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Exclusive Recruitment Partners – Why You Should Consider One

For both the private and public sectors, today’s jobs market is more challenging than at any time in the past 50 years. Unemployment is at a record low and employers are having to cope with the effects of unfilled vacancies. No sector of the economy is immune.

Life Sciences and Biotech companies face the same difficulties as every other sector but are also having to deal with some which are unique to their industry. They are vital contributors to our public health and economy but their skills shortages are of a particularly specialised kind. The level of venture capital funding in the sector remains buoyant, but in the current employment climate, it is almost inevitable that the multi-nationals with the deepest pockets will be better able to attract the top talent, leaving the average startup or scaleup struggling to compete.

This should be a matter of concern not just for the companies themselves but for the entire healthcare sector, which depends on their innovation to deliver new medicines, treatments and equipment. While global companies play an invaluable role, the entire industry would suffer if the unavailability of skilled professionals caused it to shrink. Diversity in life sciences and biotech research and development is essential. If early stage European biotech companies should go to the wall in significant numbers, that diversity would be threatened.

Smaller companies need to adopt new recruitment strategies in order to attract top candidates. Traditional channels which entail direct competition with the multinationals leave startups and scaleups on a far from level playing field. A much more focused approach is vital.

One very effective solution is to appoint an exclusive recruitment partner. At first sight, this might appear counter-intuitive, closing down access to multiple sources of new talent and risking all on just one recruitment consultancy. But as soon as we examine the proposition in more detail, it starts to make practical and strategic sense.

From the point of view of an agency, if a company approaches them for help but is already working with half a dozen other agencies, this does not present an appealing prospect. The agency only makes its money when it places a candidate and competing against other agencies simply isn’t attractive. With a shortage of top talent in the life sciences industry, the chance of the agency in our example making any profit from the arrangement is one in six at best – less than 20%. Even if they do accept the engagement, their motivation and commitment is unlikely to be 100%. The mathematics and economics simply do not work.

As for the business which so desperately needs new employees, there are several reasons why appointing a dedicated, exclusive recruitment partner for life sciences is a better idea. Exclusivity does not automatically mean limitation. What it does mean is that your chosen recruiter is focused entirely on your business. This provides them with a considerable incentive to deliver and gives you the security of knowing that you are avoiding competition.

An exclusive life sciences recruitment partner will be willing and able to invest more time and resources into your search. They will take the time to understand your business needs and develop a much closer relationship. Because of the exclusivity of the arrangement, they will readily accept the greater level of responsibility which accompanies it.

When you use several agencies at once, they will all feel under pressure to deliver more quickly than each other. While speed may be important, if it is achieved at the expense of quality, it is self-defeating. Instead of rushing to provide you with good candidates, an exclusive partner has the luxury of time to spend on finding great ones. It also saves you time and effort reviewing a dozen possible candidates because you’ll only need to consider seriously two or three who are the best fit.

Because the whole process in an exclusive arrangement is more refined, your hiring managers won’t have to field endless calls from different agencies asking for feedback on CVs or pushing for interview commitments for the candidates they’ve submitted. It’s good to have a choice of candidates but it’s a false choice unless every one of them is of the very highest quality.

The relationship also means you will receive valuable feedback on the life sciences jobs market, including insights into what is currently possible and how you might reasonably revise your expectations. This isn’t planning for failure but developing a realistic, achievable strategy.

Confidentiality is another benefit of exclusivity. If you’re working with several agencies at once, it is extremely difficult to prevent word getting around that you’re in the market. Before long, you’ll be the target of cold-calling from agencies who are chasing business with implausible promises and unwanted suggestions. Even turning down these approaches takes time and adds to the frustrations of an already difficult process.

The cost of recruitment is always a concern, with estimates running to hundreds if not thousands of pounds for every new hire. An exclusive life sciences recruitment partner represents a much more economical solution. The ultimate cost of hiring will be broadly the same as in a multiple-agency approach but the return on your investment in the quality of service and candidate will be significantly higher.

It’s also worth considering the experience of the candidates. For them, exclusivity means being valued and respected by the agency and the prospective employer. Instead of being one among many and possibly being contacted by several agencies for the same job, a candidate sourced through an exclusive recruitment partner will feel they are being treated as a valuable individual. That feeling is a very good starting point for a successful employment relationship.

The arguments in favour of exclusivity seem fairly conclusive to us. If you feel the same, why not book a consultation with us today to discuss what we can do for you?

If you found this insight regarding biotech startups and life sciences start up interesting, we recommend reading 7 Ways to Maximise Your Biotech Startup Recruitment Strategy

ScaleX Consulting offer trusted business consulting and recruitment services to life sciences and biotech companies, ready to take the next step in their journey, particularly with life science recruitment, sales and marketing.