Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Biotech Recruiting Agency

Expanding your team does not have to be rocket science when choosing a biotech recruiting agency to help out. Finding the right recruiting agency for your life science organization can make the difference in sticking to your timeline and budget. Challenges many companies face are finding the right skills in candidates, retaining talent, or finding a great company culture fit. Working with a reputable recruiter saves your company time and money by finding a mutually beneficial match. If your organization is like many companies in the industry, you might consider bringing on extra hands to expand your team. As California life science recruiters for the top biotech and biopharma companies, we put together these tips. Read on to learn everything you need to know for choosing the right biotech recruiting agency for your talent needs.

#1 Do industry research and outreach.

Reach out to your network as a solid first step in your search for a life science recruiting agency. Strike up a conversation over coffee, email, or LinkedIn messaging with fellow talent acquisition and human resources pros. Ask them about their experiences working with local life science recruiters and what they would do the same or differently. Gather a list of the most recommended agencies from your network and conduct additional research online. Read online reviews or visit agency websites for more information on their services and what makes each unique.

#2 Explore their experience in the biotech industry.

Eventually, the time comes to reach out to the recruiters after narrowing your search to possible biotech recruiting agencies. Discussing with recruiters about their agency should answer your questions, including how much experience they have. Some agencies may have more experience and, therefore, more connections within the industry. While life sciences and biotechnology can be broad terms, make sure biotech recruiters can provide examples of how they help teams specific to medical devices, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, or other branches of biotech your organization may be unique to. Do they have experience helping large companies or more experience with startups? The key here is finding agencies with a proven track record that aligns with your organization and understands your specific talent acquisition challenges.

#3 Ask about their recruiting process.

During your conversation, ask every question in the book. No question is too big or too small when considering a new partnership with any biotech recruiting agency. Here are some questions for you to consider. How do they find candidates? How do they screen them? Do they conduct initial phone interviews? What goes into assessing skills? How do they communicate with clients? What can you expect from the process? If you need more explanation, ask follow-up questions to better understand their recruiting process and how they can achieve the results you want.

#4 Make sure they have a strong network of candidates.

As part of your research, ask recruiting agencies about their network of candidates. You want to confirm that the agencies under consideration can specialize in finding the talent needed. Some agencies specialize in hiring executives, while others work in hiring research personnel. Other agencies, like our team at BioPhase, can work with an organization to recruit all levels, from human resources and administration to engineering and pharmacovigilance. An agency’s specialty can depend on its deep network of industry connections to give you more options quickly for your open positions.

#5 Be clear about your life science talent needs.

Honesty is the best policy, and here is no different. Upfront and clear expectations with a recruiter help ensure that working together is a good match for your organization. Some things to note with a recruiter are budgets, timelines, required experience, and even ideals for a good company culture fit. Let recruiters know if you require talent who can wear many hats in a startup environment or a seasoned professional ready to take the lead at an established organization. Maybe you need an additional microbiologist who can bring adaptability and flexibility to a team, among other top industry skills. The more information you can provide about your talent needs, the better a recruiter can understand your challenges and assess if they can help.

#6 Have a conversation with their clients.

Another item on your to-do list is to talk to former or current clients of any biotech recruiting agencies you’re considering. Reconnect with your network that gave you recommendations and ask them in greater detail about their experiences. Listen to their feedback and return to the recruiter with additional questions that you may have to fill in any gaps. Talking with a recruiter’s clients or candidates should give you an idea of how they care for their partners and talent.

#7 Be patient and thorough.

Finding a biotech recruiting agency is like finding talent. It takes time and patience to interview and see if there’s a good match between your company’s needs and an agency. Like you would a candidate, speak with multiple recruiters, ask for references and success stories, and take your time with the vetting process. Making the right decision based on your life science talent needs will require thorough research and examination.

#8 Trust your instincts.

As mentioned, imagine picking a biotech recruiting agency like hiring a candidate. Use your talent acquisition experience to choose an agency that goes above and beyond on paper and feels like the right fit. Overall, trust the process, and similar to finding the right candidate, you’ll be excited to choose the right life science recruiting agency.

#9 Understand a biotech recruiting agency pricing options.

While hiring the best talent in the industry is a high priority, you still want to do so within your given budget. Whether a biotech recruiting agency works on retained, contract, or contingency models, get quotes from multiple agencies based on your talent needs. Understand that pricing options act as investments into the future of your organization’s talent. Learn more about the difference between recruiting models here.

#10 Have items to reference.

Throughout the process, make sure you have items to reference in writing. We’re talking about terms of agreements, fees, timelines, and other expectations available to have on hand. This can also include additional pamphlets, case studies, or informational flyers. Once you’re ready to choose an agency, you have everything prepared for approval.

Choosing a Biotech Recruiting Agency

Following these tips will help you choose a biotech recruiting agency and approach the process knowing more about what to expect. After establishing a partnership with an agency, short-term or long-term, you’ll notice a difference in your talent acquisition efforts. Working with a reputable agency lets you focus on nurturing your team and employees. With more time on your hands, you can work on other projects while knowing you can avoid the challenges of sourcing qualified candidates. If you’re in California looking for assistance in expanding your biotech team, contact us today to get started with your talent search.