Every Call Counts

By: Sydney Grierson

One of the biggest lessons I have learned during my first few months of recruiting is that every call counts. Back in March, I was working on an analytical search that led me to a phone call with the Director of Quality at a local pharmaceutical company. He informed me that he was not currently looking as he had recently accepted a new role at a quality systems software company and was enjoying his time there. I updated his file, thanked him for his time, and told him to please reach out if myself or Germer International could help with anything in the future. Little did I know, we would get a call from that same software company a few months later asking for help with a search they were struggling with.

During my team’s initial call with the company, we not only took our time getting to know the positions they needed assistance with but also what their company culture was like and what goals they had for the future. This helped me to navigate my initial search for the position, but also helped me to identify candidates who would thrive in the type of environment that the company was offering and to ensure that they had similar aspirations. For the Project Manager roles, my top three criteria to look for were: in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical and/or medical device regulations, familiarity with utilization of quality management systems, and the desire to impact patients in a new way. After all, this position was going to be taking someone from the life sciences industry into the software world. But the company needed someone who was willing to make the transition but keep the “drug or software, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that my work is ultimately going to positively impact patients” mindset. I think this was one of the driving forces behind my commitment to filling this position. I understand that whoever I placed was going to really make a difference.

One of the most important things that I took away from our initial calls, though, was that a main point for this company was that it was hard to get candidates who could really grasp the transition from pharmaceutical or medical devices to software. There was a gap that needed to be filled through communication. It was hard to understand by just reading a job description. As a recruiter, I was able to get on the phone and explain why the company was looking for someone outside of the software industry to join their team. These candidates would be subject matter experts into the clients that this company worked with.

It is not uncommon for jobs to change their specifications. Expectations and needs

change with time and that is what happened with this role. While many might find this frustrating, I knew that with every email of feedback and every Microsoft Teams video call was getting us one step closer to finding the right candidate. We eventually switched our focus to: post-market surveillance experience, in-depth knowledge of medical device regulations, and desire to learn and impact patients in a new way.” Consistent communication and cooperation were key to filling this role.

Within a few weeks, I identified a candidate who seemed to check all the boxes to what the company was looking for. He was actively looking for a permanent position to grow in after consulting for a few years. The candidate was passionate about helping patients, and while many did not want to take the risk of transition out of directly working in the medical device industry, he was excited about the opportunity, and I think that is something that my client appreciated.

Because my colleagues and I created a strong bond and had established a mutual understanding around consistent communication, things went quite smoothly once the company decided to make an offer to this candidate. Both parties were extremely happy with how things ended, and I am excited to know that assisting the candidate with this opportunity will positively impact his life and future, as well as all the patients he will help in his new role. Looking back, it is astonishing that all of this stemmed from a quick call that initially seemed like it was not going to result in much activity. It just goes to show that every call is an opportunity to make a positive impression of yourself and your company. While it might not seem to pay off initially, the future impact could be amazing.