How to attract life science candidates in a competitive market
When you are looking to grow your business in the life science sector, brining in the right people is one of the biggest challenges you will have. This is often ‘make or break’ and companies find themselves in a reactive and high-pressure situation leading them to poor hires.
Our advice is to get ahead of the curve – it’s not just about engaging with the right search practice, there is a lot you can do yourself. We are obviously advocates of using search companies but there are hires you can make yourself with some effort at the front end.
Invest in promoting your business – This is not just about marketing your products or services this is about promoting you and your team.
- Networking – Everybody in your business can help, actively encourage people to talk to their network. Hold social events – naturally your team will spread the word for you if they are happy (and unfortunately the same applies when they are unhappy!)
- Social Media – You don’t have to look far to see businesses championing themselves on a social level on LinkedIn. Follow liked minded companies and use their ideas, you don’t always need to re-invent the wheel. Find someone in your business that is a natural promoter within social media and give them the chance to take it on.
- Culture – Be yourself, your culture is you and you want people to fit with that – if people don’t then possibly, they are not right for your business.
If you are innovative shout about it. If you agile and flexible tell people. If you are a group of academics working things out – the right people will engage with you.
If people know your business exists there is far more chance of them engaging with it. If you do the hard work up front, build your social followers, promote a positive and engaging culture, then, when you promote an opportunity, you have a much better chance of finding the right person.
Take a strategic long-term view – Networking can be hit and miss. No doubt. However, it’s about taking a long-term view and having the right expectations. Like business development, hiring strategy can be the same. You can’t expect to only meet people where you always get an immediate return (as nice as that would be) however these people can play a part in your hiring for the future. Recommendations are often great hires so you should leverage that route to market.
Partner with the right search business – With so few candidates actively looking for roles there will come a point where you need to invest in a proactive approach to recruitment and work with a search business. These are some golden rules:
- Look for specialists not generalists – They will have a more relevant network to start from and their knowledge of the market will give you (and candidates) confidence.
- Take time to get to know them – and they should want to get to know you. Considering a new role when you’re already in one is a risk – the relationship with the recruiter has a direct impact on their confidence in you – you need to empower your recruiter to sell.
- Look for trust and use your instinct – do they listen, and do they act in a way you want. Don’t compromise on this.
- Set clear and realistic expectations with mutually agreeable timescales and goals.
- Communicate regularly – this is for both parties’ benefit! Sometimes you need to change tact and the quicker you do this the better. Feedback will lead to better decisions and a better outcome.