life sciences recruiter

How to choose a life sciences recruiter

By Jessica Leveille

When looking for a new job, candidates often hear the word “head-hunter” (I for one am not a fan of this term 😊) or recruiter, and unfortunately the perception can be that we tend to be “salesy” or aggressive. 

There are so many recruiting companies out there in the life sciences industry, and many are looking to fill the “hot job” of the day. I hear horror stories from potential candidates constantly such as: 

  • My resume was submitted without my knowledge. 
  • I get calls from recruiters who pitch me jobs that aren’t remotely close to what I do. They didn’t take the time to read my LinkedIn profile. 
  • They’ve called me 10 times today. 

I could go on and on. As a recruiter with more than 25 years of experience, I have heard it all.

With so many life sciences recruitment companies trying to work with you, it can be daunting to start your job search. Navigating which recruiters you can trust can be confusing, so I’ve come up with a list of tips to help you find the right fit in a recruiter, which will ultimately lead to the right fit at your new job. 

Limit the number of recruiting companies you partner with to two at the most. 

Many life sciences companies, like Orbis Clinical, are partnered with hundreds of sponsor companies. Most sponsor companies allow many agencies to participate to fill their contract roles, meaning that many agencies are working on the same roles.

Find a recruiter who listens.

Align yourself with a recruiter who is not pitching “the job of the day” or the latest “hot job”, but rather someone who listens to your career goals. Recruiters should be naturally curious about you and ask good questions such as:

  • Why are you searching?  
  • What are you looking for in your next role? 
  • What types of positions fit your quality of life? 

You should hear these questions from a recruiter in the introductory call, not after you’ve listened to their sales pitch. Recruiters that have your best interests at heart will learn what is important to you, and then find the best suited match. Their searches tend to be more impactful and tactical.

Work with recruiters who venture deeper than surface level.

Be leery of recruiters who call to tell you that you are a perfect fit for a job with no knowledge of your priorities. They don’t know one thing about you, your family and what you are looking for. They are very surface. If you are not interested in their role, the recruiters move on and forget about you. Most likely, you will hear from them again, with their next “hot job”.

Recruiters should be transparent with you.

The relationship with your recruiter should be transparent. You have to have trust in your recruiter, and they need to trust you – if the job sponsor is considering other candidates, you should be in the know. If there is something about the pay package that you’re unhappy with, communication is key. In a healthy candidate-recruiter relationship, nobody is ever blindsided. 

Just know, there are solid, trustworthy recruiters out there. The bottom line? Speak to a few before you select who to work with.

About the Author:

Jessica Leveille

Jessica Leveille is an experienced heard-it- seen-it-all recruiter with over 25 years of experience navigating candidate/client relations. She resides in NH with her 2 amazing children, that she actually likes, an extremely patient husband who likes to do housework and their 3 dogs . If she’s not tied to her laptop, she’s skiing, or reading a good book.

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