Top 35 Biotech Recruiters

Biotech Researcher looking into microscope in laboratory

As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the healthcare space, there is significant demand for life sciences talent throughout the world. No longer the milieu of big pharma, many startups are offering attractive base salaries and incentives for top talent and additionally, new positions are being created as the demand for data scientists grows.

The advances of digital technology have added many opportunities that simply did not exist before, and new research into gene editing and other highly specialized treatments is set to explode.

All things considered, this situation has solidified a fertile platform for biotech recruiters, resulting in many new firms to choose from. The average industry growth is reported at more than 5.1 percent per year, the number of companies has grown by 5.2 percent, and the number of employees by 5.3 percent.

To illustrate the landscape of biotech recruiting, we’ve compiled a list of the top 50 biotech recruiters you should know about:


1.      Pact & Partners

Since 1987, Pact and Partners has dedicated their efforts solely to Trans-Atlantic life sciences recruiting. A global leader in executive search, their experience and insight are unparalleled, and their track record of success speaks for itself. Located in Boston and Paris, they leverage a proprietary international database that covers every field related to life sciences. Contact Pact and Partners directly to learn more.

2.      Advanced Clinical

With offices in San Francisco, Orlando, and Maitland, FL, Advanced Clinical specializes in clinical research and technology recruiting for pharma, biopharma, biotech, and medical device companies. Established in 1994, they now have representation in more than 50 countries worldwide.

3.      Allen-Jeffers Associates

A legacy recruiting company in the life sciences sector, Allen-Jeffers Associates was established in 1978. They continue to be a highly respected player in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and allied technology industry, focusing exclusively on executive search at the level of c-suite, board of directors, and senior contributor.

4.      The Bandish Group

Established in 1996, The Bandish Group covers a broad range of specialties in life sciences recruitment from clinical trial management to c-suite executives, contract positions, diagnostic, manufacturing, research, and much more. Headquartered in Warrington, PA, they have the distinction of being 100 percent Women Business Owned and are Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Certified. A key focus for Bandish is on building domestic teams for international companies.

5.      BattaliaWinston

Described as a mid-size executive search firm with an international reach, BattaliaWinston is headquartered in New York City but also has offices in most major markets in the United States. In business since 1963, their experience and insight lend legacy to the search for life sciences executive talent. They have well-established relationships with markets that include Europe, Asia, and South America, assuring their clients of well-rounded insight into world markets.

6.      Lennon Search Associates and Bio Partners Search Group

Specializing in executive, technical, managerial, and engineering placements for major life sciences and Fortune 100 companies, Lennon Search Associates was originally founded in 1988 as Hall Management Group. With offices in Virginia, Georgia, and North and South Carolina, company head, Bill Lennon, is also the founding partner for Bio-Partners Search Group, a firm focused exclusively on bio tech recruiting.

7.      BioPhase Solutions

With a specific focus on supporting companies in the state of California, BioPhase has three offices in the state, located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. They offer recruiting expertise in clinical research, scientific, human resources, managerial, and administrative positions within the life sciences industry.

8.      BioQuest

Specializing in practice areas that include medical devices, biopharma, diagnostics, digital health, consumer med, and health IT, BioQuest shows the most success in c-suite and board of directors placements, with strong results in sales, R&D, clinical, and regulatory positions. Their partnership with DiversifiedSearch gives them a global reach, operating in 35 countries around the world.

9.      BLG Healthcare Executive Search

With offices in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, BLG Healthcare Executive Search is one of the top life sciences recruitment providers to the European market. Their specialties are in the areas of medical devices, biotech, and pharmaceuticals and their experience and connections allow them to access top European talent wherever it lives.

10. Bowdoin Group

A trusted life sciences search firm, Bowdoin Group has offices in Boston, MA, and New York City. Established in 1994, they focus on leadership recruitment as well as other strategic positions, such as software and technology, FinTech, digital health, and biopharma. Known for their ability to deliver, their mission is to help companies meet the rapid pace of industry growth and place top talent where they will be most effective.

11. Compass Consulting Group

Compass Consulting is a boutique recruiter that focuses on placing high-level professional and senior-level leadership talent for pharmaceutical, biotech, molecular diagnostics, and medical products companies. Established in 2008, they boast a combined 65 years of recruiting experience and are known for their personalized service. They have offices in the San Francisco Bay area as well as in the mid-west and the Greater Boston area.

12. Cornerstone Search Group

Specializing in biotech and pharmaceutical executive search, Cornerstone Search Group describes itself as a “boutique” executive search firm focused on leadership and innovation. Located in Parsippany, NJ, they also maintain offices in Switzerland and offer both retained and non-retained recruitment services.

13. Corporate Search

Located in San Francisco, CA, Corporate Search focuses exclusively on executive and management positions across a range of life sciences niches, including biotech, pharma, and hospitals in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Many of Corporate Search’s clients come to them to fill contract and consultant positions for both short-term and long-term placements. Their market share in the United States is approximately 31 percent of the private workforce, making them a major player in this space.

14. Coulter Partners

Coulter Partners is a retained search company that sets itself apart with a strong emphasis on global networks and a very specific approach in terms of culture development. Their team boasts a deep scientific understanding and experience in the life sciences industry, focusing on building strong foundations through leadership. Headquartered in the UK, they also maintain a strong presence in Switzerland, Denmark, France, Germany, and Australia.

15. Critical Path Inc.

Focusing exclusively on biotech and pharma, Critical Path has been operating for more than 30 years. They work either on a retained basis or on contingency, tailoring their search to the specific needs of the client.

16. Donaldson Solutions

Donaldson was established in 2012 to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, but they also recruit for biotech, cell therapies, pharmaceutical engineering, and medical devices companies in the UK. With a 92 percent candidate acceptance rate and a retention rate of almost 80 percent, they are results-driven and willing to go the extra mile to ensure success.

17. Double Helix

A company that focuses both on recruiting and staffing, Double Helix supports companies of all sizes with diagnostic laboratory, biotech, healthcare, and clinical trial expertise. Located in San Jose, CA, they have strong competencies in software and compliance solutions.

18. Dunne and Associates

Founded in 2013, Dunne and Associates is recognized as one of the top recruiters in the country in medical device, molecular diagnostic, and pharmaceuticals in both the scientific and marketing and sales niches. Located in Greenville, SC, the company puts a strong focus on giving back.

19. HireLifeScience

Rather than a recruiter in the classic sense, HireLifeScience is an online tool and database for the pharmaceutical, life sciences, and biotech industry – somewhere between a job board and an AI-driven recruiting platform for both job seekers and companies looking to hire.

20. Hire Minds

Established in 1998, HireMinds recruits for a range of industry sectors, including healthcare and life sciences. Located in Cambridge, MA, they offer resume preparation, transitional and onboarding support to their clients and candidates alike.

21. Joseph Associates

Specializing in recruiting and staffing for the pharmaceutical industry as well as biotech, biomedical, clinical trials, medical device companies, and hospitals, Joseph Associates has been in business since 1986. Headquartered in Huntington, NY, they offer both contingency and retained search to best suit the client’s needs.

22. Kuhn Med-Tech

Since 1979, Kuhn Med-Tech has built a superior track record of success for small to medium-sized businesses and startups in the R&D, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, engineering, marketing and sales, clinical affairs, and quality control. Located in California, Kuhn serves companies throughout the world and has a well-established European network.

23. Life Science Partner

Founded by a former managing director at Korn Ferry and based in Atlanta, GA, LifeSciencePartner combines deep scientific knowledge with executive search expertise, focusing on medical device companies, healthcare organizations, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies. Their associates hold PhDs in biochem and biophysics, assuring clients of a quality recruiting experience.

24. Life Search Technologies

Located in Hunt Valley, MD, LifeSearch Technologies has been in business since 2002, securing biotech and analytical placements, executive opportunities in healthcare, and both private and public sector IT positions across North America.

25. Manning Personnel Group

Manning is a small, family-run agency headquartered in Boston, MA. Established in 1992, they began with a focus on the finance industry but have had some significant success in pharmaceutical, medical devices, healthcare, and biotechnology.

26. Meirxrs

Meirxrs is an international healthcare recruiting firm out of Glendale, CA. In business since 1992, they specialize in placements in regulatory affairs, medical affairs, clinical research, and quality assurance and are known for their promise to deliver three high-quality candidates within 21 days of engagement. They also work with consultants, apprentices, and recent graduates.

27. Phil Ellis Associates

Founded in 1978, Phil Ellis Associates specializes in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical placements and has built a storied reputation for their insight and knowledge as well as an efficient and professional approach.

28. Reaction Search International

A dedicated executive recruiter, Reaction focuses on biotechnology, healthcare organizations, clinical research, and the pharmaceutical sector. They have offices in most major centers in the United States as well as Hong Kong, France, Australia, Moscow, the UK, Canada, China, and Germany, serving clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies throughout the world.

29. Resource Management and Acquisitions

RMA Search has more than 40 locations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific and, according to their website, can connect clients to a network of hundreds of executive search staffing experts all over the world to fill healthcare and biotech vacancies.

30. Dennis Partners

A front-runner in regulatory recruiting, Dennis Partners has been placing regulatory affairs professionals from the mid-management level to the c-suite since 2003. Headquartered in Dennis, MA, they are a certified Women’s Business Enterprise.

31. Kelly Services

As one of the world’s most recognized staffing firms, Kelly Services has been serving clients all over the world since 1946.

32. Korn Ferry

An executive search company with a global reach, Korn Ferry has more than 7,500 associates in 50 countries worldwide, offering a range of services from organizational and leadership development to succession planning and corporate culture building.

33. Lock Search Group

Based in Toronto, Canada, Lock Search Group was founded in 1983 and has several areas of focus in the life sciences sector including biotech, medical devices, clinical research, biologics, long term care, product launches, dental, and vision care.

34. Groom and Associates

For more than twenty years, Groom has been placing life science and pharmaceutical candidates in leadership and scientific positions for some of the world’s largest and most influential companies in the world.

35. Pact and Partners

Since 1987, Pact and Partners has dedicated their efforts solely to Trans-Atlantic life sciences recruiting. A global leader in executive search, their experience and insight are unparalleled, and their track record of success speaks for itself. Located in Boston and Paris, they leverage a proprietary international database that covers every field related to life sciences. Contact Pact and Partners directly to learn more.


The Mechanics of Conducting an Executive Leadership Assessment

Business people having a discussion in cafeteria

Executive leadership assessments are a way to gain valuable insight, not only into areas in which your leaders excel but also to those that need more attention. Whether you are applying leadership assessments to new hires or your current team, they are a highly beneficial tool that can improve your culture and identify raw talent that might not be immediately evident.

For the executive, having a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses can only support the efforts to become a more effective leader.

For the potential leader, gaining insight as to what areas require improvement will significantly reduce the risk of derailment.

Performance Vs. Potential

It’s important to note that assessing leadership potential is about the possibilities – not just the status quo at the moment. Performance and potential are two very distinct concepts. Just because an employee is a high-performer does not mean that he or she has strong leadership qualities.

The truth is, most companies don’t do an outstanding job of identifying leadership potential among their employees. Some choose their leaders based solely on their personal experiences with the individual, fortified with past performance reviews. One study, conducted by Martin and Schmidt (2010), found that 40 percent of all internal leadership promotions fail.

Though it can be a mitigating factor, strong leadership potential is not just about experience or tenure at the company; it is just as much about having the capability to grow and improve. Like all things, your business will ebb and flow. It makes sense that your executive leaders should have that capacity as well.

The difference between a high-performer and an executive leader has much more to do with agility than merely being able to perform key functions. As expectations increase, so do the challenges. Whereas a perfectly competent manager might get the job done, the executive would maximize the value of the task for everybody’s benefit. It’s the difference between short-term and long-term thinking. It’s the difference between a transactional and transformational approach.

Leadership Markers: Understanding The Mechanics Of Leadership

Executive leadership assessment is a multi-layered process. Assessment tools, either an established protocol or something you develop yourself, can be beneficial. Before diving in, however, you should have a good understanding of the principles that indicate leadership potential.

The result of extensive research and data collection, these seven attributes are widely viewed as reliable indicators of leadership potential:

  1. Strategic thinking, including the ability to deal with ambiguity.
  2. Interpersonal skills, including maturity, resilience, stability, and dominance.
  3. Adaptability, including the capacity to learn, learning agility, and willingness to accept feedback.
  4. Leadership skills, including the ability to manage, influence, and inspire others.
  5. Motivation, including engagement, drive to succeed, focus on results, risk-taking, and energy.
  6. Performance, including leadership experience and past performance.
  7. Values and knowledge, including cultural suitability, plus technical skills.

Leadership Assessment Tools

In terms of assessing these values, there is a multitude of tools you can apply to support your efforts. Assessments like CliftonStrengths, Hogan Assessments, and The Leadership Circle are among the top performers in this space. There are plenty more, but some individual research should be applied to determine which ones will be most appropriate for your culture.

All of these tools can be very helpful in determining suitability for a position. They address the seven markers listed above and give you a better understanding of how the candidate will perform. Even if you do not intend to place the candidate in a leadership position right away, it can give you some indication of what the future may hold and help you direct your mentoring activities appropriately.

These assessments can also be reapplied periodically to gauge the employee’s progress. Coupled with real-world exercises and honestly given and accepted feedback, these efforts can put the hard truths on the table. Once an employee expresses their desire to improve, it paves the way for trust, cooperation, and learning opportunities.

Executive Leadership Success

Leadership ascension is a delicate task. You will, along the way, invest a great deal of time and resources into ensuring you have the right person in the position. You may think you have the raw talent in-house, but are they truly ready for what you have in mind? Taking a systematic approach is critical to your success – and theirs.

To learn more about how we can help, reach out today.

The Hardest Part of Recruiting For Life Sciences

Life Scienes healthcare researcher in lab uniform holding petri dish

The rapidly changing face of the life sciences industry has created a vital and fertile ground for top scientific and clinical talent to make great progress in medicine, healthcare, and biotechnology. But with these rapid changes comes the realization that we can’t really predict where it’s all headed.

As a recruiter, having a deep understanding of your niche is widely understood to be the key to success. However, no matter what industry area you work with, recruiting is about people. If you have a talent for connecting with people, for understanding their hopes and fears, their challenges, their triumphs, and their shortcomings, this is what will drive your success. These people skills are a prerequisite, while much of the rest, including the highly technical jargon-packed world of life sciences, can be learned.

The Global Talent Shortage

The real problem in recruiting for life sciences, arguably, is that there is a global talent shortage. In such a fast-growing area, this is becoming a big problem for even the most experienced recruiters. Demand far outweighs supply and many recruiters resort to persuasive techniques to lure top talent away from one company to place them in another.

But it’s like a game of whack-a-mole. For every candidate placed, there are 10 more positions to fill and that number is growing on a daily basis. If our educational system doesn’t do a better job of turning out more scientists, engineers, and so on, this trend will continue to threaten progress and will possibly limit our ability to access new treatments and clinical methodologies.

Complementary Skills Deliver Innovation

As new innovations in gene therapy, medication, and biotech offer the promise of a better future, these needs will continue to rise, but the industry needs are not all scientific.

While the scientific breakthroughs may get all the press, the people behind the scenes, the ones that facilitate the research and lay the groundwork for the work to be done, represent a large majority of the need.

For a recruiter in life sciences, it might seem that the job is a never-ending and thankless endeavor. Fortunately, there is a great deal of talent out there that, while they may lack direct experience with the technical positions we are trying to fill, they have complementary skills and experience that can be advantageous as they bring a diverse perspective to the problems that need to be solved. According to Steve Arkinstall, CEO of Elstar Therapeutics, for example, any area of biology can be applied to drug development.

But some of the skills needed in life sciences are not necessarily scientific. People who have experience with in-licensing or who have a talent for managing collaboration are always in high demand. Many of the newest and most rapidly advancing companies need to establish themselves in different countries and any missteps could potentially derail the entire process.

Having someone on board who understands the culture and can navigate the regulatory framework of the market is crucial to their progress.

Focusing an Educational Strategy

Combinations of skills can be part of an educational strategy as well. Combining specialties is not an unusual path, but taking a practical approach is important. Aileen Alsop of AstraZeneca suggests that science students should focus on getting practical experience before they delve into the business or finance end of things. She also advocates choosing a more focused first degree over a combination of majors. According to Alsop, a degree in pure chemistry will give a candidate more options than a diluted major that includes finance. “If you want to add finance later, you can do that.”

That’s not to say that having a business perspective on top of a scientific degree doesn’t have merit. There is still a great deal of demand for people on the science side of things that also have a background in marketing, sales, or project management. Those with science skills that are outside the field, such as computer science, physics, engineering, and mathematics can also find exciting careers in pharma or biotech and the needs for specialists such as these will only continue to grow.

In conclusion, the complexities and challenges of recruiting for life sciences can be solved, like many other problems, with a little creative thinking. If you have life sciences recruiting needs you need to fill, we can help. Reach out today to set up a conversation. The hardest part is already behind you.

7 Reasons Why Your Recruiting Efforts Fall Short

Recruit talking with recruitment committee

Not every life sciences company partners with a search firm for their recruiting. However, recruiting for your own firm isn’t always easy. There are many reasons why your recruiting efforts might fall short, but the key point to remember here is – you are not alone!

Even in the recruitment industry, we often find it difficult to land the right talent for our own teams. Does this mean we are unable to do so? Absolutely not! What is needed to succeed is a methodical approach – knowing where the obstacles are and doing our best to avoid them.

To help you do the same, let’s look at seven reasons why your recruiting efforts might fall short:

  1. Being Unrealistic About Your Expectations

Many employers conjure up an “ideal employee” persona that is simply impossible to manifest. Being realistic about what the role entails and aligning this need with expectations is key when identifying the right candidates.

  1. You Fail to Look Beyond The Resume

Smart people can make themselves look pretty good on paper. However, the resume only tells a small part of the story. Taking for granted that what’s on the resume is gospel is often narrow-minded. Be sure to check references, ask questions, and get buy-in from other stakeholders before making a decision.

  1. You Are Blinded by Their Charisma

Some people just interview well. That doesn’t mean that they are right for the job – it just means they are persuasive – not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re hiring for the sales department, but what are they really like? Charm only goes so far. No matter how much you like the candidate, make sure they can walk the talk.

  1. You Do Not Have A Strong Employer Brand

Having a strong employer brand is important if you want to attract the right people. Being seen as a great company to work for, whether it’s because of your people, your culture, your innovation, or a combination of those things will help you do so. Make it known what you do for your employees. Whether you offer educational opportunities, housing resources, paid volunteer time, cool perks or benefits, you need to make it known.

  1. You Are Relying on Social Media but Not Using It Properly

If you have decided on a social recruitment strategy, don’t just post job openings. This does nothing to engage or encourage potential candidates to interact with you. Social recruitment is a two-way street. Take the opportunity to display some of your brand personality, whether it’s pictures of a networking event, employee achievements, or social activities outside the office. This gives candidates a chance to picture themselves working there and it might give you a leg up on the top talent you’re after.

  1. You Don’t Sell Yourself Well Enough

This could be true of recruiter or candidate. But think about it. If your candidate fails to see the benefits of working for your organization, what impetus will they have to give you a shot? A good way to walk through this process is to develop an “ideal candidate persona”. This will help you identify in advance their professional challenges, their values, and their short-and-long-term goals so that you can articulate these points back to them during the interview process.

  1. Your Onboarding Process Is Not Well-Developed

Between 40 and 50 percent of all new hires quit within the first six months. In many cases, this is due to a non-existent or undeveloped onboarding program. Your new hire should be nurtured during the early stages. Outlining a clear process, complete with benchmarks, and providing adequate mentorship along the way will help you succeed. Connect the candidate to people in your organization who will stand by them through the learning process. Identify a progression of milestones to be achieved during this time to help them acclimate. These approaches will also help you to quantify their efforts, so you can adequately measure success.

In conclusion, successful recruitment takes commitment, but it also requires a broad view of the bigger picture. You must ask yourself: How is this person going to benefit the company? How will they get along with my team? What are they really looking for? And are they going to be happy here? If you can answer these questions, you just may have a very good chance at landing the talent you’re after.

Executive Recruiters Deliver Value in a Tight Job Market

Executive shaking hands with new recruit

Executive Recruiters Deliver Value in a Tight Job Market

The job market in America has never been more competitive or exciting. Following a business slump that seemed like it would never end, companies in a wide range of sectors are actively seeking top talent.

Technology and Life Sciences are two areas seeing the biggest surge in demand. Competition for young talent—some just out of school—is high. Some companies, out of sheer desperation, are willing to take a second look at candidates they would not have considered just a few years ago, underscoring the need to partner with staffing agencies who specialize in these niches.

Available jobs today almost outnumber the unemployed – a metric the likes of which has not been seen since the millennium and a drastic swing away from the 2009 post-recession statistic of almost seven people per job vacancy. The ensuing issue, once a candidate has been placed, is how to keep them interested and productive enough that they stay the course.

In a market where companies are scrambling to compete, to innovate, and to establish themselves as a force in their market, working with a professional recruiter just makes sense. With an ability to see beyond a company’s immediate needs, the likelihood of placing a candidate that can go the distance is far greater, delivering value that goes above and beyond.

Today’s tight job market favors the candidate

As the requirement to meet financial as productivity targets continues to be a concern, placing the right person in the right position is more important than ever. Job growth is predicted to slow because companies are having a difficult time hiring the talent they need.

According to PNC Financials’ chief economist, Gus Faucher, this will likely result in businesses being forces to raise salaries in an effort to convince key personnel to stay put. Employees, on the other hand, are leveraging their power and finding that switching jobs is working in their favor.

Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta shows that individuals who switched jobs saw an average of 3.9 percent increase in salaries, showing that there is an incentive to keep options open. While this represents a small cross-section of industry in the financial sector, companies in any industry should take note: if employees are restless, they are likely to pursue other opportunities.

Now, more than ever, hiring for fit should be paramount. When placed in the right position, all parties benefit. Employees are happy, challenged, and fulfilled, attrition is much reduced, and business can scale, innovate, and thrive, knowing that their teams are well-placed within the company culture.

How an executive recruiter improves your chances of landing the right talent

While nothing in life is guaranteed, some business decisions will help you buck the odds on the side of success when it comes to recruiting. Executive talent and leadership is not always self-evident. In most cases, it doesn’t simply leap out when an opportunity presents itself.

More often, it is a matter of knowing where to look, and that is where having a staffing professional on your side is going to make a difference. Even if you think you have identified the ideal candidate, building a successful campaign takes a certain amount of finesse and insight, not only into your long-range goals, but as to what they really want – and often, it has little to do with money.

For top talent, you see, money is not the be-all-end-all. Of course, it’s a factor, but finding a good fit for their skills and their passions is just as important. If an employee, whether they are an executive or a researcher, feels at home where they are, they are not likely to leave.

Appealing to their sense of purpose is key, and this requires a nuanced approach. Inevitably, if your candidate is this strong, there will be other recruiters and other companies who will be attempting to turn their heads elsewhere.

In conclusion, landing the right talent is crucial to your success. Studies show that high-performers are at least eight times—400 percent—more productive than their average counterpart. This is a significant argument in favor of hiring well.

If you would like to learn more about how Pact and Partners can help you with your leadership staffing needs, reach out today.