The Candidates


PharmaScouts identifies, screens, and recruits top scientific talent for drug discovery and development companies across the country.  Most recruiters lack an in-depth understanding of the scientific disciplines thus making it difficult to identify the right candidates or effectively communicate a candidate’s background and accomplishments.  Therefore, many scientists are unfamiliar with recruiters and the recruiting process.  At PharmaScouts, we’re scientists first.   We’re trained in research and development.  We want to help scientists keep their careers on track.  Here are some Frequently Asked Questions which will help explain what you can expect from us:

Scientists get very little training in professional development and career management.  When you are hard at work solving problems, making discoveries, or leading a team of scientists, you don’t have time to stay on top of opportunities to advance personally and professionally.  You need to know someone who you can trust and whom understands your profession and discipline.  The Biomed industry is a volatile one—you should always know your options.

Typically, companies employ recruiters to assist in hiring talented people whose skills are rare or hard to attract, or when timing becomes an issue, or when the company needs to keep their search confidential.  You may be contacted by a recruiter if there’s an opening which could be relevant to your interests.  Or, you may contact a recruiter yourself if you are ready for change or want to be kept informed of new opportunities.

Recruiters are most effective when you want to advance in your current career track by building on your past success.  They are less helpful if you want to change directions or start something new.  Companies don’t mind hiring and training people, they just don’t want to pay to train them and pay a recruiter, too.   Understandably so!   A good relationship with a trustworthy recruiter can help you advance in your career.  Building on past success and growing into new challenges reduces the frustration that comes from stagnation.

Whether a recruiter calls you or you contact them, team up with one who works in your area of expertise and understands what you do.  They will know what the market looks like, how valuable your skills are, and they will be able to communicate your abilities more clearly to potential employers.  Make sure that they work on a confidential basis and agree not to introduce your resume without your prior expressed approval.  Get recommendations from friends and colleagues.

A trustworthy recruiter can be a tremendous resource for you.  Since they are in the market every day, on the phone with dozens of industry professionals, and interviewing a variety of people in your niche, a recruiter can give you valuable insights and suggestions to benefit your professional development.  As you advance in your career, good opportunities present themselves less frequently and you will experience greater competition.  It is good to know someone who will keep you aware of real opportunities as they arise so that you may evaluate them for yourself.  And ironically, not all advertised positions are valid.  (Some may be holding pre-paid space, used for comparisons, or simply outdated.)  You can reduce your value in the market place by applying for openings too often or too broadly.  A trusted recruiter will help you investigate and evaluate good job possibilities.

A good recruiter will spend time getting to know your professional and personal needs.  What would the “right opportunity” include for you?  What is important versus what would just be nice?  They should help you consider the professional challenge, job location, advancement potential, money and stability.  In order to effectively work together, an open exchange of information is necessary.  A good recruiter will help you work through the entire interview and hiring process.  Open, honest communication and cooperation are considered your part of the bargain.

As interviews are arranged, a good recruiter will help you get ready.  The best candidates may be awkward at interviewing because they rarely change jobs and, therefore, are out of practice.  No one needs to give you answers, but recruiters can help you prepare to communicate them.  Not all recruiters do this.  An informed recruiter will give you background information on the company, its corporate culture, the projects, the people, etc.  This will give you an idea of what to expect so you can relax and focus on the opportunity instead of constantly worrying, “What will happen to me next?”  If you or the company have questions which arise from the interview, a recruiter usually can find the answers before doubts become concerns and then turn into problems.

An ethical, trustworthy recruiter preserves confidentiality.  Otherwise, you may find yourself leaving your current situation sooner than desired.  It’s a small world, especially at the more senior levels.  Make sure your recruiter understands that they need your permission to submit your resume.  Keep track of where your resume goes.  Being submitted to the same place multiple times will reflect poorly on you.

When you’ve made the decision to accept another job, your recruiter can assist with the transition–from providing a dignified sample resignation letter to getting information about the new commute or school system.  Find someone in a reputable recruiting company that you can trust.  A professional recruiter is polite and respectful — if treated likewise, he or she can become an effective ally in your long-term career development.