Ever wondered what recruiters actually do, and whether they can help you?
Curious how recruiters help nonclinical physician job seekers, or if recruiters only help companies?

If you’re not sure about responding to reaching out to recruiters, especially if you’re looking for a leadership or nonclinical role – this episode is for you.

In this episode of The Career Rx we’ll discuss:

  • The similarities and differences between the main kinds of recruiters and why it matters to you
  • How a recruiter can help you, and why they would want to
  • What companies want from their retained search firms, and how this impacts your job search
  • When and why you should consider connecting with a recruiter

Today’s episode is a Q&A style interview I hosted live in my Women Physician Facebook Group with a physician recruiter. Listen to get the full lowdown on how physicians can best work with recruiters, particularly physicians who are interested in transitioning to nonclinical roles in biotech and in pharma. This advice is applicable and eye opening for any physician anywhere who is engaging with recruiters for the purposes of either getting ahead professionally or making some kind of a change. There are lots of myths and misinformation about recruiters, and today, we’re hearing the truth directly from the source!

By the end of this episode, you’ll have a better understanding of what recruiters can actually do for you, how they get compensation (and how that impacts you), the LinkedIn culture of recruiting, and a few red flags to look out for when getting to know recruiters.

In this Episode:

[02:24] What are the different kinds of recruiters, and what are the differences ?
[08:03] How can recruiters help candidates? Why should you use a recruiter?
[15:18] Red flags that may indicate an unethical recruiter
[17:54] Is the recruiter the gatekeeper for the job?
[20:27] The real scoop on LinkedIn and keywords
[22:27] Can applicants initiate contact with recruiters?
[26:47] Everything’s confidential, right?
[28:35] Does the recruiter’s fee take a % of the candidate’s compensation offer?
[31:53] What does a company generally consider to be a ‘successful hire’?
[45:49] Pros and cons to ‘open to work’ on LinkedIn
[54:56] Is there truth to the idea that ‘the best jobs don’t need recruiters’?

Connect with life sciences recruiter Matt Taitelman on LinkedIn – tell him I sent you!
If you love this episode, you’ll really want to check out my top 2 career transition resources:

TransforMD – the once-a-year, truly life changing retreat for women physicians who want more from their careers and their lives – limited spots are open right now!

Industry Insider – learn exactly how to land a rewarding nonclinical career without a new degree, connections on the inside, prior experience, or a pay cut

Also, be sure to listen to the Nonclinical Careers Playlist for key episodes on this podcast related to resumes, networking, success stories, and more.



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TRANSCRIPT: Episode 73 – Facts and Myths About Physician Recruiters

Hey there. I’m Marjorie Stiegler and you’re listening to The Career Rx Podcast, where we tackle the important things they don’t teach you in medical school. Like how to treat your career, like the business, it really is, with strategies to accelerate the kind of success that you want, because you deserve a career you love and a career that loves you back. Are you ready? Let’s get into it.

Welcome back to an exciting episode of The Career Rx. This is actually a very different format from my usual, I’m going to be sharing with my entire audience, a interview that I did with a physician recruiter for Life Sciences executive search firm, to really get the lowdown on how physicians can best work with recruiters, particularly physicians who are interested in transitioning to non clinical roles in biotech and in pharma. But I think this advice is probably pretty applicable and eye opening for any physician anywhere who is engaging with recruiters for the purposes of either getting ahead or making some kind of a change.

So I’m posting in its entirety the audio from this sort of a q&a style webinar that I did recently for a women physician in pharma networking group that I run, and I’m putting it here on the podcast for your listening pleasure. It does run almost an hour. So be ready for that. And it’s sort of q&a style. So you’ll have to use your imagination, then, and then it’ll be just like you are right there in the webinar with us. I hope you enjoy it.
And so with that, Matt, can I ask you to introduce yourself? Yeah, absolutely.

My name is Matt Taitleman. Even though I work with Clyde Hirsch, we’re an executive search firm, that’s dedicated to life sciences, a predominant portion of what we do is pharma. biotech, we do have healthcare services, contract manufacturing organizations we work with, but our entire build business, excuse me was established focused upon establishing relationships with people. And that’s really at the core of how we focus our recruitment efforts. We separate ourselves from a functional perspective to really focus on establishing those deep rooted relationships, and I lead our practice, or I work in our physician practice in specific therapeutic areas. So I thought.

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. It is. So I think actually, you just said a couple of things that are good segue into one of the key questions that we get a lot, which is maybe pretty basic, just give us a lay of the land of what are the different kinds of recruiters, you know, for lack of a better word, right? I know, we were all familiar with HR within our organizations. And we know that there are recruiters who are either paid by our companies in advance like they’ve been retained, or they get paid, you know, if they manage to land somebody, but they don’t have an existing relationship with the company, perhaps. And then we’ve even been approached, of course, by headhunters who want us to pay them to find us jobs. So can you give us a breakdown of what you know? How should we think about different kinds of recruiters?

So, I would rather, I have no experience with people that are asking for money from people to find them. Right. So like, that’s something that’s a bit unfamiliar to me, I’m sure it’s out there, I don’t have experience working with those folks, or with any capacity, I think, you know, within the buckets, you kind of hit on initially, they’re going to be three people outside of HR internally, as I’m sure you guys know, a lot of contract talent acquisition, kind of recruiters are brought in, they might be contracted by the company to work for them directly.

So that’s one kind of grouping of recruiters, I would say would be going out there and trying to recruit people for specific jobs in their organization that they’re acting as a contractor for, I would still consider them more in house or internal because they’re working for one specific company. Then there’s a group of recruiters who operate contingently, which, you know, they do have an agreement to work and represent certain organizations, most often. But in that circumstance, it’s an instance where as much as they’re representing the organization, they’re only being compensated in the instance that they’re able to find the right person. And one of the pieces of contingent search is it’s often not exclusive. Meaning that there could be multiple recruiters that are acting on behalf of one organization. So you might have three people reaching out to you on the same position, because they’re not in line or aligned, should I say? It’s more of a race to find the right person.

And then there’s retained firms, which is how we operate. So we are engaged on behalf of an organization. We’re in a consultant relationship, then let’s just go find people like our objective is to find someone for the role that we’ve been retained for. However, a lot of what we provide and value is market knowledge, insights into individuals. And there’s an exclusivity to it. So it’s one consistent message. And it’s one group of people that are really helping to, you know, really help the organization go through who’s out there who’s interested, give feedback from our experiences. And generally within our company, we’re pretty informed in the sense that we have such specific marketplaces that we’re able to establish strong relationships, not only with the individuals themselves, but people that have recommended them, we’re giving us additional feedback that helps inform our kind of insight into people. So sorry, if I was talking too long about that.

Oh, that’s great. I mean, that’s good. So if I can recap, correct me if I’m wrong here. So you’ve got internal and then you have contractors who are essentially internal, right, that was first mentioned, then you have contingency based folks who are not, you know, the company has known as no necessary relationship with them, they are all equally kind of out trying to get candidates and present somebody who will be, you know, selected to the company, but the company is also probably going about their own process to fill that role, and has no obligation necessarily to consider the roles that that recruiter puts forth, or that multiple recruiters put forth, and then retained, as you described with with your model. In that case, correct me if I’m wrong here, but so because the company has essentially committed, are they committed to accept one of the people that you put forth? So they can.

Like, no, I don’t know if I necessarily phrase it that way. Meaning that it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean they have to accept from the people we put forth, but it doesn’t matter where it comes from. So if it’s through us, admitting the person or working our network, or if it’s someone that ultimately comes to their network, they would be put through the same process of evaluation, in aligning that person that comes to their network for our network in the same fashion. So like, they’re paying us to find someone, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

And yeah, it well, it does a little bit, I guess, it’s still a little bit ambiguous to me as then. So are you the gatekeeper? Or can a person be considered by the hiring manager that doesn’t come through your company or your review?

So they prove me consider that doesn’t come through me, ultimately, I would talk to them, not necessarily gatekeeper fashion, but also just to have my evaluation, my lens as part of the process, so they can ultimately get hired. And there’s no difference to us or to our partners that are engaging us, whether it’s someone who comes through us or through their network, the objective is to get them the right person. And they give everyone who wants to take a look at the opportunity, the opportunity to evaluate that as well.

That’s great. Thank you. And so let me welcome everybody who’s watching right now? If so, I’m trying to clarify things I think are on people’s minds, but who knows. So send me a note, if you have a question that I haven’t addressed, as we’re going through, so that’s really helpful. Matt, I think that helps explain a lot about the different ways in which recruiters work.

Tell us a little bit if you could about how can recruiters help candidates? So what are the what would be really a reason to use a recruiter?

So I think there are multiple layers, right? It depends on the angle towards your company. And it sounds like more so through the candidate lens, right. So the I’ll just start with the simple kind of tail to being routines are right, so not only are we you know, acting on behalf of the company, but we get to know the company at an intimate level that most contingent firms are privy to. So we get to know the people, we get to understand, you know, what type of culture they’re trying to create, from a personality perspective, we most likely know the individuals and who and what kinds of people they operate best with. And also what are the future plans of the company, what’s enticing about the science, and we really dig into all those elements.

Because it’s not a race to find someone as it is often with contingent firms. It’s really being able to tell the right story in the market, give a good view into the organization, and be able to allow candidates to evaluate your position. So I can really give you a full perspective of what’s going on within the company and get intimate , as far as the knowledge of people, the dynamics of different individuals, and also let you know where you stand in the process, because I’m aware of everybody that’s going through and interviewing for this role. I can tell you, listen, there’s three other people that they’re interviewing, they like you a lot, but they want to continue to talk to these others as well and get them off pace. So You know, where you stand, where oftentimes, you know, you just kind of waiting to hear what’s next steps, but there’s no context for anything. So I can give you a lot of context, I can give you background people.

And also, you know, I’ve spoken to a couple people on here before and I one thing that we can provide is because, and this is unique to my firm, because we’re so specific and niche in the areas that we work in, oftentimes, I have knowledge about individuals, companies, programs that aren’t necessarily even the ones I’m working on behalf of. And just because I’ve retained on behalf of an organization doesn’t mean that I will happily connect with people, candidates, to give them insights, as to different organizations, things that they should be aware of. And, you know, that’s kind of generally and then as far as, like, how I can help through the process, I can always make sure you’re prepared for interviews, I have a lot of experience with, you know, what has resonated with a company, what hasn’t resonated with a company before what personality have resonated just generally. So I can give you that more broad perspective, as you’re looking at different roles, whether it be specific to this or not. So I can make sure that you’re fully prepared, have an understanding of what you’re walking into, from a, you know, no interview perspective, but also with regard to the company.

And then, you know, another thing I can do and I think is really valuable is give you perspective on the market, right? Like what jobs are out there, what the compensation rate is for certain people, right? And, and what to expect when you’re going to a biotech organization, what the culture is, like there versus Big Pharma, because we have experiences of both. So I think there’s a lot, you know, I could keep talking, but I’ve gone through as I can, as far as different angles of perspective that we can provide. And I think the one big thing is that, like, if you find a recruiter, and like our firm is all about helping people and really just establishing relationships. Like, it’s never a commitment on your end, right. There’s no financial commitment. It’s all just a, you know, things come back to people. So I’m happy to always help because you never know what’s gonna happen down the line. It’s very small, so yeah.

That’s great. That’s helpful. I mean, you and I talked before this call about how a lot of people have some skepticism about working with recruiters. So it’s interesting that you’ve said, you know, there’s no obligation doesn’t cost you anything, things like that, because a lot of people actually they wonder, you know, is there something that that they’re just not privy to that’s happening in the background, that the either is an obligation or somehow limits their opportunities by agreeing to speak with a recruiter? Or limits their ability to negotiate for themselves? or anything? So would you be able to speak to that maybe in a little bit more detail?

Yeah, for sure. So, I guess, one kind of like, disclaimer I want to put out there is like I can, I can only describe everything through the lens through which we act. Right? There are different companies that I can speak to exactly how they operate in that piece of it. But I know, this is all hopefully aspirational for the way that we are, right? So, you know, financially right, there’s no commitment, and in no way at any point is my representation of anyone as far as being a candidate, inhibiting them as far as being entitled to equitable compensation. You know, as far as you know, me taking the company’s interest over theirs when it comes down to that, or, or in any way really trying to, like, use their information in any way that’s nefarious, right?

I mean, this is all in the efforts of allowing companies and people to get to know each other, and finding out like, I’m not the decision maker, ultimately, I’m recruiting physicians, but I couldn’t tell you know, who’s better at the divisor protocols? Who’s better at determining different pathways from a regulatory perspective, right? It’s about allowing and drawing the connection. And in no way is me acting on your behalf that hurt you in any way from a financial perspective or from like, whether the company is willing to consider you or not.

That’s helpful. That’s, that’s reassuring. And, of course, I know you can’t speak for all companies and all people, that’s great to not only have your perspective in the way you do business, but also what you know of the industry, right? You know, I just hit on that, right. There are firms out there. And I’m also aware of it right where I’ve heard it, like, you know, one of the big things for me is, if I submit someone to a role, it doesn’t always work out, right?

A lot of times it doesn’t, but I always commit to getting the person feedback and in keeping them informed in a very like, expedited way. So you know, right away, whether you should be looking at this still or you whether you can move on to the next job to start looking at, oftentimes, no other firms will call people back, which I think is terrible.

So be wary of that. And the other thing is, there are so circumstances where recruiters will try and use your information. So they’ll read you, one company, and then try and use your information as bait to get other companies engaged with them. So I think you gotta be careful as far as betting, who you trust, that tell us more about what you mean about use your information to bait the other companies.

So you know, like to put it very simply right, they’ll connect with you about a VP role they may have seen, right, so let’s say your neuromuscular doctor, and they see a VP role, or they noticed that there’s some role posted, that’s focused in DMV, or fshd, right. And they contact you tell you about this VP role they’re real, that they know will get you excited, knowing that they’re not necessarily acting on behalf of your organization, they just want to connect with you to get your information, right? So they can act with you get too excited, you send them their CV, they never actually submit you. And then what they do is they use your CV, to go to another company that is looking for a doctor with neuromuscular experience saying, hey, they don’t give your name, then the company could contact you directly. They say, “Hey, you know, working with a physician to three years in industry, she’s done, you know, development in phase two, three, contributed to FDA filings”, and you know, then represent that they’re acting on your behalf when in reality, you never gave them permission to contact that company. And what it does, it gives them an in with the organization, because they feel you’re representing the people, right. So that’s one thing you have to be wary of, with contingent firms, particularly, because that’s what they’re trying to do is give themselves a shot.

Yeah, so I see. So there, they are trying to use a really exciting role in order to establish relationship with you as the candidate, but they’re not actually going to put you forth for that role, but they are going to put you forth as a candidate, to other companies to hopefully get more business. Right. With other companies. That’s right.

So how can a person know, I mean, there’s sort of two questions I just wrote down cuz I don’t want to forget them. How can a person know if in fact, they’ve been put forth by the recruiter? And also how, you know, is it should a person expect to be able to give, do give individual permission to say, “Yes, please put me forward for that job” or “no, like, I’m not interested in that.” Or, you know, it was I was, you know, curious when you said, you know, you haven’t given permission to do that. So tell us how that works.

So I mean, I think one question to ask is “are you retained on this search” is big, because retained firms like my, we don’t have time to, or the desire to do that, right? Like, that’s just not how we operate. We’re acting on behalf of our clients. So their routine on behalf of that initial search firm, you’ll know that you’re going to be submitted, right? There’s, they’re not going to just take your information and not submit you. That’s not how that operates. That’s one of the big things.

What if they, sorry to interrupt you, what if they, so like, what if like, what if you and I have a conversation after this? Right? And I’m really interested in a role, but you sort of think I’m not that strong of a candidate. Are you still gonna put me forth? Because I want to be or? Or is that? Are you gonna sort of check step there where you could say, you know…?

I would not. You would not? No, I wouldn’t. If I knew you… so a little bit you hold the keys.
I mean, like, cuz, I mean, sometimes, I mean, I’m not the smartest person out there, right? So I can’t always make that determination. So sometimes I’ll let you know like, and like, that’s one of the benefits of being with us at a retain firm. And I say, no matter who it is, he’s like, we’ll be on. And I’ll tell you, Hey, you know, Margaret, this is a little bit of a stretch, they might have hesitation about XY and Z in your background, and gave you the opportunity to walk through that with me so that when I do connect with them, because I speak to them about the candidates that we’re representing, I can give them that background and context on your side. And you know, if I think it’s a waste of time, and I’m not just going to like send you in, so they can tell you no, like that doesn’t that’s not a good look for me and that’s not a good look for you. Yeah, it’s wasting a lot of time. So I think there are multiple levels for why we wouldn’t do that.

That’s great. And then and when you say, so back to the giving permission bit. So generally speaking, if someone works with a reputable recruiter retained organization or recruiter individual, you would expect to you’d have full transparency about whether you’ve been put forth. And you would not be put forth for roles that you were not interested in. Right. That would be like, fully just like make a decision? Yeah. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t submit anyone, like unless they 100% confirm that they’re ready to be submitted, you know, you know.

Yeah. So that’s really helpful. Yeah. All right. So remember, folks, if you have any questions, if I’m not covering what pops into your mind to put put something into the chat, so I think you know, there have there were some questions that came in about sort of whether there’s a such thing as a predatory recruiter or what are the kind of red flags or dark sides. I think we’re covering that as We’d go. So I’m not going to ask you that separately. But if there’s anything that you feel like you want to, you know if your memory is jogged as we’re going through and you want to want to add that in, we’re always happy to have it. You know, I think everyone just wants to be well informed. Here’s a question that’s very just practical. Do recruiters have a good sense of what the company needs? think you’ve already addressed that. Right.

But do they go through LinkedIn and look for buzzwords on the LinkedIn profile?

Yeah. 100% I’m sure you guys have been bombarded by LinkedIn messages, that’s probably the best resource for people to find new individuals. So yeah, 100% on the buzzwords. You know, it’s, you know, I think there’s a balance, because you probably open yourself up to a bunch of people who are just going to contact you to try and, you know, get you on the hook. And I think, you know, coming back to that, it depends on the role and like how much you think the person has done their diligence and understanding what value brings to the table on the surface.

So meaning that like, I have people that are VPs of clinical development in, you know, their organizations telling me they were reached out and looked at it, oh, neurology development, I’ve had them tell me, they reached out for senior director roles, folks on college, and it’s like, what are these people even doing? Right? So I think that like, some legitimacy comes in the bounds of what they’re reaching out to you for. And understanding and understanding that. So like, I would encourage putting LinkedIn information out there, because it actually allows you to get an understanding of is this person doing their due diligence. Does this person seem like they know what they’re talking about? Or are they just reaching out based on some buzzword because the counter is if you don’t put yourself out there on LinkedIn, you may not be contacted for a role that would be really great fit for you. Right? And you could be the gatekeeper on that side, when it comes to that.

But that’s so great. It’s so simple. It’s something that people are always really, especially people new to industry are always really surprised to find out that, in fact, LinkedIn is, you know, sort of that hub and that recruiters use it and that, that it lands people jobs, sometimes that’s surprising. One question that may be a follow on to that is, what do you think, I suppose you can only speak for yourself, but if you can speak for, for the industry, in general, it would be helpful.

What do you think about potential applicants who contact recruiters? Is that taboo? That’s the question I’ve been given.

Like, no, not at all. Not one bit, right? Like if and again, it’s all contingent upon the person having the right attitude and approach I guess that’s the lens of my perspective, as well. But like, being contacted by a candidate, like, I’d be more than happy to talk to them. And like everything for us and for me, is all about again, establishing relationships. I connect with people that I haven’t been able to work with them, and on anything for six years, and then place them, right. So it’s all about building trust. And knowing who you feel confident, has an understanding of what would be right for you, right, who you feel you have the right relationship with.

And I saw like a thing on the chat about like, why am I getting all these texts and burning bridges, I will say that they not respond to them, I shouldn’t encourage it, because, you know, I’m often someone who’s reaching out. But at the same time, you’re not going to burn bridges by not responding. You know, I’ve reached out to people for years and never got a response and finally have and I in order to gallop against them one day, you know, that’s, that’s part of our jobs, as recruiters is continuing to reach out and trying to establish those relationships. On the flip side, I would encourage you to try and respond to some just so you can kind of establish that relationship with some people that you feel could be a good, you know, ambassador for you, and also be a good no source as far as market insight, when you’re ready to start looking like what roles will be good for me, what should I be looking for? You know, so I think there is a balance of that. But you know, you won’t burn bridges by not responding. You’ll burn bridges by accepting a role and then bailing on the last second or you know, in signing a job, signing the offer letter, and then, you know, taking a counter that might burn bridges, but not responding. You’re good.

That’s great. That’s good to know. Because for the for the ones that are in public here, I’ve also gotten an equal number of private almost with the exact same question, right, which is, and how to handle the large volume of, you know, messages that we get sometimes from recruiters and how to know really, who to look back. So if I think about just the way LinkedIn works, tell me, you know, what would be a good approach there? If I’m getting a bunch of sort of, you know, initial outreach? Do I have time to talk about something and it’s quite vague, like I have a role that I think it’d be perfect for. What could I maybe write back to that recruiter in order to kind of do my own vetting?

It’s a good way. I mean, so it’s stuff to me, the biggest number One thing you like, when I send a note to somebody because of routine, I always tell them the name, right? Like, there’s no benefit to me not telling the person the name of the company, in the sense that, like, if you see the company name and you’re not interested, then we don’t have to talk. It’s all good. You know, or if you just wanted to get to know me, that’s fine. But at least you’ll know. So, you know, I think a lot of the like, I have a rule I think you’d be perfect for is more of that contingent thing where they’re trying to loop you in and get you connected. Versus like, you know, here’s a role this is the company, these are the assets they have.

These programs are moving forward, right? It’s very straightforward. So I guess if it’s a generic one, my question to respond, that’d be, can you tell me the name of the company? Right? So if they tell you the name, probably legitimate sometimes, you know, people just are a little bit guarded about giving the name and there’s nothing wrong with that, if they give you a song and dance, I’d be a little hesitant, like, why can’t you just tell me the name of the company? There might be something from an ulterior motive perspective of wire contract? So like, I would bet it at that level? First? Are you telling me the name of the company? Are you being upfront? Because I think for us is a two way thing. Right? So you give them information you give information? Most often it’s not. You know? It’s received well.

And so what about confidentiality? There have been a lot of times when recruiters have told me, they want to tell me confidentially about a role. And then they will tell me, and it has turned out to be I think, legitimate opportunities, but it has, you know, required me to sign an NDA, and they haven’t told me the name of the company until we’ve gotten that far, is that common? Doesn’t sound like that’s consistent with at least the model that you’re using.

I’ve done confidential searches before. Usually, they’re at the executive level. And it’s because of the company being public. And they’re trying to not, you know, disclose what’s going on behind the scenes or some of the executive level, as far as like, things DP and below, I just generally don’t see that. Like, there’s no confidentiality to it in the sense of like, not being able to disclose the name of the company, I will tell you that, from a confidentiality perspective, on our side of things, everything’s confidence, right? Like, no one’s gonna find out that you’re exploring a role for me. And we’re not going to reach out to anyone at your company, right? No, one of the company I’m representing is going to reach out to someone that they know that you may know, right, everything should be assumed that there’s a confidentiality to it from that side, not disclose the company before signing an NDA, that’s a little long.

Well, that that might be an outlier. But so that’s great to know. So if the person is working with a recruiter like you, it’s not going to get back through this small world that we all live in to our current employer and our bosses I know, everyone’s, you know, hopefully having open and honest, transparent discussions with their bosses about their career aspirations, and eventually what they might want to do. But no one wants to be worried that confidential conversations are going to come back before they’ve had a chance, really to, to talk internally about that. So that’s great to know. Yeah. Are you able to speak a little bit this, I’m just moving down the list of questions from the email that I collected?

Can you speak a little bit to the question about whether or not your compensation so the recruiters compensation impacts the offer the salary offer that the candidate receives?

I’ve never had that happen, not once. So you know, that the I don’t know our budget internally. But I would think that my fee is budgeted, aside from what they’re paying for the candidate, because of the company, especially in the nature of the market that we’re in right now. If the company is not fair and equitable from a market perspective, they’re not gonna be able to land the right person. So in no way has my feet impacted what a person has been compensated in any circumstance.

So that’s great, because there’s a lot of rumors, the right word, but you know, kind of word on the street is, you know, that the recruiter gets a percentage of your salary or something like that. So I think people make, first of all, I don’t know if that’s true. So maybe you can comment. And then secondly, I think people make the assumption that that means that that comes from the bucket of money from which your salary was going to come. I think what I’m hearing you say is, although you don’t know internally, it makes sense that they have a recruiting expenses bucket, and then they have a here’s our money to give our candidate bucket, and that those things are not the same. Is that right?

That’s right. I mean, that’s my assumption. Right? I can’t speak because I’m not like, again, I don’t know about the internal budgets. But to answer your question, I was going to jump in like it is a percentage, like it’s definitely a percentage. So the flip side of that is my percentage is greater if it’s a higher salary versus a lower, right? So like, I always have in like someone like myself, the interest is if two people want to make something work, or should I say if a person wants to join a company, and a company wants to join a person, or wants to hire person should I say, it’s about giving the right market contexts and feedback, this is what we’re seeing, as far as like this is how much the range is for the company.

And from a personal perspective, this is what you should be able to expect and be reasonable in working with both to get them to the place where they want to be, because finances are generally second, meaning that like, you shouldn’t want to join a company because of the science, the people, you’re excited about, you know, going to bat with these folks, not because they’re offering an extra $10,000. Right, and I’m against everyone’s situation financially. But the goal of the way that we operate is to get to the point that both sides want to make it happen before we even get the financing, and that both sides are educated as to the other’s expectation before it gets to that point.

That’s, that’s really great. That’s helpful. And the other question that is maybe a little bit linked to that, is, because as you and I had talked about before, it doesn’t seem like it would make a whole lot of sense for somebody to be placed if they were going to get a sort of below market value offer because they are soon enough and to find that out. And then they’ll be pretty unhappy about it, which would make them I think, less likely to want to stay. But the company, of course, wants to retain somebody if they think they’re valuable, and they’ve bothered hire them. Right? So can you help us understand what does a company generally consider to be a successful hire? One that reflects well on you as a recruiter, right, where you’re like, Yeah, I did my job, I got them the right person, it worked out well. Is there a sort of magic timeline? Or how do you make that evaluation?

I mean, I think that’s a really terrific question. I mean, so I think that there’s two buckets for it, like, wasn’t a successful search. Right, is one question. And that’s more from my side. Like, it’s going to go to timing, the variety of candidates. And I don’t think that’s necessarily important for this. Right. Whether it’s a successful hire, I don’t think it has to go to duration necessarily, right. I don’t think it’s necessarily a timeline, as much as is the person a fit, when they, you know, I think they’re always wrong to get in, you have to get adjusted to the new poll for the new people that are there.

But I would say three to six months down the line, is this person providing the value that you expected from them? Do they fit in? Well, with the rest of the company? are they helping to empower others to do their job? Well? And are they helping to advance what we need done from a scientific perspective? And this is a bit specific to me, and I practice the data that we’ll write six months down the line, where does that say, a year down the line, and that’s something that, you know, we’re really committed to, is following up with people making sure that both sides are happy. And, and also, if they’re not giving them the opportunity to talk it out. And what happened? So I think that’s a big piece.

But yeah, generally, is whether the person adding the value that, that that’s being looked for, and they fit in well, from a personality perspective, because we’ve had circumstances and, you know, not great, but it’s happened before where someone, you know, almost like they do really well in the interview process. And then you uncover the veil, and three months in there, like a bull in a china shop. Right. And that’s the important.

Yeah, this is so interesting, what you’re saying, because in the beginning of our conversation this afternoon, when you were talking about, you know, helping the candidate to understand the culture, understand the direction of the company, understand some of those bigger picture things. I couldn’t help but in the back of my mind, think some people listening today are feeling like yeah, but that’s, that’s skeptical, right? Like, or with the, with the degree of skepticism that you might be trying to gloss over some things in the company that are negative and paint a light that is different from what they’re really going to get once they accept an offer. But it sounds like to me that is also not in your best interest, because then that person’s not going to work out. Is that fair?

It’s very fair. And you know, a very practical application is generally you know, we have a guaranteed period. So the person leaves quickly, I do the search again, right? So like, I’m back at it, and I have to do everything all over again. So it’s not my interest to get somewhere to see, it’s my interest to get someone that’s going to be productive and being that’s also going to the small community piece of this. If I have the reputation of the recruiter, you’re just going to force someone down your throat or you know, put someone on you. I’m not going to be working for too long, right? Like it’s all about finding the right match. And that’s the more important piece for various. Yeah, it’s a match.

That’s a great question, and a great answer. So I have I’m going to go through a couple of these other ones as we’re moving along. We’re having a lightning storm in my neighborhood right now. So I’m just like hoping our tech will live. On. Okay, so I’m going to kind of rattle off a handful of these because I think they go together. And I think they’re pretty factual. So we could just fire a fire away. One question is, how can you tell if a LinkedIn job post is posted by a recruiting firm or by the hiring company? What are some effective ways to connect with company recruiters? How do we find out names and contact information? So I realize that you I think this person means company like, you know, Eli, Lilly GSK? I don’t think they mean, the talent search firm. So just you correct me if I’m wrong about this. If you see a job posted on LinkedIn, if the little avatar is the company name, then the company has posted it. If it’s anyone else, then it’s not.
Is that correct?

That would be my assumption. Right? I think there are obviously ways that people kind of mess with that. I would say just generally, that’s the way it is. Like for the searches I do, I don’t make it known so I think that there’s a different element of like, you know, where is this going to get me if I apply to a job on LinkedIn? How should I go about exploring it, which I think is the tail end of that, which is often I’ve had people apply to jobs on LinkedIn, and it works out. Often sometimes I’ve had people with jobs apply to jobs, and we didn’t, and they never hear anything back.

So the back into where you were going is like, how do I find the right person to connect with internally to get my information in front of the company? Because like, if I’m not the right fit, that’s fine. But at least I know, and I do just submit my CV to the abyss of this LinkedIn posting, right? So unfortunately, I don’t have a great answer for you. As far as like how you connect internally with the HR people at the organization. I would also suggest going into LinkedIn, because it’s not as though they’re on the company website, or what have you. This is another area where I can add value or other recruiters can add value, though if you establish relationships with them, right?

Like, if you’re applying to a job at Eli Lilly, there’s most often a way that I can connect you with someone internally that will see your information, right, like I will, let’s say you’re applying with the mineralogy, I’ll probably know one of the VPS there and be able to help you connect with them, even though I’m not working on a search there. It’s all in the best interest of helping people find that right. So like, I think there’s a lot of different avenues to be able to find a way in outside of just applying to LinkedIn. And I think that is something that works. But oftentimes I’ve been told that just knowing get lost in the shuffle. That’s great. That’s helpful.

I guess since the rest of it is sort of specific to internal talent. I’ll skip those questions for you.

Let’s see, this is the repeated question. I’ve heard my commission is going to hurt my offer when negotiating. Is this true? I think you’ve addressed that. How can you be sure that they represent an actual position and company versus just farming your resume to blast it out? I guess we covered that. It sounds like is that right? You said to ask them if they can say the name of the company, a couple of details about the role to get a sense and ask them if they’re retained?

Yeah, I think they’re going to ask who they’re working with, right? Because if they tell you they’re working with, you can go look at that person online, right. And they might be able to just farm the name as well. But just more information, where you can almost pick up on their communication style versus the substance like do they pause for a second, right? Like, and I’m not trying to say, but because I know there’s a balance between basically why would you want to really try to ask them, like if I’m working with a company. There’s just so I’m going to take a quick like personal moment for myself to ask a question, because this is reminding me now of something that I did wrong. I guess, I got approached, you know, some years ago, by a recruiter on LinkedIn, who had a position they thought would be of interest to me seemed like a decent match.

We had a phone conversation, and I found out through that phone conversation, that the hiring manager was a former colleague of mine, so I called her up. And I was like, Hey, I heard that you’re hiring. Oh, and anyway, I found out later that that was apparently a massive faux pas and that now the recruiter was unable to place me, which I mean, doesn’t really matter, I guess, since I knew the hiring manager, but do you know what I mean? From her perspective, I think that was kind of bridge burning because she felt like I had gone around her and and essentially cut her out so that she’d spent this time on the phone with me telling me about the role and then just went to the hiring manager myself, which is not really a characterization of you know, I was just kind of catching up with my old colleague, but tell us about that are there are there just sort of etiquette or ways of doing things so that you don’t inadvertently mess up the relationship between the candidate, the recruiter, and the hiring manager?

I think they have individual sensitivities. Right, depending on the relationship of Have you with the person as well as the person with the company. So, you know, for myself again, coming back to the contingent retain thing, because it is a huge distinction. If I were to recruit someone and tell them about a position, they know the hiring manager, I’d be happy for them to connect. Like, it would be more than it’ll be my pleasure for them to connect. Right? It’s not in any way gonna burn a bridge, because, again, my goal is to find out, is this a match or not, not get credit for submitting the person, or have me be the person that we all started with, found her out of nowhere about, you know, it’s all about finding that right match.

So if anything, that’s great, right? You guys get to draw the rapport and kind of instantly jump back into the relationship. So I could get that being sensitive with the contingent recruiters for sure. I, you know, I gotta put this out there, continue to recruiters do 100% of you get a job to and do it well. And with them, it might be more of a bridge burning experience, because they might not get the credit in that circumstance, right? Because it does matter who’s the person who actually sources the candidate, but for someone like myself, I mean, in my eyes, you’re still a source to me but it doesn’t matter. You know, so it’s all good.

That’s helpful. That’s great. I remember just like, being so “Oh, cringe, like, what did I do wrong?” You know, nobody wants to do the wrong thing. Because that wasn’t your intention. Right? Like, you just wanted to catch up with your friend. And like, why not? Hey, I just heard it triggers you to reach out to her? Well, yeah, I mean, I would. Also that’s why I was so uninformed that I told the recruiter like, hey, and I called her up. And her reaction was not favorable. But you know, I wasn’t trying to hide anything, either. I just didn’t know any better.

Okay, let me see here. So here is a question about networking with other recruiters. So obviously, you were within a company. So you must have your own internal network. But what about with other recruiters outside your company? Is there a network there that you would be able to potentially leverage for a candidate that say you had a long term relationship with but not a role for specifically?

No, like yeah, but no, like, we know, other recruiters. But again, it’s going back to most of them are representing organizations. So like, there are ways that I can help you more, I’d say I would be a better resource to connect you with people at companies I’m not working with versus other recruiters. That’s fair. Is that fair? Like, as far as like, you know, if you were looking at, let’s just, I just pick a company, I would never work for Labaris, right? But you were curious if I knew some people there and wanted to know, like, what theater would be best to get in front of the Labaris. I couldn’t, right? But I could definitely tell you who would be hiring right now. And what teams might be looking to expand within, you know, political development, and I could probably connect you with an individuals at Labaris versus, you know, versus a recruiter who is retained by them. Yeah.

Okay. That’s fair. I think everybody always wants their foot in the actual door anyway. So I think if you can connect somebody with someone at the company, that at least, I mean, I didn’t write this question. But to me, that sounds like very valuable. Yeah, regardless. So here’s a question that I don’t know. Maybe it’s just an opportunity for us to open the door. I mean, you’ve been so generous with your time, I know on Larias Blog, you’ve just invited people to contact you. You’ve told me that you know, anyone on this call, or that I share this with later, they can be in touch with you. And you’re very open to just sharing, which is wonderful.

Looking back at the question that someone had asked about how to connect with recruiters. And what is you know, if it’s okay to reach out, rather than to wait to be reached to? And they’re asking, What is a good way to do that? Or what is liked about that? Or what are some pet peeves about that? So I don’t know if you get a lot of people who approached you, but can you tell us about how you would like that kind of outreach to happen.

I mean, I’m very easygoing. So like, you want to text me or call me or send me a LinkedIn or an email. It’s all good. I appreciate you know, like, I’m always open to building my network. I can’t imagine that anyone has a reluctancy to engage from a recruiting perspective, because, you know, our job is to establish relationships, and you’re just making it that much easier by reaching out to us. So like, as much as I was looking for, or something I was also gonna read the tea leaves and what I think what the genesis of this question was about is that it is you know, somewhat of a faux pas, when you’re trying to network to get a new job, to just call up people cold and say, “Hey, I’m trying to break into your industry, can you help me get a job?”

Like no one likes that? But I think they’re probably saying, Is there an equivalent when they reach out to a recruiter to not be off putting, but if I’m hearing you correctly calling you up and saying, Hey, I’m a physician, and I’m really looking for a job, you know, can you help me? Since your job is to help place jobs? That’s good with you. Yeah? I think there’s that’s the distinction, right? Because like, if you’re calling someone at GSK, I’m looking to break into industry, their job is to work on the protocols they are working on or, you know, do the safety monitoring for their development program, right. Like, it’s not to help you. My job is to help people to break into the industry. So I think they’re my job recruiters, you know, generally, that’s, that’s what their role is in the process. So I think that it’s a different element and different kind of connection.

That’s great. Thank you for that. It’s so candid, I appreciate it. Because I think that’s where this person is coming from something to be sure to get that back. Here’s a question that I have. Now I have my own thoughts on this, but I’m not the expert here. So you tell me, you already said you definitely use LinkedIn and keywords, right? And the recruiter software to look for profiles that match what you’re looking for. What about the LinkedIn ready to work, little circle around your picture and those functionalities that you can turn on and off to say you’re ready to work or open to work one of those things? What’s your take on that?

It’s a good thing to have. If you’re open to work, you should do it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, the one thing I will say, you’re probably bombarded with contacts, and it’s just about your own individual level of tolerance. I’m sure that once and I know I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure there are other people out there that are just you know, they have like almost a good tickler where if someone’s open for networking, it comes up on their LinkedIn, and they just send them a message, right, like, right, so like, you’re probably going to be bombarded with contacts. But it is a good way for people to know that you’re looking and there’s definitely been instances where like, I wouldn’t have thought that someone was looking necessarily, but that cued need to know that they were on the lookout. Right? So I think that, that is helpful in certain circumstances.

That’s great. That’s really great. So I had certainly heard that right, that that sort of opens you up to sounds like you’re saying just a large volume, but along with that volume could be contingency and other sort of unscrupulous type of activities. But what about the sort of wisdom? If I don’t even I don’t know if I should call it that, air quotes… of that, if you are looking for a job, that you are somehow less desirable as a candidate. Right, like, if you are, if you are a strong candidate, when you already be employed? I think that’s the message that some people have said, right, is that you should, that a candidate is much more attractive when they’re gainfully employed.

I don’t think that’s wrong, right on its face. However, with the nature of you know, and I guess I’ll put this out there, most of the work that I do is with smaller biotech, right, so it’s more biotech focus than it would be big pharma. And where I’m going with that is within biotech, there are a lot of reasons that people are open. Right, it could be that the program you’re working on failed, and has nothing to do with you. Right? And that will make you any less attracted to, or, you know, you joined to work with a certain CMO and head of R&D, and you’ve been there for two years, and those two people left and you can’t stand the new CMO.

Like, that’s a reasonable reason to want to leave. Right. So, um, I don’t think it makes you less attractive, I do think there is something to say about like, if you’re doing well, at your job, you’re probably, you know, a good candidate. And I would say probably, but there’s a stigma that you’re a good candidate, because there’s a reason that that company wants to keep you around, and you’re doing your job well. And, you know, it speaks to, you know, your abilities more so than anything else. But I don’t think that in any way, if you’re open to leaving, it makes you a worse candidate, but it’s all about your experiences.

And again, working with someone like myself, I’m able to articulate, you know, in a routine fashion, not just me, you know, what is about your experience that makes you qualify why you’re leaving by now and why there’s like legitimacy behind it and get the company to understand you know, your motivations, what’s driving you and to me most often, once that conversation is had and there’s an engagement with the company. Those questions fall by the wayside, and it’s about do we connect? Right? Do you have the right experience? Not those kind of like gatekeeper type of questions. That’s great. And just to put some people so you know, this entire call are all women physicians who are currently employed in pharma. So just to put our minds at ease if we don’t have open to work on, but you happen to come across our profiles, and you think we’re amazing candidates, you would still reach out, right? Yes. That’s not like a closed door? No. Okay. It is, yeah. We would want a closed door at all. It would be hard to deter us from reaching out if you were a good candidate. That’s our job. Right? Yeah.

Thank you. So one question that’s come in here, I think, is because some of us on the call also are in positions where we are hiring for our teams. If there’s a great fit, how long will a company, on average, wait for a candidate knowing that internally, you know, it’s like two weeks moving. But if you’re taking someone from clinical practice, they often have contracts with, you know, 2, 3, 4 months notice required, so if someone loves, there’s love for the candidate? Can you wait, can you wait the 90 days, or whatever it is for them to extricate themselves from their clinical contracts?

I would say, you know, there’s, it’s very hard for you to answer that question. Because it’s gonna be, they’re gonna be a lot of factors about right, like, how desperate, like, how much of a need is there for the person at the company? Like, where are they? Like, if you’re looking to file an ind in five months, and you need to wait three weeks? Probably not. I mean, three months, it’s not probably not going to work. Right. If that’s not the scenario, then there might be some period, I would say that, generally, we’ve seen more flexibility than a two week period, because part and parcel that the market is so tight, that if you find the right person, it’s better to wait an extra two months, then to try and find another person in that two month period. That’s probably enough to have you wait a month anyway. Right.

So I think there is leverage there. And also, what we’ve seen often and I can’t speak to the, you know, legal enforceability is that oftentimes those contracts, you know, you’d say, you have to give 90 days, if you tell them you want to work 45, and you try and negotiate away out of the way, and they understand you’re going to, you know, yeah, the next step in your career, they’re going to have some flexibility as well. But just to instance, you know, I’ve placed recently chief medical officers with the wait two months, three months to give notice. I’ve placed senior directors recently where they had to wait four weeks to give notice, and then it’s a total of six weeks, right. So like, there’s flexibility beyond that two week period, for sure, especially in this market.

That’s super, thank you. I’m going to lump two questions, sort of together that one that have come to the chat. I mean, one is about how quickly people move around in pharma. Very often, it’s just every couple of years. And I know, just last time we were having this chat, we did have some discussion about, you know, if you stay in a job longer than three years, are you like, are you getting old, getting stale? It’s time to move on? The flip side of that coin, one question that’s come in is, is it? Is it a faux pas to be replying to recruiters, when you are recent, like newly in a role, right? Do you look like you know, you would jump ship too early, or you wouldn’t be loyal? And I’m asking you from the perspective of the recruiter, obviously, our bosses might have different feelings about it. Right. But from the recruiters perspective, is it ever sort of too soon or too late to be looking for something new? And does that does that? Does that like, color your thinking in any way?

So I mean, it definitely colors my thinking the same way that it would for your bosses, right? Because in the same vein, like my goal is, again, to come back to it is to find someone that’s going to be a good fit, not just like, take the role, right, that’s ultimately gonna lead both sides satisfied. And if you’re moving jobs year after year, that’s a little bit of a, you know, I hate this term, but like a red flag to me, doesn’t mean that I’ll engage with, that I won’t engage because I think the real crux is like, what are the motivations? Why did you leave? Did you have a family issue where you had to take a little break? Right? There are things that make it understandable.

It’s just a matter of how you articulate that. And also, just because you’re willing to engage with me doesn’t mean that you’re looking at a job, you know, again, coming back to it, I’ve built many relationships where like, the first five years are just me and the person talking about, you know, different indications that are compelling different platforms that they like, the experiences, they’ve had different companies, maybe me using them for a resource, right? And then finally, there’s something they like, just engaging in any way doesn’t mean anything as far as like, whether I’ll continue to do that or not. If I talk to you and it sounds like you’re always jumping to find another title or you know, every drop of a dime or something doesn’t go your way you leave a company. Yeah, that’s not going to be good.

Yeah, that’s helpful. And I think the only other thing that is left on our list, which, you know, I’m gonna I’ll just go ahead and say it so you can react to it is not a question, was more of a comment and I feel like I may as well put it out there. When I tried to crowdsource these questions, somebody said, Never use recruiters, the best jobs don’t need them, and they aren’t going to help you. Any thoughts on that?

No, it’s not offensive to me at all right? I mean, like, I would say, like, there are definitely jobs out there where they don’t need recruiters the same time, I think it comes back to like, you know, we just placed the actual who’s of the CEO of the new company, Scorpion, right, they used us to recruit, that’s a pretty attractive job. Obviously, we landed a pretty high visibility candidate, and they needed a recruiter. And part of that’s because you know, everyone on the board, everyone that is part of the decision making, they have other obligations to do. And in order to find the right person, you really have to tell a good story and make sure that there’s proactivity, in connecting with people. And, you know, in order to do that, most companies need a recruiter, you can have the best job in the world. But if all you do is post it on LinkedIn, and the person who’s really good for it, is just doing their day job, not looking on LinkedIn for a new job, the connection will never be made.

So I think that no matter how great of a job it is, if people aren’t aware of it and don’t understand it, and you know, generally the best candidates aren’t just looking out there to what we talked about earlier. There’s no productivity, and that really will hurt companies and their ability to find people and they’ve recognized that which is why really good companies, really good VC firms are looking at us. There we go. Well said. So thank you so much, Matt, I really appreciate you being willing to come on here today.

And listeners, that concludes the interview, but you’ll be happy to know that Matt has graciously agreed that he’ll be happy to hear from anybody. I guess that’s no surprise after hearing his answers to some of these questions. But on my website in the show notes, wherever you’re listening to this podcast, I am going to post Matt’s contact information so that if you want to talk with him about your own career or just even about some of the topics we talked about today, he said he’s always very happy to have those conversations. He’s delighted for you to reach out. So I certainly hope you’ll take him up on that offer. And I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of The Career Rx.

Before you go, please review, share and subscribe to this podcast. Your support makes all the difference and it truly helps this information reach someone who may really need it. Until next time, thanks for listening.

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