The USA Today interviews The Agency’s Kim First on how to attract attention from a recruiter:
Source: USA Today, Andrea Kay, Gannett
While you’re sitting in front of your computer sending off your resume in response to ads — and likely not getting the time of day in return — employers are on the prowl for people who are out and about, staying up to date in their field, showing initiative and making it easy for them to find the best and the brightest
Take a look at how one search firm, The Agency Worldwide that specializes in jobs in life sciences, finds the best people.
Although half of its work entails recruiting physicians to develop new drug therapies to treat diseases like cancer and diabetes, recruiters also look for executives and directors in research and development, quality and marketing for biopharmaceutical firms as well as for medical device manufacturers and pharmacy benefit firms.
Don’t be chained to your desk. Get out to meetings and conferences to show recruiters your savvy.
They might be searching for someone to work in regulatory affairs and advertising labeling who also handles social media. Or they could be on the hunt for someone to manage a team of doctors developing innovative treatments for lymphoma. Or they might be in need of the perfect person to oversee global systems and processes for research and development activities.
How does Chief Executive Kim First find these folks? She and her team get out of the office often.
“We attend all types of meetings from the large, international, related medical meetings like the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Diabetes Association to specialized meetings like the Food and Drug Law Institute,” she says. They do a lot of listening. They attend breakout sessions at these meetings where they observe potential candidates for “leadership attributes from communication style (and) ability to engage a group, to presentation style and cultural fit,” First says. “We also hang out at the poster sessions to meet the scientists first hand who are presenting their current work to a group of peers and thought leaders,” she says.
They build relationships so that when they have positions to fill, they can come back to a person and say,
“Hi, we met last year when you were presenting at the CAN (Cancer Action Network) meeting. I’d love to catch up. …”
First likens her approach to being a scout of athletes where you “start following someone’s growth and successes early on and develop a relationship years before they are ready to be drafted.”
They check back with potential “players” every four to six months. They also review publications and press announcements to track down candidates. And they “cross reference through social media avenues.”
All recruiting is done through personal interaction and targeted search efforts.
“We don’t post positions and wait for individuals to respond,” she says.
You may not be looking in this particular field. But no matter what your industry, it does you good to get out more and be seen and heard by those on the prowl for the best in your line of work.
Think about where people you want to connect with hang out:
A colleague of mine told me about an out-of-work chief information officer who’s “having great success getting into companies through side doors rather than, as he calls it, ‘throwing the resume over the wall’ in response to an ad.”
When he discovers an opening, he uses LinkedIn to find someone he knows who knows someone at that company, gets a referral to a top exec and contacts that person directly. If he does submit an application, he gets a contact to reach out to the company and recommend him.
Even if you’re not job hunting, make yourself interesting enough for others to want to follow you. When the time comes, you might just be one of those that someone like First will want to draft for her team.
Career consultant Andrea Kay is the author of “Life’s a Bitch and Then You Change Careers: 9 steps to get out of your funk and on to your future.” Click here for an index of At Work columns. Send questions to her at 2692 Madison Road, #133, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208; www.andreakay.com or www.lifesabitchchangecareers.com. E-mail her at: [email protected].
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