How a Niche Supplier Can Set You Up for Success in the Life Science Industry

Image of DNA strand against colour background"We can do that!” is a phrase staffing firms commonly use when trying to secure the business of a potential customer. But the reality is that not all agencies are created equal, and some are more qualified than others when it comes to recruiting specialized talent. 

This rings especially true for the life sciences industry. It's an industry that goes through constant change and is very complex. There are thousands of technical roles and hundreds of markets within the life sciences realm itself.

So how do you ensure that you’re finding the right talent for a specific life sciences role? That’s when a niche supplier can step in. By using a niche supplier to fill positions, you can take the burden of finding the perfect candidate off your hiring managers, get targeted specialization, be on top of the most recent market trends and have a network of highly specialized candidates. But how do those four things set you up for success?


Take the Burden Off Your Hiring Managers

Your hiring managers are busy, the last thing they need to worry about is spending an unnecessary amount of time educating their supplier on the technical specifics of a job. There’s no question that they want to find the right candidate, but if they’re spending time triple-checking that their suppliers know what technical skills are needed for a job, they’ll be spending less time on other priorities. Having a niche supplier allows your hiring manager to focus on meeting production demands and deadlines.



A niche supplier offers targeted specialization. Whether it’s a supplier that specializes in the validation of instrumentation or one with a pipeline of clinical research personnel, companies are more apt to receive the types of qualified candidates they are in search of when utilizing suppliers that specialize in a specific area. Every industry has its own nuances. For instance, a regulatory affairs candidate from the pharmaceutical industry probably wouldn’t be the right fit for a role within the medical device arena due to the variances in regulations between the two industries. Niche firms have a solid understanding around what type of talent is needed to meet production demands, deadlines and more.

Having a staffing partner that understands your business operations is imperative. Niche suppliers will tend to have a more robust understanding of your business cycle and what it means to your overall business process. For example, those suppliers in the clinical research space have a clear understanding of each phase of a trial and how the outcomes of those trial phases affect gaining FDA approval on a new drug. A general supplier may not be aware of the difference in skill sets and could hire the wrong candidate who could inadvertently stall a trial or set a project back.



With an industry that’s as ever-changing as life sciences, it’s vital to always be aware of the most recent industry and market trends. A niche supplier will not only know current industry trends, but they’ll also be on top of knowing what the supply and demand looks like and the effect it has on a customers’ business and hiring needs. Because they have a finger on the pulse of their industry of specialization, they can respond quickly to the rapidly changing needs of their clientele.

For example, during the COVID crisis, many pharma companies were given the daunting task of developing a vaccine where speed to market was of the utmost importance. As a result, we saw a sharp increase in the demand for contingent scientific talent. By staying in touch with what was happening in the pharma sector, niche firms were able to pipeline qualified candidates and meet their clients’ ever-evolving demands.



Sometimes it’s not always about what you know, but also who you know. For niche suppliers, industry-specific networking is paramount to not only understanding the intricacies of their customer’s business, but it’s also an avenue to gain access to some of the most qualified talent. For instance, a customer in need of post-doctoral research candidates would benefit from a staffing supplier who is well connected to student research organizations within higher education institutions. Presence at industry trade shows, job fairs, career fairs, and other events allow niche suppliers to build relationships amongst active and passive candidates, which in turn helps them construct solid talent pools of diverse candidates.


In summary, through intimate industry knowledge and a close connection to both passive and active candidates, niche staffing suppliers can recruit quality talent across a variety of skill sets and assist their customers in developing a contingent workforce strategy that best suits their current and future needs. In the end, the customer is left with the peace of mind that they have a partner who truly understands their business.

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