For those of us who’ve been in the biotech recruiting game since the early days of the first biotech boom, the world of hiring sure has changed.
Gone are the days of writing newspaper ads, and the mad rush to get your in-column ad to the local newspaper by the deadline. Not to mention the days of getting your ad proofs back via fax machine — printed on a roll of paper that, without fail, would fall in a huge mess of a pile on the floor.
And speaking of paper: there were endless paper resumes the came in the “snail mail” and had to be opened, stamped, and stapled to a routing slip. Then came the reading: cover letters and resumes alike were written more like essays, in full paragraph form. Some were so long (and so personal) that they read more like an autobiography.
I also recall going to a scientific association meeting in the 90’s, where we used the most primitive method for recruiting scientists: recruiters read through binders and binders of the attendees’ applications, filled out an index card for every candidate of interest, put the cards in a box for them to find, and then hoped for the best. It was a lot more like blind dating than the recruiting we know today, though I was lucky enough to find a great hire that day.
Fast forward to today, and those index cards have taken a leap into the future: it’s all about social media, networking, applicant tracking systems, and online sourcing tools. From the early 90’s with the internet boom to the early 2000’s when tools like Skype and LinkedIn came about, the recruiting world went through dramatic change, and the speed at which we work, well, that goes without saying.
What hasn’t changed? The thrill of the hunt. Finding that needle in the haystack is still so exciting – and just knowing that we biotech recruiters play a crucial part in building companies that bring life-saving products to patients is rewarding as ever.