Tag Archives: agencies

Top 5 Best Biotech Interview Questions

When hiring in the life sciences industry, there is a specific strategy and specific interview questions you’ll want to ask prospective candidates.

This is important to ensure that you interview and hire the right types of candidates.

This could include the areas of biotech, pharmaceutical and healthcare.

This article will be geared toward hiring in this industry in general, mostly in the marketing, sales and public relations area of things.

Obviously hiring anybody in the sciences capacity, or what we would call a technical capacity, is going to be a little bit different.

In any case though, you can apply these principles when hiring across different segments and types of professionals in the industry.

Regardless of the position, it’s critical that you form your five best questions to ensure that you have a clear picture of what you need.

You want to be clear whether this role is going to be more marketing, public relations, investor relations or sales focused.

Either way at the end of the day it’s important to have a good starting point.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Like I talk about in other blogs, the most important thing with any type of interview question is that you don’t lead the witness.

This is the biggest mistake interviewers make by asking simple questions that are too easy for candidates to answer.

You don’t want to give the candidate too much of a direction in terms of how to answer your questions.

You want your interview questions designed to get an answer that truly tests or checks in about their candidate experience.

For example, asking something like, “do you have experience marketing pharmaceutical brands?”

This question is leading the witness as it already tells me how to answer it.

It’s too easy for the interviewee to answer the question and figure out what you want to hear versus really understanding their experience.

QUESTION #1

A better way to ask the question, “tell me about the different types of clients or brands that you have experience working with.”

Asking the question this way leaves it open so that the candidate has to answer from their experience.

They have to tell you the types of brands, the types of clients or the types of products that they have worked with.

So again, it’s critical to ask open ended questions so that the candidate will tell you about their client and/or brand experience.

You’re also going to want to know the types of customers and products that they are used to working with.

You want to hear it from them without you giving them a jumping off point.

QUESTION #2

A second critical question is whether or not the candidate has experience working with direct consumer or working with healthcare practitioners.

You don’t want to ask, “do you have experience with direct to consumer” or “do you have experience working with healthcare professionals?”

That’s too easy of a question to answer with a yes or a no and of course they’re going to answer with what you want to hear.

If it’s a sales role, you can ask something like, “tell me about who you were selling to.”

That should elicit a response that will tell you if they were selling more direct to consumer or to healthcare practitioners or a combination of both.

The more clear you are about what you need in the position the better you will know if their experience is a match.

QUESTION #3

Another critical question is designed so that you learn about the types of projects, campaigns, etc. the candidate has experience with.

Do not ask, “do you have experience working with social media” or do you have experience with search engine optimization?”

These questions lead to witness and are easy to answer yes to.

Remember to ask open ended questions like, “tell me about the types of campaigns or projects you have experience working on.”

Have them tell you about their day-to-day.

It is critical for you to hear what their day looks like and to understand the types of campaigns and projects they have experience with.

QUESTION #4

The next question will gauge and determine what type of leadership or mentorship experience the candidate has or doesn’t have.

Depending on the role that you’re filling it may be important this person has management experience.

Or maybe it’s more important that they have hands-on tactical execution experience.

Do not ask a question like, “would you consider yourself hands off” or “would you consider yourself a strong leader?”

These these questions are too easy to just answer yes or no.

You do want to ask, “tell me about your tactical hands-on experience” or “tell me about your managerial experience.”

You could also ask, “tell me what your day looks like” or “tell me what percentage your managing others is hands-on.”

The point is to continue to ask open ended questions which has them tell you what their day-to-day looks like.

You want to hear their managerial and tactical hands-on experience so you know whether they’re a fit for the role that you’re filling.

QUESTION #5

The final important question on list is about salary.

Nowadays asking about salary is tricky because in certain states you can no longer legally ask for salary history.

If you are able to ask what someone’s most recent salary is, that’s a critical question.

If you can legally ask their most recent compensation was, both base and any incentives and benefits.

It’s important early on to find out what someone’s compensation expectations are.

You want to be sure that you’re in the ballpark when it comes to your budget before getting too far down the line.

This could end up being a huge waste of time if their expectations aren’t in your budget.

If you’re not able to directly ask about someone’s compensation you might have to figure out ways to learn what makes sense.

I like asking things like, “what makes sense for you in terms of salary for your next role?”

Or “what is a logical progression for you from your current salary to your next salary?”

You want to ask questions in a way that has a candidate think about what makes sense rather than just from what they would like.

Everybody wants to get paid a ton of money!

Candidates tend to think they can just ask for whatever salary they want and get it.

Asking them in a way that has them think from what’s logical, what’s fair and what makes sense is going to be much better.

This is going to give you a realistic number rather than a pie in the sky number that could shut things down.

CONCLUSION

These five questions are not as important as your contract, but more important in terms of the way that you ask them.

You want to ask open ended questions that don’t lead the witness.

Apply these principles and you will go along way to improve your interview process!


Looking for more great interview questions to add to your list? Here are some great ideas! https://muse.cm/1hLMaHT


Have questions or want to find out about working with us? Let’s chat! 

https://aldebaranrecruiting.com/looking-for-talent/

Hiring For Agency Talent

If you are any type of agency, hiring isn’t always the easiest thing.

This can be said for a marketing agency, a public relations firm, a media agency, or an ad tech company.

Agencies or agency type companies where business is driven by customers and client customers sometimes struggle with hiring.

Also, agencies where clients are providing some type of creative and/or marketing service, or technology to customers and clients. 

THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR THE AGENCY WORLD

Many agencies try to hire people without agency experience and tend to have a low success rate.

Agency life tends to have a very certain type of flavor you could say that many people don’t like.

Agency life tends to be fast paced, high pressure, long hours and often more disorganized than working on the client side.

Sometimes people don’t like to work on a variety of clients and brands rather than being in house focusing on one brand.

Many of these seeming drawbacks are actually the things that attract many people to agencies.

If you’re an agency who’s hiring it’s usually a good idea to hire someone with previous agency experience.

There are other reasons to hire someone with agency experience, but the cultural fit and ability to be long term are of key importance.

RESEARCH IS YOUR FRIEND

You may think you know who all of your competitors are, but you want to keep an open mind here.

There may be up to hundreds of other types of businesses out there that would be good places for you to poach from.

Your best bet is going to be recruit somebody from a competing agency who is already working in the job and in the seat.

This is where you’re going to find the best talent.

The people you’re looking for aren’t necessarily the ones coming to your website or your LinkedIn page applying for jobs.

First you’re going to need to spend some time in one way or another to make sure you do the right kind of research.

MAKE A LIST OF SOLID COMPANIES 

You may also have competitors that you know don’t do good work and that would not be good to recruit from.

It is equally as important to know which companies not to poach people from as it is to know who to recruit from.

Once you have a good hit list for yourself then you’ll have some direction about what next steps to take.

You’ll want to make sure you have a productive and effective proactive headhunting strategy.

You may want a recruiting team in house who can dedicate resources to of high volume of qualified candidates.

You may need to hire a recruiting firm who can put in the work and get the opportunity out to the right amount of quality people.

KNOW THE TITLES FOR YOUR NEEDED ROLES

Something to keep in mind is that titles across agencies can often vary greatly.

An Account Services title at one agency may be an Account Director or Account Supervisor or Client Services at another.

Another agency may have Project Manager titles who are not only involved in client relationships, but also with campaign management.

It’s important to understand that the title you are searching for could have a different title coming from a different agency.

Keep an open mind when looking at resumes and don’t write people off just because you think they have the wrong title.

This is an easy way to miss out on good talent because you may be too narrow minded with the positions and titles that you’re looking for.

TESTING FOR HARD AND SOFT SKILLS

Another important aspect is for roles that involve client interactions, pitching for presenting or certain technical requirements.

You want to find a way to have part of your interview process include some way to test people’s soft or hard skills.

It may be some kind of project, case study or presentation that you have them do on a specific topic.

This allows them to demonstrate their skills and for you to see their ability to perform the day-to-day of whatever their job may be.

This avoids having someone tell you they can do something only to find they were able to talk a good talk, but not walk the walk.

This happens way too often, especially with sales rolls.

As sales people are very good at selling their skills and over selling their accomplishments.

You need a way to actually test that or to prove that before you pull the trigger hiring them.

This is the same for anybody who will be managing campaigns, projects or putting together creative briefs.

If they are going to be doing any content writing, interacting with clients or giving presentations you want to test their skills.

A simple task is another way to weed out people who are serious and get a glimpse of how someone will be working in the seat.

HAVING A STRONG COMPENSATION PACKAGE

Salary can be a tricky thing in the agency world as salaries do vary from agency to agency.

This includes total compensation structure like benefits, bonus, equity, etc.

Equity is not very common in the agency world, but some types of bonus usually are.

You likely want to include some kind of bonus structure in your compensation package so that you can stay competitive with other companies.

Benefits programs also go a long way.

Having a strong benefits program is mostly expected now a days.

It’s going to be difficult to attract candidates if your benefits package is not up to speed from an industry standard perspective.

A little bit of research into what other agencies are giving will go along way.

This information is often found on many companies career pages.

We recommend that you have your benefits on your career page as well.

This way candidates who are checking you out can see what your culture is like and what kind of benefits you offer.

NEGOTIATING FAIRLY

It’s important to never come in lowballing a candidate, especially if they’re already working somewhere.

If you’re going to poach people from your competition you have to make it worthwhile.

Leaving a job is risky!

For people to actually make a move it typically has to be a good move for their career as well as a smart monetary decision.

You want to get salary expectations up front so you at least know you’re in the ballpark.

IN CONCLUSION

Hiring as an agency can be tricky and we recommend sticking to hiring only other people with agency experience.

Use some of the tips and tricks in this article to give yourself a competitive advantage to steal some good people from your competition.


Here are some more great tips for recruiting the right talent: https://bit.ly/2fIinLn

Hiring Sales And Marketing Talent

Sales graph, markers and pens, torns sheets of paper with the words Marketing, Sales, Sales Growth - Sales and Marketing positions

Today’s blog is about hiring and working with a recruiter to fill your marketing and sales positions.

Every organization has marketing and sales as a critical function of their business operations.

Having talented marketing and sales professionals is critical to your company’s growth and success.

The better your marketing and sales staff, the more successful your company will be.

One major challenge a lot of companies come across is how to attract and retain the best marketing and sales talent.

The best marketing and sales people are highly sought after and are often courted by multiple companies.

It’s important to have a unique, effective and aggressive strategy in order to attract and get these people on board your team.

FINDING TOP TALENT TO FILL YOUR ROLES

Long gone are the days where you can post a job in the classifieds and get people calling.

Job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder are mostly ineffective and are likely going to give you more work.

You will spend hours sifting through unqualified resumes and candidates in order to find maybe one person worth interviewing.

TAPPING INTO PASSIVE TALENT

The truth is that the top talent in the marketplace is not out aggressively looking for a job.

98% of the candidates we place with our clients are not actively and aggressively looking for a position.

This is what’s known as the passive talent market.

An effective talent acquisition strategy must include an effective pathway into speaking to, attracting and nailing down passive talent.

You must find a way to get to the people that are never going to hear about your company unless you proactively reach out to them.

This can be especially challenging with marketing and sales folks.

NARROWING THE POOL

These people tend to be extremely busy, bouncing from project to project with limited time to be applying for jobs, interviewing, etc.

Marketing and sales roles can become more and more nuanced, niched and challenging to fill.

You may require certain specialties, experience, technical capabilities, relationships and may even need to be within a certain geography.

As you add more and more specialized requirements to your position, you are narrowing down the talent pool further and further.

WORKING WITH A RECRUITER LIKE US 

This is where working with a recruiter like us can make a difference.

And when I say a “recruiter like us” I mean a headhunting firm to aggressively go after the best talent in the market.

A firm that will sell the opportunity of your company and the position to the candidates.

This is very different from a recruiting firm that will send you whatever resumes they have on their desk.

That is similar to the results you would get by using a job board.

A true headhunting firm is going to put in the volume and massage their network and the market.

They will be able to drum up the people that you want, particularly people from your competition.

NOT JUST ANY RECRUITER

It’s important to work with the recruiter that has significant experience working within the niche you need.

Marketing has become very nuanced and there’s a lot of different ways and types of marketing.

Take into account your industry, your vertical, your expertise and your products or services.

Find a recruiter who is going to be able to understand the nuances of marketing and sales.

You need them to understand your business and the different facets of marketing that you’re going to need.

Every company needs different strengths or skills depending on different facets of their marketing mix.

You want the recruiter who is able to hone in on the correct niche and the correct type of market for your business.

If you hired a firm that works mostly with technical people, you’d likely get resumes out of left field which would not do you any good.

In fact, it would likely just give you extra work and make your life more difficult.

When looking for an outside recruiter to work with it’s important to find someone who specializes in marketing and sales.

They will know what questions to ask you and the candidates to make the right match for the skill set that you need to fill your open roles.

PERTAINING TO AGENCIES AND AGENCY TALENT

This can be particularly and increasingly true and important if you are some type of agency.

Whether that be a digital marketing, advertising, media, public relations firm or something similar.

There is a unique nature to working with agencies and agency talent.

As an agency, you want the recruiter you hire to know what it takes to recruit agency talent and to understand the agency world.

They will be much more suited to get you the right candidates than someone who doesn’t understand the agency world.

As a talent acquisition or hiring manager the last thing you need is teach someone something as well.

So you don’t want to hire a recruiting firm that you have to teach too much about your type of business.

You want to hire a recruiting firm who already understands your type of business.

You want them already asking the right questions to understand your role, your culture and your company in order to find you the right talent. 

IN CONCLUSION

If you’re looking to hire top marketing and sales talent for your organization it’s critical that you have an aggressive and proactive recruiting strategy.

Sometimes this can be accomplished by having your own in-house recruiting teams.

However if you have a lot of open positions it’s likely your team will easily get overloaded.

There’s a high chance you’ll need to bring in an external recruiter to provide the actual recruiting volume needed to fill your critical roles.

With marketing and sales, it’s important to work with a recruiting firm that specializes in that aspect of your business.

Find a recruiter that pertains to your business.

Whether they specialize in marketing and sales, technical positions, finance and accounting or legal.

The point is to make sure that the recruiting vendors you work with are focused and specialize in the specific areas that you need.

Be wary of any recruiting firm that says we do it all.

Nobody does it all and at least nobody does it all well!

Take these simple tips to create an effective and aggressive planning strategy to hire and retain the best talent in the market.


Here are some qualities and skills to consider when looking for sales and marketing talent: 

https://bit.ly/2OVqDF2

Hiring Remote, Partial Remote, and Telecommute Workers

Laptop, mobile phone and coffee cup laying on table with a window view of outside - representing working remotely

Today we’re talking about the pros and cons of hiring remote workers or employing remote or telecommute workers.

It’s important to keep in mind that all businesses are different and this may not work for everyone.

Some businesses are prone to work very well with remote workers while others are not designed to have remote teams.

It’s important to pay attention to this because if your business is a good candidate for remote workers, you can greatly benefit.

If your business is not conducive to hiring remote workers this article may not be relevant to you.

If you want to consider this, you’ll need to see what changes you can make to take advantage of remote workers.

REMOTE WORKERS ARE TRENDING

There is currently a large trend for candidates that are interested in the ability to work remote or partially remote.

Many people nowadays are putting much more emphasis on their work-life balance.

Being able to work remote offers people the flexibility to have their work-life schedule be more balanced.

Many people also work better remote then they do in an office environment.

The office environment can often have many distractions with other coworkers or other things going on.

This of course depends on your office culture, office environment and the type of people that you hire.

Many extremely talented people who are at the top of their field are only interested in working with this flexibility.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN HIRING REMOTE

Being open to hiring remote workers opens you up to a segment of the market that you may be missing out on.

If you are thinking of hiring remote workers, you have to consider how that will fit into your existing culture.

If your existing culture is one where everyone is in the office and then you hire someone remote, this could cause friction.

You could produce dissension in the ranks of your employees who might feel left out or jealous if the new person gets to work remote but they don’t.

TRANSITIONING TO HAVING REMOTE WORKERS

If you’re considering taking this on, you want to take inventory on whether your current employees can work remote.

Perhaps you make working remote more like a benefit to be attained if someone reaches certain KPI’s or metrics.

Many sales people are extremely effective working remote.

WHICH POSITIONS WORK BEST REMOTELY

If someone travels a lot and they’re mostly on site with clients, there really is no need to have them in office.

 You can benefit greatly from a rockstar sales person being somewhere else in the country.

Customer service folks and account management people also function very well in a remote capacity.

Believe it or not, accounting folks and financial people can also work very well remote.

You might want to think about having your internal financial people working remote as well.

WHO IS THE RIGHT FIT FOR REMOTE WORK

When hiring remote you should know if they are the kind of personality that’s productive in a remote function.

There are many people who if left to their own devices will not get the work done that needs to get done.

If you have those kind of people working remote you will see a slump in productivity.

Your people should know that their ability to work remote goes hand-in-hand with the results they are on the hook to produce.

In other words working remote should be slated more like a privilege or a benefit that is earned rather than a “right.”

Another trick to hiring a solid remote employee is hiring someone who has been successful working remote in the past.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

There’s also incorporate partial telecommuting where your team is in the office 3-4 days and remote 1-2 days a week.

This model can provide the best of both worlds for you and your employees.

Then you can accomplish the things you need with the team together and have the balance of working remote some days.

This is a very common model that’s being adopted by many companies and is being extremely successful.

This model works if all of your employees are local as you’ll need them in the office together certain days of the week.

RECRUITING REMOTE WORKERS

If you are going to go after remote workers it may be challenging from a recruiting perspective.

Recruiting firms like us are extremely solid resources for being able to tap into other markets for remote work.

Remember, the challenge will be instead of just recruiting in your city you’re going to be recruiting nationwide.

You may even be just recruiting in certain times zones.

Your pool of people to reach out to is going to increase dramatically.

You will need to have a strategy for how to tap into those markets and find the best talent.

Keep in mind that it will likely take a lot of volume, so leaning on a recruiter can be a very valuable resource for tapping into that market.

CONCLUSION

Look at remote and telecommute working as a way to tap into a segment of the market with more great talent.

This is a segment of the market that is growing as more and more people are looking for that work-life balance.

More and more people are looking for the ability to have flexibility around their work schedules.

Many of these types of people can be extremely high producers and will produce better with this type of flexibility.

As managers it’s important for us to focus on hiring the right personalities that can work well autonomously.

This can be more productive for managers also, not having to control and micromanage everybody.

You owe it to yourself to explore this a bit further and see if it’s something that can work for your business.


Here are some great tools for increasing your team’s productivity:

https://bit.ly/2Aj4qrY


 

Recruiting Marketing and Sales Candidates in Seattle

Sunset over the city of Seattle, Washington
RECRUITING IN SEATTLE

Today’s post is about recruiting Marketing, Media, PR and Sales professionals in the Seattle market.

Seattle is currently a fast growing market, especially in the technology space.

Many people think that Seattle is going to be the next Silicon Valley with a lot of technology based companies being started.

We may also see established companies moving and opening up offices in the Seattle area.

A TOUGH MARKET TO FILL

Seattle has challenges from a recruiting perspective and often times will require additional help.

Companies may either use internal recruiting efforts or hire outside firms.

It’s important to know when you need to get extra help for finding specific talent.

The need for talent is extremely high as the market expands and therefore is becoming very competitive.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

In order to compete there are certain things that you can do from a recruiting perspective.

Seattle is a great market to offer relocation in the Pacific Northwest and is even attractive from the Midwest.

It is an attractive city and many people, especially the millennial generation, are interested in moving to a city like Seattle.

Seattle offers a lot of outdoor recreation as well as career growth.

It is a smaller market and recruiting only within Seattle can be challenging.

This is another reason to be open to hiring and relocating candidates from other parts of the country.

Portland is a great market to poach people from, as well as Southern California.

The Bay area, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego are all great markets to pull talent from, as well as Denver and Chicago.

HIRING REMOTE

If you’re not able to relocate people it’s a good idea to be open to remote workers.

Tapping into the remote work force is great for any company, especially those in smaller markets like Seattle.

Another challenge in Seattle can be the commute due to the geography and traffic in the city.

An already small market can be dropped even further depending on where your company is located and where your talent is located.

This is again another reason to be open to remote or partial remote workers.

If you’re able to find local talent that is partial remote you’re more likely to find folks who would otherwise not be interested.

DEFINE YOUR CULTURE

It’s important to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Your company should have a defined culture with structures and processes put in place that engender the growth of that company. 

You want to be able to communicate that culture and appeal to prospective employees.

Having a strong employer brand is critical now more than ever for attracting the right talent.

Offering benefits like parking passes or other perks will also make it easier for local talent to get to your location.

IN CONCLUSION

Seattle is an excellent market to be in right now.

It’s attracting a lot of talented individuals that you will be able to tap into for your business.

At the same time, more companies are moving to the area and this means more potential competitors for you and your business.

Some of these things can increase your costs, but at the end of the day should also increase your bottom line.

These factors can give you a fighting chance to beating out your competition.

Being open to remote workers and relocating people to your company greatly gives you an advantage for finding good talent.

It’s important to take the necessary steps to have your business compete and your employer brand be one that differentiates you from your competitors.

At the end of the day your employees are what make up your company and it’s critical that you do everything you can to hire and attract the best talent.


Seattle is trending as the decade’s fastest growing city in the US.

Read about it here: https://bit.ly/2km1hSB