5 essential tips for employers, hiring managers, and HR on the hiring process in Life Sciences
The interview process, from initial phone call screenings and psychometric testing, to face to face interviews with the hiring manager and onsite tours, can often be a long and laborious process.
So it is imperative to keep the interview process streamlined and engaged, to ensure talent doesn’t drop out, and your organization, and yourself are represented best. Here are 5 vital top tips for employers to stick to when interviewing top talent.
Showing excitement to prospective candidates provides insights for them into the potential team culture and attitude. Asking them questions about themselves, on their interests, their lives, their careers, as opposed to only technical questions to vet their hard skills, goes a long way in connecting on a human level.
Another way to connect is by sharing real life examples of the day to day, positive experiences about the role and team, and details about project work. These are important talking points candidates like to know, and while they understand an interview may be rigorous technically, maintaining the conversational, human aspect is important too.
Being engaged may sound simple, but given how much of the interview process is done overZoom/VC/phone these days, it is easy to get distracted and check emails or open windows on your computer. Remaining attentive and interested will bring the best out of the interview process and provide a positive candidate experience. Also important is to be interesting yourself.
Be in sell mode
Many of the above points are indirect examples of selling your team and role. However, in a more overt way, providing exciting opportunities at present and for future career growth are always on candidates’ minds and knowing there is more to be excited about than just hands-on skills or what is in the job description on day one makes them buy into the role and organization more.
As part of selling the role, explain why you took this position, and what you liked about the company and team. Be relatable to their circumstances and share with them why the position in your team, at your company, is the best move they can make.
Another important aspect to highlight here is the culture. Maybe there is more to what makes the role great than just the daily tasks or responsibilities, such as company sports team, lunch clubs, charitable groups, or environmental initiatives. Highlight what else is enjoyable so that candidates are excited about this role, as well as the team and company, aside from the day to day. These days competition for top talent is so tight, that those cultural differences can distinguish you amongst the rest.
Many of the above points translate to this aspect of hiring, but above all, being cordial, professional, and sharing timely feedback all contribute to a positive candidate experience.
In some cases, the candidate may not be a good fit culturally, or for your position, but you should still offer them professionalism and positivity in the interview. Remember, they may have colleagues or a network of other experts that could be better suited for your role/team. You want them to have a positive experience to refer people to you, and maintain your company’s reputation in the market, as well as your own.
It's also important to note that many candidates often have other processes in the mix, so if you give them any chances to doubt their experience, they could be more likely to go elsewhere.
If a professional isn’t 100% the right fit, still ask yourself if there is a place for them in the team or organization, especially if they bring something unique to the company. Keep an open mind when recruiting talent, and consider the future headcount. Potentially you can create a new role for an exceptional candidate, especially if you don’t want to lose someone good to a competitor. See the positives in a candidate’s skillset if they bring enough to the table, and find reasons to say yes, especially in this market.
Outside of being flexible with the job description, can you also be flexible with the offer? Offering nuanced benefits, flexible working, and customizing offers to the individual joining can again make the difference between rejecting and accepting.
The market is still exceptionally hot, so it is vital hiring managers are mindful of how quick an interview process needs to be. “Keeping someone warm” is so important, but if you can’t commit to them you do risk them going in another direction.
Therefore, be timely with your feedback, especially if it's positive, to keep the momentum up. If they are at the top of your mind, you should stay at the top of theirs.
Try and push approvals quickly as well. This is often bureaucratic but affects whatever influence you can have on an interview or hiring process, and don’t allow things to slow down if you can control it.
Finally, be competitive. Don’t allow back and forth negotiations to hinder a process or allow time for other processes to catch up. Put your best, most competitive offer forward so it entices them from the very start.
To hire the best candidate for your open role, get in touch with EPM Scientific today. As a specialist talent partner in Life Sciences, we have access to industry-leading talent around the world.