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How Can You Build a Talent Pipeline for Your Life Sciences Organisation in 2023?

Skilled talent is essential to the future of the life sciences industry.

Recruitment efforts that are inconsistent and operating without a strategy can quickly leave your life sciences organisation in a desperate scramble for talent at a time when competition is high.

Building a talent pipeline offers your organisation a predictable, sustainable recruitment process that you can nurture over time.

Rather than facing insurmountable challenges to fill critical roles, you can secure in-demand candidates and close the skills gaps that have been plaguing the industry.

Here’s how you can build a talent pipeline for your life sciences organisation in 2023.

Where might you be falling short?

Before you should consider which steps to take to get it right, it’s worth eliminating the barriers that might be causing you to get it wrong.

It’s extremely common for hiring managers to have to start the recruitment process from scratch.

Unlike sales pipelines, which are created by a team, usually pre-qualified, and implemented to the closure stage, talent pipelines are generally less effective.

From the sourcing stage to outreach, building candidate relationships and closing, each stage of the process is usually done in isolation and can often create an endless cycle, which is where the issue lies.

Since a talent pipeline isn’t inherited, it often means that life sciences hiring managers are left to overlook a process that isn’t linear or sustainable, meaning that the flow of talent into the organisation isn’t efficient or sustainable either.

Work with the market outlook

Having a strong candidate pipeline is reliant on working with the challenges of the hiring market rather than against them.

Competition is fierce and trends have changed the landscape of recruitment in life sciences, and this should be acknowledged.

For example, the high level of competition for life sciences candidates means that there needs to be a greater emphasis on streamlining processes.

If a candidate has multiple options to choose from, then being stuck in a vetting process for a prolonged amount of time without any communication is just going to make it easier for them to choose an alternative instead.

Similarly, remote and hybrid working have impacted recruitment strategies, as more of the workforce considers their options from a flexibility perspective.

In other words, if you’re not looking at what other life sciences organisations are offering, whether that means providing greater flexibility or more thorough communication and efficient recruitment management, you’ll struggle to have stability for your pipeline.

Clarify your organisation’s goals and needs

Anticipating the future growth and direction of your life sciences organisation is an essential part of cultivating a talent pipeline that will be ready to meet your goals when necessary.

Is your company expecting to expand significantly in the next few years? Are you anticipating any mergers or acquisitions?

Whilst these might not seem like immediately relevant factors when it comes to your recruitment efforts, these factors have a huge impact on the type of talent you’ll need (and when you’ll need it).

Sitting down with stakeholders to properly brainstorm the future of the company is therefore essential.

The type of candidates that you’d require before an expansion would be different from the type of candidates you’d be looking to hire during a steady growth period.

Other factors to consider include any changes in location, expansion or restructuring of departments, and any changes to the way that work is done in the company (e.g. a shift to remote/hybrid working).

In other words, you’re looking to consider what your needs are at present whilst also anticipating your future needs through your pipeline.

Be proactive in your candidate sourcing

As we mentioned earlier, simply starting from square one every time you need to make a hire is inefficient and unsustainable.

Being proactive in how you source candidates is an ongoing process, but if you get it right, it’ll have a significant payoff in the long term.

There are a few methods you can use for this depending on your needs, resources, and preferences.

Referrals: set up a referral program that enables candidates and employees to refer you to potential candidates, with a reward if the referral results in a hire.

Social networking/sourcing: platforms like LinkedIn are a great way to use specific keywords to find user profiles that fit the job description. Additionally, referring to your wider network through social platforms can expand your search.

Recruitment partner: working with a life sciences recruitment partneris a great way to have access to a vast network of talent without the need for you to focus all of your energy on sourcing and nurturing, as this will be done for you.

Other options such as networking events are a great way to meet passive candidates and get to know them in a way that is more engaging than traditional outreach.

(It should be noted that the best talent pipelines are filled primarily with passive, rather than active, candidates.)

Establish and maintain contact with candidates

Once you have some candidates lined up, it’s now time to build connections with them and maintain a relationship.

Rather than reaching out to them about a particular vacancy, you’re looking to establish a connection that you can continue to build over time.

You want to get to know:

  • What goals they have
  • Their experience
  • Their plans for the future/where they want to be in their career
  • What they like about their current role
  • Whether they’re a good fit for your company and your company culture

It’s important to be honest about your intentions behind reaching out – you’re not looking to fill a vacancy immediately, but you are likely to be hiring in the future and they are a potential candidate for the position.

You want to balance showing a genuine interest in them and their long-term goals so that you can establish enough trust to return at a later date, though it’s important to maintain contact in the meantime.

Keep your approach transparent and consistent

All of the above is essential, but if you drop the ball by making an offer that falls through because of communication and procedural issues later down the line, it’ll all count for nothing.

Establishing a clear system from the initial sourcing stage to the screening and interviewing, and then the hiring and onboarding process, means that you won’t be left having to go back to the drawing board.

You don’t have to do it alone – we can help.

Get in touch

We provide all of the support and expertise you need when you’re looking to secure top life sciences talent.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can get your talent pipeline up and running for 2023.