Ethics in Life Sciences recruitment

What does it means to work with a client or candidate ethically? Tim Walker, our QA and Tech Ops expert, finds out.

15 March 2017

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Having already talked about the specific recruitment skills needed to succeed in life sciences quality assurance recruitment, there’s one area that deserves particular attention, given its relevance to our industry as a whole; Ethics.

What does it mean to work with a candidate or client ethically? Here are my thoughts on the subject:

  • Protect both parties. As the intermediary in the ‘transaction’, a Recruiter must serve the interests of his customers. For example, a Recruiter should never encourage a candidate to hand in their notice without a formal contract in hand. Circumstances may change, budgets can be cancelled, there are a host of external factors that could intervene (not to mention the potential legal ramifications).

  • Personal touch. What I mean here is that it’s important to find out about a candidates personal / family situation. More experienced professionals may have increased responsibilities in comparison to their more junior counterparts. You should make sure you take into account factors such as relocation, and the impact it could have on the individual’s nearest and dearest. Give applicants the full picture first before putting anyone forward to interviews.

  • Bow out gracefully. Never stand in the way of a professional and their next job. If you are an experienced Recruiter you will likely work with several companies on a commercial basis but not all of them (that would be impossible). As you try to explore additional avenues for your candidate, be upfront and tell them that you can approach companies on their behalf but with no guarantees – despite acute talent shortages in the Pharmaceutical industry! For example, a company might not want to use an external Recruiter (for a variety of reasons). If that happens encourage a candidate to apply directly. Yes – that will sound crazy to many yet I always operate this way. You can’t win them all but you can maintain your integrity.

  • Honesty is the best policy. The recruitment industry doesn’t have the best reputation, so let’s not add fuel to the fire. There is no excuse in not returning someone’s call or not transparently telling them which company you’re working with. It’s prehistoric recruitment practice. Just be honest about what you’re doing and about what’s going on. If you’ve tried hard but aren’t getting any response, say so.

Clearly ethics and the pharmaceutical industry go hand in hand. It’s on every company’s agenda for obvious reasons. As Recruiters, we must also promote a positive way of working and not give anyone even more reason to tarnish the reputation of our industry.

Posted over 6 years ago
About the author:
Tim Walker

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