Staffing Model Creates Strong Pipeline for Scientific Talent

By Anne Meagher on September 29, 2014 ScientificLab

In today’s economy, growth is fueled by technological innovation. So it is no surprise that demand for scientific professionals has skyrocketed since the early 1990s. Companies across the pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries are constantly looking to fill their rosters with highly skilled chemists, biologists, and other scientific professionals.

Over the past 15 years, these industries have increasingly counted on the staffing model as the most effective way to meet the surging need for proven scientific talent. This is true across levels of expertise, including lab technicians, quality control personnel, regulatory specialists, and all the way up to Ph.D.-level chemists.

Companies are realizing the value of being able to work with contractors on a temporary basis before deciding whether to hire them full-time. In my experience, more than 90% of scientific contractors are brought in under a “temporary-to-permanent” arrangement.

Although this “try it before you buy it” optionality is definitely valuable, it only works if the staffing agency is able to fill those positions in the first place with contractors who are a great fit for the company’s technological needs and corporate culture. As a staffing professional with more than 20 years of experience working with scientific talent, I have built my career on being able to deliver these candidates to clients.

The first step is an extensive discovery process to get to know the client’s culture, structure, and work flows, as well as the technical and interpersonal skills that are essential for success in the specific role. This knowledge can only be gained by spending time with the client touring the plants and getting feedback through an on-going dialogue. I have worked with many of my clients for more than 15 years, and this institutional knowledge and familiarity is a huge advantage in my mission to find the ideal candidate for each role.

Often, my success comes down to being able to ask the right questions: 1) Asking the client the right questions to determine the key success factors for each role, and 2) asking the candidates the right questions to determine whether they will be a great fit for the job.

Based on more than 20 years of experience in staffing for scientific roles, here is a quick overview of some of the most important questions I ask during this discovery process:

People: How important are “soft” skills, such as communication style and bedside manner, for this particular role? Will the person be interacting regularly with clients, vendors, or other levels within the organization? Does the candidate’s personality mesh well with the overall corporate culture?
Process: Where does this role fit into the firm’s overall operational processes? How important is it for the candidate to have prior experience working in this exact stage of the process?
Technology: What testing equipment and software programs will be used in the role? If the candidate doesn’t have experience working with this exact technology, how quickly will the candidate be able to get through the learning curve?

By finding the answers to these questions, I am able to consistently deliver top-notch personnel who are a great fit for my clients’ technological needs and corporate culture. Contact me to learn more about how the “temporary-to-permanent” staffing model can be put to work for you.

 

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Anne Meagher

Anne Meagher

Anne Meagher is a Vice President of Business Development at Messina Group. Anne has been with Messina for more than 20 years, and over that time she has helped top-performing companies fill their staffing needs for proven engineering, scientific, and laboratory personnel. Anne enjoys volunteering, baking, and spending time with her family. She is passionate about staying active and recently completed her first half marathon.

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