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.