Consider your skillset and personality It may come as a surprise, but many graduates are likely to be employed in jobs that aren’t wholly related to their degree or qualifications. Many of our employees at Panda International started with different backgrounds and degrees, from business administration to hospitality, yet they had common goals and skillsets that made them an ideal fit for recruitment. In their own words, recruitment appealed to them because: “I was looking for something dynamic where I could grow with a steep learning curve,” and “I knew that I liked sales and I like to be entrepreneurial.” Interpersonal skills (e.g. strong verbal communication) are a key asset in recruitment and are highly transferable from a number of academic backgrounds, alongside other soft skills, such as: Problem-solving Teamwork Flexibility Similarly, a drive to grow personally and professionally is the essence of recruitment, and when combined with adaptability, resilience and an openness to learn, can be extremely valuable assets when seeking a role in life sciences recruitment. It’s worth keeping in mind that most recruitment agencies will have a clear structure in place that will mean you start as a trainee, so having a background or full knowledge of life sciences isn’t a must (but a keen interest in learning is!). Match based on values Different life sciences recruitment agencies will have different approaches to the work they do, which is often rooted in the values they have as a company. When you’re looking to kickstart your career in life sciences recruitment, you’ll have a number of motivations. For example, the potential to make a positive impact on society is a huge motivator for starting a life sciences recruitment career. You could be placing talent that will be involved in the development of new drugs and treatments that can have a positive impact worldwide, if you’re focusing on the pharmaceutical or biotech sectors. The life sciences industry is a rapidly growing market, in part due to unprecedented investment and revolutionary new treatments – you’d be responsible for matching talented, skilled individuals with organisations that influence the way we live. To find the best value match, you should focus on looking at each individual life science recruitment agency’s approach to hiring. Which organisations do they frequently partner with, and do these organisations align with your values? What does the company culture look like? Is there a strong emphasis on development opportunities? You can look at the website, social media, and review websites such as Glassdoor to find out more about a life sciences recruitment agency and discover how well they match your goals and values. A fulfilling and varied work environment Life sciences recruitment companies are some of the most diverse working environments you’ll encounter. Due to the global nature of the industry, you’ll likely be working with multilingual colleagues from a variety of backgrounds that will broaden your professional network. This variety isn’t exclusive to your colleagues – you’ll be interacting with clients and candidates on a regular basis too, developing and nurturing your relationship with them in the long term. Many recruitment agencies also offer flexibility within roles when targets are regularly met (e.g. remote working, flexitime), and here at Panda International, we’ve introduced a 4-day work week for employees without a reduction in pay. Each working day will be different, but in a way that is flexible to you and will enhance your skillset and experience. How can you get started? As mentioned above, you don’t need a background in life sciences to be a life sciences recruiter. The most important part of kickstarting a career in life sciences recruitment is selling yourself and showing your personal drive for your career and the industry. What transferable skills do you have? Whether you’re skilled in delivering high-quality experiences or have an entrepreneurial mindset, there are numerous skills you already have that can benefit your career in life sciences recruitment and would be a valuable asset. Learn about the agencies you’re interested in working for through their websites and social media, so that you can get a strong idea of the workplace culture and the hiring process to best tailor your application. It’s best to think of kickstarting your life sciences recruitment career as a two-way street – what can you bring to the table, and what can the recruitment agency offer you? We’re hiring! Panda International is a growing life sciences recruitment company based in the Netherlands; we’re highly ambitious and have a diverse, driven team. We want all of our employees to succeed and thrive, but most importantly, to feel valued. That’s why we have such a clearly defined path of progression in our organisation. You can start as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant, entering our hands-on training and development programme and working with experienced members of our team to source the best talent. If you have the drive to succeed and work with some of the most innovative life sciences organisations across Europe to place talent, whilst also benefiting from an industry-leading commission structure and a 4-day work week, we’d love for you to get in touch. Take a look at our vacancies to find out more.