By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com
If you’ve been recruiting and hiring biotech and pharma professionals for long, you’ve likely become adept at scanning resumes for signs of candidates’ unsuitability. From misspellings and grammatical errors to vaguely worded job summaries and inconsistent information, rejecting applicants who raise red flags is often step one in the screening process. Unfortunately, eliminating every research associate, quality engineer and developer with a history of changing jobs after only a few years could actually be a mistake. Consider these reasons job jumpers have the potential to be your most valuable hires.
1. Job jumpers can be top performers.
A scientist who is exceptionally good at her job is naturally going to have more opportunities to move up in her career than one who is merely an average performer. If she’s ambitious and takes the initiative to seek out these opportunities as well, she’s likely to have changed employers more than once. Before labeling her track record a negative, take a closer look. If a more detailed inspection reveals job changes that included a significant promotion in position or prestige, you may want to move her to the top of your candidate list.
2. Job jumpers have diverse backgrounds.
A product manager who has spent an average of two years in each of his jobs is likely to have experienced a greater range of employers—from company size to industry—than one who has only held one or two positions in a decade. This means he has been exposed to a wider variety of challenges and solutions as well. When you hire him, you’ll get a professional with new ideas, deep industry knowledge and familiarity with a broad array of best practices that may be of benefit to your life science organization.
3. Job jumpers are the next generation of talent.
Like it or not, Millennials are the future of every industry—including biotech and pharma. They’re also less likely to work for a single employer for long. According to one study, 91 percent of them expect to stay in a job for less than three years. This means that the average professional born between 1977 and 1997 may hold as many as 20 positions over the course of her career. If you want to fill that technical analyst, statistical programmer or information strategist position, you may have to hire a job jumper.
4. Job jumpers may be easier to recruit.
Frequent job changes have traditionally been viewed as a red flag—and many employers still consider them so. If you find a suitable candidate who is also a jumper, you’ll face less competition from other recruiters. This will make the hiring process easier and potentially cheaper as well—especially if the candidate has become so accustom to rejection that he has lowered his salary expectations.
5. Job jumpers are highly adaptable.
The biotech and pharma industry is constantly changing—and your company has to change along with it. Your top performers are likely to become the senior scientists, technical writers and packaging engineers who are best able to adapt—a characteristic common among job jumpers. According to one survey by a major career website, 51 percent of employers believe job jumpers “can adapt quickly.” It’s a critical trait in a volatile world, and one many employers find desirable in candidates.