Recruiting in Life Sciences with Shannon Chamberlin

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, US companies let go of a large number of their employees and began to make up for those numbers in June 2021, particularly in California once the mask mandates were lifted. However, with more open positions and a pandemic still in the forefront, recruiters have begun to face an array of new problems.

Recruiters work on a fine line between their candidates and clients; they understand the client’s needs while also knowing what their candidates want in their next job. There’s quite a bit of matchmaking involved, but the relationship doesn’t stop once a candidate has been given an offer. It’s also important for the recruiter to build and maintain those partnerships before and after an offer has been made. At Compass, our recruiters take their relationships with both candidates and clients to heart, thus creating the foundations of our small but mighty company.

Recently, we got to chat with our newly promoted Senior Recruiter, Shannon Chamberlin. Shannon specializes in positions geared towards Human Resources, Project Management, Project Coordination, Sales, and Patient Access. Shannon even comes from the medical devices industry herself. She offers her own insight and experiences as a Compass recruiter about the current job market and how she’s been balancing the needs of her clients and candidates.

Q: How has the job market in the life sciences industry changed from your perspective as a recruiter since the pandemic? Is it more difficult to find candidates or has it become easier in some ways?

A: With the companies that I’ve been working with recently, there are a lot more roles that are opening since June. On the opposite end, it’s busy and more competitive to find the ideal candidates because they are also getting multiple offers. Since the pandemic forced everyone to work from home for a year, the companies adjusted their hiring processes. A couple of examples of this would be company work schedules, if they’re remote, hybrid or 100% on site. Also, finding candidates who want to apply to companies who announced a vaccine/testing mandate for returning employees.

Q: How has the pandemic changed the way you recruit candidates?

A: As we know, a lot of jobs were eliminated during the pandemic and a lot of companies were on hold for hiring. So, when the world started opening back up again, there were many candidates looking for roles. At first, there weren’t enough roles open for people, but that seemed to change as the months went on. Now, candidates have choices of where to go. Many of my candidates are getting multiple offers. The market is now more competitive than when it was before the pandemic. 

Q: What qualities/traits make a good recruiter within the life sciences industry?

A: I think what makes a good recruiter in this industry is someone who is passionate about helping people. Most of the positions we fill, the candidate’s role is helping change a life, such as a Scientist or a Medical Science Liaison. A Life Science Recruiter is willing to study and do additional research about the role they’re filling. The life sciences industry is a very purpose-driven field, so it’s important to understand how the position affects the company. Sometimes, the position isn’t always straightforward as other such as finance or Human Resources, so it’s up to the recruiter to dive into more detail and determine the impact it’ll make on their team. If a recruiter can place someone in such a crucial role, it’s incredibly fulfilling, and genuinely makes your work worthwhile.

If you’re interested in transitioning to the life sciences industry, chat with Shannon or any of our other team members here.

Need expert guidance in your life sciences job search? Connect with Compass. No matter the type of role you’re seeking, our recruiters have the expertise to find your perfect match.

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