life sciences recruitment agency

Life Science Recruitment Approach: Listen, Consult, Partner

By Chris Agresti

Finding Purpose

As a recruiter, I started my career in locum tenens, calling into Emergency Rooms at 5:00 a.m. trying to directly recruit doctors. I was pleasantly surprised when I made cold calls, and candidates would actually answer their telephone! They would not just answer, these folks wanted to talk.

It wasn’t long until I realized pharmaceutical recruitment was where I wanted to work. I loved the idea of working with the brightest of the bright. One minute I could speak with a Regulatory Ad/Promo professional responsible for a recent ad I saw on TV. A few calls later I was speaking with a Global Study Lead responsible for running a Clinical Trial that could potentially treat or cure cancer. The work felt purposeful.

There was just one problem: To say we were a small fish in a big pond is an understatement. In a couple of years, the team at Orbis Clinical grew and thrived, even while competing against giant staffing firms to fill roles. I took pride in our underdog approach, knowing that our success was due to quality services, not company size.

Learning to Listen, Consult, and Partner

Fast forward a few years, when I was lucky enough to be promoted into a Business Development position and was now speaking with clients. As our company continued to grow, it was time for us to start achieving our goal of becoming a leading global recruiting partner to the life sciences industry.

Anyone who has worked in the pharma industry for long knows, everyone gets agency calls and 95% of them are painful conversations. I kept thinking to myself, there must be a better way.

This motivated me to take on a “Listen, Consult, Partner” model, dedicating business development efforts to it to stand out against competition. Here’s why:

Addressing challenges

When I ask clients what the biggest challenge is in utilizing a contract staffing agency the answers varied but one thing was very consistent: They want to feel as though their needs are being heard and listened to.

Far too often agencies try to fit a square peg in a round hole to address a need their client may have. Whether it’s a tight budget, a unique skill set or just understanding the key things needed to fill a vacancy, I found it necessary to gather all pertinent information for our recruiters and consultants. We must understand companies are paying a premium for these services, so we need to hear them out.

The contract recruitment space in pharma is incredibly competitive. There is currently a lot of investment in talent mapping and “market trends” especially in the world of Covid-19 vaccine research. Companies don’t always have the time or resources to constantly have eyes and ears on the market. They need a true consulting agency that can provide information, advise on challenges, and be solution-based for their needs.  

Orbis Clinical’s investment in training our people in the areas we cover has made us incredibly knowledgeable about job roles in life sciences. One of the things I am most proud of is our ability to not only provide realistic expectations, but also deliver on the work we take on.

Why Orbis Clinical?

The word partnership is thrown around a lot in the recruitment world. What partnership means to me is the ability to work together to achieve a common goal and interest. Clients approach Orbis Clinical to address a need. For our company to provide value, we must fully commit ourselves to our clients. Our philosophy is to be approachable, transparent, and dependable. We are here to be a resource to the companies we work with. That means we must be responsive, accessible, and willing to address any issues that may arise. We strive to provide a level of customer service that will be unmatched by any other recruiting firm.

In a space that has a myriad of life science staffing companies all selling a bid of goods, many prospective clients will ask, “Why Orbis”? The listen, consult, and partner approach is why I believe we are different from your cookie cutter staffing agency. Our people care, are well informed, and passionate about being a small contributor in the global effort of curing disease.

We have grown to over 50 employees and are continuing to branch into new disciplines and areas for our clients. We embrace change, challenges and want to continue to be a resource for some of the most interesting and exciting companies emerging today. I am proud of the strides we have made and want to continue to share our story, what a journey it has been over the last 7 years.


About the Author: 

Chris Agresti

Chris Agresti is a Director of Business Development who has been with Orbis Clinical for 7 years initially working in recruitment before moving into sales in 2018. He enjoys building relationships with his clients and working to identify professionals passionate about working with cutting edge companies treating/curing disease. When he is not working he can be found spending time with his French Bulldog puppy—Silvio or talking about the quest for the New England Patriots’ 7th Super Bowl Championship.

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