My dad was an engineer, analytical and precise in every way. Growing up, whenever I went to him with a problem, his fix-all phrase would be, “It’s the little things that matter.” As I sit here now contemplating all that I have learned in the last twenty years of recruiting in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry, that phrase pretty much sums it all up. Companies don’t need the best lab equipment money can buy or to offer free lunch and lattes at the cafe” they just need to make a good impression by doing all the simple stuff right.
Here are my top 10 do’s and top 5 don’ts for employers on how to make a great impression on their candidate population and stand out as a company of choice.

1. Collaborate with colleagues to determine what the role you’re seeking to fill really looks like and what skills are required for success.

2. Articulate the role by writing a fresh job description that fully reflects what you are looking for.

3. Reach out to your network to promote the opening via all social channels.

4. Conduct as many phone screens as you can to determine the best fit. Sometimes what you see on paper is only half the story.

5. Prepare an organized interview day that allows the candidate to view what it’s like to work at your company.

6. Be flexible to tweak the scope of a job around a great candidate; don’t miss the diamonds in the rough!

7. Be prepared to sell your company to the candidate by articulating what makes your group special and why people have joined the company in the past.

8. Discuss the future so the candidate knows what might be ahead for them if/when they succeed in the group.

9. Get back to your candidates within two weeks of an interview. The candidate’s interest will wane quickly when the process drags on.

10. Build an individualized offer package by considering the candidate’s family and current location. Offers do not have to be one-size-fits-all.

1. Miss a scheduled phone interview twice.

2. Require a candidate to interview over two days when you can squeeze them into one.

3. Ask salary expectations before the candidate has interviewed because it will change once they’ve visited.

4. Recruit nationally without a flexible relocation package.

5. Focus exclusively on the technical experience. The cultural fit of your group is equally important to the overall success of your candidate.


About the author:

Megan Driscoll is the Founder and CEO of PharmaLogics Recruiting. She has been recruiting in the life science industry for nearly twenty years. She is also the author of, “I would consider any reasonable offer: A Guide to Successfully Interviewing in the Biotech or Pharmaceutical Industry”, and she has been a career development speaker for AAPS, ALA, ISPE and BIO in previous years. Megan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.