How to find great candidates for jobs in the life sciences space

Careers in the life sciences require passionate professionals who are dedicated to their field.

Careers in the life sciences require passionate professionals who are dedicated to their field. Recruiters should be able to assess candidates based not only on their technical abilities, but also on their interpersonal skills. Collaboration is a key element of innovation. Candidates who can work well with others on complex projects are more likely to succeed, and help their employers reach their business goals.

When searching for excellent candidates in the life sciences, consider these tips:

Look at each candidate's growth potential

The life sciences field is always expanding and evolving. Whether you're hiring candidates fresh out of college or with several years of experience, you'll want to find professionals who are still learning and growing.

Ask candidates what they enjoy learning about, and how they keep up with new innovations in their field. In addition, you can ask questions about their future plans. Candidates who have specific goals and aspirations are likely to challenge themselves to grow professionally.

Life sciences professionals need strong technical skills as well as the ability to collaborate with others.

Ask about applicants' interests outside of work

Some of the most important breakthroughs in the sciences come from the intersection of two seemingly unrelated interests. For instance, the inventor of Velcro famously came up with the idea for the product while hiking with his dog.

Candidates with active interests outside of their jobs demonstrate that they are curious and well-rounded. In addition, asking about candidates' hobbies and interests can help you determine their cultural fit.

Add technology qualifications to your job descriptions

The life sciences push technology further, and technology advances the life sciences. It's a cycle that keeps the industry moving forward. It also means that professionals in the field must stay up to date with the latest tools and specialized instruments.

Ask candidates about the tools they've used at previous jobs and in their studies. Are they familiar with the technology used at your company? Candidates who have published papers dealing with the latest technology are likely to be well qualified for your open positions.

Seek out candidates with strong soft skills

Technical skill level isn't the only important factor to consider when evaluating candidates. Professionals in the life sciences typically work with teams to conduct experiments, create new products and present their findings to the world.

Great life sciences candidates should possess soft skills such as:

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Adaptability
  • Creative problem solving
  • Time management
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Leadership

In addition, candidates should be able to receive criticism without taking it personally. Objectivity is a key trait of successful scientific professionals.

Make connections with local academic institutions

While it's possible to find amazing candidates by just posting your open positions online, you should make an effort to reach out to local academic institutions to find strong up-and-comers. Students who demonstrate a strong work ethic and technical abilities are well-suited to entry-level positions.

Professors and school administrators are often familiar with high achievers, and they are usually willing to make connections on behalf of their students. Making phone calls or visiting campuses in your local area can open up a whole new talent pool.

"A common hiring mistake is when a company focuses too much on only hiring their referrals," says Maricela Ostrand, Regional Director for Beacon Hill's Life Sciences Division. "While referrals provide a cost effective way to quickly identify known and credible candidates, there is also a lot to be said for mining diverse resources, such as local academic institutions, as a way to bring fresh ideas to the table."

Offer competitive benefits

Competitive compensation not only attracts top talent, but also increases your employee retention rates. Research market trends to see how your offers compare to your competitors'. In addition to salary, you should also consider health and retirement benefits, vacation time, continuing education benefits and similar perks.

Finding great candidates in the life sciences industry doesn't have to be a challenge. Connect with the recruiting experts at Beacon Hill Staffing Group to learn more.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

Related Resources