Some of you may not like this but it needs to be said

April 28, 2021

Ok, I admit, the headline is rather “Clickbaity” of me, but I want to take a moment to have an honest conversation with you and I needed to get your attention. While this topic is not going to change the world, I hope it might get you to think about a way to beat out your competition for great talent.

Before I reveal these “pearls of wisdom” on you, I need to share with you what we are seeing happen every day in the marketplace. The need for great talent has not slowed down during the pandemic, especially in the Life Sciences arena, quite the opposite has happened. Instead, we have seen a dramatic increase with many of our clients working on the front lines of battling COVID whether through testing, therapeutic drugs, or vaccines. Many of our customers have increased their headcount, brought in additional consultants, and often share with us the struggle they face to find good people for their roles.

The pharmaceutical industry outlook continues to remain very optimistic. It is estimated that sales are expected to increase to $1.5 trillion by 2023, fueled by new compounds in clinical development and new products that are moving through the approval stage. With the anticipated growth, companies will continue to be in a battle to hire the best.

Sound familiar? Recently I had a client tell me that they are looking to hire 1,000 people and that they have been unable to fill their “quotas” with full time and consulting resources. This is just one client in an expanding and growing industry.

But now for the hard part. I need to drop a truth bomb on you.

Many of you and your teams are not doing yourselves any favors. You have way too many interviews. You do not sell your position and company. Your process is bad. Worst of all, you are losing great talent because of it.

There I said it.

Now I know all the reasons of why we want to conduct thorough interviews. I totally get the need to verify the person has the necessary background and skills to do the role. Certainly, I do not minimize the fact that we need to make sure they are a good cultural fit as well. But you are losing great people if you are not running a tight process of interviewing and setting them up quickly.

In today’s market of “more needs than people”, qualified folks have lots of opportunities. They have usually been in the process of speaking with multiple companies and often they have many offers to entertain.

What can we do to improve this?

Here are a few ideas you can implement to help hire great consultants.

  • The first interview should be used to see if the candidate has a basic background to do the job.
  • Try and set expectations on the front end of what the interview process will look like. How many steps? Who will be interviewing? When are you looking to onboard? Communication goes a long way.
  • Keep your interview steps to 3 or less. The faster you can move on good talent, the better.
  • Have your team ready to interview. Too often we see things being pushed out to do lack of preparedness on the client side to conduct interviews. Things pop up but try and avoid rescheduling where possible.
  • Remember to sell your opportunity. Candidates have choices. Why should they come to work for your organization and specifically with your team?
  • A bird in hand can be better than two in the bush. Too often we see clients interviewing 4, 5, 6 people to fill a role. Sometimes less is more and does not confuse your focus on what really matters for the role.
  • Do not put all your faith in resumes. Often times people have others write them or they pull down examples from the internet. They should be a part of the equation, but not the whole process.
  • Having more people interview candidates often leads to no one ever being good enough.
  • Trust our judgement. There is no perfect candidate and sometimes the people we talk to have “most” of what you are looking for but display a desire to learn and grow.

As the world slowly starts to open up, the need for great people will only get more intense. Our hope is some of these ideas can help you position you and your company to be a place that people want to work. For more information on interview advice, feel free to reach out. We love to help provide further thoughts.