The Advantages of being a Scientist recruiting Scientists

The Advantages of being a Scientist recruiting Scientists


Karen Shiel


When I first started out in recruitment 10 years ago, I had just successfully completed a PhD in Molecular Biology and had spent a year in Australia working in a commercial sales role. I found it difficult decide on which career path to take in Ireland with a PhD in Biology, as the logical step at the time was to stay in academia and undertake a post-doc or move into Quality in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The majority of biology graduates I knew went into GP sales, QA, QC or clinical data coordinator roles within the pharma sector or, alternatively, into Production/QA Coordinator/NPD Technician roles within the food sectors. 


Scientific recruitment offered me a great opportunity to marry my people skills whilst remaining up-to-date with scientific advancements. Having completed a PhD, one learns to take the ups with the downs and to understand that things will not always work out as planned. It also teaches you to never give up; a very important trait in a Recruiter as it can often take some time to find the right person for a role or indeed the right role for a job seeker.


One of the truly enjoyable parts of recruitment is meeting with job seekers to get a better understanding of what they wish for from both a career and cultural perspective in terms of fit within our clients’ organizations. Having all the knowledge of a Scientist gives us the extra edge; for example, understanding the complexity of a scientific paper in terms of preparing our job seekers for presentations.


There is a major shift within the pharmaceutical sector from large commercial sales teams to more medical based education as we are seeing the Medical Affairs teams grow from strength to strength. Clinical research is also a strong area in Ireland and many of the open vacancies in this sector require a strong Scientific background. Ireland is very well placed to fill these openings as we now have a very highly educated workforce. The food and beverage organisations in Ireland are also seeking highly qualified Scientists (MSc & PhD in Chemistry & Biology). There are many more opportunities for our graduates now as they can get a place on very well organized graduate programs within food and beverage R & D.


With Ireland’s strong biopharma presence there are many opportunities for highly qualified MSc & PhD graduates to get excellent training, and develop great career paths within the highly competitive Oncology / Cardiovascular / Dermatology / Immunotherapy therapeutic areas; to name but a few. The pharma and biopharmas also provide some excellent graduate programs.


Scientists here in Ireland are now in a position to be part of the big picture whilst making a huge impact on patients who are greatly in need of these amazing discoveries and treatments. The more that our Scientists, Consultants (key opinion leaders), Regulatory Bodies, Government, Health System and Patient Groups partner together, the better the outcomes for patients in the long term.


This is a highly interesting sector to work and it’s fair to say that not one day is ever the same!