Why recruitment as we know it is broken: 3 things the CDMO market tells us. 

17.01.23 Articles

As the industry responds to increasing development and manufacturing pressures, demand for CDMO services is only going to increase in 2023. So it’s no surprise that finding and retaining highly talented individuals is a key priority for CDMO’s and the wider industry. 

However, traditional recruitment processes have long been subject to criticism from both HR professionals and job seekers alike. In fact, a study conducted among hiring managers in 2021 found that a staggering 57% of people hired in the 12 months previous were not working out within their role. So, there seems to be a shared thought swirling round – recruitment as we know it is broken. Unfortunately, talent acquisition within the bio pharma sector is no different.

The good news is that acknowledgement is the first step in any improvement process. Below are the top 3 issues commonly encountered within talent acquisition that we need to address. 

1. Trust (or a distinct lack of it)

The CDMO market is filled with highly skilled individuals, often possessing specific expertise in certain areas. As a result of this, it’s no surprise that many of these professionals come to know one another and share their experiences in their niche industry. This is why it’s key to establish trust throughout the hiring process. 

To understand why this is important, imagine you are a candidate applying for a great role with a well known company. You have spent time completing assessments, speaking with a recruitment consultant, and attending interviews. However, after the interview you receive no follow up and no feedback from the recruiter or the company itself. Would you be likely to recommend that company to those in your field?

Unfortunately, stories like this are commonplace, with people waiting weeks for a response or being ghosted altogether. Transparent, timely communication plays a major role in ensuring that candidates have a positive experience of the hiring process, whether they get the job or not. Candidates deserve to receive a response that reflects the valuable time and effort they have given to lengthy application and interview processes. This should be given as a basic sign of trust and respect. 

Trust is also often lost between recruiters and their clients when there is a breakdown in communication. For instance, if unrealistic client expectations aren’t met with honesty then unsuitable candidates end up being screened for a role. Clients need to be able to trust that recruiters understand their specific needs, which is made impossible without proper communication.

2. The age old battle…Quantity vs Quality

We think it’s safe to say that no one ever wants to feel like a tradeable object. So why does talent sourcing so often feel transactional? Quite simply, the treatment of candidates as a commodity is often driven by the desire to achieve an outcome (payment) as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this leads to a recruitment process that looks more like the selling of resume’s rather than a partnership that provides long term stability for both candidates and clients. When unsuitable candidates are moved forward in a process, it just wastes time and money. 

Not only may a candidate be unqualified, they may also be incompatible with the culture of a company. This is an intangible factor often overlooked, but differences in fundamental values between candidate and company can have serious consequences down the line. Within a full-service CDMO, the need for successful cohesion across different teams is vital in providing the best possible service. So, culture clashes that impede operations must be avoided at all costs and steps should be taken at the hiring stage. 

3. Money, money, money

It’s no secret that traditional pricing models can mean astronomical costs for businesses wishing to hire top talent through a recruitment partner. Within the CDMO industry, highly skilled individuals means more competitive compensation, which ultimately results in higher recruiter fees when a salary percentage is included. 

Unfortunately, this high reward can encourage a process that looks more like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping something sticks. In essence, the recruiter cares more about their candidate getting an offer than the right candidate getting an offer. When the level of quality delivered doesn’t reflect the high fees, hiring new talent can feel more like a tax on growth rather than a value-added investment. 

This isn’t the way it should be. Being able to add highly talented individuals to a team is an extremely exciting opportunity (and should feel like it!) It’s time that the high cost/low value results widely accepted in recruitment are no longer the norm.

So what are we doing about it?

Overhauling the payment model. With us, our clients pay a monthly fixed cost on a subscription basis. This means they know exactly what their hiring is going to cost, they have a manageable monthly spend, and any needed extras are included in the price. However, we think the most important benefit of our model is that it means our goal is the same as our clients – we want the right person to receive an offer, not just our person. This allows us to work with hiring managers in different ways to achieve the best result, rather than just sending resume’s. (It also works out cheaper per hire to almost any equivalent contingent recruitment cost!)

Reducing risk and removing bias. Our platform, LC³, allows 24/7 access to your own hiring campaign portal. You can view candidate profiles and evaluate behaviours as well as skills. This software has a 96% retention rate for new hires, saving you time and money in the long run. You can find out more about LC³ here

Partnerships over transactions. Establishing a strategic partnership with both clients and candidates is another way we make sure that we stand out from the crowd. We want to become a part of your business, a partner you can rely on for advice and trust wholly to do the best for you.

Treat candidates and clients equally. This is an incredibly simple idea, but it’s a fundamental part of how we work. We don’t differentiate between those hiring and those looking to be hired, and we believe this is key to ensuring that everyone has a positive hiring experience. 

Outline a communication plan (and stick to it!) We appreciate that everyone gets busy sometimes and communication may slip. But, we also understand the part effective communication plays in showing respect for candidates and clients. That’s why we take steps to outline communication that needs to take place and schedule regular meetings according to individual needs.


Want to start hiring better? Get in touch at apply@leadcandidate.com
Lead Candidate exist to fuel growth for those in the pharma & bio outsourcing space through talent sourcing. Our embedded partnership approach and custom built campaigns ensures that we deliver an experience unrecognisable from what you are used to.
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