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Is Work Taking Over Your Life? Here’s What to Do.

Is Work Taking Over Your Life? Here’s What to Do.

A career in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries can be very rewarding and fulfilling. But it often means working long, stressful hours.

Professionals in these industries are often mission-oriented, and aware that what they’re working to create, or manufacture can change lives. But what happens when there’s a significant amount of work that consumes everything else you do with no end in sight?

When your Job Becomes your Life

While it’s admirable and sometimes necessary to work whatever hours it takes to complete a project, it can be increasingly easy to forget to take time for yourself. As a life science professional, doing anything but work can seem like laziness or self-indulgence.

However, burnout is real, and if you’re not operating at full capacity because you’re exhausted, your work and personal life will suffer.

  • Try Keeping One Day Meeting-Free
    Often, meetings take time from being productive. Try establishing one day a week (or two afternoons) as “meeting-free.” Setting aside a day to get work done will do wonders for your productivity. You’ll get more accomplished during the day and take home less work (and stress) at night.
  • Don’t Always Be the First Person in or the Last Person Out
    Punctuality and a good work ethic are important. But professionals who spend ridiculously long hours at work may only be demonstrating poor time management. Make an effort to prioritize tasks and leave on time at least three nights a week. One tactic is to put an appointment on your calendar for the end of the day, so you have a reason to leave.
  • Learn to Say “No”
    Every time you say “yes” to another task, you’re increasing your work time, and decreasing your “me” time. Set a list of priorities and make decisions accordingly. Obviously, there will be times when “no” is not the right answer, but in those cases, ask which project is more important and set your priorities.
  • Protect your Time Away from Work
    If you have to take work home, make sure you set time limits for yourself, so it doesn’t eat up all of your personal time. Triage the important stuff. Respond only to the most critical emails, then leave the rest for when you’re back at your desk.
  • Make Family a Priority
    The people you love and who love you aren’t expendable – and your job should be built around that. If family emergencies happen, show up. Consistently make time to be there for the people that you love and count on you.
  • Take a Vacation (or Staycation)
    Remember: Vacation and personal time exist for a reason. Take the day’s you’ve accrued. You’re supposed to use these days, and you (and your manager) will ultimately be glad you did. Let your coworkers know you’ll be offline until you return. Your work and attitude will improve after taking a break.

Conclusion
As a life science professional, your work is important. But it’s also important to recognize that you can operate much more effectively if you regularly take some time for yourself. No one can survive for long – or perform at their best – by running at 100 miles an hour all the time!

5 Reasons Employee Referrals are a Great Resource

5 Reasons Employee Referrals are a Great Resource

As a hiring manager or recruiter working with a life sciences company, an employee referral program is an excellent source for locating talented candidates.

Employee referrals are a way of leveraging the existing employees in an organization to help identify and recruit quality talent. For many reasons, employee referrals have proven to be one of the best ways of sourcing.

Many life sciences companies have implemented employee referrals in their organizations – some using methods such as a referral program, and some are keeping it less organized. No matter how it’s set up, what matters most is to actively engage your staff through employee referrals.

Listed below are five benefits to implementing an employee referral program, and why it could be your best way to hire the most qualified talent:

1. Saves Time and Money 
Sourcing candidates requires a lot of effort, which means it can cost a company both time and money. It was found in one study that referred candidates are faster to hire. An advantage of employee referrals is that your current team member makes the connection and saves the recruiter the initial time of sourcing the candidate. Further, the candidate could be a better match compared to others who apply externally. This can help expedite the process and cut back on the need to find alternative options.

2. Receive Qualified Candidates 
Employees often want to work with someone who they know can do the job. With a referral, you can have much more confidence in the candidate’s ability to perform the necessary tasks, since they are “pre-sold.” In addition, a personal recommendation that is already within the company can instill confidence that the reference is in fact, valid and reputable.

3. Higher Retention Rate
Studies have shown that finding and retaining life sciences professionals is an ongoing challenge. The good news is employee referrals tend to stay around longer, perhaps because they are personally connected to their peers. That’s not to mention that the referrer themselves may feel more respected and valued after the company takes their recommendation. And when an employee feels respected and valued, they can become more dedicated in the long run. You may also want to give an employee referrer a bonus to show your appreciation!

4. Better Cultural Fit
A referred new hire will help alleviate the concern that a candidate may or may not be a good cultural fit. A successful employee referral program can help achieve this goal. Your employees are in the best position to understand the suitability of a referral to fit within your business.

5 Reasons Employee Referrals are a Great Resource

5. Improved Employee Engagement
Encouraging qualified referrals can be the best way to engage your employees in more meaningful ways. When a company asks staff members to find the next great hire in their organization, they feel more empowered. At the same time, it’s a feeling of accomplishment for them by helping their friends achieve their next career move.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding candidates with specific life sciences skills, employee referrals have proven effective time and time again. Referrals are a great way for recruiters and hiring managers to fill positions with “pre-recommended” talent that possess the critical skills and cultural fit you’re looking for.

 

Sci.bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries. To learn more, visit our website today!

6 Networking Tips for Hiring Managers & Recruiters

6 Networking Tips for Hiring Managers & Recruiters

For recruiters and hiring managers, there comes a time when it makes sense to dust off your social skills and make professional connections.
Most recruiters know why it’s important to network – career growth, knowledge expansion, and gaining new business being the primary reasons. But why the hesitation? Maybe networking doesn’t come naturally to you. It’s okay – let’s face it, networking can feel weird, artificial, and awkward. Or maybe you tried networking and didn’t get that much out of it.
There are definite benefits to networking for recruiters and managers – and the following tips will help you gain confidence as you gain contacts:

1. Virtual Networking during COVID-19
Before the pandemic, the best way to the network was to attend industry events – or even host your own. But that’s changed – at least for now. As we all adapt to the new reality of remote work brought on by COVID-19, we will also adapt the social behaviors that enable us to stay in touch and forge new relationships with potential new hires. Creating and maintaining virtual relationships is now fundamental to maintaining mental health as well as business success. Search out online networking events, webinars, and chat rooms that will allow you to make new connections and foster existing ones.

2. Be Prepared
It may be a virtual get together, but you should still have a game plan to help approach potential job candidates during networking events. Take a look at the guest list and identify some key people you want to chat with. Depending on the scenario, you can message them before and plan to meet or approach them with knowledge of mutual contacts and interests.

3. Prepare your Profile
Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date, including a recent (that means within the last three years) profile picture and accurate work information so people can easily find you.

6 Networking Tips for Hiring Managers & Recruiters

4. Build a Rapport
When meeting people online or in person, it’s crucial to set yourself apart from other recruiters and organizations. Make sure you’re actively listening and showing your engagement by asking follow-up questions. This should allow the conversation to flow more naturally, and help you get a better idea of how this potential hire would fit into your company culture.

5. Debrief
Be sure to debrief yourself after the event and, if possible, organize any information you may have brought back with you. Add contact details to online address books and pencil future events into your calendar – anything to ensure you’ve got all the information you need.

6. Practice Makes Perfect
Remember that the more time you spend doing anything, the better you’ll get. Try to make it your business to check out as many industry networking events and recruitment conferences in your area as possible – and put everything you have into practice. Slowly, the fear should start to lift, and networking will seem like second nature.

Summing Up
Making professional connections can be challenging – especially during extraordinary times like these. But with some preparation and research, you’re sure to find success and get the results you need. As a recruiter, building and leveraging a specific network of professionals should be an ongoing effort to ensure growth, leadership, and retention. The above tips will help you get there.

 

Sci.bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries. To learn more, visit our website today!

Writing Job Descriptions to Attract Biotech Talent

Writing Job Descriptions to Attract Biotech Talent

For HR managers, recruiters, and hiring managers, it’s important to remember that the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and Life Sciences fields require very specific skills. This means job descriptions targeted to biotech and pharma talent need to work hard to outline the exact abilities, background, and experience. Writing job descriptions to attract biotech talent is so important. However, it’s easy to miss important aspects of crafting a job description to attract top Biotech talent. The language used in many job ads can prevent candidates from understanding the job!

Well-written job descriptions do more than help you recruit effectively. They also communicate the organization’s deepest cultural values – thereby attracting the right people for the right reasons. They also lead to long term employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction.

Here are some suggestions on how a detailed job description can make that happen:

Provide the Job Title

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the job title will set the tone for both the job description and the kinds of applicants you get. If you say “engineer” or “technician,” you could get people who may or may not be suited for the open role. If you say, “Biomedical Engineer,” you get a winnowed-down pool of applicants looking specifically for that kind of job.

Offer a General Overview of the Role

How does this job fit in with the organization? Are there direct reports? No personal details, but this quick one- or two-sentence overview would let the reader know that the newly hired Microbiologist reports to the VP of Biomedical and Industrial Products.

Roles and Responsibilities

A hiring manager doesn’t need to provide a minute-by-minute breakdown. But it’s okay to provide some highlights that cover the most important aspects of the job. By including this information, candidates know what to expect and can match up their own skills and experience before applying.

Give a Salary Range (if Possible)

This item can help avoid wasted time with candidates who are qualified but are seeking a higher salary. It can also set reasonable expectations if an entry-level employee is somehow thinking about senior-level compensation.

Level of Experience

If you’re hiring someone for a mid-career role, it’s important to note that a certain level of experience is necessary. This is especially true when listing required education levels. If it’s more of an entry-level position, specify that as well. This can help weed out applicants that are either overqualified or under-qualified.

List Benefits and Perks

Part of attracting candidates is showing what your company offers outside of the day-to-day work. A general overview of the benefits a good way to flesh out a job description. Examples include types of insurance offered, HSA savings plans, retirement savings, flexible hours, paid vacations, and education reimbursement. A quick benefit list (nothing too detailed) is a way to add some quick selling points to the job description.

 

6 Networking Tips for Hiring Managers & Recruiters

Conclusion

As a hiring professional, you know that if you want to fill a position well, you have to get the best possible candidates to apply (or you’ll find yourself staring down this same job description a few months from now). Crafting a clear, concise, and attention-getting job description will go a long way toward making your hiring process as efficient and successful as possible.

Sci.bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries. To learn more, visit our website today!

Does Pre-Employment Testing Help Prevent Bad Hires?

Does Pre-Employment Testing Help Prevent Bad Hires?

In the ultra-competitive life sciences industry, there is a lot of pressure to avoid making a bad hire. A bad hire is a costly mistake that can slow down the research and damage the ever-important team dynamics. A bad hire also means a missed opportunity with the right candidate, who has likely gone on to another company by the time the bad apple is weeded out. And with the waning life sciences talent pool, companies can’t afford those missed opportunities.

So how do hiring managers, recruiters, and HR teams avoid a bad hire?

Research shows that a multi-pronged recruitment approach is the best way to avoid a bad hire. Instead of just relying on resumes and interviews alone, companies should include other components such as pre-employment testing. The general idea is that these tests can help employers predict how well a candidate will perform in a role and/or if the person is a good fit for the organization. There are quite a few types of pre-employment tests. The most common type is psychometric testing, which can provide information on behavioral traits and personality that are hard to capture from more conventional screening techniques. A skills test measures a candidate’s present level of job knowledge.

In the groundbreaking paper, “The Validity and Utility of Selection Methods in Personnel Psychology,” Frank L. Schmidt and John E. Hunter analyzed decades worth of talent selection data and proved the validity of these tests. The paper was first released in 1998, then updated in 2016. Their research shows the best predictor of job performance is general mental ability, which is measured through testing. Other predictors include work sample tests, personality tests, and structured interviews. Combining several of these methods only increases predictability of job performance. On the other hand, the research shows that a resume is a very low predictor of job success.

According to Joanna Bondin, director of a market research firm in Malta, psychometric testing is “an affordable and effective way for companies to ensure maximum ROI.” Bondin says that studies have also shown that psychometric analysis can improve outcomes by up to 24%. No wonder more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies use some sort of pre-employment assessment. This trend has led to the rise of third-party talent acquisition technology providers, a market that’s estimated to reach $113.9 billion in 2021.

Yet, there is still some concern about using testing in the recruitment process.

In Emma Goldberg’s New York Times article “Personality Tests Are the Astrology of the Office,” Darshana Narayanan, a neuroscientist, explained her skepticism of psychometric testing. “My impression of these kinds of tests is that they don’t work,” Dr. Narayanan said. “Human behavior is multifaceted and complex and dependent on your environment and biological state, whether you’re depressive, manic, caffeinated. I’m skeptical of what you can learn from answering ten questions or observing someone’s behavior for just 30 minutes.” She says this after having worked for a company that designs psychometric tests for human resource purposes.

Goldberg points out that Dr. Narayanan is a scientist, therefore she is trained to draw conclusions only after ample testing has taken place. This is quite the opposite to psychometric testing, in which a onetime test dictates the results. A onetime test that is often not monitored, which leads to another commonly cited pitfall of testing. There’s no way to know if a candidate has cheated if the test is administered ahead of time. Other articles have questioned the fairness of these tests, and whether they favor certain ethnic groups. Not to mention, many of these tests have scaled at rapid pace, leaving little opportunity for reassessment.

This rapid scale has led to what Ithaka S+R researchers call a “wild west” scenario in pre-employment testing, where regulation is minimal and validity and legality are in question. Schmidt and Hunter’s research was grounded in decades of scientific data reported on psychometric testing, but that’s not the case with many of these newer assessment tools. In their paper “Mapping the Wild West of Pre-Hire Assessment: A Landscape View of the Uncharted Technology-Facilitated Ecosystem,” the Ithaka S+R team explains that these new tests “have not yet demonstrated the validity of traditional assessment methods, and, even more problematically, they seem to eschew the grounded theory backing analog tests.” The team goes on to explain that “there is little to no peer-reviewed evidence for the predictive powers of many of these new tools.”

Despite the skeptics and the concerns, the use of pre-employment testing is not going anywhere. As the trend continues, experts will focus on creating and improving guidelines. In the meantime, there’s a few things to remember about pre-employment tests:

1. Use the tests in combination with other evaluation tools. The biggest mistake companies make is using these tests in isolation. Testing alone cannot measure every relevant aspect of a candidate. Schmidt and Hunter’s research proved that the best predictor of employment is a multi-faceted approach, such as using both testing and interviewing. The most important takeaway is that testing should be just one tactic of a comprehensive hiring campaign. The most common use is automating the initial screening process to filter out unsuitable candidates.

2. Do your research. There are thousands of tests out there, so it’s important to do your research before implementing any pre-employment testing. Decide what you’re looking for and consider how a test might help you achieve your goals. And, make sure you understand what the results mean. Human resources professionals are not usually trained in statistics and data analytics, which poses a challenge for optimizing the use of predictive and psychometric methods. Before pulling the trigger it’s important to make sure you know why you’re using the tests and how the data will help your business.

3. Track your success and adjust accordingly. As you use these tests in your hiring process, you should also evaluate how well they are working. When you are assessing job performance, consider how well that performance matches your predictions. Use that information to determine the effectiveness of the testing and decide what improvements could be made.

4. Leverage the data. Psychometric tests are commonly used for employee training and development purposes, yet there is much debate around this application of the test. Experts question if some of these loosely scientific tests should really be used to understand individuals. They also raise concerns about unintended consequences such as alienating or typecasting employees. However, the data could be useful when used in conjunction with other training and development measures.

In the fast-paced, highly volatile life sciences industry, there’s no time for bad hires. Pre-employment, predictive, and psychometric testing can be an efficient and effective way to alleviate such concerns. However, it’s important to remember that they do raise a host of their own concerns. So, know the limitations of these tools, but don’t let those scare you from implementation because pre-employment testing can be a worthwhile investment.