With the peak of the talent crunch fast approaching, time to hire is quickly becoming an important metric to monitor and reduce. Think about it, the longer it takes to move a candidate through the process and onboard them, the more likely they’ll be snatched up by a competitor first.

Now is the time to tidy up your processes and ensure your business is acquiring the best talent. We’ve listed some of the best methods below:

  • Streamline Your Processes
  • Review Applications Immediately
  • Network with Potential Candidates
  • Interview Qualified Applicants
  • Make an Offer They Cannot Refuse
  • Hire the Right Executive Search Firm

Streamline Your Time to Hire Processes

Reviewing your talent acquisition processes can identify and eliminate which parts take more time than necessary. Streamlining each step in the process will help to drastically decrease time to hire and, as a result, cost-per-hire.

One way you could speed up interviews is by having them online instead of in-person. This also allows you to access global talent, instead of just being limited to the immediate area. Conducting interviews virtually will remove any travel delays or scheduling issues.

We also recommend you use scheduling software (such as Calendly or Book Like A Boss) to cut out one time-consuming touchpoint while improving the candidate experience.

Once the interview is booked, refine the list of questions you are planning to ask, ensuring you get the answers to any role-critical questions and the candidate’s job acceptance factors. These will ultimately answer everything you need to know ahead of making a decision.

Review Applications Immediately

Some businesses get into a habit of collecting 40 or 50 applications before beginning the reviewing process. This can waste weeks at the front end, when you could review as they filter through and start offering interviews almost instantly.

Offering interviews from the offset also makes sure you interact with candidates as soon as possible. Typically, an applicant will apply to multiple jobs at once, rather than just yours. By interacting with them as soon as possible, you limit the chance of a competitor getting to them before you.

Network with Potential Candidates

Networking and interacting with potential candidates before a role has even been advertised is a great way to reduce the time to hire. Handily, it will also provide you with a ready-made list of targets you have already engaged or interacted with.

Because you’ve previously interacted with and selected these candidates, they should move through the process much faster than a typical candidate. If they don’t, then you may need to examine any bottlenecks.

Interview Qualified Applicants

While interviewing every applicant can sometimes unearth hidden gems, it also dramatically increases time to hire. If you’ve already found that your time to hire process is quite long, it’s time to make some decisions about who you interview and what type of interview they have.

For example, an exploratory phone call interview is great for deciding if a prospective employee needs a full interview or not.

Refine the list of candidates who genuinely have the potential to fulfil the role required. Match the skills on applications to those within the job description and invite any matches to interview promptly.

Make an Offer They Cannot Refuse

Making a lowball offer in the hope your candidate accepts is poor practice. Even if they accept, they’re in danger of feeling unvalued and leaving within a short time frame.

In response, your goal should be to retain employees long-term, as this almost completely eliminates larger re-hiring costs. With that in mind, make a good offer from the offset. You’ll immediately make your new employee feel valued and appreciated, especially if their current role is underpaying them.

Here are three steps to improving your offer acceptance rate:

  1. Create an offer based on previous conversations
  2. Respond to any queries quickly
  3. Provide insights into their new role and responsibilities

Hire the Right Executive Search Firm

When you have a particular role you need to fill, it can sometimes take longer than necessary. You may not even be able to find the right candidate without significant effort.

Hiring an executive search firm can help you find the right talent for the right position at the right time. Ultimately, taking pressure off your internal talent acquisition function, and reducing time to hire.

Sometimes spending a little can help you save a lot — especially when it comes to competitive, high-level roles.

Hiring in the Life Sciences?

Fraser Dove International is a talent consultancy operating exclusively across the life sciences industry. While our roots lie in executive search, we provide more than the traditional recruitment services. Uniquely placed within the market, we have been providing cutting-edge talent solutions and insight to organisations at all stages of their journey – from start-ups to established leaders – since 2013.

Contrary to popular belief, leadership has little to do with your job title, the resources at your disposal, or your fearless, take-charge attitude. It has nothing to do with your background, either. Leadership does not stem from power or authority, although these are both by-products of the role.

What makes a great leader?

True leaders are social influencers who unite others in the pursuit of a common goal. They use their skills to maximize the efforts of their followers. Having great ideas will only take you so far if you cannot inspire people to act on them.

An Executive doesn’t become a leader the moment they get a corner office. That happens when they develop the vision and insights needed to take the organisation to the next level. They know when to seize an opportunity, and rally their team to achieve operational goals and objectives.

Here are the six leadership qualities all Life Science Senior Managers and Executives should master before they assume a position of responsibility:

  • Strategic Vision
  • Communication
  • Delegation
  • Leading by Example
  • Seeking Advice
  • Spotting and Retaining Talent

Keep reading as we explore these qualities in further detail.

Strategic Vision

What sets the best leaders apart is their ability to translate their strategic vision into goals and objectives.

A strategic and visionary leader knows how to find the balance between dreaming and doing. Before acting on an idea, they perform thorough due diligence. This includes reviewing industry trends, analysing data, and making predictions — all to ensure facts guide their decision-making. If there are deficiencies in a plan, leaders should be in an informed position to recognise issues and act early, before they derail a vital goal.

Leaders with strategic vision are also inspirational. While they make decisions and execute strategy, they also arouse enthusiasm and foster loyalty by motivating and encouraging their employees. Those who lack strategic vision and the ability to motivate others cannot be effective leaders.


Excellent communication and outstanding leadership go hand in hand.

To be a great leader, one must be able to communicate clearly, express ideas in a way that the listener understands, and be able to share the same information with different audiences.

Great leaders:

Listen Well

When you pay close attention to what others say, it fosters respect, trust, and open communication. Listening also gives you a clear understanding of the other person’s knowledge and perspective, which can prove invaluable. Great leaders uncover details and facts others typically miss, purely because they listen to those around them.

Are Open and Honest

When you share successes and failures with your team, you teach them how the organisation defines victory and defeat. Remember: success is a team effort, not yours alone. It gives your employees a sense of belonging, which fosters loyalty and can boost employee well being, engagement, and retainment.

Provide Constructive Feedback

When addressing any deficiencies in an employee’s performance, great leaders build the person up instead of breaking them down. They use these opportunities to hone their communication skills, allowing them to provide better instruction if and when similar situations arise in the future.

Understand Body Language

Where others fidget and lower their gaze, great leaders embody confidence by standing tall and maintaining eye contact. They know their influence is not just determined by what they say, but how they say it.

Lead by Example

Do as I say, not as I do is the mark of a poor leader.

One of the strongest leadership qualities is the willingness to work in the trenches alongside everyone else. It builds trust, camaraderie, and rapport with your team while developing your skills and knowledge.


You will never hear a successful leader utter, “I can do it better than anyone else.”

While a healthy ego is beneficial, great leaders understand they don’t have the qualifications, skills, or time to master every role in a project. This is especially true in industries as complicated and highly regulated as Life Sciences. Instead, they empower their teams by delegating projects and tasks to those most able to deliver.

When you delegate, you demonstrate trust in your team. As a leader, you have the morale and ethical responsibility to help your employees grow and develop. Delegation is one way of providing your employees and future leaders with an opportunity to grow and improve, without feeling out of their depth.

Many Executives struggle with the concept of delegating. They understand how important it is, but they can’t bring themselves to relinquish control or worse… They micromanage.

With the right training, your people can take on more complex tasks, and you create an atmosphere of trust that sets the tone for the workplace. The key is to this leadership enlightenment is to delegate appropriately. This means that you:

  • Take the bigger picture into account.
  • Assign tasks to those with the right skill sets.
  • Manage their commitments to ensure efficiency.

One final point on this matter. Employees work best on activities and tasks they enjoy doing. While most roles involve some form of menial tasks, find out which tasks your team enjoy, and which they don’t. Where possible, you can reduce the burden of menial tasks by assigning them enjoyable ones.

Leading by Example

There’s an old saying that goes along the lines of “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Genuine leaders embody this philosophy in the workplace by reflecting and embodying the behaviours they want to see in their employees. For example, they:

  • Champion honesty and integrity by being forthright and genuine in their dealing with team members and colleagues.
  • Getting stuck in with menial tasks and not expecting employees to do tasks they wouldn’t be prepared to do.
  • Live their organisational values and demonstrating them in every activity in which they partake.

This is further reinforced by a 2016 study by the Harvard Business Review.  The study found high ethical and moral” standards to be the top-rated leadership trait. This quality instils a safe and trusting company culture in which employees can learn and thrive. This, in turn, can increase engagement and retainment.

The opposite of leading by example are those who subscribe to the “Do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. This hypocritical attitude is disastrous for employee morale. Successful leaders in the Life Sciences have a responsibility to treat their team fairly and with dignity.

Seeking Advice

One of the most important leadership qualities is admitting you don’t know everything. No matter how long you have been working in Life Sciences, technology and research breakthroughs are happening so rapidly that you may find you don’t know how to respond to a situation.

When this happens, seek impartial advice. This should be a person whose opinion you trust, but isn’t invested in the outcome. They may have been in a similar situation or are subject experts and can present you with the information you need to generate action. If no one you know fits this brief, consider a financial adviser.

Given the speed of change, it is essential to invest in training — both for yourself and your team. Encouraging life-long learning within your department can prevent your employees from stagnating professionally. Moreover, by challenging yourself to learn too, you are showing that you’re equally committed to professional excellence.

If you encounter a situation and aren’t sure how to proceed, try asking your team for their thoughts and opinions. They’re more likely to feel heard and appreciated.

However, no matter who you approach, always seek the truth. Leaders are required to make critical decisions that affect the entire organisation, so you need an accurate basis for doing so.

Spotting and Retaining Talent

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but never forget that your Life Science organisation is only as successful as its employees.

Acclaimed leaders who grew successful organisation did so by investing in talented workers and earning their loyalty. They surrounded themselves with people who lived the organisational values and strove to push the goal posts at every opportunity. Ultimately, they ensured the organisation achieved it’s goals and objectives while furthering Life Science.

Once you have spotted and recruited a good employee, guide them in their new role. Give them the support and resources they need to meet – and exceed – your expectations. With training and coaching always available, you ensure your team stays ahead of the evolving Life Sciences.

Great leaders understand the true cost of hiring and onboarding new employees, so ensuring their people are content and engaged is a top priority. They also understand that terminating a poor management-level employee within 2.5 years of hiring, they stand to lose 10x the cost of the employees’ salary — excluding hiring costs!

Finally, leaders never neglect their leadership pipeline! Leaders can be found at all levels within your Life Science organisation, it’s important to identify them. Once identified, you can develop their leadership skills early on. The knowledge transfer from mentoring programs builds a robust leadership pipeline, providing internal future candidates.

Promoting internally slashes your hiring costs and ensures less time and effort is spent bringing the employee up to speed.


As a Senior Manager or Executive in the Life Sciences industry, you have a range of essential responsibilities. Top-quality leadership ensures growth and prosperity. When you master the six leadership qualities in this article, you will inspire your employees, achieve results, and make it possible for your company to bloom.

For more career advice tailored to senior managers and executives in the life science industry:

* Fraser Dove International is a specialist executive search firm operating exclusively in the Life Science industry. Passionate about people, we take pride in helping exceptional life science organisations source the talent they need to design, manufacture and distribute life-changing drugs, treatments and devices which transform and save patient lives.

The pandemic sounded a wake-up call for both suppliers and producers of medicines to rethink their business models and dependence on other markets, specifically for APIs and equipment components. But what is the answer to this? Is it binary? Is the answer to revert to 100% local sourcing within touching distance of our production facilities or is it something different?

The Pharmaceutical industry relies heavily on China (manufacturing equating to almost 30% of the global manufacturing output). Why wouldn’t they? The low cost, high volume ingredients, low-wage workers along with openness to regulatory compliance are a select few examples of why China has become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and has been renowned as the ‘World Factory’.

So much so that when the pandemic hit, the Pharmaceutical world was sent into a frenzy. According to Onyx Health, an estimated 43% of acute care medicines ran low in supply during the peak of the crisis. Onyx Health also reported that at the time 44 Pharmaceutical companies were left non-operational due to the strict ‘Zero-Covid’ policy.

So what does this mean for the future?

It’s evident that Pharmaceutical companies need to increase the resilience of their supply chains, but how? Do they source elsewhere — such as the ‘China Plus One Strategy? Do they start locally sourcing? Or instead focus on what they already know?

China Plus-One

The China Plus-One strategy has recently gained a lot of attraction, being referred to as a ‘best of both worlds’ option. Focusing investments in countries aside from China (such as India and Brazil) diversifies the supply base and creates a more risk-averse environment.

China is no longer seen as a viable option due to trade wars, tariffs and geopolitical concerns. According to Senior Procurement Leader at Lonza, David Swift, this combination created a ‘perfect storm scenario of supply chain issues.’

Indian players in particular are being urged to capitalise on the China Plus-One strategy ever since the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme was introduced in order to reduce the 70% of their API supply which is outsourced from China.

To initiate this, India has already started producing 35 APIs in order to reduce the dependence by 25-35%. India reaps the same benefits as China (including a 50-60% lower talent-pool cost according to BioProcess International) along with being known as one of the biggest suppliers of low-cost vaccines globally.

However, investing in India comes with its challenges. It can’t be ignored that India is still in a period of development with infrastructure and innovation lacking in comparison to China.

Local Sourcing

The other viable option is limiting or scrapping global sourcing entirely, and relocating production facilities for active ingredients and other key supplies back home and/or nearshore countries.

The potential of local sourcing unlocks a wide range of benefits, such as solving the trade-off between distance and costs. When goods are purchased from the other side of the world, a build-up of costs is inevitable.

Issues, such as delays or inaccurate demand forecasting, are prime examples. Case in point, 2021 container rates were 700% higher than their 2019 baseline. However, when manufacturers are located close by, there is greater control and flexibility with the added opportunity of being able to visit suppliers regularly.

Unfortunately, reshoring is not a quick fix. Building biopharmaceutical facilities can take up to 5 years, followed by up to 18 months of securing regulatory approvals. Not to forget, this also comes with a cost of up to $2bn.

When switching to local sourcing it’s important to ensure full transparency across a multi-tiered supply chain. “You can achieve efficient localisation as long as you have an ecosystem of tier 1,2,3 suppliers” said Armando Stagno, VP Supply Chain at BD.

Having real-time visibility into suppliers at every tier, and understanding our end-to-end supply chain is crucial with collaboration no longer being optional. Those in large molecule pharma will recall how the extreme winter storms in the US last year impacted supply of medical grade tubing. This ended up limiting all Single Use Technology supply at a time when demand was also under threat for Covid-related vaccines.

To make the reshoring process successful, Procurement is even more of a pivotal partner to ensure that the right partners are chosen, strong relationships are made and sustainability can be ensured.

The supply chain focus in recent years has been on cost containment and efficiency, rather than agility and flexibility. The need to be more risk-averse is higher than ever, and a combination of sourcing nearshore, onshore and offshore is needed in order to gain flexibility — it should be considered a top priority in today’s current climate. This, however, is a longer term solution.

According to David Swift, ‘India is still miles behind China in developing its API side and it will take years, even with concentrated efforts to develop the manufacturing capabilities, capacity and workforce.’ In terms of medical equipment, it will take even longer considering that APIs depend on a chemical ecosystem that is already present in India, whereas medical equipment is more technologically complex.

So what can we do now?

An article from Bain revealed that the focus now should be on having a deeper understanding of risk mitigation as well as real-time insights within the supply chain. This should span a number of areas such as the flow of products, distribution centres, and production sites against potential threats.

Following this, suitable supply chain strategies can be prepared for these hazards by either ‘reducing risk exposure or increasing resilience capabilities.’ Effective strategies were said to include four components: Redundancy, Adaptability, Prediction and Empowerment.

With the market constantly changing and evolving, in the short term preparing and utilising effective strategies will improve efficiency and agility in response from Pharmaceutical companies.

In episode #08 of Talent Acquisition Matters, we sat down with Tessa James, CEO of Talent Reimagined.

Talent Reimagined is a strategic partner in talent transformation, from processes to drive better business outcomes, through to empowering organisations to have innovation and agility with their hiring.

It was insightful to get Tessa’s take on talent, specifically the issues people face in today’s market and why Talent Acquisition isn’t as complicated as we think it may be.

We’ve highlighted our favourite takeaways below for you.

What is your overview of the challenges that scale-ups face in today’s talent market?

“I’m an opportunist. So, I don’t see the challenges so much, which I think drives some people crazy. But I think, to your point, some challenges, I would say, for sure is scaling your company into the different locations and geographies that you need to scale into, especially if you’re trying to work towards that talent-centric hiring.

Another thing is vision and brand awareness to some perspective as well; I think depending on the size, the organisation and how you’ve been able to craft that message.

But I think the opportunity to your point is the ability to now take what is becoming the way of work today and not necessarily the future of work and move towards this talent-centric hiring approach.

I don’t necessarily believe there’s a talent shortage. I think the talent exists. I think it’s just a way of ensuring that the right processes, technology team supports, and leadership can understand how to tap into that.”

What pillars do people need to get in place to get TA strategy right?

“Firstly, I don’t necessarily think organisations are getting it wrong; I believe there are some organisations who are just stepping more boldly and bravely into this space. And they’re the ones that are starting to get it right or are getting it right.

And, I think the organisations doing that can quickly pivot and change their direction and take on a new approach….”

How do you recommend and advise companies on their talent strategy?

“So I think it’s pretty simple. It doesn’t have to be over-engineered; it can be as simple as a survey that talks to people about a concept.

And, it’s not new; it’s just literally a poll survey to ask questions, but asking the right ones, such as how do you want to work? What are the moments that matter to you? Etc. And then being able to distil that down!

There’s so much talent out there who has all the potential to do the work; you just have to ask the right questions and find those people. I get in conflict about this concept of the talent shortage because I think we’re driving that in some ways.”

To listen to the full episode, click here.

Talent Acquisition Matters aims to answer the most pressing TA questions and gains valuable insights from some of the most engaging and innovative global professionals. Subscribe to us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts to get alerts when new episodes are posted.

Fraser Dove International is a talent consultancy operating exclusively across the life sciences industry. While our roots lie in executive search, we provide more than the traditional recruitment services. Uniquely placed within the market, we have been providing cutting-edge talent solutions and insight to organisations at all stages of their journey – from start-ups to established leaders – since 2013. 

Thoughts from Oli Oldham

Now, we all know how to hit apply on a job advert on Linkedin or other well-known job sites… but how can you make a difference in your application?

Sometimes, it can be actions ahead of applying that can make the most significant difference. Things like doing your research and highlighting an important advancement within your initial communications, calling around to get insight into the business and communicating with current employees on LinkedIn to understand the culture can make an impact.

One of our Associate Consultants, Oli, has provided some recommendations on how you can stand out from the crowd when applying, most of which will take only minor effort on your part.

Do not apply, call!

This is the most critical piece of advice that I can give anyone looking to get into the recruitment industry. Every day, many people are applying for roles with no experience or degree on their CV; the single best way to be noticed is just to do what you would be doing on a day-to-day basis within a recruitment company.

Call, ask to speak to the hiring manager about the role, and then absolutely sell yourself! Make yourself memorable over that phone call, and they will not notice a lack of experience on a CV. Any good recruitment company knows that attitude and personality are vital to building a good recruitment consultant. Specific skills can be taught on the job, so instead of clicking apply on the 30th job post you’ve seen that day, pick up the phone and speak to someone!

Do your research.

Interview preparation is another vital piece of advice to take while attempting to make your way into the recruitment industry. Read articles from the website, check the LinkedIn profiles of the senior people within the business, read through the roles that they have advertised, and if you don’t know something, write it down and ask it in the interview. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of an interview and saying you don’t have any questions.

Check the company culture.

Culture is a massive part of what makes the industry such a great place to work in. Find a company that works hard and has a work dynamic that you can thrive in, recruitment requires long hours, and you spend most of your week with those you work with, check that it’s going to be an excellent place to learn and progress. A 10-hour day can be almost as enjoyable as a weekend if you find the right people.

Set your goals!

Everyone has their reasons for leaving their old job behind, and everyone needs life goals to aim for. The industry can be very tough, recruitment is not an easy job, but it is highly rewarding if you put in the work. Set what you want to achieve; money and progression are key things that will come with hard work; there will be setbacks, and things will go wrong, but it’s the skill of a recruiter to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep yourself busy. Those goals will help you do that!

Find the right mentor for you.

I cannot stress this enough, find someone that will put the time into you to work under! Find someone who will teach you the correct processes and become a sponge to them, soak up all the information you can get on how to do this job and see yourself progress quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be scared to say when you’ve made a mistake and give 100% in that role; if you’re working under the right people achieving your goals and progressing upwards will come naturally.

Even taking on one of the pieces of advice could help inch you ahead of the competition. Each of the five points above shows proactivity and commitment to the organisation you are applying for and will sit well with the hiring manager or talent acquisition lead.

Fraser Dove International is the life science talent consultancy offering organisations ranging from global pharmaceutical companies to local scale-up biotech businesses experience executive search solutions. Over the years, we have listened to our clients and candidates, allowing us to formulate the talent ecosystem, helping organisations attract and assess candidates, onboard them correctly, and retain them for longer.

We are currently hiring across the value chain, looking for support within our research functions as well as client services and business development. Contact our talent acquisition lead, Sian Macintyre, for more information. 

By Harry Simpson

When COVID-19 became a thing more than two years ago, I posted about the impact that I believe it would have on the CDMO market; you can check out that report here.

At the time, my view was that we would see a significant shift in the demand for Regional / Local CDMO support and a move away from far-reaching international suppliers that provide more cost-effective solutions but with higher risk potential.

In that time, we have seen more than $150Bn of investment from Private Equity and the National Institutes of Health across North America alone in the fastest growth rate for the Life Sciences industry.

The second highest beneficiary of this funding across North America was PPD (Pharmaceutical Process Development), a business running under the operations of ThermoFisher Scientific. They received $1.8bn in funding between 2020 – 2021 alone. This really brings to the forefront the role Outsourcing organisations have played in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the further support for the development of life-saving drugs and cancer therapies.

Naturally, with this level of investment comes growth. Growth in client demand, the requirement for resources, materials and, of course, talent. Over the next five years, 98% of Life Science organisations have set plans to increase their headcount, meaning that talent demand is higher than ever.

For CDMOs & CROs, there are a couple of challenges being faced, some new and some old:

  1. The industry has been known for having tighter budgets for salaries. This is due to the nature of the business being services-driven; however, over recent years, Outsourcing businesses have become more competitive in line with large Pharma & Biotech organisations.
  2. The CDMO market is exciting but highly fast-paced because you’re managing multiple partnerships simultaneously and having to deliver to a high standard of quality every time.
  3. With inflation rising in the US and across the globe, companies that lack flexibility or are too rigid to adapt quickly to market conditions are struggling to keep up with the pace.

Naturally, my team and I have been working hard to support some of the world’s leading and growing Outsourcing businesses with their most challenging searches. However, in addition to search support, we listened to our partners to understand their needs beyond Executive Search…

And over the past six months, we have established that our partners require services across five key pillars of the talent cycle; Attract, Assess, Search, Onboard & Retain.

These new service offerings have been beneficial in guiding our partners to make better hiring decisions in order to attract and retain the best talent.

One of the most significant challenges our Outsourcing partners face is “Now that we have secured our employees, how do we retain them within the business long term?”.

Outsourcing businesses’ greatest strengths are also their greatest weakness in talent retention. It comes down to the fact that CDMO & CRO employees make very marketable candidates within other industries. They are candidates who are good at working under pressure, are comfortable with being client-facing and topping it all off, they are usually outstanding, affordable profiles for local large-scale Pharma & Biotech businesses.

Therefore, given the sheer scale of hiring that has taken place across the market in the last 1-2 years, I see talent retention as being one of the most complex challenges leaders will face in the next 12 months. Competition plays an essential part and potential burnout due to the rapid response to covid-19 and other therapy development.

Fraser Dove International are the life science talent consultancy. In 2021 we transitioned from a traditional executive search firm to a talent consultancy, allowing us to provide our clients with a broader approach to hiring and retaining the right people for their business goals. 

To find out more about how Fraser Dove International can help you, get in touch today:



In episode #06 of Talent Acquisition Matters, we sat down with Brian Vigeant, Co-Founder and CEO of CultureHQ.  

It was insightful to get his take on employer branding and talent attraction, where he shared a ton of tangible tips for our listeners to take away.  

We’ve highlighted our favourite three points below for you!  

Should there be a change in prioritisation of employer branding and talent attraction as a funnel of potential candidate sourcing?

“Our story is interesting because we came from the internal standpoint of thinking about culture internally, and then we evolved to painting the picture from the inside out and displaying that externally.   

So, that’s where culture HQ has learned a lot. We’ve talked to a tonne of recruiters and heads of talent and employment brand leaders and trying to understand how they are ultimately attracting talent into their organisation.   

When you think of talent acquisition, I feel like traditionally, or at least, as I was learning, it seemed like everything was very transactional in the way that people were recruiting talent. It was like ‘we have these 30 roles that we have to fill, now let’s go and fill them’ – it’s very transactional the way that you’re thinking about it.   

For me, I thought that doesn’t seem the most effective way, especially now, in what’s probably the most competitive talent market that’s ever existed. It’s how do you really tell a better story to attract talent.   

You have to showcase what’s so unique and special about your company and be able to amplify that across channels, whether it’s on LinkedIn and your career site, on different forums, and blogs. If you can let that shine, that’s ultimately going to transition you from selling why you’re so special to them to them becoming more of a buyer and ultimately wanting to join your company.”  

Showcasing D&I in your business: how valuable is it?

“I saw a stat somewhere that said that one of the most important, or most impactful ways to recruit and attract diverse talent, is by just displaying the people within your organisation, and showcasing the inclusiveness of the culture and how it actually looks.  

Examples include being able to highlight stories of individuals that exist within your company, being able to bring that to the forefront, and showing that, hey, regardless of where you come from backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, race, ethnicity, you can exist here and you will belong.   

Being able to showcase that legitimately through stories is a powerful way to attract diverse talent. Because I think, again, when people think about hiring diverse, it’s all about numbers. It’s all about metrics. And people kind of lose this sort of emotional connection, of how can you just tell a story that’s ultimately going to help someone envision themselves at your company.”  

What’s the best way that someone can curate the right hiring assets or candidate attraction assets to then put out there on socials?

“What I have noticed is that too often, I think people overcomplicate this and get so fearful of what they’re projecting, and how they’re going to be perceived.  

Will it be the right message? Are we going to start dissuading talent from coming into our organisation? And so then it becomes that cookie-cutter approach, that vanilla type messaging, where now you’re trying to be everything to everybody. And now you’re nothing to everybody.   

I think a lot of people have historically just said: 

  • Hear our values, we treat each other with respect. 
  • We work hard. 
  • We play hard. 
  • We have great benefits. 

It’s the same type of messaging that ultimately doesn’t help you showcase your uniqueness.   

But I think people do that because they overcomplicate, and they become fearful of their uniqueness. And so, I think it’s really just twofold, of curating your story and understanding this. 

And really, the first one is understanding the market conditions, then ultimately, what top talent is looking for. That’s number one. 

And then number two is really understanding your employees, why they chose to work for you, what they love about the culture, what matters most to them, and why they’re still excited to work here. 

Understanding those two audiences of what candidates and top talent are looking forward to, what is the market dictating right now and then ultimately understanding your employee base, then be human with your messaging.”  

To listen to the full episode, click here.   

By Sam Boyd, Associate Consultant 

Who knew a worldwide pandemic would make such a difference to a working week? 

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our personal and professional lives forever. 

Since the pandemic began, many employees have been forced to adopt a new normal of working from home. Before the pandemic, 15% of U.S. employees worked from home at least once a week. Since this point, half of all employees in the U.S. have been conducting their work on a remote basis. 

This swift momentum change has raised questions about remote working. One survey with 441 global HR leads discussed the most pressing issues their organisations faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, their actions, and what worked for their organisations. The most notable concerns were – protecting the health & well-being of employees (22%), preserving jobs (12%), and complying with government regulations (6%) – reflecting some challenges of dealing with the public health crisis and economic downturn.   

One-fifth of leaders revealed specific concerns around the abrupt surge in remote work. Some included keeping remote employees engaged (17%), productivity levels (7%) and connection to the organisation (5%) as specific factors. Organisations have been able to experiment with creative solutions to these problems. 

How do organisations help employees transition to remote work? 

Providing computer hardware, internet support, and tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom allows fluid team engagement and communication.   

Most epidemiologists predict recurring and future outbreaks of COVID 19, with many employees continuing to work at home for the foreseeable future and some having the ability to move into permanent remote models. In addition, some workforces plan to shift to full-time remote work after successes during the pandemic. 


When employees work from home, there is a compromising factor that they feel disconnected from their organisations, 47% stating effective communication is a crucial component in the transition to remote working. Many characteristics come to mind around this topic – clear and consistent communication, led from the top, is critical, alongside clarity on job expectations. 

Physical & Mental health 

Throughout this pandemic, 15% of employees stated that company-sponsored COVID-19 tests as positive actions to protect employees’ physical well-being. The more significant challenge is mental well-being. 

The most effective step to battle this constant concern is for line managers & leaders to check in on employees’ well-being to ensure they are doing everything personally and professionally. 

Some organisations have frequently arranged online training sessions and open forums to overcome social isolation. Furthermore, sharing mental wellness resources, offering health counselling services and more emphasis on coaching managers/leaders to support and develop wellness in their teams. 

Manage the Remote work–Life Balances 

The work-life balance always poses a question or two. On the one hand, working from home cuts down employees’ daily commuting journeys and allows people to adjust their schedules and spend more time with their families and friends. One study in 2021 has shown that employees were willing to accept a pay cut of 8% for a fully remote role. The popularity of remote work helps explain why employers across the U.S. offering working from home options doubled before the COVID-19 outbreaks. 

On the other hand, remote work can leave employees feeling like they must be available 24 hours a day. Working more hours can often obscure the boundary between professional and personal lives. The most popular way to help employees manage work-life balance whilst working remotely includes adjusting employees’ workloads to accommodate family responsibilities. 

Strategic Significance  

Over 70% of companies have consciously circulated strategic priorities and published them across specific organisations, even before the pandemic. This has allowed organisations to expand products and services, develop talent, and execute a digital transformation. 

In many cases, strategic objectives set before COVID-19 will remain essential and provide opportunities to accelerate progression on strategic priorities. The abrupt shift to remote working has provided organisations extensive opportunities to revaluate processes to boost overall efficiency, develop & accelerate their individual and collective transformation and the impact it can have on an organisation. 

Remote working is here to stay and will bring new challenges and opportunities. Leaders need to lead by example, not waiting for definitive results from other organisations – with a conscious effort to continue developing employees and organisations’ momentum shift to remote work.    

At Fraser Dove International, we help life science organisations to perfect their talent ecosystem across the value chain. We have a select toolkit to help attract, assess, onboard, and retain your employees while primarily supporting searches for the best talent. By perfecting this ecosystem, you can ensure you find the right talent that makes a more significant impact, faster, for longer. 

In episode #4 of Talent Acquisition Matters, we were thrilled to be joined by Jason Cachia, who is one of our global Headhunters within the Quality and Regulatory space. 

He has worked in recruitment since 2012, and is an integral team player here at Fraser Dove. 

We had the opportunity to sit down and pick his brains about his market, specifically his thoughts on what clients can be doing within his niche to attract the best talent.  

How are candidates getting noticed? And how can clients attract them?

“So one significant element is how they’re being presented to the market. The story that they’re given, the ambitions of the organisation is very clear, very concise. It’s not only happening at an interview stage, it’s also out there in the atmosphere, whether it be LinkedIn or through their marketing material.  

Additionally, having flexibility in terms of working from home, where possible, is hugely important as well. What can you offer somebody to really attract them? It doesn’t just have to be salary, but you need to be talking about the total package. The ones that get it right are listening to the marketplace and changing what they’re doing.” 

Passive vs active candidates, what are your thoughts?

“I think for us, that’s where we ended up being most success successful in finding the right candidates because we can take that to the market.  

The passive market is very slim, and that’s where you want to be attracting talent because there’s, they’re not interviewing, they’re not in other processes.”  

What else do you think that companies could improve in order to, you know, entice the best talent?

“They need to be flexible in the person that they’re looking for. So, there are too many organisations searching for the perfect candidate; someone who has 100 or 110% of what they want. Now, the more and more companies that are doing this, the less successful that they’re being.  

Now,  where people are being successful is identifying who’s an 80% candidate that they’ve interviewed, do they fit in culturally? Are they engaged with the brand? Can they do the majority of the role?  How quickly can that be taught? Invest in them instead, and that’s another notch on the belt for that organisation being able to gain good talent.” 

What trends are you seeing in the quality hiring space, in particular right now?

“One thing that we’re seeing is biologics and Biotech’s are really taking from the pharma talent pool, and being more open to doing that now. There has been a massive uplift in CDMO talent attraction currently too. So, that’s what I’m seeing in the marketplace currently is that the transition in the openness to looking at a slightly different skill set, but then it’s leaving a massive hole in the pharma space.” 

Every 2 weeks we sit down with some of the most engaging, innovative Talent Acquisition professionals [globally/UK etc]. Make sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify to get alerts when new episodes are posted! 

Fraser Dove International is a talent consultancy operating exclusively across the life sciences industry. While our roots lie in executive search, we provide more than the traditional recruitment services. Uniquely placed within the market, we have been providing cutting-edge talent solutions and insight to organisations at all stages of their journey – from start-ups to established leaders – since 2013.   


By Sian Macintyre

The right position in recruitment can create life-changing opportunities, but how do you get into an industry that is so vastly populated?

When I tell people I’m a recruiter, one of the first questions they ask is usually about getting into recruitment. Becoming a recruiter with no experience is most certainly possible for those interested in changing careers.

The truth is that very few recruiters plan to get into recruitment. It usually just happens, and if you ask most recruiters their story, it will include starting in another career altogether and then transitioning into becoming a recruiter. You’ll come across personal trainers, graduates, estate agents and retail workers (to name a few) who have made their way into the world of recruitment.

If you strip recruitment down, it is essentially a sales role – you are selling opportunities using a company’s employer brand to people and selling your candidates’ skills/experience to companies. You are matchmaking through sales.

A recruiter in today’s world needs much more to be successful. The common misconception is that recruiters post jobs, wait for candidates to apply, interview them and close the deal. And some recruiters do this, but they’re often referred to as the “Dinosaur Recruiter”. We no longer live in an age where this post and pray strategy works. Today, recruiters are faced with a shortage of good talent where they have to take a more proactive approach.

The job of a recruiter is not easy. Corporate recruiters often juggle countless requisitions and hiring manager expectations. Agency recruiters work in an increasingly competitive environment where targets are more challenging to meet. However, being a recruiter also comes with its perks — one of them is the rewarding feeling of knowing that a star candidate has been matched to an exceptional company through your efforts. This is absolutely the best part!

How to get into recruitment when with no experience

Look for transferable skills

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have no skills to bring to a career as a recruiter. Whether in sales, customer service, or software development, you likely have the required transferrable skills relevant for getting into recruitment.

Create a kick-ass LinkedIn profile

I can’t stress the importance of having a LinkedIn profile if you want to get into recruitment. Whether or not you have much experience, other recruiters have to find you and LinkedIn is the best way to get found. Believe it or not, recruiters like myself specialise solely in recruiting other recruiters, so you want to create a LinkedIn profile that brings out your transferable skills.

Sell yourself

Becoming a recruiter was an active decision I made. I had no experience but had recruiter friends whose work lives I found interesting, and I could hold a conversation in social situations where I knew no one. The moral of the story – don’t be afraid to sell yourself and your transferrable skills.

Network, network, network

Networking is probably the best way to get a job in recruitment or any other industry. Chances are, you probably already know someone in the industry. The key here is not to ask them for a job but to learn more about the industry from them. Every once in a while, I get a message on LinkedIn from someone interested in breaking into the industry. They’re not asking me for a job but instead asking if I have tips or reading material.

Agency or corporate recruitment

There’s a clear difference between agency recruiters and corporate lives. I learned the actual difference between those worlds as an insider. Do some research to decide which career path is best for you.

Always be better (This one is a bonus tip)

Once you get into recruitment, don’t be the type of recruiter who settles for being average; go above and beyond. Do anything in your power to learn from the more experienced, to train in different areas and join a company that can match your ambitious attitude.

Think recruitment might be for you? If you want to know how to get into recruitment, following the above tips should improve your chances of landing your first job in this exciting profession. If you’d like to learn more about what recruitment consultants do, we’re always looking for ambitious people to join our team. So, if you’re interested in becoming a recruitment consultant, you can find out what it’s like to work at Fraser Dove International by contacting me – smacintyre@fraserdove.com / 0203 355 7050.


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