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Strengthening the Post-Pandemic Talent Pipeline

Strengthening the Post-Pandemic Talent Pipeline

Author:  Claire Jarvis

The recent years of the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted how fragile our supply chain infrastructure can be, with delayed shipments, worker shortages and resource scarcity. These logistical problems also apply to the recruitment, with many biotechs noting a shortage of talent and difficulty bringing in qualified candidates in time to meet demand.

To adjust to this new normal, biotech companies and recruiters must adapt their own talent pipelines and consider new recruitment models.

Building resilience into your biotech talent pipeline
There are several factors that, once addressed, reduce the likelihood of your recruitment drive falling short.

  • Diversified sourcing of recruiters and talent pool. This is a lesson any supply chain expert will repeat, because it ensures companies are never reliant on one acquisition source for their hires.
  • Scalable recruitment support. To maximize efficiency, biotech companies should seek agile recruiting agencies that can adjust to changes in client workforce demands.
  • Lean recruitment models. There are several more cost-effective yet responsive ways to bring in talent, discussed below.

Post-COVID-19 lean recruitment models
There are different lean recruitment models companies can take advantage of, depending on their tolerance for risk and desire for efficiency..

The ‘just in case’ model has more buffers than other lean recruitment models, and involves taking the steps to build resiliency described above. While this approach is less efficient, it guarantees the supply of workers.

The ‘Just in time’ model is equivalent to hiring a freelancer or independent contractor to meet demand. The talent is only trained for responsibilities they need to perform, as opposed to more comprehensive traditional onboarding, which leads to quicker onboarding and more efficient use of training time. Part time work, full-time availability. Lower risk to client

Just in time differs from ‘ASAP’ recruitment, which addresses urgent gaps in the workforce, and is more reactive than proactive.

Unsure how your biotech company can navigate the new hiring normal? The recruitment and sourcing experts at Sci.bio have a variety of service options to meet your needs.

The Mobile Hiring Experience

The Mobile Hiring Experience

Author: Gabrielle Bauer

If you want to attract the best, meet candidates on their phones

Today’s job hunters are on the move. With their phones as faithful companions, they want mobile versions of just about all life experiences, from making dinner reservations to buying track pants—and searching for jobs. And not just young people: baby boomers and Gen-Zers are equally liable to reach for their phones when searching for a job.1 If you don’t offer candidates a seamless and enticing mobile experience, one of your competitors surely will.

It’s no longer enough to post your job opening on LinkedIn: you need to mobile-optimize the posting so it looks good on the LinkedIn app. Ditto for the application process. Your star candidate may be sitting in a coffee shop when she sees the posting, without her computer, and you want to make it easy for her to seize the moment and apply. If you pique her interest strongly enough, she may even apply when not actively seeking employment. Such scenarios are by no means rare: a survey of US employees found that 25% weren’t looking for a job when they found their current one.1

By the numbers1,2,3 > 1 billion per month: job searches from mobile devices Almost 90%: job seekers who use a mobile device when looking for a new opportunity 35%: candidates who prefer to apply for jobs on their phones 84%: companies using social media for recruiting 73%: millennials who found their jobs via social media

Getting it right

A word of warning: simply tweaking your web-based application form may not provide the elegant mobile experience that high-quality candidates have come to expect. Indeed, only 22% of people who begin mobile applications complete them, attesting to the importance of getting it right.2 So what makes a job application mobile-friendly? This checklist will keep you on the right track:4

  • Keep it short: When it comes to converting candidates, less is more: 73% of job seekers give up on applications that take longer than 15 minutes.
  • In the job posting, promote the application process as mobile-friendly: Employers who take this simple step increase submissions by 11.6%.
  • Employ AI assistants to chat with job seekers—and there’s no harm in giving them friendly-sounding names like Ellie or Vinay. These “chat bots” can answer applicants’ questions and provide supplemental information.
  • Consider investing in mobile recruiting software, which can help you or your recruiting partner design mobile-first applications that have the single objective of attracting and converting candidates on their phones.
  • Put it to the test: Not sure if your mobile application form makes the grade? Try it yourself or ask a colleague to try it. If the process trips you up, it will confuse candidates, too.

The social piece

Mobile friendliness will take you only so far if you ignore social media. Indeed, the two experiences often overlap: In the US, over 97% of social media users get their fix on their smart phones, at least some of the time.5 With social media use showing no signs of slowing down, today’s employers can’t afford to ignore this hiring channel, called social recruiting. In fact, 84% of companies use social media for recruiting purposes1 and often rely on it for attracting passive talent (candidates not actively looking for a job).6 The fact that 73% of millennials find jobs through social media attests to the power of this strategy.4

Just as with mobile recruiting, social recruiting requires skill and tech-savvy. Investing in social recruiting tools can help streamline and automate the process. While you’re at it, consider

including testimonials on your social media sites: 41% of candidates look for this extra vote of confidence when researching companies in their job search.6

Sci.bio recruiters understand all the bases: traditional, mobile, social, and everything in between. We also understand that no two biotech companies are the same, and adapt our support to each client’s needs. Let’s get mobile and let’s get social—together. Ω

References

  1. Key aspect of recruitment statistics. CVViz. https://cvviz.com/recruitment-statistics/
  2. The rise in mobile devices in job search. Glassdoor Economic Research. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/app/uploads/sites/2/2019/06/Mobile-Job-Search-1.pdf
  3. Mobile recruiting. Smart Recruiters. https://www.smartrecruiters.com/resources/glossary/mobile-recruiting/
  4. How to create a truly mobile job application experience for candidates. ICIMS. https://www.icims.com/blog/how-to-create-a-truly-mobile-job-application-experience-for-candidates/
  5. Active mobile social media penetration in the Americas as of January 2021. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/308282/active-social-network-usage-penetration-of-the-americas/
  6. 20 mind-blowing social recruiting statistics. https://www.careerarc.com/blog/20-mind-blowing-social-recruiting-statistics/
Hire Faster, Hire Better

Hire Faster, Hire Better

Author:  Gabrielle Bauer

Streamlining the job application process pays dividends on several fronts

In the competitive life sciences market, high-quality candidates hold a lot of power. Knowing they’re in demand, they will naturally favor simple, elegant hiring processes. Indeed, 45% of job seekers view an easy application process as a top priority,1 and over two-thirds would avoid reapplying to a company that didn’t offer a positive hiring experience the first time around.2

To attract choice candidates, you need to remove barriers that may discourage them from applying—and pique their interest with meaningful perks.1 Here’s a tip list to keep you on track.

Cut to the chase: A survey by Jobvite found that nearly 85% of Fortune 500 companies were requiring candidates to register on their website before applying for an open position, losing potential candidates as a result.2 Is it really necessary for a candidate to open an account with your website? Does she need to fill out that generic form? Ask yourself whether your interview process has unnecessary steps that can be cut out—and then do it.

Keep it short: There’s no reason to require a complete application form before you even consider a candidate. To remove the hassle factor, create a bare-bones form that allows

candidates to populate fields with information from existing platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or Google Drive.3

Text it in: Communicating by text—for example, to schedule job interviews—can help increase candidate conversion. In a 2021 survey, 69% of candidates who received texts as part of the hiring process reported a preference for texting over email or phone calls2—perhaps because texts feel more personal and less bureaucratic. Once you set up a texting option, you can keep using and adapting it to other positions.

Create a user-friendly mobile experience: a recent Glassdoor survey found that 58% of candidates use their phones to search for jobs, and 35% prefer applying for jobs from their phones.4 Be sure to pilot-test the mobile application interface and iron out any bumpy seams.

“Get rid of your [career site] log-in. You don’t need it. The platform SAIC uses doesn’t require a log-in to make an application. Therefore, it takes three to five minutes on average for people to get through, and we complete a huge amount of our applications.” Amy Butchco, director of talent acquisition, SAIC

Make it optional: Don’t require candidates to sign up for your newsletter or receive company updates as a condition of applying. Such extra steps can leave them frustrated. If you have a talent network, by all means give candidates the option to join it, but don’t force it on them: a mandatory registration process typically reduces the number of completed applications.2

Get them on camera: A quick video chat can give you more information about a candidate’s communication style and job fit than a pile of forms.5 Depending on the number of applicants and suitable candidates, you can schedule video interviews earlier or later in the hiring sequence.

Tag it as urgent: An “urgent” flag in a job description will attract candidates looking for fast action—and could motivate your organization to keep the wheels moving on the hiring process.4

Show your working style: In your job solicitation, call immediate attention to high-demand benefits such as remote work options and flexible hours. (In today’s market, you’d be unwise not to offer some type of flexibility: according to recruiters surveyed in 2021, inflexible work options led 54% of candidates to turn down a job offer or even an interview.6)

Bottom line: make it easy, make it enticing, and top-tier candidates will find you.

At Sci.bio, we understand the value of keeping it simple—and the biotech superstars we talk to don’t let us forget it. Bringing in a recruiter can be the first step in simplifying your hiring process, resulting in the quantity and quality of applicants you need for a great hire. Here’s a simple way to contact us today: [email protected]

References

  1. 2021 job seeker nation report. Jobvite. https://www.jobvite.com/lp/2021-job-seeker-nation-report/
  2. 2021 Fortune 500 candidate conversion audit. Jobvite. https://www.jobvite.com/lp/2021-fortune-500-report/
  3. Guide to hiring top talent quickly in today’s job market. Recruiter.com. https://www.recruiter.com/i/guide-to-hiring-top-talent-quickly-in-todays-job-market/
  4. The rise in mobile devices in job search. Glassdoor Economic Research. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/app/uploads/sites/2/2019/06/Mobile-Job-Search-1.pdf
  5. Five steps to simplifying your hiring process. The Undercover Recruiter. https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/simplifying-hiring-process/
  6. 2021 recruiter nation report. Jobvite. https://www.jobvite.com/lp/2021-recruiter-nation-report/
Screen for Success

Screen for Success

Author: Gabrielle Bauer

Pre-interview screening helps you hire the right people faster

The hiring process is a pyramid: you start out with a platform of candidates, and stack it up with smaller and smaller platforms until you get to the golden egg at the summit. Effective screening can make the stacking process more efficient and productive.

The why

Screening is a way to weed out unsuitable candidates early on. It ensures the employer doesn’t waste time on lengthy interviews with candidates who lack a deal-breaking requirement for a position. You can screen for criminal record, cultural fit, skills, and leadership qualities, among other parameters.

A well-thought-out screening strategy takes some of the routine aspects of hiring out of your hands, so you don’t need to waste time on basic questions during the all-important face-to-face interviews. Most importantly, a good screening process lowers the odds that you’ll hire an underperformer or chronic job-hopper—a scenario that could cost your organization both in dollars and reputation.

Why screen? The numbers tell the story

A 2015 survey by Aberdeen Strategy Research found that pre-screening candidates has significant benefits:

  • Hiring managers who pre-screen candidates report 36% more satisfaction with their final decision than those who don’t.
  • Screening lowers the employee turnover rate by 39%.
  • Organizations that screen candidates are 24% more likely to have employees who exceed performance goals.
  • Pre-hire screening cuts down on the time and cost of hiring.

The how

Today, the search for new talent often begins with background screens, like police checks or drug tests, to minimize the risk of hiring someone who will act in bad faith or endanger others. Such background screening adds a layer of complexity to the hiring process, but an increasing number of employers consider it an essential step.

“The worker represents the employer’s brand; therefore, background screening—particularly when access to people or sensitive material is involved—is a critical risk mitigation tool.” 
Melissa Sorenson, executive director
National Association of Professional Background Screeners

To screen candidates for skills and fit—the core of the screening process—you have several methods to choose from. Tried-and-true strategies include resume reviews, skills tests, personality tests, one-on-one phone interviews, or group panel interviews conducted virtually or in person.2 In today’s world, 92% of employers also rely on social media screens, as a person’s online presence can leave important clues about character.

Depending on your priorities, you can mix and match these channels in different ways. For instance, you can administer a skills test to ensure an assay developer can identify the organic chemicals she’ll be working with, followed by a panel interview to help size up personality traits such as detail orientation and adaptability. Phone interviews, meanwhile, could help you screen candidates for cultural fit.

The who

In today’s ultra-competitive hiring market, with hundreds of applicants vying for life sciences jobs, the screening process may seem overwhelming. Indeed, unless your organization has a dedicated screening team within the HR department, you may not have the time or expertise to screen candidates without help.

That’s where a recruiting agency comes in. A reputable agency with expertise in the life sciences knows what works and what doesn’t. They’ll adapt the screening process to the position, using one set of tools to screen lab directors and another to screen lab technicians.

Experienced recruiters also use technology to get the most out of screening. Items in their toolkit may include:

  • Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) software to predict candidate outcomes
  • AI-powered chatbots to extract basic information from candidates
  • Mobile apps to communicate with candidates about next steps.
  • Cloud computing to back up valuable data

If you don’t have such capacities in-house, Sci.bio can help. Our specialized experience and comprehensive screening toolkit take the guesswork out of the screening process. Contact us today to learn more.

References

 

How to Reconnect with Previous Candidates

How to Reconnect with Previous Candidates

Author: Claire Jarvis

With the biotech market hungry for candidates, and the average employee changing jobs every few years, recruiters cannot never assume that the end of a job search is the last time they’ll work with a particular applicant. Both recruiters and candidates may worry about the etiquette of reconnecting after an unsuccessful job match or application when another opportunity arises, but the process does not have to be awkward or unproductive. This is how to reconnect with previous candidates.

Laying the Groundwork

These days, biotech recruiters should plan their sourcing and recruitment process with the understanding that they may need to reconnect with screened candidates at a later date. This means personalizing the recruitment process to the candidate, so they are more likely to remember you and respond positively to your future overtures.

To personalize the experience, take extensive notes during initial screening calls that you can keep on file. Record the candidate’s work preferences, career goals and technical skills, even if all of those aren’t relevant to the opening in question.

Be reliable and trustworthy in all your dealings – reach out to the candidate when you said you would, give feedback on the interview performance or application process. As discussed elsewhere [link to Hiring in a Candidate’s market/Meet the Recruiters Meg and Laura], candidates value honesty over hype.

If a particular candidate isn’t a fit for your current opening, thank them for their time and explain you’ll be back in touch if and when other suitable opportunities come up. That way they’ll not be surprised when you reach out several months’ later – in fact they may even check in with you first.

Consider checking in with the most promising candidate a few months after your initial interaction: are they still looking for opportunities, do they have new skills or experiences, are they still looking for the same type of jobs?

The Art of the Email

When another opportunity arises, a tailored email from the recruiter will increase the likelihood of a successful and productive reconnection with the candidate in question. Start your email by reminding the candidate who you are, when and how you connected with them in the past. It might be helpful to add a sentence about the candidate’s skills or preferences you think connects them to this new opening.

After giving a brief overview of the opportunity that’s now available, conclude the message with a call to action that makes it clear how you’d like the candidate to respond (e.g. email, phone call). Suggest the time and method of reconnecting. Of course, not every former candidate will be looking for new opportunities, but with a careful approach you’ve increased the likelihood that they will respond to your email.

Lastly, remember that any information on file about the candidate can turn stale within 6 months. If possible, check LinkedIn to see if the candidate is listing new skills or employment before reaching out.