Who can you really trust with your career goals? Navigating the complexity of your life sciences job search alone can be overwhelming, but finding the right recruiter isn’t a picnic either. With so many rumors and misconceptions surrounding the recruitment process, it’s easy to feel lost in the sea of options.
The Compass team knows exactly how you feel. We compiled our years of recruiting experience in the life sciences industry to examine the most common recruiter stereotypes, so you can easily spot red flags.
From debunking common myths to identifying key qualities you should look for in a recruiter, our blog will equip you with the knowledge and tools to confidently take your next career step. Read on for our tips on finding the right job search partner.
They Don’t Communicate
One of the most common recruiter stereotypes is a lack of communication. We often hear candidates complain about past recruitment experiences, saying they didn’t hear back from recruiters after submitting their resumes or completing an interview. If your recruiter fails to check in after these job search process milestones, it can be incredibly frustrating! You may feel lost, not knowing where you stand with the recruiter or the company you’re interested in.
A good recruiter is in touch with their candidates regularly—both at the time of major process milestones and during waiting periods. You should receive consistent updates from them on the status of your application, feedback on your interviews, and any other relevant information.
If you’re not a perfect fit for the role after all, your recruiter should immediately let you know. There’s no need to keep you anxiously waiting. Your relationship shouldn’t end there, though. They should continue to be proactive, contacting you when new opportunities arise that match your skills and experience.
They Keep Secrets
Sometimes recruiters leave you in the dark, stranding you to nervously wonder what’s going on behind the scenes. This lack of transparency might manifest as your recruiter not disclosing a job’s salary range or failing to expand on key job requirements.
It’s difficult to know what to expect or how to prepare for your job search when you feel like your recruiter is withholding important information. Secrecy—for whatever reason the recruiter feels it’s necessary—just adds to candidate uncertainty. The job search process is already hard enough. We should not be adding more stress to your life!
If you’re asking fair questions and not receiving honest responses, there’s a good chance you’re not being presented with a role that truly fits your abilities or desires. Some recruiters might be cagey about the job they’re presenting you because the company has a bad reputation, it doesn’t fully meet your requirements, or there are other shortcomings that would dissuade applicants early on.
When you’re a true fit for a position, your recruiter should have no problem being an open book with you—and a good recruiter wouldn’t match you with a job that didn’t fit your goals and skills.
The right recruiter will make it their mission to keep the job search process as stress-free as possible. They’ll be transparent and provide all the necessary information about a job. Before you even ask, your recruiter should be clear about the salary range and any other job benefits. If a recruiter is not willing to disclose this information, it may be a red flag and you should proceed with caution. You should never feel doubtful or uncomfortable during your job search.
They Ghost You
Recruiter ghosting is a new term for an age-old recruiting stereotype. It’s when a recruiter suddenly stops communicating with a candidate without any explanation. This can be especially frustrating if you’ve invested time and effort into the application and interview process.
While it’s true recruiters deserve a little grace just like the rest of us, communication and being present for job seekers is an integral part of their job. Of course, they might not respond to your emails or requests for more information because of some unforeseen circumstance or emergency.
Otherwise they should be honest about potential delays in the process. Good recruiters do their best to be proactive about setting clear and explanatory “away messages” or automatic replies. At the very least, they should never ghost their candidates. If your recruiter suddenly stops communicating with you, you’re likely no longer in the running for the position. In this case, it’s best to move on and look for another who values your time and effort.
They Make You Feel Like a Number
It’s all too common for us to hear candidates say they often felt like faceless cogs in the recruitment machine before they found Compass. If recruiters are focused on filling positions as quickly as possible, regardless of the fit for both candidates and employers, that’s a huge red flag.
You’ve been promised high-touch, personalized service during your job search. You shouldn’t receive anything less when you’re making a life-altering career decision. Your recruiter should take the time to get to know you personally and professionally, so they have a clear picture of what type of role will best support the life you want to live.
They should understand your skills, work history, goals, and personal preferences. Are you looking to gain laboratory or research experience in your new role? Do you need a pay raise? Is flexibility in your schedule important? The answers to these questions—which they should be asking you—will enable them to match you with job opportunities that align with your career objectives.
They Don’t Truly Understand Your Role
You don’t want to waste your time going through the job search process just to find out the position doesn’t actually fit your skills or goals. If your recruiter doesn’t have prior experience working with someone of your skillset, or in life sciences in general, you might wonder why you’re not simply searching on your own.
Life sciences positions aren’t always cookie-cutter. From specific technical skills to knowledge of scientific protocols and regulations, your recruiter needs a deep understanding of the roles they’re filling and the industries they’re working in.
They should know the difference between working in a research and development (R&D) lab versus a quality control (QC) lab, as these roles would likely require different skillsets and responsibilities. Similarly, understanding the nuances of working with different types of organisms or cell cultures, as well as different assay techniques and software programs, ensures a recruiter finds the right candidate for the job.
They should also have a strong network of contacts in those industries to help you find job opportunities that align with your expertise. If they don’t, they should do their due diligence up front to research the role, ensuring you’re a perfect fit and not wasting anyone’s time.
Being that life sciences is such a complex industry, it’s fair to assume recruiters might not fully understand your niche. However, Compass is an industry-specific firm. While others may work with a broad range of businesses spanning across many different industries, we solely focus on positions within life sciences, biopharma, biotech, and similar fields of study.
Our recruiters take the necessary time to screen for exclusive hard skills, laboratory skills, experiences with certain methodologies or software, and anything else relevant to the job. Unlike roles in finance or administration where skills can be broader, research and clinical skills are extremely specific for our industry.
All that to say, our Compass recruiters are exceptional at what they do. Our team is deeply passionate about facilitating growth and innovation in the life sciences industry. We keep all of the stereotypes we covered here at the forefront of our minds as we work with jobseekers like you. We actively strive to combat these concerns, making your ambitions our top priority.