The Value of a Recruiting Niche

Author:  Claire Jarvis

Establishing your own recruiting niche as a junior recruiter might feel like a slow and arduous process. The temptation is to expand your client base as fast as possible, which would mean taking on projects in different therapeutic areas and handling a bit of every type of recruiting work. However, there are several long-term advantages to specializing in a particular therapeutic area or type of biotech role, and starting that specialization process as early as possible.

Expert recruiters can offer clients and job seekers insights on their competitors, as well as an understanding of general hiring trends and unwritten rules of the sub-market (e.g. the most enticing job description language). They understand the technical requirements of roles and can easily talk with bench scientists about their qualifications. This expertise makes the recruiter desirable to clients and jobseekers, because it increases the likelihood of finding the best candidates for the position.

In smaller biotech niches – constrained either by specialty or geography – recruiters working in the space will quickly learn who are the “hot” candidates currently on the market and build connections with them. Knowing that a qualified candidate with a coveted skillset is looking for new opportunities – perhaps because the recruiter has worked with them before – endears these recruiters to their clients.

While exposure to different therapeutic areas and types of recruiting (e.g. contingency versus full cycle) is important to help you develop as a new recruiter, your niche is a long-term investment for success and becomes part of your professional “brand.” Don’t be afraid to lean into your strengths; keeping abreast of the latest scientific or business developments in your area of expertise.

Recruiting niche at is a boutique agency specializing in matching STEM professionals to biotech roles. Our recruiting partners all have niches: through their STEM degrees and many years’ industry experience. Here are some of the recruiting specialties amongst our team:

  • Laura Helmick: Clinical development and medical affairs
  • Kendra Hodges: Immuno-oncology
  • Carter Lewis: Gene therapy
  • Meg Wise: Director-level accounting and finance
  • Mike Cordano: Sci.Bio business development, as well as Gene Therapy recruiting
  • Carla Yacoub: Medical devices, with additional expertise in engineering, medical writing, gene therapy, and clinical roles

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