Author: Claire Jarvis
We’re delighted to introduce Jessica Byrd and Carter Lewis, two senior recruiters at Sci.bio, as part of our ongoing Meet the Recruiters blog series. Both have been at the company just over a year: Jessica focuses on RPO in clinical operations and regulatory affairs; Carter focuses on RPO and contingency recruitment projects in the gene therapy space.
Jessica graduated with a BA and MA in Psychology in 2018. She worked in the field for a couple of years, before returning to school to obtain a Master’s degree in Human Resources. While studying, Jessica looked for opportunities to apply what she was learning in school. “I thought Sci.bio would be a good place to get my toes wet in the HR world,” she explains.
Carter graduated with a BS in Biotechnology. Aware that he didn’t want a career at the bench, Carter joined Sci.bio after graduating: “I was really interested in the biotechnology world. But I realized I didn’t want to be running assays for my career.” He thought a recruiting career would be a great way to remain involved in biotech.
Recruitment as a STEM Career
One of the things Carter enjoys most about working at Sci.bio is “getting to interact with really smart people every day who tell me how their technologies work, while I help them build their company.”
Jessica enjoys the supportive environment at Sci.Bio, where success is about “the quality of results, not number of hires.” Carter agrees: “the inclusive and welcoming culture at Sci.bio is what drew me in.”
Hybrid Work and Life
Both Carter and Jessica work in hybrid roles, commuting to the Sci.bio office in Braintree, MA once or twice a week. Both appreciate the flexibility of hybrid recruiting work. “You learn a lot in the office from hearing other calls and talking with fellow recruiters,” says Carter.
A typical day for Jessica begins with a few hours dedicated to sourcing, then phone screens and interviews scheduled together. After that she reserves time to collect notes, write summaries and talk with hiring managers.
Carter likes to block off several hours for grouped tasks such as sourcing or calls. He explains “it can take you a while to focus if you’re hopping between client calls, meetings, etc.” Carter uses a notebook to keep most of his scheduling information, since the act of physically writing down notes helps them stay in his mind.
Jessica uses the virtual notepad OneNote to keep all her information (such as salaries, phone screening information) centrally located and categorized by client. She also uses Google Keep to track how many hours I’m spending on each client. Jessica’s one office essential? “My Airpods – when you have back-to-back phone calls it’s nice to have your hands free…it made the biggest difference to my neck!”
Outside of work Jessica likes hiking on trails near where she lives. Carter also enjoys outdoor activities such as backpacking, running, and skiing in the winter.
Advice for Others
Carter’s advice for other STEM graduates is to “keep an open mind” about recruiting as a potential career. “Most recruitment is either done hybrid or remotely, it’s based on your schedule and what you want to do…if you like making connections and networking with people”
For Jessica, the key to success as a recruiter is persistence. “Not everyone will reply to your phone call or email – you can’t let that deter you.”
Author: Claire Jarvis
The recent years of the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted how fragile our supply chain infrastructure can be, with delayed shipments, worker shortages and resource scarcity. These logistical problems also apply to the recruitment, with many biotechs noting a shortage of talent and difficulty bringing in qualified candidates in time to meet demand.
To adjust to this new normal, biotech companies and recruiters must adapt their own talent pipelines and consider new recruitment models.
Building resilience into your biotech talent pipeline
There are several factors that, once addressed, reduce the likelihood of your recruitment drive falling short.
- Diversified sourcing of recruiters and talent pool. This is a lesson any supply chain expert will repeat, because it ensures companies are never reliant on one acquisition source for their hires.
- Scalable recruitment support. To maximize efficiency, biotech companies should seek agile recruiting agencies that can adjust to changes in client workforce demands.
- Lean recruitment models. There are several more cost-effective yet responsive ways to bring in talent, discussed below.
Post-COVID-19 lean recruitment models
There are different lean recruitment models companies can take advantage of, depending on their tolerance for risk and desire for efficiency..
The ‘just in case’ model has more buffers than other lean recruitment models, and involves taking the steps to build resiliency described above. While this approach is less efficient, it guarantees the supply of workers.
The ‘Just in time’ model is equivalent to hiring a freelancer or independent contractor to meet demand. The talent is only trained for responsibilities they need to perform, as opposed to more comprehensive traditional onboarding, which leads to quicker onboarding and more efficient use of training time. Part time work, full-time availability. Lower risk to client
Just in time differs from ‘ASAP’ recruitment, which addresses urgent gaps in the workforce, and is more reactive than proactive.
Unsure how your biotech company can navigate the new hiring normal? The recruitment and sourcing experts at Sci.bio have a variety of service options to meet your needs.
Author: Gabrielle Bauer
To the untrained eye, ‘sourcing’ and ‘recruiting’ candidates sound like synonyms. To biotech companies, however, knowing the difference between the two – and using both as part of an overarching strategy – will make the difference between a successful and failed job search.
What is sourcing?
The definitions of sourcing and recruitment can vary, but in general terms sourcing is the precursor to recruitment. A sourcer draws up a longlist of candidates that match the advertised position. The sourcer finds these candidates through LinkedIn or other online listings – these aren’t candidates that submitted a job application or already contacted the sourcer about the role. The sourcer then reaches out to longlisted candidates to gauge interest.
What is recruiting?
After a selection of potential candidates has been sourced, the recruiter takes care of everything up to the final hire. They schedule interviews, conduct preliminary screening calls and interface with the client’s hiring manager. The recruiter also handles ‘active’ job candidates, i.e. those who submit resumes in response to posted job advertisements.
Why is sourcing so important?
In the world of biotech hiring, sourcing does not always exist as a separate role from recruiting, and recruiters often play the role of sourcer as part of their everyday responsibilities. However, many bio companies are making the prudent decision to invest in dedicated sourcing solutions to complement their existing recruitment programs. There are several benefits of this strategy:
Improved efficiency. It makes sense to split the roles and give recruiters more time to liaise with candidates and hiring managers, while sourcers can focus on searching for potential candidates without distractions. “It allows recruiters to focus more on the candidate experience and the client relationships,” explains Stacy Saltzer, Senior Recruiting Partner and Director of Sourcing at Sci.bio.
This leads to a higher caliber of sourced candidates. The sourcer is able to perform a deep dive and uncover talented passive candidates who may not be properly selling themselves on social media or actively in search of new opportunities. By looking carefully, the sourcer can also build a more diverse and equitable pool of candidates for the client.
Shifts from active to passive candidate pool. There are several drawbacks of recruiting candidates via job listings or social media posts. While the candidates who apply are – without a doubt – looking for work and willing to change jobs, they are also applying to multiple jobs per day. They may not be a good fit for the role: the candidate, not the client or recruiter, is overseeing the initial selection process. With sourcing, you locate ideal candidates who meet all the key job criteria. While there’s a risk identified candidates aren’t interested in new opportunities, those that are amenable to changing jobs won’t be courting multiple companies.
What is the future of sourcing?
At Sci.bio, sourcing is an important tool that helps support our recruiters and augments clients’ recruitment strategies. “We’ve incorporated tools for automation and database integration along with some AI elements,” says Eric Celidonio, Founder of Sci.bio. Through sourcing, the company is bringing additional value and scalability to the candidate search process.
Whether you are an established multinational biotech company, or just starting up, sourcing has a role to play in your talent acquisition pipeline. Reach out to Sci.bio to learn about our tailored sourcing and recruiting solutions today.
If you need specialized service, it makes sense to use specialized expertise
Garbage in, garbage out. We’ve all heard this motto and we’ve all lived it. Perhaps we slapped together a grant application at the last minute and ended up with a form rejection. Or maybe we bought a vehicle without doing due diligence and got stuck with a lemon. Life is a game of effort, and low effort yields predictably low results.
It’s no different with hiring. If you don’t put in the work, you’ll end up with middling talent. And that’s not good enough, especially in a highly specialized and competitive field such as pharma and biotech. The stakes are high: whether you’re looking a scientist who can test a game-changing drug or a liaison who can forge relationships with rock-star clinicians, your company’s entire future may depend on hiring the right person. And that takes time, techniques, and tools.
That’s where a specialized recruiter comes in.
But does your company really need one? Here are some questions to consider.
How specialized is the skillset you need? If you need an entry-level lab technician to bridge a parental leave, you may be able to manage the search on your own. But if you seek expertise in aseptic processing or international regulatory requirements, a recruiter can ensure your treasure hunt doesn’t turn into a wild goose chase.
Recruiters can likewise help you zero in on “cross-functional” candidates—people who combine disparate skill sets such as assaying experience and a flair for the podium. If, like so many other life sciences companies, you operate with a thinned-out workforce, you’ll probably need many of your science hires to wear more than one hat.1
How much real-world experience do you require? If you’re looking for a data scientist to complete a team, a recent graduate may meet your requirements. A recruiter matters most when previous experience tops your must-have list—for example, if you need to hire someone who has worked with top physicians.
How competitive is the playing field? The best candidates tend to work with recruiters. According to recruitment consultant Beverly Savage, “Top candidates are reluctant to apply directly to a company’s job posting [and] prefer to use recruiters to represent them in order to protect confidentiality.”2 If you’re vying for a limited number of candidates in a competitive arena, it makes sense to tap into a recruiter’s database and network.
Are you pressed for time? A biotech recruiter can help you shorten the recruiting process without sacrificing quality.3 The less time you waste on reviewing CVs and interviewing almost-but-not-quite candidates, the more your workforce can use its core skills to support the company’s mission.
Questions to ask a life sciences recruiter
● What is your experience across the life cycle of a medical product?
● What is your placement rate and the attrition rate of the people you place?
● Do you have access to international candidates?
● How do you customize your approach?
● What happens if you recommend a candidate who doesn’t work out?
Not to be discounted: peace of mind
When you work with a specialized biotech recruiter, you can relax in the knowledge that you’re in expert hands. They speak your language. If you ask them to find you a “medical science liaison in precision oncology,” they’ll know to look for that elusive mix of tumor-profiling experience and people skills. Finally, reputable recruiters offer a guarantee period to protect you against the unlikely event that a candidate leaves prematurely.2
At Sci.bio, we pride ourselves on our experience, expertise and integrity. We know we can deliver what we promise—including peace of mind. Feel free to ask us all the questions you want, including the hard ones.
1. Leask H. Recruitment problems for pharma? There’s no pill for that. Xtalks. Dec. 2, 2019.
2. Savage BH. The benefits of using a recruiter. LinkedIn. June 9, 2020.
3. Wilson K. Why your biotech company needs a specialized recruiter. Insight Recruitment. Jan. 29, 2020.