You’ve seen the behind-the-scenes photos that appear on LinkedIn and Facebook, and you may have even had the pleasure of working with some of them – but who exactly comprises Biotech Partners? In this series we will introduce you to the amazing men and women who work tirelessly to connect the best candidates in the market with innovative organizations across the nation.
Next up, meet Cheryl Canady Richardson, the Director of Client Services for Biotech Partners.
Interviewer: So, Cheryl, tell us a little about what your role as the Director of Client Services looks like within Biotech Partners.
Richardson: I started as a recruiter with Biotech Partners eight years ago, and recently I moved into the Client Services side of the business. Now my role is focused on managing accounts and expanding our footprint within existing clientele.
Interviewer: How did you end up at Biotech Partners and what led you to world of recruiting in the first place?
Richardson: I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, and when I entered the workforce, I realized that I really enjoyed the sales aspects of my job. I eventually came across recruiting when a friend’s organization was hiring recruiters and I fell in love with the industry. I came out of the recruiting industry temporarily to spend a few years working in optical and laboratory sales before joining the Biotech Partners’ team!
Interviewer: What’s your favorite part about recruiting and your role within it?
Richardson: My favorite part is always the “happy endings” where you’ve walked a candidate through the hiring process and then are able to see them finally get their dream job. The joy it brings them is personally satisfying and it can literally change someone’s life, and I am honored to be a part of it.
Interviewer: What experiences or skills did you gain prior to your time with Biotech Partners that has been beneficial in your current role?
Richardson: Being a recruiter is a lot like being a therapist in that you connect with someone who tells you their fears, goals, accomplishments and other personal things during the hiring process. My mother has always said that I would be a great therapist because I tend to make people feel immediately comfortable with telling me anything. As a recruiter, I advise and guide my candidates throughout the interview process, share my expertise in the industry, and listen in order to communicate through their fears.
Interview: So, what does a typical “Day in the Life of the Director of Client Services” look like?
Richardson: It always involves planning the day and week out, scheduling client calls, time-blocking for cold and warm calling. I also plan time to follow up and prepare candidates for scheduled interviews, as well as touch base with clients and new business leads. My number one goal every day is to facilitate the discussions to move both clients and candidates towards the offer stage of the hiring process and interpret negotiations for both parties.
Interviewer: With all of your expertise, what would you say turns Human Resources away from a candidate during the hiring process?
Richardson: There are always several factors that would cause a Human Resources department to decide against a candidate. First, it’s obvious if a candidate does not properly research the organization and the open role, so that can be a big turn-off. If a candidate lacks stability in their job history or fails to ask thoughtful questions (or worse – none at all!) during the interview, these can be detrimental factors. Other things like ineffectively communicating their value, cockiness, talking too much or not listening during the interview can also affect the outcome of the hiring process. It’s essential to establish a good relationship with HR as well as the hiring manager, since resumes don’t always reflect someone’s full expertise and personality: everything isn’t black and white in this world, and sometimes good candidates are overlooked.
Interviewer: What is one universally sought skill (either soft or learned) that many hiring managers are looking for in a potential hire?
Richardson: Career stability is always an ask from hiring managers. It usually indicates a candidate’s loyalty and ability to work well within an organization on a long-term basis. Adaptability is also a sought-after characteristic, as many organizations and roles can be fluid and need someone who will grow and learn with the job as it develops over time.
Interviewer: What has been a challenge for you when looking for the perfect candidate for a role in the past?
Richardson: Having timing & location match-up is such a challenge! Sometimes you get an open role that you know the perfect candidates for, and the location is the only factor that doesn’t line up. The other challenge is having that perfect candidate in mind for something then finding out they recently started a new job!
Interviewer: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to a hiring manager who is frustrated by how long the hiring process is taking?
Richardson: It’s very helpful to establish realistic hiring objectives instead of focusing on unrealistic requirements that make the search impossible. That will only create frustration for both parties and will waste valuable time, two things that tend to happen during a lengthy hiring process! Market competitive salaries are also a big factor as candidates are savvy and understand what they’re worth. Hiring managers must be engaged throughout the interview process and make sure that they are not leaving too much time in between communications with likely hires. If a hiring manager is working with a recruiter, it’s imperative that all feedback about the hiring options and process is given early on in the search so that adjustments can be made quickly and efficiently. If a hiring manager delays an offer to a candidate, they most likely will lose the potential hire altogether!
Interviewer: What do you do outside of work for fun, Cheryl?
Richardson: Since I live very close to the beach, I enjoy it as often as I can! I also love red wine, traveling to see friends and family, and spending time at home with my husband and fur babies, including my new rescue dog, Max, and my cat, Coco. I also recently said goodbye to my other rescue dog, Stellamae, so it’s been an adjustment overall.
Interviewer: What goals have you set for 2020, either personal or professional?
Richardson: Professionally, I am growing Biotech Partner’s existing client base and will continually evolve to learn new things and be a mentor to new team members. Personally, I would like to travel to some new places, including a wine vineyard tour. I’d also like to work on remodeling our kitchen and starting my Pilates practice again.
If you’re a candidate or hiring manager who is interested in working with Cheryl or any of the Biotech Partners team, feel free to reach out today for a complimentary consultation to see how the team can help connect you to the right organization or individual!