Securing the best talent in the diagnostics, precision medicine and life science space
After the success of Becoming CEO, Slone Partners launches its Leadership series, in which industry leaders share their views on building successful organizations and high-performance teams.
To set the stage, our first interviewee is our Slone Partners Chief Executive Officer Adam Slone.
What prompted you to start Slone Partners back in 2000?
Adam Slone: I come from a very entrepreneurial family. My father, mother and brother each operated businesses. My brother still has his business and it is quite large. I had no interest in business for many years, but I always was passionate about doing good work and being customer focused. I was climbing my way up the corporate ladder when the company I worked for was acquired by Quest Diagnostics, and at that point I decided to venture out on my own. I did not want to spend money on high office rents, so I created a home office and found it to be productive and cost effective. As the business grew, I hired people who could work in a home office environment. Over the last 16 years, we have developed terrific systems and processes and assembled an amazing group of people. Tara [Kochis-Stach] and Leslie [Loveless] have been outstanding partners, and we work well together. Our senior recruiters act as mentors to our more junior team.
If you could describe Slone Partners’ culture in just five words, what would they be and why?
Adam Slone: Passionate, smart, accountable, courteous and ethical.
Passion drives everything. Passionate people can accomplish amazing things. However, we still need to conduct ourselves ethically and courteously. We have also been able to create an organization that holds people accountable at all levels. We have a CRM system where every touch point is meticulously logged and we can see what everyone’s calendar looks like, whom they’ve spoken with and the notes from those conversations. Slone Partners grew at a fast pace over the years, and our remote locations have proven to be highly successful. We don’t micro-manage our employees, and it is nearly impossible to be a slacker here. We count on each other to ensure our success and the company’s success. Our team is composed of top performers, who seem to thrive on challenges.
In our business, it is imperative to be smart. The business we conduct for our clients and the searches they trust us with are unique and challenging. The arena in which we do business is technologically driven and changes at the speed of light, which stimulates our team to always be in sync with the market.
As a specialty recruitment firm, how does Slone Partners work with companies to develop hiring strategies that promote growth?
Adam Slone: Being a specialty recruitment firm requires us to identify who and where the talent is, but the most challenging part of a search is understanding our clients’ objectives for their hires and the culture they want to maintain or create. The cultural piece is usually the most critical piece with a new hire. We spend a lot of time analyzing a client’s current culture, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Our clients’ transparency and cooperation are essential in order to have a full comprehension of their objectives for the role and the organization, what might be missing today and the types of people who have been successful or unsuccessful at their company.
We work collaboratively with the team in place to create a profile and find the best candidate for the position. We counsel them around areas of compensation, equity, reporting structure and the challenges that we might face and how to overcome these challenges.
How does Slone Partners differentiate itself in the recruiting field?
Adam Slone: I feel we are unique in several ways. Our entire team is incredibly experienced, and because of our unique specialization we already know the companies and the leadership talent. Very few companies have the understanding of the diagnostics and precision medicine space that our group has. We also have a strong understanding of the clinical trials and health care technology space.
But, most importantly, we are all passionate about quality, which drives an exceptional experience for our clients. I am incredibly proud of the brand we have built and take great joy in hearing about the quality work we do and how much our clients enjoy partnering with our team. Our dedication often makes our clients feel like we are part of their company.
What qualities define good leadership?
Adam Slone: In my opinion, great leaders have the ability to inspire their team to produce great results. They communicate confidently and honestly, and do what they say they are going to do and expect the same from others. Honesty and transparency help build great teams, promote loyalty and create a highly productive organization.
I think good leaders also have the ability to recognize their own personal strengths and weaknesses. They have the intelligence to complement their talent with the talent of others. Therefore, they delegate to a set of specialists. I have two incredible partners, and we have built a very strong leadership team at all levels. Our entire team is passionate, caring, smart and talented. We still stick to a “good to great” approach. We expect great performance from our people, and we make every effort to provide them with the training and support to be successful. If they are not successful, we see if there is an area where then can be and, if not, we compassionately work to transition them out of the company. Although we have some superstars, we are a company that believes in being a team.
What causes does Slone Partners support and why?
Adam Slone: We have a group that is deeply caring, both at work and outside of work. Most of our people are involved in various charities in their local communities.
Tennis has been a passion of mine for most of my life, and I have always dreamed of starting a tennis camp for underserved kids. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we will be holding our first camp in the summer of 2016. It’s a two-week, sleep-away tennis camp for kids between the ages of 12 and 17, largely from the inner cities of New York and Boston. All costs are covered. We will provide them with three hours of high-level tennis training and we will also have a large educational and leadership component. The kids will learn about healthy eating, respect for nature and giving back to their own communities. We want the kids to have fun, but also to learn and believe that they can accomplish anything through great work habits and respect for themselves and others. You can check us out at www.lifeservetennis.org.
About Adam Slone
After a decade of business development experience in the diagnostic and laboratory testing industries, most recently as Vice President of Molecular and Genetics Sales for American Medical Laboratories, Adam recognized that his knowledge of these industries could help businesses compete for talent. Since the company’s founding in 2000, Adam’s industry knowledge and extensive contact base has enabled Slone Partners to successfully place hundreds of professionals.
In 2007, recognizing its clients’ desire to build and develop the skill set of its internal talent pool, Slone Partners expanded its recruitment offerings to include a comprehensive set of services.
Adam holds a bachelor of science degree in finance from Old Dominion University. He is an advisory board member of Washington G-2 Reports and speaks frequently at industry conferences.
Read our exclusive interview with Bijan Salehizadeh, M.D., Managing Director at NaviMed Capital.