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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.

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