Loyalty Over Merit in Career Advancement

Loyalty Over Merit in Career Advancement

Authors: Tara Smylie, Natalie Zimmerman

Many people think getting hired, and career advancement in general, happen primarily based on merit. But is this always the case? The answer is complicated.

Too often, we’re told that our skills, grades, awards and accolades are what truly seal the deal. Of course, these achievements can help your chances of getting hired, or moving up in your career. However, the old adage, “it’s not what you know, but who” rings true – and nowhere is it more pronounced than in the employment world.

This principle doesn’t just apply to getting an entry-level job. Building strong relationships with powerful people can land you new opportunities, promotions, and general good favor in any professional environment, throughout your career.

So, what creates strong loyalty? There is no one answer to this question, but it’s in fact a mix of rapport, dedication, and the ability to tell a compelling story. Below, we’ll explore how these factors come into play to make loyalty a competitive factor in the hiring process.

Benefits of Building Loyalty over Merit

It comes down to this: when someone is loyal to you, they are inclined to support you above others – for reasons that may seem arbitrary to an onlooker. But loyalty is built on relationships, and relationships, particularly professional relationships, do not happen arbitrarily.

The formation of these long-lasting, loyalty-building relationships in the workplace boils down to the art of showing just the right amount of humanity. Of course, in a workplace setting, it’s important to keep it professional – but letting little bits of yourself be known can help to build a personal rapport.

Extensive research has also shown that networking like this can lead to more job opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge of your industry, more potential for innovation, faster career advancement, and an increase in status in the professional world. In short: the stronger and more loyal your relationships, the more likely they are to lead to these opportunities.

Inspiring Loyalty

When it comes to building a connection, the little things matter. Indeed, it’s not always the flashier, ultra-extroverted moments of interaction that count. Sometimes simply holding the door, making someone a coffee, or paying the occasional sincere compliment go a long way.

Equally important is to show dedication. Your colleagues and higher-ups want to see that you’re emotionally present within your role at the company – that you understand the company’s values, goals, and mission statement.

Most of all, it’s imperative that you tell your story. This is the most fundamental communication skill you’ll need in the workplace – even and especially as a life scientist. Though it may not always seem to be true, the people you work with want to know who you are. What’s more, if they don’t know what you want out of the job, they won’t be able to help you achieve your goals if opportunities to do so come their way.

Often, a person who feels loyal to you will have a reason – whether that’s an affectionate personal anecdote they remember, a feeling of admiration for your accomplishments, or a sentiment of shared struggle. Therefore, if there’s someone whose loyalty you hope to gain, the best way to start is to connect with them on a personal level – and build your professional relationship from there.

How do Loyalty and Merit Mix?

One of the best ways to inspire loyalty and good favor at work is simple: be good at your job. It’s not just a number-crunching affair, though; it’s also about how you make your supervisors feel. If you show them you’ve taken the time to really understand the ins and outs of your position, and are committed to delivering top-notch performance, they will know they don’t have to worry about the work you bring to the table, and feel warmer, and ultimately more loyal towards you.

Long Term Benefits of Loyalty

When a person, or company as an entity, is loyal to you, they’re invested not just in your performance but in the story behind it. As they watch your career unfold, they’ll likely want to assist you in advancing your career in any way they can. As such, loyalty can lead to benefits even years down the line.

The feeling that your company is loyal to you can also make you subjectively happier at work. While it’s nice to get a good performance review or numerical return on a project, it can be truly enrich your experience at work to feel valued on a one-to-one, personal level.

Bottom Line: Personality over Paper

A resume can get you in the door – sometimes – but ultimately, it’s the relationships and rapport you build that really seal the deal.

Here at Sci.bio, we work with a variety of candidates from new graduates to experienced executives, and have myriad open roles. We pride ourselves on connecting our highly discerning clients with candidates who fit their specific needs. Check out our job search page to see current openings and follow us on LinkedIn for more information.

References:

  1. Learn to Love Networking
  2. As a Life Scientist, Do You Need Communications Skills?
  3. The Importance of Building Positive Relationships in the Workplace

Related Blogs:

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.

Related Blogs:

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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Best Practices in Recruiting

Best Practices in Recruiting

Authors: Gabrielle Bauer & Tara Smylie

Big-picture ideas to help recruiters—and those who use them—play their A game

INTRODUCTION to BEST PRACTICES IN RECRUITING

In an era of rapid growth for biotech and life science companies, STEM-savvy talent experts play an especially important role in the ecosystem. Becoming a life science recruiter takes knowledge of the industry, a wide social network, and business acumen. Working with one takes a keen sense of what you’re looking for, and the ability to put it into words.

Whether you’re considering becoming a recruiter, in the midst of a recruiting career, or interested in using recruiting services, this survey article will give you the insights and confidence to do it right.

BECOMING A RECRUITER

Before you walk the recruiter’s walk, you need to know who you are and where you’re heading.

Recruiting: who knew? Most life science grads don’t immediately think of recruiting as a career option – but they should. Variety, flexibility, and mobility into a variety of other career paths are just some of the perks it offers. And let’s not forget about the money: if working on commission, recruiters can enjoy an uncapped earning potential.

Working as a recruiter, you’ll also get the chance to draw on your own previous work experience. As an example, perhaps you’ve spent your most recent working years in a lab, dealing with regulations and assisting with complex processes. In such a case, you can start out by billing yourself as a recruiter specializing in lab operations, and build out your services from there.

Another reason to consider recruiting: getting a head start on future career ideas for yourself. This holds especially true if you’re still looking to map out a long-term career trajectory, but it can apply to anyone. There’s nothing like being a matchmaker to show you what makes a great partnership – workplace or otherwise. As you learn the qualities most important for different roles, you’ll naturally gain insights about the positions that would suit you best.

But skills are just one piece of the pie: personality also comes into play. According to a survey of nearly 9,000 talent experts, recruiters tend to be enterprising, outgoing, and have a strong sense of social responsibility. The through-line: they fundamentally enjoy being with people. If you’re a natural networker and enjoy leveraging your contacts to help out friends in need, recruiting ticks all the important boxes. This doesn’t mean the profession is off-limits to quieter types, though. If recruiting appeals to you, start exploring the possibilities.

What to expect

As of April 2022, the life sciences had the second-lowest unemployment rate of all U.S. industries. It’s a job-seeker’s market, with companies often scrambling to find talent they urgently need. Business is booming for recruiters, too: 86% of life science talent acquisition professionals say they expect their teams to either grow or remain stable in 2023.

In many ways, the life sciences are a dream come true for recruiters. The industry features a higher-than-average percentage of highly skilled positions, and turnover is high. Career possibilities in the field continue to diversify, with burgeoning niches in personalized medicine, data analytics, and digital health, among others. As a life science recruiter, you’ll participate in the excitement of matching these novel skills with organizations who desperately need them.

Top trends in talent acquisition and recruiting

If you want to attract candidates who are up-to-date and in-the-know, you’ll have to get on their level. As of 2023, top trends in recruiting include:

  • Remote interviewing: This facilitates collaborative hiring.
  • Emphasis on candidate experience: Companies that prioritize employee well-being are more successful than those that don’t.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: Statistics show that a culturally rich workplace is good for business.
  • Contingent workers. Businesses and workers alike have realized how profitable contract work can be.

Niching and branding

As a new recruiter, you may feel torn. Do you take on as many projects as possible, or niche up early to establish a specialized reputation and client base? The short answer: a bit of both. While you don’t need to specialize too quickly or narrowly, it’s worth honing in on some areas of specialty as you develop your business.

Let’s say you’ve established some connections with microbiologists and feel confident you can quickly place top-quality talent in the field. If you promote yourself accordingly, your clients and network associates will pick up on your specialized knowledge and experience in this area. Should they ever need a microbiologist, they’ll remember your name.

Examples of recruitment specialties in the life sciences include gene therapy, immuno-oncology, clinical development, medical devices, medical writing, and many more. To narrow it down, ask yourself the following:

  • What kinds of positions do you find most interesting?
  • Does your previous recruiting experience point you in an obvious direction?
  • Do you have especially large networks in certain areas?

Use your answers to guide your decision process. Next step: spread the word. To create a compelling personal brand, keep a few fundamental W’s in mind: who do you recruit for, and what do you offer them? Why does recruiting mean so much to you? Answer these questions honestly and specifically, and you’ll attract a customer base that wants to buy what you’re selling.

As far as possible, keep your brand visuals consistent across all marketing tools, from your website to your business cards. Decide as soon as possible which font types, color scheme, design style, and logo you’re going to use for all your content. That’s not to say you can never change your style – just remember that consistency builds brand recognition and “brand memory,” leading clients and candidates to think of you first.

RECRUITING IQ

Like most professions, effective recruiting is more about working smart than about putting in long hours and hoping something sticks. A skilled recruiter understands the value of a network, and the synergy between professionalism and personal connections.

Nuts and bolts

Keep your expectations realistic. A biotech start-up, no matter how promising, won’t have the same gravitational pull that a large pharma company does. That said, the way you present a company to candidates carries a lot of power. Don’t misrepresent the organization, but feel free to talk about organizational goals, backstory, or employee mobility to pique their interest.

Second in your toolbox: face-to-face networking events. Where possible, add all new connections on LinkedIn and exchange social media identifiers. And as you forge new connections, remember: just because you don’t need a candidate now doesn’t mean they won’t be a great match for a future project. Relationship-building forms the core of recruiting, so you’ll want to cast a wide net to maximize your success.

To maximize social media engagement, make sure your social content is – you guessed it – engaging. Think images, graphics, and open-ended questions that stimulate discussion. On LinkedIn, posts that include photo content receive 98 percent more comments than those that feature text only. Keep this in mind as you build an online presence.

Another digital trend: today’s social media users are looking to see the “human” side of a brand or organization. As you optimize your social media for recruitment, don’t only post about projects and accomplishments. Mix things up a bit by posting about networking events, what led you to this career choice, and/or the difference you hope to make in the world as a recruiter.

Assessing your social media strategy

Every strategy must have an evaluation component, and social media is no exception. Here’s how to make sure you’re packing a punch with your digital outreach.

  • Set goals and priorities: Create a ranked list of your social media goals.
  • Audit your audience: Find out the type of content your audience likes best – or just ask them – and give them more of the same.
  • Monitor the competition: Find out how the successful competition is engaging their audience and consider pulling a few tricks from their book.
  • Set up a monitoring program: The popular Google Analytics reporting system, for example, can help you segment and identify the sources of your social traffic.

Keep it personal

Treat your candidates like people so they don’t fall through the cracks. When they don’t get the job, let them know why. This makes for a better end-to-end experience for them – and as a result, increases the likelihood that they’ll take your feedback, skill up, and come back even better prepared when the next opportunity arises.

To forge and maintain a connection with your candidate pool, advertise all new openings on social media, making sure your job postings are readable on mobile, and invite people to send you referrals. And don’t discount previous candidates who impressed you, but weren’t quite right at the time. Reconnecting with previous applicants can save you time, dollars, and a whole lot of stress. When you reach out, make sure to remind these former candidates who you are, how you know them, and what impressed you about their application the first time around.

Skill up during down times

When the hiring market is down, take the opportunity to hone your skills, strategize, and connect (or reconnect). The circumstances may have you feeling uncertain or anxious, but consider the bright side: less time spent on the daily grind means more time to work on your long-term goals. During a slower season, you can still reach out to employers and candidates and start building relationships for when you really need them.

A slower season also affords you the time to review your process. In particular, hone in on four key metrics: time to hire, cost per hire, usual sources of hire, and employment acceptance rates. Are these stats stacking up as you’d like them to? Maybe you could cut out a few formalities to streamline your process, or maybe you’re still subscribed to web recruitment services you no longer need. What feels like an endless lull in work will soon become a distant memory –and your current efforts will pay off when business picks up again.

WORKING WITH A RECRUITER

If you’re a life sciences company thinking of working with a recruiter, start with a basic assessment: why do it, which recruiter to work with, and how to work together.

Why use a recruiter in the first place

Specialized roles require a specialized search process. If you’re looking for an entry-level data analyst, you may be able to conduct the search on your own. But if you’re looking for, say, an experienced immunology consultant, a recruiter becomes a strategic asset. Sure, it costs more than doing it yourself – but considering the talent you find could stick around for years, the ROI will likely work in your favor.

Recruiters can also help you zero in on “cross-functional” candidates—people who bring unusual combinations of skills to the table. You’re more likely to find that microbiologist with management skills through a recruiter than on your own. And don’t underestimate the value of referrals from existing employees – especially when working with recruiters. A full 88 percent of businesses view referrals as their best hires, so it’s worth considering the value of this hiring pipeline. To maximize efficiency and avoid misunderstandings, you and your recruiter should establish a process for them to obtain employee referrals and follow up on the best ones.

Choose with care

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When selecting a talent scout, the biggest red flag is dishonesty. If a recruiter displays “toxic positivity,” makes claims that sound unrealistic, or has an overly pushy sales pitch, they’re most likely trying to cover up a gap in their abilities.

Along with honesty and professionalism, experience in STEM fields should top your list of criteria. This doesn’t have to be a degree or a long-term job – courses, workshops, and previous recruitment experience in the industry can all give you a sense of their scientific background. If their LinkedIn profile doesn’t offer proof either way, but you still have a good feeling about working with them, reach out to them with questions to fill in the blanks.

To suss out a recruiter’s aptitude for your particular project, get very specific with your questions. If you’re considering someone who offers special expertise in science/biotech, be sure to ask how they tailor their services to the industry. This goes especially for niche, highly skilled positions: before you sign any contracts, they’ll need to prove they have a tried-and-true method of sourcing the best.

Top-five questions to ask candidate recruiters

  1. What is your search process, including for difficult-to-fill positions?
  2. Have you placed candidates in X or Y roles before?
  3. How do you handle clients with changing hiring needs?
  4. How do you manage referrals from internal employees?
  5. What is your approach to difficult-to-fill positions?

A model for all seasons

Selecting the right recruitment model is an art unto itself. If you’re hiring consistently and have the budget for it, an in-house recruiter may make the most sense. At the other end of the spectrum, a contingency recruiter can “pinch hit” for you if a hard-to-fill position calls for recruitment expertise beyond your usual requirements. As a further alternative, you can build a long-term partnership with the same external recruiter. With each new hire, they will gain a better and better sense of how your company works and how to best meet your talent needs.

When you need help finding a short-term candidate, consider the “temporary” and “temp-to-hire” recruitment models, which fulfill distinct strategic objectives. Temporary recruitment focuses on meeting short-term business demands. The temp-to-hire (a.k.a. temp-to-permanent) approach also seeks to meet a current need, but with the expectation that the temporary position will segue into a permanent one. Compared to the standard approach of giving new hires a probationary period, temp-to-hire saves costs and incurs less liability.

Whichever recruiting model you choose, a recruiter with an intelligent sourcing process puts you a step ahead. An essential precursor to recruiting, sourcing ensures that candidates meet a minimum qualification standard before being considered for a position. Find a recruiter you trust with sourcing, and you can rest easy knowing that every candidate you interview has met a suitable bar of skills and ambition.

Recruiter vs. headhunter: What’s the difference?

Headhunters find a “head” to fill a specific job, while recruiters work to fill many different job openings. Headhunters are typically called in to fill senior positions that require a unique blend of experience and skills. Recruiters often have an industry specialty and tend to establish longer-term relationships with both clients and candidates.

A LEG UP ON THE COMPETITION

The right recruiter will help you attract and retain the best, while saving time and resources.

Diving into the talent pool

In a competitive hiring market, a recruiter can help you hire quickly and efficiently. With demand for candidates outstripping supply, your usual hiring strategies may fall short. That’s where recruiters come in: between their existing network, referrals, and specialized outreach services, they can connect with candidates you would never know about on your own.

This includes people who need to wear more than one hat. The smartest talent experts understand that scientific skills come in many shades, and each role will call for a slightly different mix. Sure, one of your candidates might be an expert at clinical trial regulations – but that doesn’t mean they’re going to excel at long-term product strategy planning. With the help of a talent-optimization expert, you can ensure you’re not wasting all your efforts on square pegs.

The dreaded slowdown

If you experience a lag in company growth, financial concerns may cause you to hesitate to use recruiting services. While an understandable concern, working a recruiter into your budget could help revive your business. And when job candidates are scarce, you and the recruiter can work together to identify promising late-stage interviewees from previous hiring processes as well as passive candidates who may be interested in switching teams.

Hiring slowdowns often happen in the summer — incidentally, the time when thousands of college students become job-hungry graduates. Though these candidates may require a little extra TLC to train, they can easily make up for their lack of experience in energy and attitude. Working with a recruiter can help you identify the most reliable and ambitious of the bunch.

Hiring vision

Who do you want to hire and how do you plan to keep them? These are the fundamental questions behind “talent acquisition” and “talent management.”

Talent acquisition refers to the process of finding and attracting top-quality candidates, which involves relationship building, branding, and business smarts. Talent management, meanwhile, has to do with retaining and satisfying employees once they’re already on board. Think transparent company structure, workplace flexibility, and a compelling benefits package.

Of course, the two processes aren’t entirely separate. Well-managed talent will boost your organizational reputation, leading to smoother talent acquisition. By the same token, a well-thought-out hiring process will help your company attract candidates that suit their roles and will thus deliver more satisfied and productive employees.

An intelligent talent screening system – the bread and butter of recruiting – paves the way for a smooth acquisition process. This system could involve phone interviews, aptitude tests, or even background checks on social media. Just one caveat: when conducting skills tests, make sure the skills you test are actually required for the job.

Along with traditional screening methods, many recruiters will have state-of-the-art AI tools up their sleeve to help you streamline your search. Advanced software can help predict candidate outcomes, while chatbots can schedule interviews and engage candidates on your website.

It’s a two-way street

Don’t expect magical answers if you haven’t articulated the questions. As an employer working with a recruiter, you’ll have to spell out your requirements. As soon as you can, arrange a meeting with your recruiter, and leave no stone unturned as you lay out what you’re looking for. A basic checklist of qualities doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible – your recruitment plan should include backup strategies to deal with unexpected hiring needs.

Once you’ve outlined your basic requirements, put your micromanaging hat in a drawer and leave the nitty-gritty to the recruiter. That’s what you’re hiring them for, after all. If you’ve done the prep work of articulating your needs and agreeing on a plan, you can trust that the recruiter will leverage their own networks, pre-screening systems, and software solutions to bring you a pool of high-quality candidates.

If you’re looking to expand a particular department or role, do your homework on current top performers. Consider: do they share a similar background, skill set, or personality type? Even better, ask the high flyers themselves what part of their education or experience has served them best on the job. Share their answers with your recruiter, who can use the insights to hone in on your next workplace superstar.

The post-pandemic world also calls for a leaner approach to hiring. Do you need a pipeline of candidates ready to jump in as needed, or can your organization tolerate a waiting period? Talk to your recruiter about your level of risk tolerance and need for hiring efficiency.

Just in time or just in case?

The “just in case” model puts a priority on candidates who are already trained in every skill they may need. While difficult to find, such candidates help you build resiliency. The “just in time” model seeks employees who are trained in a specific skillset and nothing more – and in some cases, called in only when needed. Both models have their perks; it’s budget and company culture that will determine which one to use and when.

HAPPY RECRUITING

Done right, recruiting is not only productive and cost-effective, but enjoyable for everyone involved.

Our Sci.bio recruiters take pride in delivering results and building relationships. They come from a variety of backgrounds, and possess their own wide talent networks to draw from. From general to specific, entry-level to expert, our recruiters can help you fill any po honesty over hype, and will work hard to find a match that makes everyone happy – a win-win-win.

If you’re a recruiter looking to join a team of like minded professionals, searching for efficient and expert assistance filling a role, or you’re interested in more information about how we operate here at Sci.bio, feel free to reach out to us here. We can help you learn how best to leverage our platform and technology to increase your success as a recruiter. We also invite you to browse through our blog posts to get a deeper sense of what recruiting can offer