If you have been a Hiring Manager for any length of time then you understand the task of hiring clinical research associates is a complicated process. You also understand that sometimes the difficult part of hiring a new employee doesn’t have anything to do with the actual applicant and candidate interaction.
Sometimes the difficulty is due to your own team or company not being in alignment with the requirements of the position, and the results can be disastrous. Here is a checklist I have created which should help eliminate many of these problems.
Details of the position
Does everyone agree to the title of the position?
Is there flexibility to the hours or location? Said differently, for the right candidate would you be willing to be flexible on home based vs. in-house, working out of another office, working different hours than the rest of the team to accommodate family needs, etc.?
Have you confirmed with your team what types of clinical research associates will fit your needs best such as contract, perm, or a temp-to-perm candidate? There are pros and cons for all choices, so be sure you consider them!
Is everyone in agreement with the salary or hourly rate? Have you confirmed this compensation with finance and your senior management as well?
Is there a clear start date? Clear end date if this is a contract or temporary position?
Is there anything that would put this start date at risk? This is typically the area where I see most organizations struggle. There should always be open discussion as to what (not if – but what) will put a start date at risk. Clients delaying projects is a reality. Funding being withdrawn is a reality. Always ask the question and know up front what may cause a start date to slip or be cancelled.
Have you looked internally to fill this position? Have you ever filled this position internally in the past? Would senior leadership, finance, or HR require you to look internally before seeking someone outside of the company?
Is there any chance of a hiring freeze or some other financial freeze or delay which would prohibit you from hiring an external resource?
Job Skills, Qualifications, and Personality
Does a Job Description exist for this position? If not, do you have the appropriate support to build one? If you aren’t sure where to start don’t worry; in my clinical recruitment world I write many job descriptions for my clients and go into more details in a future article titled “How to write an Effective Job Description“.
Have you asked your department what the most important job qualifications are? Many times a huge laundry list of job requirements will be handed to you by your team, however perhaps only a handful of those requirements are critical. Be sure to have your team prioritize their requirements as well as tell you which ones are nice to have but not mandatory.
What personality type is your team looking for? This goes well beyond the job description but is critically important. I see fully qualified candidates rejected daily because they were too bubbly or not bubbly enough, too chatty or not chatty enough, etc.
How should the individual work best? Do you want someone who needs to be managed as part of a team, or works independently without checking in? Do you want a natural leader or a follower? Don’t assume you know what your team is looking for – ask!
What type of company background does your team want the clinical research associates to come from? Individuals from smaller companies have different mindsets than those from larger companies. Professionals learn different things depending on their past corporate (or non-corporate) experiences, so find out what your team is looking for.
What type of career goals do you want your new team member to have?
Remember that not only do you want to be clear on the hard requirements for the position such as the individual’s skills, experiences and education, but the soft requirements too, like personality, work style, corporate background, and career ambitions. Ask your team, make note, and you will be well on your way to adding the right new team member to your working family.
Dedicated to Every Client’s success,
- What is your Recruiting Strategy?
- How to Benchmark a Competitive Compensation Range
- How to Write a Great Job Description
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