredible waste of money. It is crucial to fully qualify and be comfortable with the individuals, team or firms that are performing your recruitment as they are a direct reflection on  your company(good or bad). so carefully consider the option you choose. With this in mind,

Regardless of approach, There are a number of things you can do to improve on the quality of your recruitment process so that you can recruit right the first time and avoid employee turnover which can cost as little as 20% for less senior roles and as much as 200% for Executive positions. As a manager, a personal list of the essential qualities and qualifications you want in  your employee, and don’t compromise on them. Retention is the better half of hiring.

Quick Hits:




Thanks to technology, you can automate much of the application screening process. It’s a win-win situation. Programs can work around the clock pulling together a short list of top candidates with your required skills and experience and have it waiting on your desk when you arrive in the morning. By saving your time, you will also save your energy for more productive tasks. Undoubtedly, this will lead to higher quality work and thus, more success in your endeavors.


Social Media

Where Do Top Performers Hang Out?You don’t need to spend outrageous amounts of money to get your vacancy out to the masses. Social media is a fantastic free resource for finding candidates who are actively looking for work. So, get creative and think about where your top performers hang out! Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular platforms used by both job seekers and passive candidates. Take the time to connect with passive candidates as well because they may become job seekers tomorrow.


One-Click Apply

We don’t just use our cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices to access the web; we’re attached to them. So, if you want to bring in top talent fast, then make your application mobile-friendly. A one-click feature for candidates to apply with, such as a simple tap of the screen, will bring in more potential employees that you imagined.


Current Employees

Ask current employees for recommendations. Since they already work for you, your employees understand the value of bringing in contributing employees. Moreover, candidates who have been recommended by current staff have the added benefit of boosting overall workforce morale. We all enjoy going to work when we like the people we work with.


Sci.bio RecruitingFind out how Sci.bio Recruiting can help your company take its scientific, clinical and technical hiring to another level. Our scaleable, recruiting services affords our clients maximum flexibility, uncommon value and a high level of scientific and business insight.


5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring New Graduates

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring New Graduates

Recent medical grads … They’re a picky group. But they are full of creative and innovative ideas although they may be challenged with how the corporate world functions.

They are turning down jobs that don’t meet their needs nowadays. In order to help hire the right graduate for your workforce we put together the 5 mistakes to avoid in the process:

1. Strict work arrangements

Nine to five work days just don’t work anymore. Graduates want to know they are trusted and mrecent gradsore importantly, they want to have flexibility to come into work ‘whenever’ they want. Telling them they can come into work anytime before 10 can go a long way.

Modern millennials and graduates need a work/life balance that is more important than financial reward. Which leads us on to our second mistake to avoid.

2. Throwing cash at them

Nowadays, biopharma graduates are far more committed to their personal learning and development, rather than the amount of money they can make (in some cases). They know that they will make more money as they grow older and progress professionally in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry.

So when hiring someone fresh out of university don’t just focus on the payment package you can offer them, but the development and career progression that you have on offer at your company as well.

Don’t take this the wrong way though, you still have to pay them!

3. Hiring for a grad position but you need 5 years experience

Stop asking graduates for too much experience. A lot of pharmaceuticals recruiters and biotechnology headhunters nowadays tend to hire grads based on their resume, rather than focusing on the eagerness and inquisitiveness of a candidate.

Experience is an important aspect when hiring, but it’s not everything. You will get the best results from hiring a graduate when they have a real interest in the position, a standout work ethic and an eagerness to improve.

4. Rarely charecent gradsllenging them

You have to challenge them! Once these recent grads get bored of the same thing – they will want to leave and explore a more challenging and rewarding position. It’s a need that has to be fulfilled.

If the job fails to challenge, then the interest in the job will eventually fizzle out.

Give them tasks that take them out of their comfort zone, and give them projects that they can lead themselves. Continuously challenge them so that they want to stay and build a future with you.

5. Assuming they always want to leave

Listen, there’s a lot of truth to the fact that graduates and even older millennials enjoy change, especially when it comes to employment. They want to try out different things and see what interests them the most.

But a lot of organizations assume that this is fact and think that you can’t employ a graduate for the long-run. Did you ever think it’s because, as we mentioned before, you’re not challenging them enough or offering them constant development?

Don’t just assume graduates are short-term employees, if you want them to stay then try to avoid the simple mistakes listed in this article and build a future for the very best young talent in your company.

15 Reasons Why You Aced Your Interview But  Didn’t Get The Job

15 Reasons Why You Aced Your Interview But Didn’t Get The Job

High Impact Recruiting for Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies

Have you ever left an interview for a pharmaceuticals or biotech job position feeling that things went fantastic only to be later informed that you “aren’t a fit.”  Worse yet, maybe you were never informed or you heard through the grapevine that a lesser qualified candidate got the position.

qualified candidate

…but everything went great!?

Everything seemed to go well.  You “connected” with the interviewers, you knew you were well qualified, you followed up with personalized thank you emails.

What happened? What went wrong?

For starters, let’s start by facing the simple fact that life isn’t fair. Nowhere is this more true than in employment and hiring.

The truth is that, the best people don’t always get the job and in general, job interviews are a flawed process of assessing and projecting talent. Most pharmaceutical and biotech interviewers aren’t trained on how to gauge talent. Even if they are, most will spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume before interviewing the candidate. This pittance of time is often followed by an emotional rather than logical assessment of a candidate.

qualified candidate

get used to it

If it were solely about qualifications and competency, most companies would have workforces that look markedly different. Bestselling author and popular speaker Scott Berkun indicates that most interviewers make instinctive judgments based on biases they’re not aware of. They use back-filling, logic to support an intuitive response they’re in denial about. This lack of self-awareness is not universal but it is pervasive. He feels most job interviews are deeply flawed and unfair experiences.

It isn’t JUST about the interview and just as importantly, not all jobs are created equal. There are behind-the-scene dynamics that determine who will fill the position.

These unadvertised aspects can ultimately determine your odds of success in landing the position.

Below is some of the inside information you probably weren’t privy to:

  1. The biopharma job was meant for a company insider or a referral but was advertised for good show- you never really had a shot from the beginning. Don’t feel bad, according to interview strategist Lou Adler, 85% of All Jobs are Filled Via Networking confirming that the ol’ boy network is alive and well.
  2. The biopharma hiring manager wanted a woman or a man and you are of opposite gender.
  3. The pharmaceutical hiring manager felt threatened by your capability and felt you may outdo him or her. Hiring manager insecurity is an unfortunate yet  common problem
  4. You weren’t subservient enough  The hiring manager wants a “yes” man or woman, not an objective thinker.
  5. Your race your gender your religion your  politics your hobbies. If you happen to wear these things on your sleeve you run the risk of not being selected by an individual who may be opposed or prejudiced.
  6. You were too salesy or self promotional and you may not even realize it. No one likes a blowhard even if they are good at their job.
  7. superficial reasons: you were late your suit was not up-to-par, your body spray was too strong your hairstyle, your laugh. Some managers can’t get past the little things. These shortsighted people often make poor decisions so no loss here.
  8. Your social media profiles revealed another side of you that maybe is less palatable in a corporate setting. A deep search can often yield a different you. Make sure you know what is out there.
  9. There was a budget cut and this position was eliminated. But no one bothered to tell you. Thus it went unfilled.
  10. Your Salary was too high. If confronted with the salary question, try not to answer . In some states, salary inquiries can’t be asked legally. If you are confronted, it is best to try not to answer directly, perhaps give a  range.
  11. The hiring manager was demoted or there was a re-org and  the position went away and no one told you.. Companies and people within them get moved around a lot.
  12. The position was never real to begin with it is intended for another individual who is in a Green Card Application process ..
  13. Talent Pipelining. Sometimes jobs are advertised for the sole purpose of attracting future talent and the job is not ready to be filled. In this case you were simply a practice interview.
  14. Informational purposes. Want to learn how to do something? Watch a Youtube video or better yet invite that person in for an interview and milk him or her for information. This happens more often than most are aware. Some hiring managers will use this disingenuous trick to learn a new skill set or gain additional insights.
  15. Someone else (perhaps better qualified) demonstrated the requisite passion, and competency with the right blend of ‘Sell’ and humility and you were beat you out.

These are just some of the reasons you didn’t get the job despite a good performance.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an odds of success indicator BEFORE you went in for an interview? I mean if you knew your odds of success were 1 in 100 you might want to save your time. In a few of these instances your odds could very well be close to zero and the job simply isn’t real.

Alas, there are some things you can do to improve your odds:

Sometimes the job is a mirage

  1. Do your homework upfront with your phone screen

In many instances you can get a sense of how “real” a job is by asking pointed questions  before you head into the interview..

How long has the position been open?

If it’s been open a long time, more than a few months, then there is likely some kind of issue and you should be a bit suspicious.

How many candidates have interviewed so far for the biopharma position?

If you are the first interview, expect that there will be a wait involved as seldom is a hire made after only one interview. If there have been numerous interviews find out what the candidates have been lacking. Do you have the special sauce that they don’t?

Have any candidates turned the position down?

If yes, Find out why. Although it is unlikely that you will get a genuine answer, sometimes a hint may emerge. Perhaps they aren’t paying market rate or they have unusually high expectations.

Keep in mind that  company may have a history of advertising and not filling positions. If you can  try to connect with the hiring manager or an individual from the hiring team before the interview to create some rapport and to get additional info you won’t get from HR.  Do as much internet sleuthing about the company as you can but keep in mind that  nothing beats first hand information from someone who works there.

2) Don’t be too smart or confident for your own good

In some cases your interview failure can be solely attributed to your style and you may not even be aware of it.. You may have an inflated view of self or you come across as arrogant or boastful.  

You may also be sending the wrong signals during your interview. In: his piece, Why Smart People Don’t Get Hired , Maurice Ewing comments on smart people being  subject to (cognitive) “bias blindspots”. In other words, they don’t see their mental hangups and, in many instances, are even more subject to bad judgment than others that aren’t nearly as smart or qualified. This could explain why intelligent  job seekers may not be making allowance for the cognitive biases that turn employers off and reduce their chances for landing suitable roles.

Try to gain some self-awareness by practicing with friends or family. Make adjustments through this practice and try to imbue the general qualities of employer attraction into your interview.

perceptions can be different from reality

3) Tilt the odds in your favor

Now that you learned whether the job is “real” or not and you know your bias blind spots it’s time to learn how to subtly sell yourself. In her succinct piece How to Convince an Employer to Take a Chance on You, Katie Douthwaite Wolf explains that you need to showcase what sets you apart and to refrain from drawing attention to your lack of skill or experience. While this may seem obvious this needs to be done in the cross section of humility and confidence. Another nuance: You often interview best when you have nothing to lose as in you are comfortable in your current role and aren’t actively considering a change. People want what they can’t have so for this reason alone you will be more attractive as a candidate.


Luck will alway play into the equation but you can make your own luck by being a discerning and self-improving  interviewer. When faced with rejection, don’t let negativity take over. and don’t give up. Move forward and look up, and consider that some jobs were never meant to be!