In today’s dynamic and fast-moving life sciences industry, the competition for top talent is extraordinarily intense. Biotech recruitment is an illustrative example. The sector is booming all around the country, but particularly in the hottest hubs of Boston/Cambridge, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York/New Jersey/Philly, Maryland/Virginia/Washington D.C., Research Triangle Park, and San Diego, where companies are scrambling to attract the most talented, driven, and passionate leaders for their organizations.
Biotech recruitment brings its own set of unique challenges because the sector is growing so rapidly, venture capital is flowing faster than ever, and premier talent most always have their choice of opportunities. To succeed at executive search in such a competitive marketplace, biotech recruitment firms like Slone Partners work closely with their client partners, keeping these key principles in mind:
Plan Ahead: Biotech recruitment, as is the case with other recruitment strategies, should be incorporated into a company’s long-term strategic planning, particularly as the pandemic wanes and firms resume normal operations. Strategic plans are aligned with a company’s mission and values, and outlines a roadmap for the future, and that includes creating and filling important roles up and down the leadership chart. The company’s executive leadership team needs to be fully informed and supportive so that when an open position avails itself the organization is prepared to move forward with a thoughtful and well-executed search. Organizations that don’t plan ahead fall behind and often lose out on the most qualified candidates.
Cultivate and Sustain a Healthy, Inclusive Culture: The market for highly experienced and successful biotech leaders is hotter than ever. Even the most successful vaccine makers are not immune to the talent shortage. The most coveted executives are often being courted by several companies at once, so they have their choice of options. For that reason and others, it is essential that companies cultivate and maintain a healthy, inclusive culture that will attract new talent. That includes offering some flexible work options for those who desire it. All else being equal, the company with the best reputation for its inclusive work environment that creates a true sense of belonging will have the edge over those that don’t.
Be Nimble: If they are adequately prepared, companies have the capacity to be nimble in the search for top talent. One of the challenges in biotech recruitment can be bureaucratic red tape. It isn’t uncommon for a company to conduct a nationwide search, build a healthy pool of candidates, and make the final decision to hire the most qualified candidate, but by the time an offer is made, the candidate has already accepted another offer. Companies must be fully prepared to act quickly, tender an offer quickly, and respond quickly to competitive offers. Biotech recruitment firms like Slone Partners can be very valuable in moving the process along in a time-efficient way.
Choose Wisely: Once a company has narrowed its biotech recruitment process to a final slate of candidates, it has collected and analyzed a wide array of subjective and objective data points. Making a final decision amongst two or three very strong candidates can be extremely challenging, but the decision must be based on how well each candidate matches up with the search objectives. Making the right choice could mean millions, if not billions of dollars for the company’s bottom line, and inversely, the wrong decision could result in a loss of profits, lower morale, and the departure of other valuable and talented company leaders.
Support. Support: The best companies provide the necessary resources – both human and material – to ensure that their teams succeed. Professional development is extremely important to build competencies and to set up top performers for promotion. For Slone Partners, biotech recruitment doesn’t stop once the candidate is hired and takes office. As a service to its client partners, Slone Partners works with Fortify Leadership Groupto offer transition coaching to newly-placed executive leaders, an extremely valuable service that many other biotech recruitment firms do not offer.
As the pandemic wanes and operations begin normalizing again, the opportunities for biotech recruitment firms will become even more exciting. Hunt Scanlon Media reports that business is returning to 2019 levels for many executive recruiters, calling it “a significant turnaround for a sector that had put itself on pause last spring.” Our biotech recruitment specialists at Slone Partners are busier than ever as we work with our client partners who have a pent-up demand for securing C-suite leaders.
We work closely with our client partners throughout the biotech recruitment process to ensure that top quality candidates are engaged at the right moment and the process moves swiftly enough to preclude the possibility of those candidates accepting another offer.
Securing the most talented leaders for your life sciences organization can be daunting, but biotech recruitment specialists like Slone Partners can provide your team with the strategies, guidance, and support needed to ensure a smooth and successful executive search.