There is so much more to the recruitment process than meets the eye.
If you thought the process consisted of getting a job, finding a candidate, and filling it – you would not be wrong, but there are other little parts of the process that get missed by the untrained eye.
We sat down with Harry Wooff, our Head of Medical and Biometric Recruitment, to get an in-depth look at what the recruitment process looks like for him. Harry has been working in the Life Science Recruitment sector for over 5 years and has proven himself to be a successful recruiter in his field.
So, what does the process look like for Harry?
It all starts when he gets a requirement from a client. After gathering all the essential information from the client, Harry begins the search for the perfect candidates. Notice how I said candidates – plural. For a permanent role, Harry would send on average 6 candidates across for the position, for a contract role, he’s looking at approximately 3. Permanent hires need to be more specific in their skills for the role whereas a contractor hire can be a little more flexible.
Harry’s first port of call when finding suitable candidates for his roles is to tap into a database – in his brain! After 5 years working in the Life Science sector, Harry has spoken to countless candidates that could be right for any of the roles he is working on. He adds these to a shortlist.
Not wanting to miss any potential talent, Harry taps into our company database to see if anyone is known to the company and then moves on to the wonderful world of LinkedIn!
LinkedIn is any recruiter’s best friend. Not only can it help you find candidates for your roles, but it is a great platform to build your network and get your name out there, so people come to you.
You may or may not know but some recruiters are lucky enough to have access to LinkedIn Recruiter – this enables recruiters to find candidates that are, and not restricted to, open to work. Unfortunately, some recruitment companies don’t have this for their consultants, so they are restricted to the job boards. LinkedIn Recruiter allows you to set up “projects” for your individual roles you are recruiting for. This helps Harry keep track of who he has contacted and who he still needs to contact.
Once he has set up a shortlist of potential candidates to send over to the client, Harry begins to contact each candidate one by one. If he has their number he calls them straight away, otherwise the first contact he makes would be through a LinkedIn InMail.
Then the candidate qualifications begin! What does this entail?
When qualifying a candidate, Harry likes to get to know as much about the candidates as possible. What they currently do now for a job, what skills and qualifications they have, what they want to move on to and why they are looking to leave their current position. As well as learning about their work, Harry also likes to get to know them as a person. This gives him an insight as to how the candidate will be through the process.
Once Harry is happy that the candidate would be a good fit for his role, he goes into depth about the position and the company he is recruiting for. Once Harry is convinced that they would be the right fit for the role and vice versa he asks them a question that he will continue to ask them throughout the process:
“How do you feel about the position? What would you give it out of 10?”
Harry is ideally looking for an answer of 7 or 8 – higher would be better. This gives him a good indication of how much the role appeals to the candidate.
Once Harry and the candidate are happy that all questions have been answered, Harry submits the candidate to the client. To ensure that everyone is on the same page and to manage the candidates’ expectations of how quickly the process will progress; Harry informs the candidate of his relationship with the client – this will give the candidate an idea of how long it could be before they hear about a potential interview. A client who is a close partner with Harry could come back within a couple of days, whereas a newer client could take a little longer.
Once Harry has received feedback for his candidates, he contacts them straight away to let them know if they were successful for the interview round.
After the interview is arranged, Harry likes to keep in contact with his candidate to make sure they are still interested in the role and whether they have any questions regarding the interview process.
Harry likes to have an interview prep with the candidate. So, the night before the prep he sends over details to the candidate – this can include the name of the hiring manager and a link to their LinkedIn profile and a link to the company page. This gives the candidate a chance to have a look at these before the prep which Harry has arranged 2 days before the interview.
During the interview prep, Harry goes through the position in more detail, and he also likes to talk about the product – going into detail what stage the company are currently at. He quizzes the candidate about the LinkedIn profile and company page to really see that they are taking the prep seriously.
The day before the interview he sends an email to the candidate and ask how the prep is going. This gives the candidate time to ask any last-minute questions before their interview. Harry asks the candidate to give him a call straight after the interview or to let him know a convenient time to talk.
During the interview debrief, it is Harry’s goal to make sure that the candidate is fully invested in the role and the company. So, he asks the magic question again:
“How do you feel about the position? What would you give it out of 10?”
The ideal scenario would be that the candidate’s answer would have increased to a 9 or a 10.
If the candidate is going for a permanent position, then we can usually expect a multiple stage interview process – Harry has recently had a candidate that has gone through 8 interviews before the offer was made! A contract role, however, only tends to be one, maybe two, interviews.
So, let’s assume the interview was a success and the candidate has been offered the role and accepted.
Notice periods in the Pharma industry are normally 3 to 4 months. I asked Harry if this caused any issues at all. He said, surprisingly, this doesn’t. Due to the nature of their roles this is the norm as they are required to finish their projects and sign things off. Harry once made an offer to a candidate, and they didn’t start until the following August because of their commitments. Many recruitment consultants experience counteroffers for their candidates but this is a rare occurrence in Pharma. The candidates are very dedicated when they decide to move on.
Harry stays connected with his candidates regularly once the offer has been made. This is to ensure the candidate is still happy and committed to the move.
The key to a successful recruitment process is to be thorough and look at scenarios from every angle. Communication is key, not only for the recruiter, but also for the candidate and client. This ensures the complete process is smooth for every party.
If you’re looking for your next role within Life Sciences and would like to be taken care of every step of the way, contact Harry or one of the team today at Focus On LifeScience to see how we can help you.