How recruiters create connections to help life sciences organizations hire talent, and propel candidates’ career growth


By Christine Tsouros, PharmaLogics Director of Project Management 

When partnering with a life sciences recruiting firm, a hiring manager should first know exactly what goals they wish to accomplish during the search for a new hire. It is then up to the recruiter to use this list of goals to find qualified candidates to submit to the role. A placement is a success when both the hiring manager and candidate are happy with the outcome! Let’s dig in more on how life sciences recruiters can contribute to a successful job match. 

Hiring manager learnings 

Details, details

During the initial conversation with a company’s hiring manager, the goal of a recruiter is to learn as much about the role as possible, as well as what the team is looking for in a new hire. It is important that the hiring manager is as specific as possible so the recruiter has a good understanding of the role they are helping to fill, and is able to provide the best possible candidates. Learning what the role is and how it fits into the company as a whole enables recruiters to attract candidates interested in adding that role to their career paths. 

Know which hills to die on

Many organizations may be willing to be flexible on some of the technical aspects of a role if they’re able to find the right cultural fit for the team and the role. Recruiters should ask if they’re willing to do some on-the-job training if a candidate has seven years of experience instead of eight, or is missing experience in one small requirement but is otherwise extremely qualified. Some hiring managers may even provide a list of questions for a recruiter to ask candidates during screening interviews, or provide a list of qualifications and personality traits they are looking for in a new hire. 

Do your history homework

Also, find out if you’re hiring for a replacement position or a newly created role. If it is a replacement position, what happened to the previous employee? Was their skill set lacking or did they not gel with the hiring manager or team? If it’s a new position, what skills do you want this new employee to have and how do you see them fitting into the current organization? Hiring managers should be able to share what the company has to offer a new employee, as well as how they see this role growing with the company. Remember, you’re not just trying to fill open roles, instead your goal should be helping eager candidates find the next rung on their career ladder. 

Great questions to ask a hiring manager would be: 

  • What are the top three technical skills this person needs to have in order to be successful in this role?
  • What will the day to day tasks of this role entail?
  • How does this role fit into the company as a whole?   
  • What does your current team look like and how will this person fit into this from a technical perspective and from a cultural and personality fit?
  • Are you willing to be flexible on any of the qualifications if you find the right cultural fit for the role? 
  • Are you willing to teach candidates or train them on any missing skills? 


Candidate learnings

Once the hiring manager has shared all pertinent information on the open role with the recruiter, the candidate search begins! After a few outstanding candidates have been identified from their resume and qualification submissions, is it up to the recruiter to narrow down the pool and submit the best of the best to the client. 

Detective work

When speaking with candidates in the initial screening interview, a recruiter’s goal is to identify if the candidate has the qualifications, personality traits and similar career goals to those outlined by the client. A really good recruiter can help the team determine if the candidate will be the right fit, or if there are red flags that will be off-putting to the hiring team. Most candidates love talking about themselves and sharing their experiences, so take the time to learn about them. 

When recruiters look at a resume, you can’t always judge a book by its cover. You may have to get on the phone and dig to find out if this is truly the best candidate for the role. They may be missing key pieces that would make them an ideal candidate, or they might be bad at writing a resume. Recruiters are often required to be detectives to find the best candidate. 

The candidate is your client, too

Also, make sure to find out what the candidate is looking for! We aim to place people in positions that make the most sense for them and their career goals. Bring out your inner career coach. Find out why the opportunity excites them and whether the open role will take their career in the direction they want it to go.    

Great questions to ask candidates: 

  • What are you looking for in your next company and your next role?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Will this role take your career in the direction you want it to grow or down another path you’re not interested in? 
  • What about this role excites you and why are you interested in this opportunity? 


Career connections

After the best candidates have been identified and provided to the hiring manager, the ball is in the client’s court. Phone screenings have all but been eliminated and the goal is to have the candidate meet the hiring manager on video chat immediately. This is a great way to tell if there is a personal connection and the hiring manager and candidate may even bond over personal items in the video background! For example, a diploma hanging on the wall may disclose that they have the same alma mater, or a sports banner may expose a love for the same team. 

At the end of the day, a recruiter’s time is spent doing what we do best – creating connections. Whenever we’re able to connect a hiring manager with a qualified candidate looking to grow their career, we consider it a job well done. 


About the Author:

how to find life sciences candidates

Christine Tsouros is a Director of Project Management at Pharmalogics Recruiting with over 8 years of experience in providing better opportunities to those in the life science industry. She is passionate about people and loves the relationships she gets to build with her clients and candidates. When she is not helping her team build their careers, Christine enjoys relaxing at home where she can binge Grey’s Anatomy with her two orange cats and spend time with her husband and son.