Remote Hiring Strategies – Can They Work for Biotechs?

Jan 07, 2021

Guest Blog by Stuart Gilboy, Senior Director, RBW Consulting

While half the working population settled into video calls and children interrupting meetings, the biotech industry has adapted so it can continue to develop life-saving treatments in the lab. The biotech industry has had to introduce distanced workspaces while still encouraging collaboration for site staff in tandem with enabling remote working for anyone who can do their job from home.

This has understandably caused disruption to day to day operations, including hiring. Companies still need innovators and leaders to push treatments forward, but in-person meetings must be kept to a minimum.

In this highly collaborative and highly personal industry, how can you successfully hire remotely?

Use Tech to Make Your Life Easier

First of all, a virtual meeting doesn’t have to mean a video call. Nobody is asking for more video calls. Take advantage of people being at home and ask them to record an interview so you can watch at a time that suits you. Explore a ‘speed dating’ option where you can review multiple candidates, quickly, using online profiles or five-minute video clips. This will mean you can do a broad assessment of who is available and move forward knowing you have all the information available.

Improving Insight from Interviews

Use behavioral interviewing techniques to get a better understanding of a candidate’s personality and working style. Traditional interview questions like “why should we hire you?” should be replaced with more behavioral-led asks. For example, if you ask someone to give an example of when they last failed or when they exceeded expectations, you will get a greater understanding of what they value and how they achieve their version of success.

Interestingly, when interviewing people remotely, we are finding that by being in their own familiar environment, with less time to build up pre-interview nerves, candidates can often be more forthcoming and genuine during a remote interview which leads to a far more transparent conversation.

Open Yourself Up to Remote Talent

The greatest benefit of remote interviewing is that you can easily widen your talent pool. Biotechs are naturally highly collaborative. Particularly in a company’s early days where you have a smaller number of like-minded people pulling together because they are very motivated by the science and by the patient population. However, that doesn’t mean biotechs should shut themselves off from an ideal candidate just because they live one state over and would be remote.

If this pandemic has proven anything, it’s that people are capable of fantastic collaboration, even if they aren’t in the same physical location. 

If you would like any further information about how to make the best out of a virtual hiring strategy or to discuss any resourcing requirements, please get in touch with Stuart on,

About the Author:

Stuart Gilboy
Senior Director, RBW Consulting

Stuart Gilboy is Senior Director at global executive search specialists RBW Consulting, based at their Boston office. Stuart boasts over 20 years’ experience in the industry, running full desks in highly technical and complex markets, consistently scaling teams and launching numerous divisions. His high-level business knowledge and market insights make him an invaluable asset to both his clients as well as the company alike.

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