Why you can bank on Candidate Search — now and in the future

May 26, 2020

Source top STEM talent – utilize the laser-targeted tool that lets you connect with the scientists who will drive your organization’s future research work

Organizations must rapidly adapt their STEM hiring strategies to account for the current economic downturn. Expenditures have been put under the microscope, with careful evaluation of organizational costs. It’s also highly likely that your organization has reduced its annual hiring volume. It might also be tempting to assume a short-term view and put certain aspects of recruitment, qualified candidate shortlisting or external communication about your organization on hold. But this might be a mistake.

While the overall number of vacancies might have decreased, it’s just as likely that even more talented researchers are on the lookout for their next role, due to layoffs, furlough, or job-market scanning, just in case. In fact, 78% of researchers are open to new research opportunities, even if they’re not actively searching for a new job. So how to take advantage of the current ‘seller’s market’? Utilize recruitment tactics that will quickly engage and ‘warm up’ candidates to opportunities at your organization, without significant cost.

Once ‘business as usual’ resumes, competition for candidates will be fierce, as companies will be reactivating their STEM hiring simultaneously. Therefore, now is the moment to stay productive — and ahead of competitors. Building a talent pool and engaging with top research talent today will secure your competitive advantage over organizations that haven’t done such prep work. The positive impact on metrics, like time-to-hire and cost-per-hire, will deliver a return on investment far greater than any short-term savings. But how is this best executed?

The solution is Candidate Search, a powerful tool that lets recruiters, sourcers, and other ‘people team’ professionals actively search for top talent within the ResearchGate network of +17-million registered researchers. With the help of Boolean operators, you can find and evaluate not only a potential employee’s profile, but also their full body of research work and STEM social-network connections (a clever way to source similar, qualified candidates). You can build talent shortlists and also directly message researchers, allowing you to activate awareness of your organization and also quickly gauge whether the talent you’ve identified is open to new opportunities.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced quarantine and a changed STEM hiring landscape, we’ve seen a significant 1.5x surge in high-volume usage of Candidate Search. The data indicates that STEM recruitment professionals in other organizations are using Candidate Search to ensure that they maintain talent pipelines and recruitment relationships, in order to remain productive at this time.

But how do you get your ideal scientific research candidate to sit up and take notice? We’ve examined our data and come up with three ways that hiring professionals can optimize their chances of success.

Update your recruiter profile

Researchers and scientists on ResearchGate are twice as likely to open messages from recruiters who have filled out their recruiter profile information. Much like you want to know the details about your ideal candidate, they’ll want to know about you too. Make sure you have all the necessary information on your profile to help move the process along, to inspire excitement and human connection.

Be compelling

Speaking to someone for the first time can be difficult, as thinking of the right ice-breaker isn’t always easy. However, this is your direct opportunity to sell your organization, so do it! According to our data, 93% of researchers are interested in being directly contacted by STEM recruiters. Get them excited about the prospect in hand, and channel that into the language you use. Make your outreach concise, snappy, and bring the role to life, while clearly outlining next steps and the desired next steps.

Show you’ve done your homework

It’s very easy to use an email template when approaching potential candidates about your organization. However, a bespoke approach goes a long way. Customize each message to reference work a scientist has been involved with, or with a comment on their publishing history. This will help forge connections and show interest in them as a researcher. Let the candidate know what makes them right for the role and why you’re approaching them, not only to expedite the process, but to drive enthusiasm and intrigue.

In conclusion, you only get one chance to wow a candidate, so make sure first impressions count. Brevity is encouraged, but not at the risk of sounding impersonal. Finally, outline clear timelines, so researchers can get a sense of whether your offer is right for them.

Candidate Search can help lower recruitment costs and time-to-hire, but you must approach it right. While a global financial downturn is a worrying thought, it shouldn’t result in your team’s strategies being put on a shelf. Scientists don’t turn off their ambition during a downturn, so don’t dial down yours. Instead, utilize tech that can drive ROI when you need it, and work with ResearchGate to pool and source top STEM talent.

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