Challenging our managers and the benefit of recruiting for vertical markets


First of all, we want to give a great big shout out to our new team managers!

Simon Fowler: promoted to Head of Pharmaceutical Division.
Paul Mears: promoted to Head of Chemicals Division.
Daniel Lloyd: our company Director and Co-Founder who is now also heading up our cosmetics and polymers divisions; managing our Lancaster office.

You might have noticed that we’ve recently added to our team again, further expanding our pharmaceutical and chemicals divisions.

For the last few years we’ve had the privilege of working alongside Dominic Graham at BL&D Consultancy. In addition to our internal training programme, Dom has been pivotal in delivering individual and team training for our staff, including dedicated management training for Dan, Paul and Simon.

We want our staff and our managers to be challenged to grow professionally and we are committed to facilitating and celebrating their achievements and growth.

Growing our niche industry knowledge

So much has happened in the last five and a half years: our business was created by two of the top scientific recruiters in the UK – joining together as old colleagues and friends, to challenge the way recruitment was done in the industry. Their values: to always be accountable, personable and most of all: proven.

Since then, Andy and Dan have taken on another director and employed 11 additional staff, making us a team of 14 and growing – all specialist scientific and technical recruiters, serving very niche and specific industries.

One of the company’s key drivers for creating something different was not only to embody and deliver an outstanding level of professionalism, industry expertise and customer service, but also to create vertical markets within our team; training up scientific recruiters to be highly specialist and evermore relevant and valuable to the clients they work with.

The benefit of recruiting in vertical markets

Most scientific recruiters cover geographical areas. That’s how Dan and Andy had always worked in the past when employed by other recruitment firms. Recruiters may cover the North West or London or the South East and will recruit for all scientific roles within that specific area: pharma, biotech, chemicals, cosmetics, medical devices, QC, QA, regulatory, method development, entry-level temporary workers, executive-level head-hunt assignments… They may be scientific recruiters, and good at what they do, but just like the chemists and scientists we work with – it’s very difficult to be a true specialist across so many different industries, with individual regulations, accreditations, expectations and skill-sets.

Here at Science Solutions, each of our scientific recruiters works across one industry, covering the whole of the UK. For example, our biotech recruiters only recruit for the biotech industry, and work with clients and industry professionals within biotechnology across the whole of the UK. We also recruit many chemists and scientists from Europe. Out of all of the scientific industry sectors, biotech is arguably the broadest in terms of job roles and skill-sets, so there’s still plenty to discover and limitless knowledge to be gained.

Our teams work very closely together: our pharmaceutical recruiters work with each other constantly, our cosmetics recruiters do the same, and so on. They visit companies and research organisations together, share knowledge, discuss the requirements of job seekers they register for temporary, contract or permanent work. Not only that, but they also work closely with the wider team. This is unheard of in most recruitment firms but here, we are proud to share every single registration with the whole team. Each time one of us registers a scientific or technical professional, an internal email goes round to the whole team, detailing that person’s experience, requirements for salary, location, industry etc and has their CV attached. This way, 14 people can support their career development, rather than one. Graduates can often apply for roles across many different scientific industries, but even senior leaders can move between industries sometimes, depending on the specifications of the role and what they are personally looking for as an individual.

This approach enables us to individually become experts within our industry and also to consider all relevant professionals for every role. If the role is in Manchester, we’re not only considering people from the North West, but people from every area of the UK, if they have told us they can relocate. For people who are willing or keen to relocate, we can also provide a much more relevant service, by being aware of a wide variety of roles across their industry, in a variety of locations.

Once you’ve done recruitment this way, there’s no going back. Our goal is the be the go-to recruiter for scientific and technical roles across the UK. We can only achieve this through providing a relevant and superior level of service to both our clients in industry and the jobseekers and scientists that we work alongside.

Dan, Andy and many of our colleagues have worked in the scientific recruitment industry for many years. We’ve witnessed the high staff turnovers, the quick wins, managers encouraging staff to send any old CVs to a job role just to hit their KPIs for that week, the ‘jack of all trades’ approaches. We want to be better than that and so far, in 5.5 years we haven’t had anyone leave and we haven’t had anyone fail. We were previously used to staff turnovers of up to 65%. Here at Science Solutions, so far it’s 0% and that’s something we are very proud of. We’re growing at a manageable rate and we’re dedicated to providing the right environment and training to ensure that our business creates exciting and sustainable opportunities for all involved.

CDP: continuing professional development

Here at Science Solutions, we invest in staff training. We timetable in regular internal training sessions to ensure that our team are continuously improving and challenging themselves to grow in their professional career. We also invest in external consultancy and training, because in order to truly challenge yourself in business, you often need to look outside of your own company for ideas, inspiration and innovation.

Here’s to the next five years and to enjoying and embracing the next part of our journey.


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