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7 tips for attracting chemistry graduates

Author: sam | Date published: 18/02/20

7 tips for attracting chemistry graduates

As a life sciences recruitment agency, we work with several local pharmaceutical companies so we thought it might be helpful to share our tips on ways you can engage and hire entry level chemistry talent directly.

1. Event in a tent

Grab a stall at a local job fair or chemistry event and get your employer brand noticed. Your aim is to showcase your company as a great place to work. If you don’t know where to start, try presenting a positive case study of a current employee or a video testimonial. If done well, you will find yourself networking with the right people for your business. Once you have their contact details, you can then stay in touch until they are ready to look for post graduate opportunities.

2. Develop the raw skills

We often get requests from companies asking for chemistry graduates with a couple of years’ industry experience. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it would benefit your business in the longer term if you were able to offer a training programme. Graduates who progress through the training programme may be more loyal knowing you believed in them and invested in them from the beginning.

3. Organise your recruitment process

Every company has a different recruitment process but the best clients to work with are those who are proactive in their approach. They identify who they need, deliver timely feedback throughout the process and paint an accurate picture of what the interview stage will look like. From selection to offer they ensure chemistry graduates find out about the company; mission, goals and culture, and this is key to a successful recruitment drive.

4. Provide a positive onboarding experience

What do we mean by this? All too often the buck stops once an offer has been made and the start date is set. Imagine the disappointment when the eager chemist turns up on their first day of the job only to spend most of it filling in paperwork, having a half-hearted meet and greet with the team and spending their lunch hour in the canteen with only the vending machine for company.

With 1 in 5 new hires unlikely to recommend an employer after the onboarding process it is essential to create a positive onboarding experience for new chemists. Failing to do so could have a negative impact on your ability to attract chemistry graduates in the future.

5. Don’t forget to ask for referrals

Leveraging your current network is a really good way to find chemistry graduates who will be the right fit for your organisation. It’s interesting how often businesses forget about this fundamental resource and favour more expensive avenues.

Surprise, people in the R&D industry know each other! Ask your network for help, don’t just offer a referral fee and hope for the best. Us humans are a funny bunch, and we often feel better just helping because we want to rather than having a financial incentive dangled over us.

6. Advertise an opportunity, not just a flat salary

While a high basic salary can be a draw for an entry level role, other important factors are often overlooked. Do you offer performance-based bonuses and regular pay reviews? Are you able to provide flexible working around core hours like your competitors are doing? Is there opportunity to be involved in projects that will help innovate the healthcare industry? By selling all aspects of the position and the company you are likely to receive more applicants.

7. Offer a placement year or an internship

In our experience a student with an industry sandwich year will always have improved employability prospects. They will be able to demonstrate practical experience of current good manufacturing practises and this translates well in their interview. If your company can offer this there is no reason why they won’t come back to you once they have completed their studies.

If you want to hire the best, you need to speak to the best. If your candidate attraction strategies aren’t having the desired result and you are struggling to get the right chemistry graduates for your team, partnering with a specialist recruiter who understands your industry could be valuable option. As well as having access to a wide network of relevant candidates, we can give you a different insight into the market; what their expectations are, who else is hiring, what skills are in high demand etc.

If you’re struggling to attract chemists get in touch. As a specialist recruitment team, we have the expertise to help you achieve your hiring goals.

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