Where can you access top talent other than LinkedIn, a site where candidates are inundated with recruiter messages and your own email risks getting lost in their inbox? There are a few underexplored avenues to find biotech jobseekers, and with a bit of creativity you can expand your candidate pool.
Leverage Existing Connections
The most efficient way to find fresh job candidates is to ask your existing clients for referrals. Your clients will know who in their network is looking for new opportunities, or who is dissatisfied with their current job and could be persuaded to change companies.
Another source of talent is through auditing former candidates you worked with in the past: check in on those previously considered for roles to see if they’re looking for new opportunities. After all, just because they weren’t a suitable match for your previous vacancies, it doesn’t mean they won’t be a good fit for your current openings.
Broadening your recruitment sphere
After you’ve tapped your current network, you can broaden your reach through local opportunities. Get involved with regional biotech organizations: attend their networking or professional development events to meet other attendees who may be considering a career change. Reach out to conference presenters or hosts at these types of events – the people who participate in panels, conferences and high-profile volunteer roles are often looking to strengthen their resumes with an eye to new roles. Even if that’s not the case, conference presenters are usually well-connected and may be willing to refer candidates to you.
Make sure you’re not limiting your search to graduates of the local biggest universities, and recruit from historically black universities and colleges (HBCUs), small liberal arts colleges (SLACs) and local community colleges. At these smaller colleges you may find candidates with less conventional resumes, but who have acquired a valuable set of skills through different routes into the job market.
College faculty like having recruiters come to speak to their students about career paths, which allows you to connect with STEM graduates in-person before they start applying to entry level positions.
Other places to find hidden jobseekers
In addition to using LinkedIn, check expat forums and Facebook groups for professionals. Members of those groups may be receptive to new opportunities that are tailored to them, rather than being cold-called on LinkedIn about jobs that don’t match their skillsets.
The final way to expand your talent pool on LinkedIn is to note who is interacting with your job posts through likes, comments or shares. This kind of online engagement is often a sign of someone considering a career move or preparing to apply to new roles, even if they aren’t advertising the fact on their profiles. Reach out to those posters and offer to chat with them about their career goals.
As a recruiter you often go to the candidates, but it’s also possible to encourage candidates to come to you. Hold a recruitment agency Open House – make the event worthwhile for local job seekers to visit your recruitment agency, meet the recruiters, and learn about the companies you partner with.
Looking to hire diverse biotech talent? Get in touch with Sci.bio today to learn more about our sourcing and recruitment services.
Author: Tess Joosse
Towards the end of the calendar year as personal commitments and vacations pick up, recruiting and hiring tends to slow down. But hiring during the holidays can give you a leg up when done right. Here we’ve gathered some pros and cons to consider and some tips to help you search for great talent during this most wonderful time of the year.
Holidays Hiring Pros:
- You’re dealing with a highly motivated candidate pool. Whether because of vacations and commitments or because they’ve bought into the myth of the “holiday hiring freeze,” many candidates put their job search on hold this time of year. The ones that keep at it are highly motivated to find their next opportunity. This diligence will not only sustain a candidate through the interview and hiring process — it will also carry over into their job performance once they are on the team.
- People take time to reflect and consider life changes towards the end of the year. As the New Year approaches, many people reflect on how the past year went and what they might want to alter in their life, including in their career. Now is a great time to attract these candidates who are ready for a change.
- There’s less competition for candidates as others put their hiring on hold. While the holiday hiring freeze may not hold true across the board, it’s true that many companies cut back on recruiting during this time of year because of time off, vacations, and end-of-year wrap ups. By building hiring into your plans for the season, you will face less competition for candidates than in other times of the year.
- Candidates have more leeway when scheduling interviews. If a candidate is currently employed while they’re searching for a new job, they may find it difficult or awkward to ask for time off for interviews without hinting that they are looking for greener pastures. Because most people are taking time off this season, it might be easier for these candidates to schedule interviews during the holidays without raising their current employer’s suspicions.
- The holidays are a great time to garner referrals. Between family commitments, holiday parties, and school celebrations, you likely will be doing a lot of socializing during this season, and you might come across great candidates amid the merriment. Your employees and network are in the same boat. Ask them to keep your job openings top of mind as they celebrate, and to send any high-quality referrals your way.
Holiday Hiring Cons:
- Candidates are more likely to be traveling or taking time off. Though some applicants will keep their nose to the grindstone, even the most committed will likely take time off around the holidays. Some might even be out of town and will not be available or interested in a long string of interviews. Tip: Implement a quick interview process. To spare a candidate’s valuable time (and your own), ensure that your job description is unambiguous and detailed, consider cutting pre-screening questionnaires and phone screens, keep interviews to the minimum number of necessary rounds, and clearly communicate your timeline to candidates.
- Candidates don’t want to miss out on a holiday or year-end bonus. If a candidate gets hired in December to start in January, they might miss out on a holiday bonus – both at their new company, and potentially at their old company if they hand in their notice before the Christmas/New Year’s break. Some year-end bonuses also take into consideration an employee’s time at the company and previous year’s performance, which won’t apply for brand new hires. Tip: Consider offering a sign-on bonus to new hires. To incentivize new hires to join your ranks and to celebrate the season, a signing bonus can be a great idea.
- Fewer candidates are actively applying, which could spell trouble if you’re looking for rare or specialized skills. The catch-22 of a smaller candidate pool is while they may be more motivated, sometimes hiring is all about volume. If you are looking for a specialized skill or a rare combination of skills, this might be hard to find if less candidates are applying. Tip: Bring on a recruiter to help fill the role. Sci.bio’s targeted, efficient, and scalable approach supports biotech companies of all sizes. Get in touch with us today and learn more.
- 5 Great Reasons to Hire During the Holidays
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Author: Tess Joosse
Job search during the holidays? Sure! The holiday season brings many joys and many stresses, but conventional wisdom states that the job hunt isn’t supposed to be one of them. Many job seekers think that keeping up their search this season is futile: hiring managers and recruiters are taking time off, companies are focused on wrapping up the year, and employers freeze hiring until January as a result.
While it is true that some companies put interviews and onboarding on hold to save time and money until after the holiday rush, this isn’t always the case, and looking for a new job in November and December can actually give you a leg up over the competition and provide some great networking opportunities. Here, we’ve gathered several steps you can take to make the most of the season while you search for a new role.
Other candidates have paused their searches, meaning less competition for positions.
You are not the only job hunter considering putting their search on hold until after New Year’s Day. Many candidates will indeed slow down their search during this season because of vacations, celebrations, and other commitments. Others have also heard about the supposed holiday hiring freeze and think their efforts will be futile until January. But as needs and projects expand, companies will need to fill positions regardless of the time of year. And if an employer does post an open position during this time and you’re a good fit for the role, your application will likely face less competition as other job seekers sit the season out.
Holiday events provide great networking opportunities.
Whether it be your neighborhood Turkey Trot, your spouse’s company holiday party, or your nephew’s Christmas concert, you likely will have opportunities to socialize with lots of new people as you attend seasonal events. Feel free to use these opportunities to chat with connections about their companies, industries, and if they or their networks can introduce you to any opportunities. After you mingle, be sure to follow up with your new connections to reiterate your season’s greetings and to keep the lines of communication open.
Job search during the holidays is a perfect time to reach out to past contacts.
Beyond any new connections you might make over the punch bowl at a party, the holiday season is a great time to circle back to past recruiters, interviewers, hiring managers, or other contacts at companies you’ve interacted with in the past. Email a “season’s greetings” message to people in your network who could connect you to new opportunities. In the message, express your warm holiday wishes, briefly update the recipient on your job search, and convey your interest in working with them in the future.
And it’s a great time to take advantage of contract opportunities.
One industry that definitely doesn’t freeze hiring during the holidays? Retail. According to the National Retail Foundation, these employers hire around half a million temporary seasonal workers each year to help with the holiday shopping rush. But temporary or contract opportunities are available in other industries, too, including in biotech and the life sciences.
The industry has experienced a wave of layoffs in the last several months as companies aim to respond to and shield themselves from uncertain economic conditions. While that’s bad news for many, there could be a silver lining for some job hunters. As full-time positions get cut, that work still needs to be done – and many companies are shifting towards hiring more contractors to accomplish these tasks. Despite economic conditions and industry trends, a contract or temporary position could lead to a permanent job. And if you are in a full-time position but have been wanting to move into a contracting role, this season could be a great time to make the jump.
Don’t give up your job search during the holidays. Between a less competitive applicant pool, abundant occasions for networking, and opportunities to snag a contracting or temporary position, you just might start the new year with a new role.
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Author: Tara Smylie
When there’s a hiring freeze, it’s not the easiest time to be a biotech recruiter: As you may know, biotech companies have been experiencing a surge in layoffs in recent months, and nobody knows for sure when this trend will ease up.
While an industry-wide dip in hiring may concern you, it also creates an opportunity to step back and take a look at your clients, your stats, and your marketing strategies. Here, we’ve compiled some ways to stay busy and hone your craft while you find yourself with a little more time on your hands.
Strengthen candidate relationships during hiring freeze
If your stream of new talent is running thin, don’t despair – you can still reach out to your existing candidate pool and get to know them better. Find out how they’re doing, what they’re working on, and what their goals are. As you chat, be honest about what’s going on – and explain the action plan you’ll implement once the industry picks up.
At the same time, don’t limit your outreach to existing candidates. If you haven’t already, test out new talent engagement pipelines such as email, social media ads, and sourcing software. Experiment with different strategies and see which ones promise the best return on investment.
Review your process
Now that you have fewer day-to-day details to worry about, take a step back to look at the big picture. How is your overall strategy working for you? Any weak spots that could use some tweaking? Take inventory of four key metrics: average cost of hire, average time to hire, typical sources of hire, and employment acceptance rates. Are these stats where you want them to be? If not, use this time to make adjustments to your recruitment process.
You can also change or expand your strategy for attracting new clients. Assess your engagement rates, conversion rates, and the profitability of your advertising channels. Does your branding convey a cohesive message? All your social media should work synergistically and let prospective clients know exactly what you’re about.
Start planning now
When the hiring freeze ends, which may be sooner than you expect, you want to be ready to get back in the game immediately. To get into position, look at your databases of both candidates and employers. Take advantage of this time to reach out to new potential candidates and explain your services.
As you prepare for the next hiring surge, stay on top of hiring trends. When the economy booms again, demand for both traditional and non-traditional science roles will surge. A keen eye for upcoming trends, from health informatics to rare oncology, will give you an edge. Find out what’s hot and tailor your strategy to that.
Remember, you’re still in business
Companies rarely stop hiring entirely – even during a hiring freeze, you can reach out and ask what kind of roles potential clients are looking to fill. In uncertain times, businesses often place special emphasis on the quality of their new hires, while trying to cut down on the quantity. You’ll earn employers’ gratitude and loyalty if you can deliver top talent in trying times, so spend some extra time and energy finding hand-in-glove matches for clients who are hiring. By the same token, don’t forget about your existing candidate roster. In a frigid job market, candidates will need all the support they can get.
\When you’re a recruiter and there’s little recruitment to be done, it’s easy to get bored or restless. On the other hand, if you stay busy by investing in long-term relationships and business strategy, this hiring freeze may turn out to be the proverbial blessing in disguise. Before you know it, work will pick up – and you’ll be grateful you took this time to stay relevant and connected.
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- Biotech Layoffs: What’s Really Happening in the Industry and What’s its Market Outlook?
Author: Tara Smylie
Ah, the job search. Universally hated, and unfortunately also necessary for almost everyone at some point during their career. If you’re a recent grad in the middle of the hunt, you might feel a little stressed out or overwhelmed. That’s totally normal – and luckily, there are several ways you can manage your anxieties as you continue casting your net.
Contact and Connect
Friends, family, old mentors or professors… chances are, you know a handful of people who’ve been through the same thing and have some words of wisdom to offer. If possible, reach out to peers who are in the same boat – you will all feel less alone if you have each other to confide in. Connecting with other recent grads also has the advantage of strengthening your professional network.
Take a chance and connect with people or organizations you’d really like to work for, perhaps even offering to volunteer for them. For example, if you’re interested in a medical research environment, email a lab coordinator in that field and ask them if they have any opportunities for an ambitious assistant who is willing to work hard and eager to contribute. When it comes to life science and biotech, your connections are your strength – so never stop making them.
Work smart, not hard
Don’t pressure yourself to apply to exactly X number of jobs every day. Instead, focus on finding jobs that match your interests and abilities. For example, let’s say you excelled in all your statistics courses and have some field experience as a scientist. Perhaps you could put your skills to good use as a biostatistician – or possibly an environmental analyst for the right company. The ideal job will make use of your existing skills while offering you opportunities to cultivate new ones.
And remember: you don’t have to rush to the finish line. They say that looking for a job is a full-time job, but you don’t need to spend a full 8-hour day on the search if that feels excessive. While you are searching, be sure to read all job descriptions – you don’t want to waste anyone’s time applying for a job that doesn’t click for you. And when you inevitably face some rejection, try not to dwell on it and remember that rejection will happen to any job hunter who aims high.
Constantly refine your approach
Mass applying to hundreds of jobs at a time can feel productive, but you’re not as likely to impress any single employer. Find a balance between quality and quantity – and yes, that will mean writing cover letters. Over half of employers prefer candidates who attach them, and they can help you sell yourself if you maintain a professional tone.
As you search, you may notice that some components of your process need work. If you think your resume could use some fine-tuning, ask a colleague to look it over and give you some feedback. Or maybe you know your interviewing skills aren’t quite where you’d like them to be. If that’s the case, consider watching some videos or taking a course on the subject to brush up your skills. Your job-seeking skills will drive both your short- and long-term career, and the perfect time to invest in it is when you’re actively looking.
Relax your standards
There’s no need to find the “perfect” job immediately – you never know what an opportunity can lead to. Instead of chasing your number-one dream position, focus your efforts on landing a “good enough” job and consider where it could take you in the future. Nowadays it’s very common to end up working in a different field than the one you formally trained in, so stay open to the possibility of doing something a little unfamiliar.
As a final note: remember to enjoy the free time you have right now. You may not get the chance to take time off work for a while once you do have a job – so make the most of it while you can! Take this opportunity to polish your skills, reach out to old contacts, and get back in touch with the hobbies that fell by the wayside during your college days.
Keep calm and carry on
Finding a job is never easy. Realize that you’re not alone, and take the search at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Remember, you can’t control when you get an offer – only the effort you put into the process. If you’d like some assistance finding your next opportunity, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help you take your next steps.
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