The landscape of Life Sciences recruitment has changed substantially over the past two years, specifically when looking at Diversity and Inclusion. A recent study published by Informa Connect showed that 34% see lack of minority leadership representation as the life sciences’ biggest problem with diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, 63% think women are underrepresented at the most senior levels in their organisation, and 73% think cultural/ethnic minorities are.
This is just a small snapshot from many studies conducted over the last couple of years, and the consensus is that although things are shifting in the right direction, a lot of work still needs to be done.
As an agency that focusses on senior-level placements within life sciences, we are often asked about D&I and the part we play, both from a candidate and client perspective. It’s crucial for us that we provide solutions that envelop more than just “recruitment”, so we wanted to share some tips for clients to foster an inclusive hiring and onboarding process.
Inclusivity can’t be achieved unless you put diversity at the forefront of your hiring strategy. With our own internal recruitment at Apsida, we ask our talent partners to provide diverse candidate lists, as this is a priority for us. It’s crucial that every business has a diversity of thought to encourage new ideas and growth. This is a small but effective step a lot of our clients can take to start their journey on inclusivity.
Unconscious bias is one of the most crucial areas to address, as once you recognise your biases you have an opportunity to reflect and understand how this can affect your hiring abilities.
Although we roll out unconscious bias training at Apsida, we highly recommend to our clients that hiring managers should receive the same training. This gives you the best possible chance of improving inclusion and diversity, as the training focuses on self-awareness and how to understand your biases.
Whether it’s competency-based interview questions, or technical questions to decipher someone’s skill-set, it’s imperative to develop a tiered interview system that is adapted depending on the seniority and position that you’re interviewing for.
Although this may sound like basic recruitment practice to some, there are still many companies that struggle to update their interview questions to match the type of individual they’re interviewing. This isn’t to say that you need a bespoke set of questions for each candidate, but you should ensure there is a balanced mix of technical, competency and personality-based questions to ensure a well-rounded process for all.
Although diversity and inclusion is complex and multifaceted, it’s important to not disregard the power of making someone feel welcome in your organisation. It’s as simple as finding out their interests, setting up team lunches and creating internal communities that make the world of difference.
From a hiring perspective, look at how you can cater to all types of profiles to ensure that you’re getting the best talent whilst ensuring inclusivity is at the top of your agenda. One of the main things we focus on at Apsida is relocation packages for our consultants and integrating them from a work and social perspective.
Feedback is incredibly powerful, and can be used as a tool to improve the culture of your business as well as boosting inclusion. We spoke about some free anonymous tools here that businesses can use to gather opinions and thoughts on a variety of internal initiatives.
Inclusivity comes from the people within your organisation, so don’t underestimate the power of regular feedback, as this is the quickest way to adjust and improve what you’re doing to boost inclusivity within your hiring and onboarding process.