Are Your Friends Sabotaging Your Career?

Are Your Friends Sabotaging Your Career?

Authors: Eric Celidonio, Natalie Zimmerman

Who might be sabotaging your career?

Are you working hard at a job search but making very little headway? Do you feel as though you’re stuck in one place, struggling to advance your career further? Although it’s not easy to admit, it’s possible that your progress towards these goals is being hindered by the very people you call your friends.

friends

While we like to consider our friends advocates and allies in everything we do, 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 concept is often called ‘Schadenfreude’, a German term combining the words “harm” and “joy”, and refers to the delight one might feel in another’s misfortune. The phenomenon is a natural human instinct, and even the most well-meaning of us experience it, sometimes in response to the news of the failure of a friend. This is often subconscious, a feeling that arises involuntarily, especially when one is feeling insecure or struggling through a difficult patch, when it can be comforting to feel as if someone else is struggling as well. The important distinction, however, is whether one feeds this kind of thought, or strives to root for a friends’ successes with what they can control.

Even generally benevolent friends, though, can occasionally drag you down through no conscious effort of their own. Humans are inherently social creatures, and are acutely aware of hierarchy and social status, which influences our perspective and our decisions even when we are not aware of it. Though many of us like to think we do not make snap judgments about people until we get to know them, people tend to judge, at least initially, by what we can easily perceive: for example, by one’s social clique. You should of course, surround yourself and associate with those you enjoy being with, who enrich your life beyond your work, but it’s important to balance personal and professional benefits carefully if you are trying to advance in your career.

Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of discovering someone is not who we had initially thought them to be. When choosing the people with which you spend your time, don’t leave anything to chance. By taking the time to properly assess friends and colleagues, you can strive to minimize any detrimental impact.

Identifying those who might not truly enrich your life, who might not have your best interest at heart, is not easy. Here are some signs to look out for:

tug of war

  1. They make promises but don’t come through. There is a reason it is so often said that “actions speak louder than words”.
  2. Chronic complainers or naysayers. Those who often like to complain but without an attempt at a solution. At the very least, their negative thought patterns could drag you down with them.
  3. They lack empathy. Simply put, if they don’t have the ability, or choose not, to show empathy in important situations, this is a signal to distance yourself.
  4. Exaggerators, fibbers, or outright liars. Those who make a habit of stretching, or avoiding, the truth, are prominent in toxic work environments.
  5. Self Aggrandizers. People who have the habit of inflating themselves may have the tendency to minimize others, you included.
  6. Gossipers. If they’re constantly talking badly about other people to you, think about what they might be saying behind your back.
  7. They always take, but never offer anything in return. A person who more often than not takes from you without giving is not a true friend, but someone who may simply be using you.
  8. Chronically angry people. People prone to perpetual anger are dangerous, and have the potential to similarly affect your outlook on life over time.
  9. They don’t take ownership or never seem to be at fault. If one is unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their actions, it’s impossible to talk through difficult moments with them. This tendency will eventually backfire on you.
  10. The jealous. With a fake smile, relishing the opportunity to take you down, these can be the most damaging of the bunch.

Time to move on.

alarm clock in teal circle

Do you recognize any of these traits in those you surround yourself with? In that case, perhaps not all of your friends truly have your best interest in mind, and it may be time to make some changes.

Of course, it can be extremely hard to let go of familiar faces, and those you’ve known for a long time. However, if your friends are holding you back, or bringing you down, in these ways, they aren’t true friends, they are eventual liabilities. Cut ties with those who don’t have your back.

At the very least, while you are at critical career junctures, you’ll want to limit your exposure to anyone who doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Surrounding yourself with positive people, especially those from which you can learn, is key – not only in successful career advancement, but in your overall happiness.

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. Schadenfreude: A psychologist explains why we love to see others fail

Related Blogs:

  1. Loyalty Over Merit in Career Advancement
  2. Improve Your Memory to Improve Your Relationships
  3. The Biotech Culture Problem
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

 

Recruiter Spotlight: Sahana Nazeer

Recruiter Spotlight: Sahana Nazeer

Sahana Nazeer is one of Sci.Bio’s wonderful Scientific Recruiting Partners, as well as a recent graduate from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Here, she talks about her growth as a recruiter, how her medical training connects to her work as a recruiter, and more.

Sahana Nazeer, how did you get into recruiting, and how did you end up at Sci.bio?

After I graduated from Brown, I was searching for a full-time position that would utilize my neuroscience degree. I partnered with a recruiter who noticed that I was not keen on benchwork roles at the time. She recommended that I apply for a position with scientific recruiting. I sent in one application – to Sci.bio – and met with Eric later that week. I was drawn to learning about a new industry from an interesting angle that was still anchored to my love for science.

What do you enjoy most about being a recruiter?

I enjoy the search to find not just the right person for the job, but the right person for the team, especially for smaller companies focused on developing a specific company culture. Part of my growth as a recruiter has stemmed from focusing on building teams as opposed to filling requisitions.

What do you find most challenging about recruiting?

Balancing a process that works well for you while also incorporating new techniques to search, screen, and negotiate. For me, there is a fine line between a systematic approach and a monotonous one. And so, it really helps to work within a team as I have the chance to learn from my colleagues and share insights with them.

What are your passions and interests outside of work?

I recently graduated from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and I will soon start my residency in Psychiatry – Child Track at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. I am an avid fan of the Boston Celtics! I also enjoy swimming (although now non-competitively) and playing tennis with my fiancé.

What do you think your greatest strength is as a recruiter?

My passion for supporting diverse, equitable, and inclusive hiring extends into my approach to recruiting, collaborating with hiring managers and talent acquisition partners, and developing relevant educational materials for clients. By keeping the priority of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging at the forefront of my interactions with candidates and clients, it has become a strength of mine to help build cohesive teams and contribute to a company’s growing culture.

What advice would you give to someone entering the world of biotech recruiting, or recruiting in general?

As part of my medical training, there was an emphasis in being not only aware of our own biases but also cultivating actionable changes from that recognition. Being cognizant of my own biases has helped me better understand candidates and serve as their informed advocate when needed (especially as recruiters facilitate a majority of the candidate communication during the hiring process).

How to Build Relationships with Recruiters

How to Build Relationships with Recruiters

Author:  Claire Jarvis

If you’re new to the biotech job market you may hold the following common misconceptions about recruiters (put your hand up if you’ve believed either of these things): recruiters are indiscriminate in who they reach out to, and they only care about meeting hiring quota.

In reality, biotech recruiters are often very familiar with the industry, because they have long standing relationships with pharma clients, and are trained as scientists themselves. Many recruiters are STEM graduates like yourself, and love talking about science with jobseekers and clients.

If you’re overwhelmed by the post-graduation hunt for a job, working with a boutique biotech recruiter will make your life easier. But if you’ve not worked with specialized recruiters before, you might not know how to build a relationship with one, or let them know you’re job-hunting.

If a biotech recruiter hasn’t reached out to you, here are proactive ways to reach out:

  • Find them on LinkedIn
  • Upload your resume to the agency website
  • Attend mixers or networking events at events in your field (e.g. a Working in Biotech career panel, a young professionals mixer) – it’s likely you’ll find one or two recruiters among the attendees

After introducing yourself: your current role, when you expect to graduate or begin job-hunting, and the job positions you’re interested in – the recruiter will likely ask for an opportunity to chat with you on the phone to learn more.

What to expect in initial phone conversations with recruiters:

  • Don’t be shy – recruiters speak to a lot of people like yourself, and are familiar with conducting these types of conversations and putting you at ease.
  • Practice a brief couple of sentences’ introduction. E.g. I’m an Immunology PhD candidate at X university. Give the other person space to ask follow-up questions.
  • Think about when you are looking for a job and what skills you have. What analytical instruments do you work with? What laboratory techniques do you regularly perform (e.g. PCR, western blot)? Decide what you are looking for in a role, and if you don’t know, think broadly: do you want to work with people, are you interested in being a bench scientist? Would you like to work in a fast-paced start-up, or a more traditional large pharmaceutical company? These answers will help the recruiter decide which roles to put your name towards.

After your initial phone call and emails, don’t be afraid to follow up if you haven’t heard back within an agreed upon timeframe. Recruiters are busy, and clients can experience delays in their hiring process, so recruiters are unlikely to be ignoring you! Checking in regularly demonstrates your continued interest in the roles discussed, as well as your good organization skills.

At Sci.Bio, we’ve helped hundreds of STEM graduates get into their first biotech job. Get in touch to schedule a chat with one of our friendly, knowledgeable recruiters today.

Recruiter Spotlight: Kay Chow

Recruiter Spotlight: Kay Chow

Author: Kay Chow/Natalie Zimmerman

Meet Recruiter Kay Chow

Kay Chow is one of Sci.Bio’s wonderful Scientific Recruiting Partners. As her three year anniversary with Sci.Bio approaches, we thought she’d be perfect to kick off our upcoming Recruiter Spotlight series, which will shed light on the work and lives of Sci.bio’s recruiters.

How did you get into recruiting, and how did you end up at Sci.bio?

For my first co-op at Northeastern, I worked at a Brain & Cognitive Sciences lab that focused on studying the effect of exercise on brain health in older adults. I first started out on the clinical research side, but later found myself on the recruiting end picking up phone calls from prospective study candidates. I soon realized that I enjoyed that side of the work much more and thought I could pursue a similar career in the biotech industry given my academic background in neuroscience. A couple of interviews later with Eric and other team members, I was hired at Sci.bio and it’s been nearly three years since in May 2023!

What do you enjoy most about being a recruiter?

I enjoy being a part of someone’s life milestone when they accept a new role. When I hear an enthusiastic yes from a candidate, I get excited for them to explore a new part of their career and work with new people. I try not to become desensitized to the fact that switching jobs is an important milestone in people’s lives.

What do you find most challenging about recruiting?

I find that the most challenging part of recruiting that I’ve had to learn to manage are the ups and downs, and accepting that this is a profession where many factors can be out of your control. Recruiting can be an emotional rollercoaster – one day you can have a top candidate accept an offer and you feel on top of the world, then a few hours later, you can have your fourth offer for a role rejected. You can do your best to find a great candidate and provide a stellar offer, but at the end of the day, you can’t make a candidate say yes if they don’t want to.

What are your passions and interests outside of work?

I’ve been a part of a cornhole league in Assembly Row for the last two years and I’ve won four seasons! Prior to the cornhole league, I hadn’t played any cornhole (minus the intramural cornhole league I was participating in where we lost every game!). I’m also a powerlifter – I competed in a local meet last summer and plan to compete again this summer! On top of that, I love electronic music. You can find me dancing at a show or festival on the weekends.

What do you think your greatest strength is as a recruiter?

I believe my greatest strength as a recruiter is my ability to read the recruiting process and anticipate next moves. By understanding a candidate’s motivations, a hiring manager’s priorities, and reading into subtle nuances, I can get a sense of how a situation might pan out. This helps me to prepare for what’s to come.

What advice would you give to someone entering the world of biotech recruiting, or recruiting in general?

I would suggest finding a style of communication that is comfortable and effective for you. Candidates can tell if you’re uncomfortable or not being yourself and it doesn’t always help foster trust and rapport with them. I find that when I exude my own personality on a call (which might be a little quirky and goofy when the time is right), it helps put me and the candidate in a more comfortable state.

What are your goals that you hope to accomplish as a recruiter?

At this point, my goal is to gain as much experience in as many different environments as possible. So far, my main experience as a recruiter has been with smaller to medium sized biotech companies in an RPO setting. I think I thrive in RPO settings but hope to gain more experience in contingent recruiting and BD. After dipping my toes in more environments, then I’ll narrow down what my niche will be and work towards that.