Rethink Recruiting

How to Hire a Recruiting Firm

Hiring managers may balk at the idea of using a recruiting firm, but in highly specialized industries like pharmaceuticals and medical devices, working with a specialty recruiting firm can be the best possible approach to filling open employment positions.

The hiring manager working with an experienced recruiter can achieve unparalleled results.

The pharmaceutical recruiter, for example, is able to step in when a company is coping with any of the following difficulties:

  • Lack of time to properly recruit for open positions
  • Lack of results from internal recruiting efforts
  • High turnover rates and a desire to address this situation
  • Lack of response to recruiting they have done
  • Lack of sufficient in-house HR resources to effectively recruit for specialty positions

Before hiring a recruiting firm – particularly in a highly specialized field like biotech – a company should become familiar with how recruiting firms are paid.

Understanding Fee Structures Used by Pharmaceutical Recruiters

The fees you pay to a skilled biotech recruiter are more than offset by advantages like lower employee turnover and fewer outright hiring mistakes. Retainers and contingency arrangements are two of the most prominent fee structures recruiters use.

With the retainer fee structure, your company pays an up-front fee and typically gives the recruiter exclusive access to the employment listing. Yes, the fee up front represents a certain risk, but the up-front fee may motivate the recruiter to prioritize your work. Moreover, retained specialty recruiters often have industry expertise and insights that many contingency-based recruiters can’t offer. References are essential before hiring a recruiter based on a retainer, as are preliminary conversations with the specific recruiters working on your behalf.

Contingency fee structures are performance-based: you don’t pay until the recruiter successfully recruits an employee for you. Usually, the fee is a percentage of the employee’s first-year compensation. While it may seem better to only pay when a recruiter actually brings you someone you hire, there are downsides to contingency fee structures. A contingency recruiter may or may not prioritize your needs, and you may have to continually remind your recruiter of your needs.

The Entire Hiring Process Is an Investment

Whether you use in-house resources for hiring or whether you work with a pharmaceutical or medical device industry recruiter, you have to look at the hiring process as an investment. Naturally you want that investment to have the highest return possible, and this alone can be reason to work with a specialty recruiter.

An outstanding recruiter is as concerned with your return on your hiring investment as you are.

An HR professional or hiring manager, however expert at HR matters, simply may not have the insight into the industry that a recruiter specializing in that industry will have. It’s similar to deciding to DIY a new kitchen floor versus hiring a flooring contractor: either way, you can end up with a new kitchen floor, but which represents the best investment of time and money, and the best result, or return on that investment?

Deep Industry Experience and Involvement Are Essential

Recruiters with deep industry insight, particularly with competitive, specialized industries like biotech, are far better equipped to find not only “a” candidate, but “the” candidate that best meets your needs. Often these job candidates are what are known as passive job candidates. They’re already happily employed, but open to the right new opportunity. A specialty recruiter is able to not only find these people due to excellent industry networking experience, but also to make the case for why the opportunity your company offers is worth their consideration. You’ll find there is no substitute for specific industry experience when you hire a recruiting firm for a specialized position like pharmaceutical sales.

Quality Is More Important than Quantity in Recruitment

Any recruiter can send you a stack of resumes, but that’s not what you should be paying for. With recruiting in technical industries like pharmaceuticals, quality of candidates is more important than quantity. You’ll waste less time on non-qualified or non-ideal candidates, and with the right biotech recruiter, you’ll be confident the candidates you’re presented with are ones the recruiter is willing to stake his or her reputation on.

The specialist recruiter can be an HR manager’s greatest ally in locating and hiring the highest quality personnel. With a constant “ear to the ground” and up-to-date industry knowledge, such a recruiter is able to make the case on your behalf to qualified people (many of whom may be currently employed, but open to opportunity), and is often in a better position to discuss desired salaries and compensation packages. The result: highly vetted, qualified candidates delivered to you and ready to talk seriously about becoming part of your team. We invite you to get in touch and start a conversation with us about your different recruiting options.

About Rethink Recruiting

The recruiting landscape is changing as a result of technology, culture, and the increasing demands for unique skills and experience in emerging fields. Rethink Recruiting provides insights about trends and strategies to maximize your talent potential.

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