Author: Tara Smylie
Looking for that perfect entry-level hire? If you’re like many life science employers, you’re used to vetting applicants based on years of experience. For positions categorized as junior or entry-level, though, applicants aren’t likely to have an extensive employment record. You’ll need other ways to assess their skillset, intelligence, and willingness to learn.
As you look through resumes and conduct interviews, don’t underestimate these newer and younger candidates. While junior job-seekers may be lacking in years of experience, they can easily make up for that in attitude and flexibility.
Screening for success at the junior level
A junior candidate may not boast a pages-long resume of work experience – and that’s okay! Previous leadership positions and awards can show you just as much about their work ethic and areas of interest. Did they start a biomedical education club in university? Have they won awards or scholarships related to their scientific work? An applicant who loves their field, takes initiative, and enjoys learning new skills will be highly motivated to adapt to a new position.
That said, you’ll still want to see that they’ve previously excelled in a similar environment. Just remember to check your expectations – the fact is, not many junior candidates will have work experience in the exact role you’re hiring for. Take a realistic approach and look for evidence that they’ve been successful in a similar classroom setting, volunteer position, or extracurricular management role.
And remember, it’s not just the hard skills that are important. Emotional intelligence plays a critical role in the workplace, even for technical jobs. When hiring for junior positions, look for these qualities in your candidates: receptivity to feedback, work ethic, and ability to function as part of a team. Candidates with these attributes are likely to thrive in the ecosystem of the workplace.
Sometimes you’ll have a good feeling about a candidate, but not quite enough confidence to take the leap and make them an offer. In this case, consider sending them a skills test. This approach is a win-win: you get to see what they’re capable of, and they get a chance to prove themselves to you.
Benefits of hiring junior employees
It’s no secret that millennials and zoomers are usually proficient with technology. As a result, it shouldn’t take long for them to learn the ropes of any new software required for a position. By the same token, younger candidates are likely to have at least one tech-based skill already. This could be anything from video editing to Microsoft Excel to overall computer-savviness. These skills are great to have in your arsenal should you ever need them.
Younger hires can also offer some much-needed youthful perspective. They’re likely to be up-to-date on trends, such as recent developments in the world of social media or new apps that might help to structure company workflow. Another upside: less experienced employees often show particular enthusiasm for their work, which can inspire others to embrace a positive attitude themselves.
Junior roles in science industries
Communications-based science jobs are often a good fit for junior-level hires. That’s not because they’re easy, but because the skills they require can be developed through various avenues. Positions like medical writer or scientific project manager, for example, can sometimes be filled by candidates with shorter or more diverse resumes.
Currently, many pharma and biotech companies are in the market for junior research associates fresh out of grad school. If this is you, try scanning candidates’ resumes for relevant scientific skill sets. Current top skills required for research associate positions include collaboration, analysis, and experimentation. As you scan candidates’ resumes, look for education or experience that has allowed them to cultivate these skills.
Know what to look for
As you search for the best possible hire for a junior position, ask yourself this: who has the potential to be your next workplace superstar? You can’t expect recent graduates to have decades of work experience in highly skilled, highly specialized positions. You can, however, scout out applicants that demonstrate enthusiasm, some relevant experience, and above all a willingness to learn.
If you’re looking to hire an ambitious and skilled junior level employee, Sci.bio’s recruitment services can help you find the perfect match.
- The 6 Qualities To Look For In Entry-Level Candidates
- 7 Things You Should Look for When Hiring Entry-Level Workers
- Research Associate Must-Have Resume Skills and Keywords
- Does Pre-Employment Testing Help Prevent Bad Hires?
- Life science recruitment: how to hire and retain top talent
Author: Tara Smylie
Consider hiring ‘old talent’. When an employee is finished with you, they’re gone for good, right? Not quite. The “boomerang employee” has existed since the dawn of the workplace and is alive and well today. In the wake of the pandemic and the associated Great Resignation, many employees who left their jobs started to have second thoughts about their decision – and many employers are open to rehiring them.
Here we’ll discuss why employees seek to return to their old workplaces, and some of the pros and cons of bring former quitters back into the fold.
Why do employees return?
In a study of people who quit their jobs during the mass exodus that began with the pandemic, job leavers gave several reasons for wanting their old job back again:
- Former coworkers (38%): workplace morale can make or break a job, so employees who don’t click with their new coworkers may soon find themselves missing their old work pals.
- Former customers (22%): if your employee had customers at your company, perhaps they found them easier to connect with.
- Familiarity with the old role (31%): your employee may have overestimated his or her ability to adapt to a different environment and seek a return to a familiar role they know they can perform well.
- Paycheck (19%): Often, employees simply can’t find a better deal elsewhere (though they won’t want you to know that!).
- Work-life balance (16%): if a new job demands overtime or gives little consideration to needs outside of work, people find themselves dreaming about a former position with more understanding management
As long as your former employee seems genuinely interested in returning and keen to keep performing well, you should at least consider taking them back. Feel free to ask what they preferred about their experience with you. That way, you can aim to keep them satisfied in those areas – and maybe gain some insight into retaining your other employees.
Advantages of rehiring old talent
When training boomerangers, you’re not starting from scratch. They’re already familiar with company procedures and culture, so you won’t have to pour as many resources into training them. What’s more, their connections with former customers may encourage those customers to come back.
Rehires can also draw on experiences working elsewhere to bring you fresh insights into the current market. Maybe they discovered a more efficient way to manage lab inventory or learned new strategies for launching a cosmeceutical product online. Whatever they spent their time doing, they likely gained knowledge and experience you’ll want to hear about.
Rehired employees also tend to be more reliable than they were before. Having tested outside waters and found them less welcoming than they’d hoped, this time they’ll lean toward sticking around. They’ll appreciate that you took them back and feel a renewed sense of investment in your company.
Take a good look at your own motivations and see if they stack up. Are you overlooking more suitable candidates in favor of an easy rehire? Think long-term and resist the lure of momentary convenience. If many qualified candidates exist for the job you need to fill, you have a good chance of finding that fresh star who will more than make up for training costs.
Another caveat: depending on their experiences after leaving your company, former employees may come back with higher expectations or a different attitude. To get a sense of their mindset, ask probing questions during the re-interview and consider whether you’re still a good match for each other.
Trust your instincts when rehiring old talent.
Rehiring a former employee can save time, costs, and headaches. Just bear in mind that the process comes with some risks. Bottom line, no two rehiring scenarios look alike, so take some time to consider the pros and cons of your situation. And don’t ignore your instincts: sometimes your gut speaks more clearly than any checklist.
If you’d like some guidance on hiring—or rehiring—the best talent for your company’s current needs, Sci.bio has the life-sciences expertise to get you started.
- ‘Boomerang employees’ who quit jobs during pandemic may soon beg for them back
- Resign, Resigned, or Re-Sign?
- Want Good Hires Who Stick Around? Make Their Careers Your Business
- Research: Business should embrace ‘boomerang employees’
- Pros and Cons of Boomerang Employees
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.
- Fierce Biotech Layoff Tracker
- Why Social Media Is Now So Important For Recruitment
- Qualified job candidates per hire: recruiting metrics that matter
- Hiring and Recruitment Trends To Expect In 2022
- The Hiring Freeze – What Is Happening? And What Can We Do?
- What is a Hiring Freeze? 7 Smart Things That a Recruiter Must Do During One
- How Recruiters Should Spend Their Time During a Hiring Freeze
- Biotech Layoffs: What’s Really Happening in the Industry and What’s its Market Outlook?
If you’ve been relying on job-ready candidates to acquire new talent, you’re missing some valuable opportunities. To widen your net, be sure to build a talent-sourcing and -training pipeline into your company’s DNA so you’re never strapped for qualified candidates when you need them most. That’s where an internship program comes in.
Benefits of Internship Programs
In today’s competitive job market, an internship program makes it that much easier to secure a good match: you’ll broaden your network of potential hires, and you’ll have a greater idea of their strengths and goals than you can get from a regular interview process. Once your internship program is up and running, you’ll have a steady flow of candidates to consider the next time you have an unexpected hiring need.
The price is right
Most interns view their position as a temporary yet highly valuable personal investment. Because they are just beginning their careers, they’ll be highly motivated to perform well in their roles even at a lower pay grade. Of course, you should pay your interns for their contributions – but because they’re still learning, you can pay them less than what you’d pay full-stack employees.
Many hands make light work
Interns can help check off some of the less complex, less skilled tasks on your company to-do list. With the smaller stuff taken care of, your full-stack employees can enjoy uninterrupted focus on larger-scale projects.
That said, don’t deprive your interns of hard-hitting projects: a good internship program builds the skills needed to take on greater challenges in the future. Nowadays, only 8 percent of interns’ tasks involve clerical, unskilled work. The other 92%? High-level skills. Bottom line, prepare your interns to become your employees.
Implementing Your Program
Consider your needs
Not all internship programs need to follow the same template. While considering how to structure your program, ask yourself the following questions:
- What role will the intern have within the company?
- What skills and qualities do they need to have to be successful?
- Who is available to mentor them?
Finally, think big picture: what is your long-term vision for your company, and what skills will future employees need to make it a reality? This is perhaps the single most important aspect of developing an internship program. Say you’re looking to build a patient information website in the near future. This means you’ll need tech-savvy employees who can handle its creation and maintenance. If you train interns in these skills and they return to work for you full-time, they can hit the ground running.
Recruit and hire
To get your program off to a good start, begin recruiting interns several months before your program launches. Consider posting advertisements on job boards, asking around, and working with a university to begin your recruitment process. Schools like Northeastern University have co-op programs that supply interns to biotech companies.
As you consider who to take on, think of interns as future employees, not just temporary assistants. Even if they don’t end up working for you, they’re likely to tell their peers about their experience with you, which can make or break your reputation among potential hires.
Onboard and train
If possible, assign every intern a mentor at the beginning of the program. This helps orient the intern and gives your existing employees a built-in leadership opportunity. As your interns integrate into your company dynamic, include them in company brainstorming sessions. They’ll appreciate the gesture and you’ll benefit from their outside ideas and insight.
Also consider conducting exit interviews to ask your interns what they appreciated about the program and what you could improve the next time. If you’re serious about your internship program, the learning experience should go both ways.
If all goes well, make them an offer
Recent interns make great employees – they’ve already integrated into your company culture and know the basic ropes of the job, making the training process easier for everyone. Once your interns have wrapped up their programs, discuss their contributions with your managers, mentors, executives and program directors. If you were all generally satisfied with their performance and trust that they can continue to learn and grow, make them an offer. If they’re like 79.6 percent of interns, they’ll eagerly accept it.
Internships bring long-term value to your company
Implementing an internship program is a long-term investment that can cut down on a lot of hiring risk and training time later down the line. In the short term, it’s the classic win-win: they need the experience and you need the help. Over the long haul, it makes your hiring process more efficient and broadens your talent pool. Another big win.
If you plan to start an internship program, but would prefer to payroll them through a third-party company instead of adding them to your payroll, Sci.Bio is available to offer payroll services. Sci.Bio will manage the employee and employer liabilities associated with contract/contingent hiring. We offer payrolled contractors benefits to help keep them satisfied in their role so that they could turn into long term hires once they graduate! And our payroll fee is remarkably reasonable. Find out more here..
- 5 steps to a successful internship program
- 14 Benefits of Starting an Internship Program for you Company
- Hiring During a Biotech Boom: The Talent Challenges Facing Companies Across All Markets
- Want good hires who stick around? Make their careers your business (Sci.bio post)
- The Benefits of Hiring an Intern
Author: Claire Jarvis
Why we’re in a summer slowdown
Every year recruitment slows during the summer months, as employees go on annual leave, and travel to conferences. However, 2022 promises greater difficulties filling roles within the biotech sector.
For one, the American economy faces job growth slowing, rising inflation and the return to “normal” as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down. Many of these factors are a continuation of pre-pandemic trends. Increased inflation is leading to a demand for higher wages to compensate for rising consumer prices, and many startups are unable to compete.
After a period of sustained job growth in the biotech and pharma sector, the rate of layoffs at these companies is increasing, with some companies making drastic cuts to their workforce. Many of these cuts are due to disappointing clinical trial results or FDA decisions, though the pandemic also created additional hurdles for clinical trials.
How to reverse hiring slowdown
Despite the uncertain outlook, even smaller biotechs can work against the greater economic forces by implementing small changes to increase their rate of hiring.
With fewer candidates available per position, recruiters and hiring managers should lean into referrals during the slow summer months from current employers and recruiter’s connections. Former job candidates who performed well in late-stage interviews are another group to consider reaching out to again with new opportunities. These personal connections and words of recommendation are likely to carry greater weight and increase the likelihood of a successful hire.
The summer is also when new STEM graduates enter the workforce for the first time, giving hiring managers the opportunity to focus on filling entry level positions.
Companies can also use the summer lull to experiment with new hiring strategies and revamp their professional social media accounts and recruitment webpages. This is also the time to improve the candidate’s recruitment process experience, since the process itself plays an important role in the jobseeker’s decision to work for a particular company.
Need to fill technical roles at your startup? For many years Sci.bio has matched the best biotech candidates to the job. Contact us to learn how we can help you.