In the first of our Meet the Recruiters series of blog posts, we’d like to introduce Kay Chow, Madison Giunta, and Carla Yacoub. They are all recent science graduates who joined Sci.bio within the past year as Scientific Recruiting Associates.
Madison is a contingency recruiter and focuses on business development. Kay handles RPO roles and ad hoc recruiting projects. As the most recent addition, Carla is completing her training and jumping in on various sourcing and recruiting projects as she hones her skills.
The Pathway Into Recruitment
All three had a passion for science and valued their STEM education, but realized more traditional STEM career pathways — academia, research, working in a lab — weren’t for them.
Madison graduated in 2020 with a BS in Nutrition Science from Merrimack College. Although she was passionate about the subject, she didn’t want to stay in school to pursue professional qualification. As part of her job search, she shadowed at a recruitment agency and fell in love with the career.
Kay graduated in 2020 with a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University. She joined a research lab as an undergraduate, but realized “spending five plus years of my life on one thing was really not enticing to me.” However, she found she really enjoyed recruiting volunteers for her lab’s clinical studies, and decided to look for STEM recruiting jobs.
Carla graduated in 2019 with a BS in Environmental Biology from Smith College. She didn’t like academia and wasn’t interested in research careers, but knew she liked working with people and doing scientific outreach. “I really liked bringing new forms of education to communities that may not have been included in that previously,” she explains.
STEM recruitment wasn’t a career they’d considered before graduating, but after applying to Sci.bio and going through the interview process, they all saw how scientific recruitment would be a good fit for their personal strengths and career needs.
Working as a Recruiter at Sci.bio
Although recruiting scientific professionals is a non-traditional STEM career, Carla, Kay and Madison enjoy learning about new areas of research through conversations with clients. Madison finds her STEM background helps her quickly understand new concepts and terminology.
At Sci Bio the first few months as a recruiter are spent in training, before they transition to their own projects. Most of their time is spent sourcing candidates and building relationships with their clients. Carla, who joined Sci.bio the most recently, enjoys working among a group of people who share the same values as her.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the working patterns of many people, including Sci Bio recruiters, who currently spend most of their time working from home, and go into the office once or twice per week. Madison enjoys the flexibility of remote working and structuring her day how she chooses.
On the flip side, Carla, Kay, and Madison found it easier to get distracted when working from home, or end up spending too much time on work at the detriment to their personal life. Kay has a “commute” to help her focus: she takes time after waking up to make herself a mocha latte and go for a short walk before starting work. These are the details we like to share in Meet the Recruiters.
Combatting Stereotypes and Growing as a Biotech Recruiter
All three enjoy recruitment, but encountered pushback from acquaintances who held negative or uninformed stereotypes about recruiters and alternate STEM careers. Some of Kay’s friends and family wondered, “Why did you get a degree in neuroscience if you’re just going to be talking to people all day?” not appreciating that her degree informs a lot of what she does.
Since Carla’s mother worked as a life insurance recruiter, she thought she knew what recruiting agencies and recruiters did, but she realized many of those preconceptions didn’t apply to Sci.bio: “It’s not about meeting goals, or sending a certain number of emails each day — it’s more like match-making.”
All three look forward to developing as recruiters and finding their niches, becoming the ‘go to’ sourcing expert for their specialty. Madison intends “make my brand” as a recruiter. Kay hopes to gain insight into international recruitment.
Fun Facts: Hobbies Outside of Sci.bio
Madison was a competitive cheerleader in college, and recently resumed competitive cheerleading in the post-collegiate leagues. She also coaches her high school team. In her free time, Carla does environmental videography and candid photography. She also enjoys coding and video games. Kay likes taking dancing classes.
Many life science job seekers choose to apply directly to employers for jobs; the added value that pharmaceutical recruiters or biotech headhunters can bring to clients and candidates is sometimes overlooked.
In some cases getting in touch with a recruiter will be more beneficial to you then applying directly to the position in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry.
Specialist recruitment professionals, such as Sci.bio Recruiting dedicate themselves to becoming experts in a particular field. This allows them to provide candidates with the most relevant and efficient job searching experience, resulting in a successful placement that best suits your wants and needs.
As a candidate looking for a career in life sciences, there is endless potential waiting for you. Here are the top 5 reasons why:
Many times internal talent acquisition and HR personnel have an understanding of the job they are looking to fill, as well as the market. Although this is usually the case for most employers, the nature of their role means that internal recruiters are often looking to fill several roles in many different areas of the business. This is where the advantage of working with a recruiter or executive talent placement expert makes sense.
Working with a life-science recruiter will have in-depth knowledge of the job market. This includes understanding the job market as well as the wider pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industry. There are no restrictions that tend to hold internal recruiters back, therefore they can offer a unique and honest perspective.
Spanning from small, start-up biotechnology companies to some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, recruiters are likely to have access to job roles before they appear on social media or job boards. They can help you to book an interview before the applicant pool gets too high. Going through a recruiter will help you jump to the top of the pile, increasing your chance of securing an interview.
Biopharma Recruiters have access to a wealth of other opportunities that will not be publicly advertised or easily available to candidates. Understanding of the market as it changes also means that recruiters will know if you’re being paid the appropriate amount. Applying directly makes it more difficult for candidates to openly discuss their personal requirements, including salary expectations, as they have no third party to negotiate on their behalf with the employer.
To expand on reason number one, life science recruiters are trained to be specialists in their field. For example, Sci.bio Recruiting offers recruiters and executive talent placement that have an educational background in life sciences, such as a degree and/or years of industry experience. The specialist’s knowledge allows a clear understanding of how the life sciences industry works and gives insight into market/industry trends. This will assist you to better understand what is happening in your field and make the right decisions to ensure that your career is headed in the right direction.
Having a discussion with a recruiter can provide you new ideas to explore and can expose you to opportunities that you didn’t know were relevant to your skill-set.
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn have been very useful to candidates during their job search in past years. Building networks and relationships with the right people has become extremely important to successfully directing your career through the competitive life sciences industry.
Recruitment consultants, do almost all of the hard work for you. Recruiters can help you make important connections with employers and professionals that will most benefit your career progression. They have already met with the client and understand their needs. You receive all the behind the scenes information without doing the work. You have nothing to lose by exploring the ways in which they can help you.
During their meetings and ongoing communication with the client, recruiters find out much more than the finer details of the job vacancy. They get a feel for the softer things. This includes understanding company culture, team dynamics and even getting an insight into the company’s business strategy. This is information that you can benefit you greatly as the recruiter can match your skill-set, experience and personality with an ideal employer for you.
Due to recruiters’ relationships with employers, they have a thorough understanding of what they are looking for in the ideal candidate which is an advantage for candidates. You will know exactly what the role involves and the right way to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job.
Your recruiter will help you by providing information about the company, which you can then expand on yourself in the days leading up to the interview. With these available tools, you will have everything you need to succeed at your life sciences job interview.
Building a relationship with a life science recruiter can benefit you beyond helping you secure your next job. The recruiter will keep in contact with you for months or even years after. Their market knowledge can be extremely useful as you progress. This could help you to make the best career choices possible.
More talk about the Recruiter Experience?
In pharmaceutical recruitment and biotech excutive placement, there is a lot of emphasis on the overall candidate experience. It’s highly suggested that offering candidates the best possible experience, regardless of the outcome, is key to securing the best talent. But what about the recruiter experience? A successful recruitment process, from sourcing to hiring, depends a lot on a positive experience for recruiters as it is for candidates. There are known challenges for recruiters… and balancing the need to improve the candidate experience and meeting hiring targets just to name a few.
The importance of the recruiter experience?
A good pharmaceutical recruiter experience is dependent on the process of finding the best talent. This needs to be as efficient and structured as possible. Optimizing the working processes and experience of a recruiter leads to a more efficient and successful hiring process. Recruiters can focus on the more important aspects of their job – sourcing and building relationships with top candidates. Also the focus can impact the candidate to have a positive experience, resulting in an improved image and reputation for the brand. To make sure you achieve these goals there are two things that come into play:
One of the most important factors of the recruiter experience is time management. This includes: searching for candidates, reading through numerous applications, and liaising with both candidates and hiring managers can be time consuming. Therefore, the more efficient workflows can be, the better. One way to achieve this is by using Sci.bio Recruiting, which provides numerous options to assist in making the recruiting process seamless and less daunting. Having assistance with candidate sourcing and screening tasks significantly reduces the workload on pharmaceutical recruiters or companies as a whole. The combination of specialist tools and process optimization will free up valuable time and enhance the recruiter experience.
Communication from candidates can significantly impact the pharmaceutical recruiter experience – every recruiter knows how frustrating non-communicative candidates can be. However, there are ways for pharmaceutical recruiters to encourage better communication from candidates. Avoid emailing a candidate over and over… pick up the phone and call the candidate. Also try texting or contacting them through social media. Trying different contact methods when appropriate will help with communication. Using the right communication channel improves responsiveness and can strengthen the relationship with the candidate.
While most can confirm that the candidate experience is crucial from a business perspective, the recruiter experience should never be forgotten in the pharmaceutical industry. The more time and effort that is put into this process to improve the experience of pharmaceutical recruiters, the better the experience will be for candidates. Optimizing both time and communication will be extremely helpful along with providing recruiters with more time to build relationships and identify the best talent. In the end this will benefit everyone: recruiters have more time to dedicate to the very top talent, candidates have a positive experience even if they don’t get the job, and businesses receive top quality hires much faster.