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.


Common Pitfalls in International Biotech Recruiting

Two lab technicians in bio tech lab

Common Pitfalls in International Biotech Recruiting

If you are searching for top leadership talent for your international biotech company, it always pays to work with a specialist. Whether you are a small company, a startup, or a global organization, it’s never easy. Pact & Partners, a leading Life Sciences recruiting firm, is here to support you with sound advice on common pitfalls in international biotech recruiting and tips on how to avoid making them.

Good leadership is hard to find. Landing the ideal candidate is often a lengthy and complex process that requires patience, preparation, and the ability to visualize what that talent looks like and what, ideally, they will bring to the table.

If you are expanding into new markets this process is especially difficult as there may be vastly different compliance and regulatory issues to consider. The culture is different, and the expectations of the clientele are different, but one thing that never changes is the talent itself. Being able to identify the right talent is where the challenge lies, but there are ways to mitigate the risk and give yourself a better chance of success.

Let’s look at a few actionable tips that can help you avoid common pitfalls in international biotech recruiting:

International biotech recruiting tip #1: Keep your eye on the prize

Your company’s mission and vision should figure prominently in any major recruiting decision you make. Placing the right person in the right position is key to your long-term success. Even if you feel that you are behind the eight-ball and need to make a decision sooner than later, try to focus on the future.

Your gut reaction might be to hire somebody who will provide a “quick fix” in the short-term, but if you have doubts about their long-term potential, perhaps it’s more prudent to keep your options open. If your goal is to find somebody who will be able to take your organization into the future, be absolutely sure about your decision. Having to revisit this process again in the near future is neither cost-effective or good for your culture. If you absolutely need somebody right away, consider placing somebody on a temporary basis until you find the right fit.

International biotech recruiting tip #2: Consider the local culture

Culture is important to any high-performing organization, but it’s also important to note that just because a culture works for you in one country doesn’t mean it will be exactly the same in another. Business practices, regulations, and customs are likely to be completely different, so it’s important that you don’t put yourself in a situation where you are forcing a square peg into a round hole. If you do, you are putting your new recruit at risk and possibly your company if you lose them entirely. Keep an open mind, think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Consider the qualities that are most valued in the target country rather than clinging to what you know.

International biotech recruiting tip #3: Familiarize yourself with local markets and specialties

Knowing what the standards are in each country you are going into is key to a successful recruitment process. Find out what typical salary ranges are in the target country as well as what the long-term expectations are of candidates in your niche. Some of these variables can range drastically from city to city as well, not to mention the talent pool may be larger in some places than others. In a more competitive market, you may have to be more persuasive to secure the talent you need.

International biotech recruiting tip #4: Know about local privacy and hiring legalities

As some countries have restrictions on what you can and cannot ask a potential candidate, it is important to familiarize yourself with these policies before you begin the process. Asking the wrong question might land you in much deeper water than if it were simply a faux-pas — it may actually get you in trouble with the law! Some are issues of privacy and some are meant to discourage discrimination. Become well-versed in employee rights and the expectations that are upon you, as an employer.

International biotech recruiting tip #5: Be realistic

Recruiting for biotech takes time — especially if you are in search of effective leadership. You might be able to shortlist a few candidates within the first few months, but there are other tasks that need to be completed before you can begin negotiations. These include vetting their claims, checking their references, assessing their skills, and determining whether they are a good cultural fit — and none of these will happen overnight.

Some of the issues that might affect your timeline include the unemployment rate in your target country; if there are more people than there are jobs, the process may go a little more quickly. If the reverse is true, prepare for a lengthy and nuanced process, as even if you do locate an ideal candidate, it may take careful negotiation in order to lure them away from their current position or another offer.

International biotech recruiting tip #6: Include all decision makers in the hiring process

This is a common trap that many companies fall into — not inviting the opinions of all of the stakeholders in the group. You want to make sure that everybody is on board with your decision to avoid push-back down the line. If there are concerns, hear them out. If you feel you need to be quick to move on a particular candidate, call a meeting so that everybody’s voice can be heard.

International biotech recruiting tip #7: Consider soft skills

Soft skills are essential for any leadership position and nowhere is this more evident than in the high-stakes biotech industry. However, certain character traits can be viewed differently from country to country, so it’s important to understand how your candidate’s soft skills fit into the bigger picture.

For example, North Americans and British people tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor. Europeans, on the other hand, don’t understand sarcasm and would likely think that the person either didn’t like them or was being intentionally insulting. While this is not likely the case, it’s important to protect your staff from little earthquakes like this that could potentially disrupt the status quo.

Humility, familiarity, arrogance, brevity, and candor can also be misinterpreted if the cultural norm is skewed otherwise. Understanding the local culture is the key to assessing soft skills on an international level, and the right balance of soft skills is the key to keeping morale high among the rest of your team.

International biotech recruiting tip #8: Understand what equivalent titles are in each country

A title or a set of letters after a name may mean something completely different from one country to the next. While being a “Director” in one country may place your candidate at a high level, if they are coming from another country, it may mean little more than a glorified assistant. Be sure you understand what each candidate’s responsibilities were for each of their previous positions in order to properly assess their relevance for your situation; however, knowing what specific titles mean specifically will help shorten this process considerably.

International biotech recruiting tip #9: Learn to be an effective remote manager

Managing your team from afar requires a different approach than if you were hands-on and present every day. Your team needs to know that they are a part of something bigger and that the company cares enough to include them in their long-range planning. Even the best recruits can lose their way if they are poorly managed. Distance should not be a catalyst for dissention.

Consider implementing an integration program for your new recruits to familiarize them with your brand and its values. Holding weekly video conferences is a great way to connect names to faces. Getting to know other stakeholders in the company, even if they are in different countries, will go a long way to helping your people feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. If an employee feels valued, they are more likely to stay in their position. Be sure they have everything they need to move forward with confidence.

International biotech recruiting tip #10: Provide mentorship

Life Sciences is a field like no other. Most of the people involved in the industry are highly trained and specialized in their field, so it’s not unusual for them to be thrown into the fire, so to speak, without so much as a training period. The need for talent combined with an urgency to fill open positions sometimes forces your hand. Keep in mind, however, that your new recruits may need a little more from you in order to become the high-functioning team member you need them to be. Dedicate some time and effort to mentoring your new hires and you will not only be assured of a smooth transition but will stand a much better chance of keeping them for the long haul. Your recruiting partner should be by your side through the entire process to ensure a seamless on-boarding.

While these are just a few of the pitfalls you might encounter in your international biotech recruiting process, they are the most significant.

Ultimately, choosing the right candidate boils down to one thing: are they the right person for the job and do they have the talents your company needs to take it into its future?

Be sure you are allocating enough time and resources to the process and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get results right away. Remember — good things don’t always come easily.

If you are a biotech or life sciences company looking to expand into international markets, you need a recruiting partner with insight and experience in your target countries. Pact & Partners has been a leader in international biotech recruiting since 1987 and can help you build a high-performing team from the ground up. Call to speak to one of our consultants today and discover what’s possible.