Brand Yourself as a Premier Scientific Recruiter by Following 5 Core Principles

C&ENjobs April 5, 2018

Brand Yourself as a Premier Scientific Recruiter by Following 5 Core Principles

What does it take to become a successful scientific recruiter? This is the question we set out to answer. What we found may surprise you. 

Among the most successful scientific recruiters that we’ve worked with, the vast majority exhibited a core set of five principles that served as their foundation for success.

This blog details those five core principles and provides additional insights on how they contribute to building a brand as a premier scientific recruiter.  If you are a recruiter looking to improve your performance in science recruiting, stick to these proven five principles for success!

#1 Embrace Skepticism

Scientist are often a skeptical lot.  A personality characteristic that serves them very well in the lab, because it fosters curiosity, critical thinking and creativity in seeking answers in the natural world. Outside the lab, skepticism is also a valuable characteristic, but it invariably leads to issues with building and establishing trust with brands.

For scientists, achieving trust is ultimately a byproduct of time, observation, and proof.   

So whether you’re a colleague, significant other, or recruiter, building trust with a scientist requires patience and proving your authenticity and value overtime.

Once you embrace and accept the inherent skepticism of your scientific candidates, your journey to earn trust can begin in earnest.

#2 Transparency Builds Rapport

To build robust relationships with candidates, successful recruiters are putting a premium on transparency.  This transparency extends throughout the hiring process, from establishing goals, setting expectations, and providing honest insights and appraisals on potential employers.

By being transparent, the candidate gains confidence in the recruiter’s ability to shepherd them through the hiring process and ultimately, gains confidence that they will be placed in a job that is a good fit both professionally and culturally.

In speaking about the value of transparency, the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, said “When you’re building a business or joining a company, you have to be transparent; you can’t have two sets of information for two sets of people”.

Making transparency a core value in your recruiting practice will pay dividends in the form of a bigger candidate pipeline, more placements, and happier customers. Especially for candidates who are a perfect fit for your company, but not the current advertised position, you want to make sure your company is on the top of their mind when another opportunity arises.

#3 Learn the Science

Don’t worry, we are not suggesting you earn your Ph.D. in Chemistry.

But if you don’t have a science background, we are recommending you become more familiar with concepts, practices, and trends. Having a deeper understanding and appreciation of the scientific work your candidates and clients are involved in will build enormous credibility.

Learning science is not something you can accomplish in a short period of time, so it needs to be something you prioritize and commit to on a regular basis. Here’s an excellent blog post on how to keep up with trends from our C&EN Marketing Elements blog. Overtime, your scientific knowledge will grow and you will be able to fully appreciate and speak the language of your customers and candidates with an enhanced level of confidence.

Here are several online resources that specialize in science education related content:

#4 Think Like a Scientist with Candidate Personas

In order to make a deep connection with a scientist, it is imperative that you understand what they care about and value as a person. These personality characteristics might vary between your individual candidates, but it is important to identify generalities and consistent themes to help you craft your high-level brand messaging.

Many of the top performing science recruiters have developed candidate personas by fleshing out personality attributes – such as age, social media preferences, and career goals – for each of their top candidate profiles. They then take these candidate personas and craft a marketing-type strategy that is geared towards attracting them online.

This pull strategy is often referred to in marketing as ‘inbound’, whereby you are targeting content at the right time, in the right place, to the right person, in order to engage them with your company. Inbound recruiting is a similar approach for science recruiters to find their next great candidate.

To learn more about how to build your candidate personas, check out this resource.

#5 Employer Brand Storytelling  

Successful scientific recruiters are astute marketers. They understand how to effectively communicate their employer brand in a concise and coherent manner, utilizing messaging, copy and visual assets to tell their story during in-person interviews, in company culture blog posts, and in social media interactions with potential candidates.

When communicating about your brand, it is important to convey your values, promise, and personality. By having consistent brand messaging, you’re able to set clear and compelling expectations with future candidates and that will be extremely important in persuading them to engage with you.

One of our favorite examples of effective scientific employer brand storytelling is by Atrium Pro.   Be sure to check out their brand video on their scientific recruiting division.

Embrace Principles-Based Scientific Recruiting

When we set out to find answers about what makes a successful scientific recruiter, you may not have anticipated discovering the heavy emphasis placed on branding and marketing.

But the most successful scientific recruiters are utilizing the entire marketing toolkit to find candidates. They are developing processes and content that speak to the inner-skeptic, and take potential employees on a journey that ends with employed scientists, satisfied employers, and happy customers.

If this blog enlightened you on scientific recruiting, be sure to check out our latest resources on C&ENjobs.