Author: Claire Jarvis
In the third installment of our ‘Meet the Recruiters’ series, we introduce Meg Wise and Laura Helmick. Meg is a Recruiting Partner and Laura is a Senior Recruiting Partner at Sci.bio.
The Winding Road To Recruiting
Meg and Laura joined Sci.bio in early 2021, both coming to the world of biotech recruitment after successful careers in other fields. Meg returned to the workforce in 2017 after taking time off to raise her children, starting as a specialist in general accounting and finance. However, the world of biotech held a particular interest for her, and inspired her move to Sci.bio. She currently specializes in director-level accounting and finance recruiting.
Laura’s first job was a data manager for clinical research organizations. She spent 8 years leading her own recruitment agency, then moved into biotech business development. “But I missed recruiting,” she admits. After connecting with the CEO of Sci.bio Eric Celidonio, Laura felt inspired to make her return.
At her own small recruitment agency, Laura felt restricted in the range of solutions she could offer potential clients. She finds working for a more dynamic agency like Sci.bio, with its capacity and resources for business development allows her to better help clients. “Having different options available to present to clients is nice,” she says. At Sci.bio Laura specializes in clinical development and medical affairs recruiting. She credits her prior experience with helping her understand client’s needs. “Having worked at two large CROs, I got to see how all of these different departments and positions worked together, which makes me understand recruitment better..”
The Modern Biotech Recruitment Landscape
Laura sees the current biotech job landscape as a “candidate’s market”: there’s a shortage of people with biotech experience actively looking for work, and many clients are short-staffed. Candidates can be more vocal about their personal preferences for a job such as fully remote options and access to company shares. She encourages her clients to demonstrate the benefit they provide for candidates who could hold competing offers.
Meg also believes jobseekers are more selective and cautious when it comes to considering new jobs right now. She says these candidates appreciate honesty rather than hype when discussing a new biotech company’s prospects with them, and cautions other recruiters and clients not to oversell opportunities they present.
For Meg, her natural curiosity about the biotech industry helped her build a network of contacts and clients. “I enjoy keeping abreast of new companies – it’s not difficult for me,” Meg explains. She recommends other recruiters remain genuine and transparent in their motivations for connecting with people, and understand that recruitment is a long-game.
The other important point about networking as a recruiter, both Laura and Meg agree, is accepting that not every match works out, and remaining on good terms with candidates who decline offers. “There are plenty of jobs out there,” Meg notes.