The Collapse of Internal Talent Acquisition Functions – Challenges and Solutions

The Collapse of Internal Talent Acquisition Functions – Challenges and Solutions

Author:  Tara Smylie

Picture this: You’re a biotech company on the cutting edge of innovation, racing against the clock to develop life-changing therapies and technologies. But there’s a problem lurking in the shadows – your internal talent acquisition function is crumbling under the weight of escalating costs, a scarcity of specialized training, and pressing time constraints.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. In the fast-paced world of life sciences and biotech, many organizations’ internal talent acquisition processes are simply not keeping up with their recruitment needs. But fear not: in this blog post, we’ll explore the challenges plaguing internal talent acquisition teams – and uncover effective solutions to help you navigate the turbulent HR landscape of the modern day.

Internal Talent Acquisition in the Life Sciences: How’s it Going?

The life sciences and biotech industries are burgeoning with new discoveries and advancements. As a result, the demand for skilled professionals in such areas is soaring, and talent acquisition in these fields is struggling to keep up. In the face of fierce competition for top talent and rapidly evolving industry requirements, companies are facing an uphill battle to secure candidates that truly suit their needs.

Three Major Challenges to Internal HR Teams in 2024

Internal talent acquisition teams in the life sciences and biotech sectors are grappling with a myriad of challenges, including:

  • Escalating Costs: Recruiting and hiring top talent can be a costly endeavor, particularly for specialized roles in the life sciences. Internal talent acquisition teams often find themselves burdened with rising expenses from sourcing, screening, and onboarding new candidates.
  • Skills Shortages: Rapid technological advancements and shifting industry demands have created a skills gap, leaving internal recruiters scrambling to find candidates with the right expertise. Unfortunately, a shortage of qualified talent can impede organizational growth and innovation.
  • Time Constraints: In a competitive job market, time is of the essence. Internal talent acquisition functions must contend with tight deadlines and high-pressure environments, leaving little room for error or delays in the recruitment process.

External Recruitment Agencies: to Use or Not to Use?

Amidst the many challenges to the modern internal hiring process, many life science and biotech companies are turning to external recruitment agencies. Here are some key benefits of partnering with an external agency:

  • Specialized Expertise: External recruitment agencies have in-depth knowledge of the life sciences industry and its unique talent landscape. They can leverage this expertise to identify, attract, and secure top talent that aligns with your organization’s specific objectives.
  • Broader Candidate Reach: External agencies have extensive networks and resources for sourcing candidates, both locally and globally. This broader reach allows them to tap into a diverse pool of talent, including passive candidates who are not actively seeking new opportunities.
  • Cost Efficiency: Contrary to popular belief, partnering with an external recruitment agency can be a cost-effective solution. By outsourcing recruitment activities, companies can reduce overhead costs associated with internal hiring processes, such as advertising, screening, and training.

Keys to a Seamless Recruiting Experience

Given the mushrooming demand for talent in the life sciences and biotech fields and the increasingly complex STEM hiring landscape, internal talent acquisition teams are finding it challenging to keep up. The good news: by understanding these challenges and exploring effective responses, organizations can navigate the recruitment landscape with confidence. Whether it’s leveraging the expertise of external recruitment agencies or implementing innovative hiring strategies, investing in talent acquisition is essential for driving long-term success in an increasingly competitive market.

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. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

Sources:
1. “The State of Talent Acquisition 2023” – Life Sciences Recruitment Report, Industry Insights, 2023.
2. “Navigating the Talent Crunch: Strategies for Recruiting in the Life Sciences Industry” – Biotech HR Trends, Talent Solutions, 2022.
3. “The Rise of External Recruitment Agencies in Life Sciences” – Recruitment Trends and Insights, Biotech Today, 2021.
4. “The Cost of Keeping a Position Open” – Talent Acquisition Insights, Sci.Bio, 2023.

Related Blogs:
The Cost of Keeping a Position Open
Struggling To Fill A Job Vacancy?
A Researcher, a Communicator, or Something in Between? Knowing Who to Hire for Each Role

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
An Offer They Can’t Refuse

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Author: Gabrielle Bauer, Natalie Zimmerman

To attract the best, your offer has to speak to them.

You’ve found The One – the candidate who stands out above all others, who holds promise of taking your company to new heights through their contributions. The only thing left is to get this candidate, likely highly sought after, to say yes to your offer.

First Steps in Making an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Perhaps most importantly, ensure you contact the candidate with an offer ASAP – ideally on the same day you’ve decided to hire them. The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood that another employer will snap them up. Pick up the phone, rather than sending an email: only through a voice exchange can you properly communicate your excitement about them coming on board, as well as gauge the candidate’s emotional response to your offer.

The STEM market is suffering from a talent shortage, with the best candidates in very high demand, so expect your candidate to come to the negotiation table with a clearly defined wish list. While you don’t have to grant every item on the list, this is not the time to argue about menial details such as the wording of the job title, or the flexible start time on a given day of the week. Showing a bit of flexibility here helps keep the negotiation flowing, and may be just the thing which convinces the candidate to give you a “yes”.

Put on your Candidate’s Hat

“The employer-employee relationship doesn’t start the first day on the job. It officially starts with the job offer. Make that moment memorable for the candidate.”  – Jeff Haden, Contributing Editor, Inc. magazine

Your candidate will likely prioritize five areas when evaluating an offer: salary, short-term incentives, long-term incentives, benefits and perks, and of course the job itself. If they’re moving from an existing position at another company, they’ll likely expect a pay increase of at least 10% to make the switch. But don’t just pick a figure based on salary history or industry standards: tailor your salary offer to your candidate’s knowledge, skills and experience – and let them know how you’ve arrived at the figure. Transparency never hurts, especially at this crucial stage.

“Using past salaries to determine a future salary perpetuates the gender pay gap and shows an unwillingness to pay employees their true worth.”  – John Feldmann, Insperity

In addition to discussing base salary, explain the benefits, bonus plan (if any), and any other monetary perks in detail, following up with a written summary of these details you’ve discussed. By the same token, come clean about any constraints. If you’re a startup and have limited cash flow, for example, explain that you can’t currently match a top-dollar salary but can make up for it with an attractive equity program.

Think beyond monetary benefits: today’s jobseekers also place a high value on the ability to work remotely, at least part of the time. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, with many people discovering they enjoy the ease of working from home, or the adaptability of a hybrid schedule. Flexible hours and paid volunteer days can also help attract top candidates looking for employers who value work/life balance.

As for the job itself, bear in mind that science professionals highly value their work being stimulating. As revealed by a Talent in Science survey, most rate the opportunity to do challenging work as a key factor in deciding on a job offer. With this in mind, be sure to highlight the challenging nature of the work, and the opportunities for growth within the company. For example, working on a team that successfully commercializes a drug can galvanize a career, so let your candidate know if you have a big one in the pipeline.

When in doubt, ask.

No two candidates have the same life circumstances, and a perk that means the world to one candidate may not inspire another. Instead of guessing, ask outright: “What working conditions or benefits do you value most?” If you can meet these needs, even partway, you’re on your way to a deal.

Even if the candidate doesn’t push back on any of your terms, resist the temptation to ask for a firm commitment right away. Giving them the time and space to reflect on the offer signals respect, and indicates the culture of the company they’re considering joining. That said, it may be useful to probe them gently to gauge their interest in moving forward, particularly if met with a lack of response. You can simply ask: “I understand you need time to think about this, but how do you feel about the offer?” If you sense hesitation, you can ask further questions or provide information that could move the needle.

What you don’t want is a lukewarm, half-hearted acceptance. A new hire who starts out with an undercurrent of dissatisfaction won’t give you their best. When you finally seal the deal, you want both parties to be enthusiastic about the deal.

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. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

References

  1. How Can We Attract Engineering and Science Talent to Life Sciences?
  2. How to Make the Perfect Job Offer.
  3. 10 Tips for Making Job Offers to Top Candidates.

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The Cost of Keeping a Position Open

The Cost of Keeping a Position Open

Author:  Tara Smylie

It can be unexpectedly difficult to fill an open position. Naturally, you’re looking to hire someone with an excellent set of both hard and soft skills, experience, and the right mindset for the role – but how much time are you willing to devote to the process?

In an ideal world, you’d find the perfect hire immediately, and suffer next to no financial loss. In reality, the search process takes time – and money. Luckily, there are ways to quickly fill a vacancy without compromising on quality of talent.

Nuts and bolts: The cost of keeping a position open.

We all know that vacant positions rack up a hefty bill extremely fast. But what exactly is on the receipt? Here’s the breakdown:

The biggest factor, unsurprisingly, is lost productivity. When an important role is left unfilled, the corresponding work is completed more slowly and less expertly than it should – or in some cases, is not completed at all. Many companies with a vacant role will turn to a temp agency to bridge the gap – but naturally, an interim employee is unlikely to be as efficient as a fully trained team member. Other companies may opt to pay existing employees overtime to compensate, which hampers productivity for the same reason.

Depending on your strategy, job boards can rack up significant costs as well. Generally, the larger ones charge a few hundred per job posting – so with a few different sites on the go, you’re already out over $1000. If you post on specialized boards in addition, you’re looking at $2000 or more. Not a huge expense in the grand scheme of things – but to reap the full benefits of job sites, you’ll need a carefully crafted candidate selection process.

The indirect effects of a job vacancy can add yet another layer of expenses. Hard to measure and easy to overlook, these “soft costs” are still very real risks of leaving a job vacant for too long. These can include long-term harm to a company’s reputation and resulting growth, deflated morale of current employees, and negative impacts to customer experience. In the biotech world, where process-driven workflow is everything, the effect on overall productivity can be especially devastating.

The exact amount lost per day for a given open position is highly variable, of course – but it’s almost always in the hundreds. Given this financial toll, it’s natural to feel like you have to rush to fill an empty role. But get too hasty with the process, and you risk missing out on the right matches. In this situation, partnering with a recruiting service can streamline the process.

The best talent in the shortest time

To secure a hire you trust in a reasonable timeframe, you need to act quickly – and make sure you’re maximizing all the strategies at your disposal. To start, think LinkedIn, social media, and your own professional network. And never forget the power of word-of-mouth: existing employees have their own contacts that they can call upon to spread the word about the open position.

All of the above steps are made even smoother with the use of recruitment services. A recruiter can help you tap into hidden pockets of talent in your existing circle, while providing their own vast network of candidates. From there, they will come up with a custom-made, cream-of-the-crop shortlist for you to consider. When they help you fill a vital position quickly and effectively, the up-front costs of their services can pay off in spades.

Bottom line: it pays to act fast!

Keeping a position open is expensive – more so than many people realize. To cut back on costs, consider fast-tracking the process by bringing a recruiter on board your talent scouting ship. Whether you’re a small start-up trying to stay afloat or a larger company looking to maximize revenue, a recruiter can speed up the sourcing and hiring processes and land you with better-matched talent than you’d otherwise find.

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. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

Related Blogs:

  1. Struggling to Fill a Job Vacancy?
  2. Hire Faster, Hire Better
  3. How to Successfully Hire During a Summer Slowdown

References:

  1. How Much Does Recruitment Advertising Really Cost You?
  2. How to Boost or Build Your Brand Reputation
  3. How Much Does a Vacant Position Cost a Business?
  4. Word-of-Mouth Recruitment: Key Points You Can Implement in Your Business Strategy
Struggling To Fill A Job Vacancy?

Struggling To Fill A Job Vacancy?

Author:  Claire Jarvis and Natalie Zimmerman

Despite being in a candidate’s market currently, it remains difficult for many companies to attract top candidates and successfully fill advertised roles. If your biotech firm is struggling to hire new talent, there are a few probable causes worth addressing.

Why You Have Trouble Attracting Candidates

The salary isn’t listed in the job posting or website. With rapid rises in the cost of living, candidates are demanding higher salaries to account for the change, and often want to know that this is the case before applying. Consider increasing your transparency with salary ranges for posted positions. However, if you are listing a salary range, ensure that you aren’t offering below-market rates.

An unclear job posting. Perhaps the job description is too generic, it’s not clear what experience level you’re hiring for, or the job responsibilities aren’t clearly spelled out. Wherever the confusion may lie, you will likely end up attracting the wrong candidates unless your posting is straightforward.

Bad company reviews or interview experiences are posted on Glassdoor. Candidates check review sites like Glassdoor to learn about company culture and to check for red flags before applying to jobs. Keep an eye on these sites for bad reviews that need addressing.

You don’t offer remote or flexible working. Even when candidates are willing to come into the office, they don’t want to feel as though attendance is mandatory, or give up flexible working practices they may have enjoyed during recent years. Consider offering a hybrid model, where employees can strike a balance between in-person and remote work.

The job application process requires more than one click. Candidates are often used to applying for jobs via LinkedIn Easy Apply – which requires no more than a pre-uploaded resume and hitting the ‘apply’ button. They certainly don’t want to copy information from their resume into a job application form, or click through multi-page application portals at the start of the process. Consider whether you need this much information about all the candidates during the screening stage, and whether there may be a more modern application software you could implement.

Your company website is confusing to navigate or outdated. Candidates looking for a job will often apply to five or more positions in a single session – if they can’t immediately find Careers information on your website, they may well stop looking and move on to the next company. Make navigating your website and subsequent application process streamlined and straightforward for candidates.

What happens when you can’t fill a job vacancy?

Most of the issues outlined above can be fixed, though some may take time and work to rectify. Other difficulties, such as company location or need for a technical expert with a specialized skill set, are harder to control. In both of these scenarios, consider short-term sourcing options to help your company meet its business needs.

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. Please contact us to connect with a recruiter and discuss your needs, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

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