I was recently asked about the top skills needed to be successful in my specialist area of permanent recruitment, which is Quality Assurance in the Pharmaceutical / Biotech world. How long is a piece of a string?!

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

January 26, 2017

I was recently asked about the top skills needed to be successful in my specialist area of permanent recruitment, which is Quality Assurance in the Pharmaceutical / Biotech world. How long is a piece of a string?!

Core recruitment skills will only take you so far in such a technical industry where job titles can mean so many different things. There are literally hundreds of different job types in quality and technical operations so you need to be targeted in your approach. The level of understanding in terms of what the candidate and client organisation does has to be much higher for you to be effective and appreciated.

While there is so much expected (and rightfully so) of the modern day recruiter, some things really are non-negotiable. Here are some areas that you need to ace if you want to succeed as a life sciences Recruiter:

Industry knowledge

Understanding your market is fundamental. You need to read the latest scientific journal articles, keep up to date on the latest tech advancements and product types. Scientific literacy certainly helps. Detailed knowledge of the hiring organisation, its history and future strategy is also a given.

Relationships

Nurturing relationships takes on a whole new meaning in life sciences. Nurturing those relationships is key to being successful. In our industry, you cannot afford to be pushy – you need to strike the right balance. Asking the right questions, knowing when to leave it, this all comes with experience.

Communication

The hiring process and time to hire for permanent life sciences roles takes longer, which is why communication is so critical. You need to maintain regular contact, be open and honest all through the process. This allows you to add value and make a real difference to the candidate and end client.

What’s in it for me?

This is about what you can do for the candidate. Remember, we’re dealing with highly skilled, highly sought after professionals, so you really do need to know your stuff. The candidate experience should always be foremost in your thoughts. Don’t scrimp on good honest feedback either. 

So, to build trust as a Recruiter in life sciences you need to be a subject matter expert, otherwise you simply won’t cut the mustard long term in this market. You also need to have a natural passion for your sector, candidates and clients – this will shine through during your interactions and will further help you cement those strong relationships.

And finally, I’m sure I speak for the vast majority of specialist professional life sciences Recruiters when I say this – it’s so much more than just the money and financial gain. For any chancers out there, beware, you will be found out.

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your feedback, so please get in touch.