smith hanley recruiters


Business is continuing for Smith Hanley Recruiters but it certainly isn’t business as usual.  The white collar job market still feels like there is a 3.5% unemployment rate and our clients are anxious to get the help they need. To find candidates for their hard-to-fill openings hiring managers and talent acquisition specialists are willing to conduct phone and Skype interviews in lieu of an in-person meeting.  Offers are being made albeit cautiously and with some extended start dates.  Candidates are a little more hesitant to commit to a new job when they’ve never met their new associates in person or seen their work space, but Smith Hanley Recruiters are getting acceptances.  Offers that include relocation are finding it harder to close the deal without an in-person visit. Here is what Smith Hanley Recruiters have to say about each of their specialty recruiting niches.

Actuarial Science

Rory Hauser, Recruiting Practice Lead for Actuarial Science, has stayed busy since we closed our office and moved remote on March 16.  “Job openings with interviews in process, when sheltering-at-home became the norm, are continuing to play out in the virtual environment.  There is not a lot of new activity, but that may change as companies get their employees settled into remote work sites.”  Actuarial Recruiter, Chris Buckley, adds “While most candidates are not starting a job search in this environment, actuaries do seem open to talking about what MIGHT interest them in the more stable future.”

Data Science and Analytics

Interestingly, Smith Hanley Recruiters in Data Science and Analytics, Paul Chatlos and Nancy Darian, have both gotten a number of new openings to recruit for in the first week of formal sheltering-at-home.  As clients adjust to doing the process on-line and with the improvement of visual technology for meetings, they are realizing good, informed decisions can be made. “Some of my clients have put recruiting on hold for a few weeks to better see what the timing of a return to business-as-usual might be, but with many teams working at full throttle from home they see hiring as necessary to get the work done.”  Paul also finds that, “Reaching candidates has been much easier.  Everyone picks up!”  While Nancy Darian has found activity to be slower than usual, she feels the demand is still there and once there is more clarity about the pandemic, “business will rebound quickly.”

Pharmaceutical Commercial Analytics

Eda Zullo, Commercial Analytics Recruiter, has been as busy working remotely as she was in the office.  “There is a lot of hiring activity across a number of big pharma companies.  Offers are being extended as if there is no impact from the global pandemic.”  With many openings requiring relocation the only issue with getting an acceptance may be the candidate’s willingness to move in the middle of this health crisis.

Pharmaceutical Biostatistics

Nihar Parikh, Biostatistics Recruiter, does see some slowdown in the interviewing process. “Candidates are making themselves available and no jobs have been cancelled, but my clients are being careful about committing to a hire until they see when the pandemic is going to peak.” Are you wondering if we are already in a recession? Here’s a quick way to find out- the Sahm rule, named after economist Claudia Sahm, says that if the unemployment rate rises 0.5 percentage points above its previous 12-month low, the economy is in a recession. While there is going to be pain ahead, we need a V shaped recovery to get back on track. On a personal note, Nihar had a family vacation planned to Italy that he had to scrap, for good, or, I guess, bad reasons, of course.

Pharmaceutical Sales and Medical Device Sales

“We are still very busy,” says Pharmaceutical Sales Practice Lead Nancy Ragonese, “perhaps because the recruiting of sales staff is still considered a necessity even in this time of uncertainty.”  Clients and candidates are accustomed to making decisions quickly with an average time to fill roles of 2-3 weeks. Clients have been creative with how to hire without in-person meetings. Nancy is finding that, “Candidates actively on the market are getting a stronger response from my clients as they are the ones ready to make a move during this uncertain time and are more comfortable getting recruited virtually.”

Medical Device Sales Recruiter, Gary Cavanagh, is having the same experience as pharmaceutical sales.  “Clients would prefer to do ‘ride-alongs’ or in-person assessments, but they will make a decision on an offer versus losing a great candidate.”

Medical Science Liaisons

“Candidates are so willing to talk.  Not always about their job search, we sometimes get off-track talking about the pandemic, these are strategic experts after all, but it is a great time to talk about preferences and long term goals,” says MSL Recruiter, Ken Kupersmith.  “I have had clients put positions on hold at the same time as new roles are coming in.”

Market Research

Market Research Practice Lead, Lindsey Bartlett, has found different size companies responding differently to the pandemic. “While uncertainty exists in the short term, our clients are focused on adapting their recruiting strategies to maintain their hiring processes. Companies with fewer than 100 employees have put a hold on recruiting, while mid-size and large companies are either moving slowly with prolonged start dates or moving forward full force virtually. We are seeing a mixed response from candidates on accepting an offer without interviewing in person.”  Market Research Recruiter, Daniel Wilberschied, says that as a result of the big company’s prioritizing hiring, “We have redoubled our efforts in finding and serving those clients that need to fill positions whether there is a pandemic or not.”

Want to start a job search or have a hiring need?  Click on the Smith Hanley Recruiters name in your specialty area and you will be able to email them easily. Interested in talking immediately?  Call Smith Hanley Associates’ Partner, Jacqueline Paige, at  203.763-9624.


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