Random Ramblings about stuff I see going on in biotech, internet and the stuff I read.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

More about hireing and interviewing for Science business

I have, as I mentioned previously, been looking to hire another business development person.

We posted the ad to our website, monster, and everyother job board I have ever heard of (and some I haven't). We got dog-doo for a response. I am looking for an 'entry-level' Bus Dev person. My version of entry level has some form of graduate degree or has been working in a relevant field (the lab, and application scientist, sales rep or something) for several years. Basically - can' t be just out of college. Ph.D. a real bonus. MBA OK, but better have worked in a lab for awhile.

I got responses from people with A LOT of experience. All of them unemployed. None of them hireable as their salary expectations were way out of line with what I can pay (high 5 figures + bonus). I talked to a few of them just to understand what the story was, and was really universally disappointed with them. I would have tried to make it work for a great person, as we have a lot of work to do and can fit people in a lot of places, but in general (n=5) these people were unemployed for good reason. They had worked at some large company for greater than 10 years and really didn't understand the rest of the world. They had 1 world view and weren't adapting. They couldn't break that mold in their heads, and that was a problem.

This discouraged me a great deal...

So I got a recruiter on my side. He got me 4 decent candidates pretty quickly - we filed them through phone screens (me only) and visits to the office to interview with everyone and their brother, and I have an offer out to one of them.

Didn't end up going with a Ph.D. - the offer went to a guy with a masters, most of an MBA (graduate in the fall from and executive MBA program) and a bunch of years as an application scientist.

Of the 4 - only 1 had a Ph.D. and she was, once I met her, unable to really put together a business story. She had the technology half under control perfectly, but fell down on how to think about making money at things. This was the feedback from all of us who interviewed her, and is a very common failing of Ph. D. 's. You just don't think through this side of things when you are a post-doc (what she was). I brought her in to see if she had the ability to think about it (and thus could be taught) and it failed. I was sad, as she really wants out of the lab but I don't think has the ability to think in a non-science way. This job requires both, which I am finding to be an odd mix.

The other 2 were sales reps, and it really came through that a sales rep just wasn't what I needed. They had masters degree's as well, but had drifted too far from the technology side.

I really hope this guy accepts (offer on Friday - answer on Monday please....) as I don't want to go back to looking for people.

*fingers crossed*