This blog is a continuation of our “10 Questions For…” series. If you missed our first post featuring our Director of Business Development, check it out here!
What does your career path up until now look like?
My first two jobs allowed me to build a successful career path into recruitment. My first job as a working professional was at the YMCA as a Customer Service representative. As a young professional, the YMCA taught me how to communicate, work, and manage teams of people from diverse backgrounds.
My second job was at a local university as an Enrollment Counselor. My role there felt like a position out of the movie Boiler Room. It was a high intensity sales floor with monthly required metrics to enroll students into the college. Everything was over the phone and I was required to make 150-200 calls a day. They had very strict metrics and If you did not meet your metrics 3 months in a row, you were let-go. Even though this may sound like a very unattractive role, working in this environment taught me a lot about grasping certain soft skills needed to become a successful recruiter.
My first true recruitment position was at a healthcare recruitment agency. I honestly did not know much about recruitment when I first applied; however, I did know the role was focused on working with people with diverse backgrounds in a sales-type environment. The benefit of this position is that it allowed me to utilize key strengths that I had learned or gained in prior positions.
I have always enjoyed working with people and I feel my career path from my first job to where I am now, is a clear indication of following what I have always enjoyed and loved.
What does recruitment from within a CRO look like? Any key differences between CROs and other industries?
I have always worked in Life Sciences as a recruiter and since I started my career on the agency side, I was able to gain experience working with CROs, Biotech’s, Medical Device, and Pharma companies. Overall, I would say there isn’t any major differences working with these types of companies. However, I would say each position you are tasked to fill brings its own set of challenges.
For recruiters looking to transition from the agency side to an internal position, I would say there are two major differences. The first difference is the pace in which you need to hire. CROs typically hire to meet resourcing needs for new or upcoming studies. The challenge with this, is we typically do not know our resourcing needs until we have an official agreement to work on the study. Every client is different, and timelines are always tight. A second difference is hiring people that can perform the duties listed in the role, but also fit within the company culture. On the agency side, your focus is candidates experience, not cultural fit. I personally feel this difference is why I likely won’t work for a recruiting agency company in the future. Helping find the right person cultural and building very close relationships with new employees is my favorite part of the job.
What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities?
Now that I work as an internal recruiter my day-to-day responsibility is always changing. My primary role is to keep a good pipeline of candidates for future roles and filling active roles. I accomplish this by responding to candidates who apply directly on our website, connecting with professionals on LinkedIn, and keeping strong communications with candidates I have placed on my shortlist.
In addition, I play a big part in our STRIDE services & within the Human Resources department. From creating new or improving upon our on-boarding processes, to assisting in writing SOPs, and more. My role is very dynamic and fluid which keeps things interesting in a great way.
How important is networking, for both recruiters and job-seekers?
Networking is very important for both recruiters and job-seekers. For recruiters, networking is the primary way to build your connections with professionals/candidates you would like to work within on active jobs or future jobs. In addition, the larger your network the more people will see your job posts, which in-turn prompts more applications and referrals. For job-seekers, networking is the main way to get seen for a job. Applying to jobs and simply waiting/hoping to get a call back about your applications is not the way to find your dream job. You must take initiative and network with people at the company you want to apply to. I personally network on LinkedIn as it is a great way to connect with people within your industry and people within your same role.
Is there any certain education/experience/skill-set that you feel is necessary for your line of work?
I personally feel that nearly anyone can become a recruiter- it doesn’t take any specific type of education or skill-set. To be a strong recruiter however, you must enjoy working with people and enjoy connecting with people from diverse backgrounds. I do feel previous experience in Customer Services and Sales will allow you to thrive and advance in recruitment faster than someone who does not have this type of experience.
How has COVID-19 and the remote workforce shift impacted recruitment?
I feel the largest impact from COVID-19 is relocation. Candidates simply do not want to relocate during a pandemic, and most companies do not offer 100% remote positions.
What are some non-traditional items, “life-hacks”, or approaches that you find necessary to excel as a recruiter?
Recruitment is a game of numbers. There’s not many life-hacks I’ve stumbled across for recruitment; it takes a lot of consistent hard work. Whether making 100 cold calls a day, sending 100 emails a day, or connecting/networking with 100 new professionals a day, recruitment is and will always be a grind. Just keep pushing on and be persistent.
What teams, individuals, or organizations do you work closely with?
Working as an internal recruiter, I have the unique opportunity to work with nearly every department within the company. In addition, seeing I no longer work with multiple clients, I no longer need to work with other organizations.
Where do you go for information/news relevant to recruitment/the industry?
Since we’re heavily involved in the Pharmaceutical industry I get most of my news from FiercePharma. However, if you are looking to get into recruitment in another industry, I would recommend searching for news platforms that will provide you with industry focused information.
Do you have any tips for excelling in recruitment while working remotely?
If you are a veteran recruiter, chances are, not much has changed for you. Your objectives are still the same, and many can get by with relatively no issues throughout a workday. But if you’re new to recruitment, working remote can be pretty tough. For a newcomer, it’s beneficial to learn recruitment tactics from your colleagues by simply hearing how they talk to candidates and/or clients, or simply participating in daily communications, interactions, and learning opportunities. However, here’s my advice for remote recruiters across all levels of experience: stay focused, stay organized, and create daily goals or to-do lists.
What hobbies keep you occupied outside of work?
I enjoy staying busy and I am always starting a new project or hobby. Currently, I am making a new dining room table from Oak. I also enjoy golfing and snowboarding.
What do you enjoy the most about your position?
I enjoy working with people. My best days are when I have back to back calls with candidates interested in one of our active job listings. I also love helping candidates prepare for interviews.