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In a market as competitive as life sciences, your employer brand is key to securing top talent

Posted on 15 June 2021 by Emma Hobbs

Website Banner   Desktop (15)

In a market as competitive as life sciences, your employer brand is key to securing top talent

Posted on 15 June 2021 by Emma Hobbs


​In today’s increasingly competitive life science market, many active candidates are juggling two or three processes when it comes down to offer stage, and the most in-demand passive candidates are approached by dozens of talent acquisition teams each month. With 75% of candidates looking into your reputation before they even consider applying to your vacancy, taking control over your identity as a workplace is one of the most effective ways of positively impacting your talent pipeline.

In the job climate of 2021, it isn’t enough to advertise a role and expect your ideal candidate will apply. In fact, 94% of the candidates we’ve placed this year weren’t actively searching for a new role at the time we initially spoke with them. For the small number of candidates that do come in through active recruitment channels, they face more choice than ever before, with demand at a post-pandemic high, more life science and medtech organisations gaining the attention of investors and hitting the limelight, and employers able to attract a wider pool of talent with the adoption of remote working.

As a small to mid-sized organisation, your reputation as an employer of choice should be a consideration when it comes to growth strategy. Consistent messaging of what your workplace has to offer in terms of benefits, culture and opportunities is one of the most impactful ways of reaching that passive candidate goldmine. Effective messaging that taps into a candidate’s desires could be the difference between securing those ideal hires, or them accepting the offer of your competitor.

What do candidates want to know?

To understand where to start when it comes to your employer branding strategy, it’s important to know what employees today actually expect from their workplace. Passive candidates aren’t won over by the mission of a company, the type of clients you work with, even your place in the market – when considering a move, they want to know exactly what’s in it for them.

Sent at the right time, messaging that speaks to candidate expectations doesn’t just support in attracting passive talent before they hit the job boards, but can also help in pre-closing any candidates you might have in process already.

Earlier this year we surveyed more than 800 life science candidates and asked about their motivations when it comes to career moves. From a list of the most common employee value propositions (EVPs), the four that were most popular among our respondents were flexible working options, clear career progression, good work-life balance, and a competitive salary package (which came out on top, with 70% of candidates saying this was essential).

Knowing what resonates with your ideal hires is key to constructing the right message, and these top desires are a good place to start. You can also uncover hidden facets of your current employer brand and what your candidates might expect by surveying your current employees, collecting feedback from candidates you’re interviewing, analysing data from exit interviews, and checking employment sites such as Glassdoor.

Questions to answer when developing your employer brand.
What does the company stand for?What benefits set us apart from our competitors?
What makes the company unique?What do our current employees say about us?
What makes ours a credible organisation?How do we keep on top of our employee's needs?
What's our value proposition?Why should prospective hires care about us?

How do you get the message out there?

Employer branding is just one side of the coin – once you have a clear idea of the message you’d like to present, it’s time to begin recruitment marketing.

The careers section of your company website is your shop window, and is important both as a dedicated channel for showcasing your workplace and a place to direct your audience with the intention of converting them to applicants. A dedicated careers page provides a good framework for measuring the success of your employer branding and recruitment marketing efforts, through traffic and conversions, which can be done through a tool such as Google Analytics.

You should also consider how you could alter the content you already use when undergoing a recruitment drive, such as reformatting your job adverts to put your culture and benefits front-and-centre instead of touching only upon the vacancy requirements itself.

When it comes to external messaging, think about where your candidates spend most of their time and consider ways of involving your business in the conversation.

One of the most popular and cost-effective channels for employers to showcase what they have to offer is on the company social media channels, particularly LinkedIn, the world’s leading online professional networking channel. With the help of your marketing function (if your organisation has one) consider how you might build regular and consistent messaging of your EVPs into your existing social content calendar to reach the passive talent networks that are on the platform.

Company channels aside, tapping into the networks of your employees has the potential to increase your reach tenfold. The top way people discover new job opportunities is through referrals, and influencer marketing techniques tell us that people are more likely to trust a recommendation when it’s coming from an individual compared to a business entity. Effective use of this powerful resource can allow your existing team to populate your talent pipeline.

Consistency is the most important factor when it comes to building an impactful and sustainable employer brand, and with any marketing activity you’re unlikely to see meaningful results overnight.

For guidance on how you can reach your ideal candidates, devise the right message to market, stand out against your competitors, and gain an advantage when it comes to attracting top life science talent to your organisation, reach out to our client services team here, or connect with me directly on LinkedIn.