The pharmaceutical industry has always been competitive for top talent, but the field has narrowed even more since the pandemic. The talent pool is shrinking in every aspect of pharma, healthcare, biotech, and life sciences, forcing pharmaceutical recruiters to think outside the box to help their clients build strong, innovative teams.
When hiring needs are immediate and mistakes are not an option, pharmaceutical recruiters bridge the gap between candidates and companies needing to fill leadership positions. Experience shows us that looking at past candidates can be fruitful. Even if you’re not working with a pharmaceutical recruiter, applying some of these strategies may give you the edge you need.
Benefits of Reconnecting with Past Candidates
One of the most significant benefits of reconnecting with past candidates is that they are pre-screened. Pharmaceutical recruiting is a time-consuming process that carries many risks, and you can’t cut corners. Screening and background checking are essential, and that takes time.
Considering past candidates shortens your timelines and recruiting costs considerably. Since you’ve already done a lot of the groundwork, you can get right to the heart of the matter.
Plus, the candidate is already well-acquainted with your organization, so you can put less emphasis on selling the merits of your company and focus on the offer.
Pharmaceutical Recruiters Always Keep an Open Mind
While it might seem a bit awkward to contact someone who was previously unsuccessful, it shouldn’t.
It helps to keep an open mind during the interview process so you can identify a candidate’s potential for other positions or future initiatives. Each interview should look beyond the immediate scope and lay the groundwork for future conversations. If the individual is a top performer, there is strong potential they will resurface from time to time.
It could be that the individual was simply not suitable for the position you were trying to fill at the time; that does not mean they should be discarded. Perhaps they chose to take another offer—but we all know that not all placements work out or live up to their promise. Considering the growing needs of the industry, reconnecting with past candidates can be highly productive, so you should always be open to the possibility.
Tips for Successfully Reconnecting with Past Candidates
To facilitate successful reconnections with past candidates, it’s essential to lay the groundwork for future conversations. Here are a few tips to help you do it right.
1. Take extensive notes
The recruitment process begins during the initial screening. When you speak for the first time, take detailed notes to remind yourself (or to inform other hiring managers) how the conversation went, what you talked about, and any pertinent details or observations gleaned in the course of your interaction. These insights will help you personalize subsequent meetings, letting the candidate know you were engaged with what they had to say.
Ask about their career goals, certifications, specialties, and technical skills. Find out about their preferences and how their personal life might impact their choice of work environment. Even if such questions aren’t necessarily relevant to the position they are interviewing for, they might become relevant later.
2. Make good on your promises
Being forthright is a desirable attribute for any human, but it’s especially important when building trust in a professional environment. For example, if you say you’ll be in touch, make good on that promise. If the candidate was unsuccessful, give them honest feedback on their performance. A hiring manager who presents as open, fair, and transparent will be remembered and appreciated—which will be helpful if you have occasion to reconnect in the future.
3. Be gracious
Even if a candidate is not a good fit for your open position, show that you respect the time and thank them for their interest. Let them know that you will be in touch if any suitable opportunities come up so they won’t be surprised to hear from you.
Similarly, if a candidate decides to accept an offer from another company, express interest in the reasons for their choice (take notes!) and be sure they know they can contact you if things don’t work out. Parting ways on a high note leaves the door open for future opportunities.
4. Check in periodically
Make it part of your HR workflow to periodically check in with past candidates. Using a good CRM helps here as you can enter all the candidate’s pertinent details and set up reminders to reach out every few months. When you do, be friendly, but find out if they are happy and fulfilled in their current position or looking for the next challenge in their career.
Pharmaceutical Recruiters Help You Identify Top Talent
Pharmaceutical recruiters know that reconnecting with past candidates can equal big success. Genuine, personalized connections help establish trust, improving your chances of gaining an employee who is ready to engage.
The pharmaceutical recruiting landscape is challenging and highly competitive. Pact and Partners are pharmaceutical recruiters dedicated to your success. Connect with us today, and let’s talk about how we can help you reach your business goals.