You’ve probably heard or used the term “recruiter” or “recruiting company” and “temp” or “staffing agency” interchangeably. But they are in fact different. While both recruiters and staffing agencies tend to maintain an industry area of expertise or focus on particular skill sets (For example, the life sciences industry OR accounting/finance related skill sets) a third-party recruiting firm differs because they search the talent pool for permanent hires for their clients, while a staffing agency is working with their client to augment staff on a project for a finite period of time (hence the temporary nature of the work).

Find top-quality candidates with a scientific recruitment agency

What is a scientific recruiter?

A scientific recruiter is an expert within the talent pool with skill sets that pertain to the life sciences industry. A life sciences recruiter does not need to have a technical degree within their field (Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology). Strong technical recruiters will ask the right questions from scientific decision-makers during their intake call to be able to ask the right questions to candidates.

For instance, a scientific recruiter that specializes in cell therapy, as the therapeutic area of interest. This scientific recruiter is fully committed to networking within the cell therapy candidate pool, knows the key players and what phase the company is in their development, thus increasing the candidate response rate and minimizing the recruiter’s time to fill for critical hires.

Difference between scientific recruiting vs. scientific staffing

Scientific recruiting sources permanent technical hires for an organization. Scientific staffing companies provide temporary or contingent staff to organizations.

Recruiting a candidate for the life sciences industry requires a deep understanding in order to “sell” the top candidates on a career move.  A staffing company is best utilized for a seasonal ramp-up (for flu vaccine production), where staff is brought on for seasonal production with marginal commitment from both employee and employer.

Industries served by scientific recruitment firms

Life sciences recruitment firms don’t tend to be “generalists.” A life sciences recruitment firm has a niche area of expertise. Most focus on leadership and executive-level roles on an executive retained search basis, while others focus on individual producer roles that are more commonly placed on a contingency basis (meaning the firm receives compensation when they screen the correct candidate). With this in mind, life sciences recruiting firms require a database of candidates with a high level of qualifications. These qualifications include things like being a good long term technical fit as well as being a good cultural fit to the organization the firm is working for.

Industry Specializations:

  • Biopharmaceutical
  • Biotechnology
  • Clinical
  • Food and Beverage
  • Medical Device
  • Pharmaceutical

Recruit full-time employees in the sciences

Individual producer roles within the life sciences require a niche specialization. For instance, companies aren’t just looking to hire a “scientist” or a “manufacturing technician.” A life sciences recruiter understands that these specializations require a very specific subset of skills.  For example, a drug discovery company could require a candidate with large molecule over small molecule experience, flow cytometry over chromatography experience, or GCP over GMP experience as they enter clinical trials.

Scientific Candidates

A life science recruiter specializes in areas such as pre-clinical research, clinical operations, process development, supply chain, data sciences/biometrics, GMP Manufacturing, Quality/Compliance, etc.

Companies may use a recruiter to hire candidates for these skill sets:

  • Analytical Chemists
  • Associate Scientists
  • Cell Biologists
  • Clinical Data Managers
  • Data Scientists
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • IT/Information Management
  • Microbiology
  • Process Engineers/Scientists
  • Quality Assurance
  • Quality Control
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Research Scientists
  • Technical or Scientific Writers
  • Upstream or Downstream Process Development or Manufacturing Specialists

Clinical Research Candidates

Candidates coming from clinical research/operations require an area of specialization. For instance, many drug developers will not look for data managers, clinical scientists or clinical compliance representatives; they will look for candidates in these roles to have experience within their therapeutic area of interest (oncology, autoimmune, and so forth). Furthermore, the developer will require early or late phase clinical trials experience depending on what phase of the trial they are hiring for or heading into. Experience for these roles should come from similar drug products, an example being a regulatory specialist with medical device experience versus cell therapy experience where the trials and regulatory process can be significantly different.

Pharma Candidates

As innovations continue in the areas of cell and gene therapy, the drug discovery clients in these areas have been looking for candidates with previous viral vector experience; often they will have a preference for lenti, adeno, or retro. As it pertains to t cell therapy for oncology, these hiring managers are targeting a specific niche within t cells, some looking for CAR-T experience (chimeric antigen receptors) while others want candidates with TCR (t cell receptor) experience.

job loss by millions

Work With a Scientific Recruiter

Scientific recruiters understand the technical details of the industry and use their expertise to attract and qualify candidates. The right scientific recruiter can help companies in the life sciences industry to source and hire full time talent, an activity that is typically laborious and time consuming for fast-growing science businesses to execute. The benefits are numerous. If you’d like to learn more about finding top talent in the sciences, contact GTS Scientific today.