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
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:

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

 

Questions to Ask Life Science Job Candidates

Questions to Ask Life Science Job Candidates

Author:  Tara Smylie

“Tell me about yourself.”

…Not today! Nowadays, more specific questions for life science candidates are in style – not to mention, far more useful. Instead of ultra-vague cliches, consider carefully thought-out inquiries to really get to know your candidates.

Of course, you can never know for certain how an interviewee will perform based on a short series of questions. That said, some questions are meatier than others, and can get you a pretty good idea of how a candidate might fare if offered the position.

The Four Questions for Life Science Job Candidates

Question 1: What first made you interested in a career in the life sciences?

From reading their resume, you probably already know where a candidate has worked, and what they can do with their knowledge. What you may not have read is the human story behind their choice of career.

Maybe they’ve traveled extensively, and were inspired by the many opportunities for biotech innovation around the world. Or maybe they’ve been reading life science magazines since they were six years old, and have always been fascinated by the potential of technology to save lives. Learning a candidate’s backstory will give you a sense of the passion they would bring to your company, and where it might lead them within their new role.

Question 2: What is the most complex life science project you have worked on? How did you overcome the associated challenges?

There’s nothing like past behavior to help you predict future behavior. That’s why you should ask any candidate about their past experience – ideally, working in a setting that closely mirrors the work environment of the position in question.

If your candidate has experience with large projects like running clinical trials or developing new products, you’ll want to hear about the specifics. Education is great, but it’s their experience, and of course their success stories, that really tell you what they bring to the table.

Question 3: What Do You Know About Our Company, Our Products, and Our Product Pipeline?

Looking to test whether an interviewee has done their homework? This question will speed-track the process. Let’s face it: if they didn’t think to do a quick background check for the interview, they probably won’t be the most thorough workers, either.

Assuming they can answer the question, their response will shed some light on their interests and values as a life scientist. If they have a penchant for a particular product, or a specific reason they’d like to work for you, this question offers them the chance to share.

Question 4: How Would You Improve or Expand Our Current Product/Trial?

Above all, this one is a test of critical thinking. To answer this question well, a candidate will have to think about your business through a big-picture lens. This takes in-depth knowledge of the workings of the biotech/life science industry, both internally and externally, and the ability to apply it to the context of a single company. If your candidate hasn’t prepared for this one, cut them some slack – but if they do land on their feet with an intelligent answer, they definitely deserve bonus points.

Other Important Questions to Ask

At the end of the day, the particular cocktail of interview questions you settle on will depend on what you really need to know. If the position in question will be data-heavy, for example, ask candidates how they go about evaluating new information as it becomes available. If they’d be in charge of enforcing regulations, ask them which ones they feel would affect your current product pipeline.

Depending on the candidate and the role in question, you can also ask about their lab experience, biotechnology experience, and/or their knowledge of a specific technology or lab technique.

Well-Thought-Out Questions, Well-Thought-Out Answers

Choosing a new candidate to onboard is an exciting process! It’s also a scary one – especially when you consider the immense costs of training someone new. Naturally, you’ll want to find the candidate that checks as many important boxes as possible. Specific questions will let you zoom in on those essential areas, leaving less room for vague, useless answers.

If you’re looking to fill a role with a highly qualified candidate, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help.

References

The Best Biotech and Life Science Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates

Hiring with Corporate Culture in Mind

Hiring with Corporate Culture in Mind

Author:  Tara Smylie

Corporate culture hasn’t always been at the forefront of hiring processes. Nowadays, though, it can play a huge role. That’s right: corporate culture is all the rage in today’s recruiting world – and for good reason.

Employees are more than their skillset, and companies are more than a list of random requirements. Individuals and groups all have their own unique personalities, and a good match on that level can work wonders for employee satisfaction and productivity.

Exploring and defining your company culture will let you screen for a good cultural fit among job-seekers. Here we’ll outline what corporate culture really is – and how to hire candidates who fit into yours.

The Dimensions of Corporate Culture

What do we mean by “corporate culture”? It’s one part belief, and one part behavior. It’s both what a company stands for, and the decisions made about how it operates. Regardless of the specifics, one thing is consistent across all companies: corporate culture promotes employee happiness, which is great for business.

The culture you foster will depend on both the needs and the limitations of your business. For example, start-ups are known for corporate cultures that stack up as more informal, but less laid-back, than what you’d find at your average corporation. This is a natural by-product of being both small in size and extra-determined in mindset.

According to Investopedia, there are four different styles of corporate culture. Naturally, most work environments will incorporate elements of all four, and outside influences as well – but if you’d like a starting point, figure out which of these styles appeals to you the most:

  • Adhocracy culture: this cultural style values innovation and risk-taking above all else, and puts less emphasis on perfect organization or adherence to a rulebook.
  • Clan culture: within this framework, collaboration is paramount. Employees are encouraged to see themselves as part of a team, and actively value the work of every member.
  • Hierarchy culture: though it’s less up-and-coming, there is a time and place for this more traditional style of company organization. A large company with a complex structure will likely have to adopt at least some aspects of a hierarchical culture to function smoothly.
  • Market culture: to some extent all corporate cultures revolve around the marketplace. That said, the “market culture” we’re referring to is one that openly and aggressively pursues market targets, rather than focusing on more indirectly profitable projects.

Lay Out your Culture Cards Early

When screening for cultural fit, honesty really is the best policy. You can still frame your company in a positive light, but be open about the aspects of your corporate style that might rub some people the wrong way. Are you an ultra-collaborative, open-concept-style workplace? Maybe you encourage casual dress and even more casual deadlines. Whatever it is, let your interviewees know! This will encourage them, in turn, to open up about some of their own quirks. It’s not about finding the objective “best”, but rather the “best fit” for your company.

Screen for Flexibility

When assessing cultural fit, factor in the possibility that a candidate might naturally thrive in a certain kind of workplace – but not know it yet. How to investigate? Make sure your corporate culture is on display at every stage of the interview process. If they seem game for it, if a little shy at first, chances are they’d quickly feel at home at your company. But if they seem resistant or indifferent, it may be time to consider someone else.

A Critical Success Factor

It’s one of the “softer” qualities employers screen for, and can be overlooked for that reason. But cultural fit is essential – an employee whose personality, values and/or habits don’t align with those of their workplace will feel less satisfied in their job, and may struggle to perform as a result. On the other hand, a good cultural fit will feel inspired to contribute their best work.

Sci.bio recruiters understand how important cultural fit is to the success of a new employee. Check out our recruitment services if you’d like to learn more about what we offer.

References

  1. A Culture Check Is Key, Especially During Recruitment
  2. The Importance of Culture to Business Success
  3. Corporate Culture Definition, Characteristics, and Importance