Skip to main content

You’ve spent months trying to fill a senior level role for your organization and decide it’s time to consider a biotech executive search firm. The position you’ve been trying to fill is a high-level role that is critical for your team’s success and your organization’s day-to-day operations. You’ve had no luck recruiting qualified candidates on your own and decide it’s time for some outside help. You want to work with a Biotech Executive Search Firm, but have no idea what to look for or who you should approach to get the job done.

This can be an exhausting process so we’ve compiled some tips and questions for you to consider when evaluating a firm.

  1. Life Science Functions

    1. What functions within Life Sciences does the search firm specialize?
    2. If they are larger, do they have sub groups that cover the various areas?
    3. What areas do they complete the majority of their placements?
    4. Can they provide multiple references?
  2. Experience

    1. How much experience does the firm have?
    2. Look at the history of the firm and its top leaders. Those two indicators will provide a pretty good idea on the experience level.
    3. Are senior search consultants and search consultants both working on searches or just the more junior one?
  3. Placement History

    1. What kind of placements has been made within the last year?
    2. Ask for examples but keep in mind that a variety isn’t a bad thing.
    3. Too many placements in just one area could mean there aren’t too many companies left to find a candidate if that is your area of need.
  4. Client Relationship

    1. What is the firm’s approach?
    2. How do they work with the client and candidate?
    3. How well do they communicate updates and issues with their clients?
    4. Is there a weekly status meeting with only the most critical questions being asked during the week?
  5. Limitations

    1. Find out if you have international geographic requests that might not be served from some search firms.
    2. The big five search firms have a very broad reach, but don’t offer personalized service for the particulars and requirements for Life Science positions.
  6. References

    1. Ask for current references and/or testimonials from both clients and candidates.
    2. Ask what the longest period was a client has worked with the search firm. This will help determine if they are delivering qualified candidates on a regular basis.
  7. Candidate Management

    1. Ask what the search firm’s process is to help the candidate prepare for the new role before and after they have started.
  8. Resources

    1. Does the firm have a database of over 100K contacts that is updated on a regular basis?
    2. LinkedIn is great, but a proprietary database is even more powerful given that it’ll also contain contacts that aren’t on LinkedIn.

Further Reading: A Comprehensive Guide to Life Sciences Executive Search