Clinical Staffing Reviews

A site which compares Clinical Recruitment Firms so you are able to select the best Recruiting Company to fit your staffing needs.

Why You Should Use a Lazy Recruiter

I am sure you all will agree that a good recruiting agency should have efficient processes in place which enables them to quickly provide quality candidates. They should execute according to a mature strategic plan, have clear and definable goals, and should be transparent about what they can and can’t do.

So what is a lazy recruiter?

Note that when I say “lazy recruiters” I don’t mean they ignore all correspondence and cut corners with sneaky tactics!  The lazy recruiters I like to work with are able to execute their processes in an effective manner. They don’t have to constantly hound hiring managers or candidates to fill spots. They can make 10 calls instead of 100 and quickly find quality placements.

Lazy recruiters are technically savvy and are able to continually find creative new ways to increase the pool of quality candidates they work from. Like you, I prefer to work with recruiting agencies who offer a robust database of candidates for the simple reason of giving me more options. Having a large pool of candidates to choose from also takes the pressure off the recruiters and the candidates as both parties are aware that there are other candidates to choose from.  This means no single candidate is pressured to accept a job they don’t want, you have more quality candidates to choose from, and your selected candidate sticks around causing your employee attrition rate to be lower.

Now consider for a moment, any major grocery store. In order to provide a quick and effective checkout, you will typically have different checkout lines to choose from.  There’s the “10 and under” line, the regular checkout line, an automated self-checkout line, and a designated area for returns and customer service issues. Grocery stores have figured out how to be lazy while providing their customers options to address their needs and to stay satisfied.

Now, imagine you go to a store with only one lone checkout and everyone had to go through that same pipeline. All returns, all complaints, the lady with 3 items and the guy with 2 carts full of stuff would all have to use the same line. Do you think people would continue to use that store for very long?

Good recruiting agencies give their hiring managers options, are efficient and effective, and their recruiters are lazy (in a good way)!

Signing off,


fred_elmore[use AT symbol here]

Would you buy Sushi at the 7-Eleven™?

As a hiring manager, it sure would be great if I could go to one agency and have all of my hiring needs met through a single point of contact.  Let’s call it the 7-Eleven™ approach.

After all, pretty much every company is going to need secretaries, janitors, accountants and IT staff, so having one agency that can provide staffing in all of those areas can sure be convenient.


But should you trust these “soup to nuts” companies when it comes to recruiting highly skilled team members who will have the ability to make or break your company?  We aren’t talking about hiring a greeter at Wal-Mart, we are talking about hiring quality clinical research professionals.  Said differently, if a recruiter just submitted a qualified accountant to you this morning, does that mean she is capable of finding a competent Clinical Research Associate for you this afternoon?

The question isn’t whether these “soup to nuts” agencies will recruit CRAs in their 7-Eleven™ approach…the question is should you ask them to.

I am a huge proponent of working with Niched Clinical Research Recruiting Agencies for my clinical staff and here are three main reasons why:

  • They have knowledge of our industry.  When you watch the Olympics, do you notice the judged competitions use field experts to evaluate the competitors?  You would never see a gymnastics competition being judged by someone who has little or no experience in that niche.   Sure, you could give a novice gymnastics judge a checklist to go by and they could muddle through it…but wouldn’t that destroy the credibility of the competition results?

Using that same train of thought, you could certainly give a “soup to nuts” recruiter who has little or no experience in the clinical research field a checklist and she will “muddle through it”.  But what level of confidence should you have in the end result?

  • They understand industry trends.  Because these niched companies will only work with companies conducting clinical research, they will have a pulse on what your competition is doing.  They can inform you of industry trends which can be critical for you when it comes to attracting top talent.  For example, they will know what the average hourly rates and salaries are and can help you identify which compensation is reasonable yet competitive.
  • They have history with clinical candidates.  Because Niched Recruiting Agencies focus all of their efforts into networking for their specific skill set, they will build ongoing relationships with their candidates.  A great Niched Clinical Recruiting agency will re-use quality candidates because they know their work ethic and abilities.  Just as importantly, these niched agencies will also be able to track the negative history of poor quality candidates too and keep them far-far-away from your studies.

As someone with my neck on the line, it is nice to know I can leverage someone else’s network to quickly find great quality candidates.

Signing off,


fred_elmore[use AT symbol here]

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Good Recruiters Provide Career Consultation

I’ve been on both sides of the fence as a job seeker and a hiring manager. I know how tough it is to have to look for a steady gig…it is almost as difficult to be a hiring manager looking for a new team member!

I remember I applied for a position through a recruiting agency way back in the Stone Age when you had to go in and apply in person. I was assigned to a recruiter who looked at my resume and gave me tips. During my appointment she listened to my career aspirations and my goals…she really got to know me as a person and dug in to find out what I was looking for. She also pointed me to some interview resources they had available and promised to keep me in mind for any future opportunities.

About three months went by and I forgot about the agency and my experience. I got a call one day and they had a contract they wanted me to interview for. The agency provided details on the company and position and sent me off to interview with their client.  The contract was exactly what I was looking for.

The recruiter had listened to me!

I was offered the contract and was back to work within the span of a week! I was truly impressed…and honestly appreciated that the recruiter had listened to what I was looking for.  They hadn’t spammed me with positions I wasn’t qualified for or wouldn’t be interested in, but contacted me for a position I was capable of doing and met my career goals.  I was a happy camper, and I still refer my colleagues to work with agencies who take the time to give career advice.

So what does this mean to you as a hiring manager?

I’ve worked with a variety of different recruiting agencies to fill the hiring needs of the companies I’ve worked at. I make it a habit of working with the agencies that provided career consultation to their candidates. Career consultation from recruiters gives candidates options but also ensures I only receive those candidates who are not only qualified but truly want the position.

Signing off,


fred_elmore[use AT symbol here]

Why You Should Fire Your Recruiter

Here are the top 10 reasons you should fire your recruiter:

  1. Your recruiting company doesn’t offer you a single point of contact to work with.  You should have one person that you can work with for every job, every candidate, and every issue.
  2. Your recruiting company doesn’t have expertise in clinical research.  Having a clear understanding of this industry is critical; otherwise, how can you trust them to qualify others to work in this field?
  3. You don’t receive candidates who meet your qualifications every time.  Requirements are requirements – if I tell the recruiter I need candidates with a nursing background, give me candidates who have a blooming nursing background!
  4. Your recruiter ignores your budget.  I am not talking about the recruiter pushing the rate limit a little for stellar candidates.  I am talking about someone consistently ignoring your rate caps.  If I tell you I am looking for a rate of $90 dollars an hour, don’t submit average candidates with a bill rate of $120 per hour!
  5. Your recruiter argues with you.  I want my recruiter to advise, consult, make recommendations, and share her expertise.  After all, a quality clinical recruiter has expertise in areas where I will not.  But at the end of the day, if I reject a candidate for some reason, the candidate is rejected.
  6. Your recruiter doesn’t obtain the candidate’s permission to be submitted to your position.  You would be surprised at the number of submitted candidates who are not aware they were submitted! Make sure your agency receives a written confirmation from candidates before submitting them for your open positions.
  7. Your recruiter works for your competitors.  Be aware of conflicts of interest – especially when recruiters support multiple CROs.
  8. Your recruiter doesn’t understand the term “speed to market”.  I see recruiting companies advertising jobs that are 3-5 months old.  Be cautious!  A great recruiting agency will close jobs quickly because they have a network to go to.
  9. Your recruiter doesn’t address problems with current contractors.  There are going to be issues, so ensure you have a partner who will assist you in addressing those problems.
  10. Your recruiting agency doesn’t have a stellar track record of paying their consultants on time.  Do the research to ensure there is no history of consultants having to fight to be paid.  You can’t afford to lose a great consultant 3 months into a yearlong contract because the recruiting agency isn’t paying as it should.

What would be your number one reason for firing your recruiting agency?

Signing off,


fred_elmore[use AT symbol here]

linkedin      CSR logo 1

Have you done your homework?

Do you know how your recruiter qualifies candidates? Many recruiters will “sell” the size of their database as the reason you should work with them.  I could care less how large of a candidate database they have – I want to know what their qualification process is.

Have you asked your recruiter how their firm performs the pre-screening and qualification process with their candidates?  Is your clinical recruitment agency able (and willing) to provide you with the steps they take to make sure only qualified candidates are presented to you?

If you haven’t asked them to describe their recruitment process, you need to do your homework.

I have had two recent scenarios that I am sure you can relate to.

The first scenario:  A recruiter recently sent a dozen resumes over to me within only a couple of hours of receiving my job order for a Contract CRA.  As I started reviewing these resumes, it was clear to me that more than half of the candidates didn’t meet my job requirements.  Had this recruiter really just dumped a bunch of resumes on me without going through any type of qualification process? What level of confidence should I have that the recruiter has actually even talked to any of these candidates?  And more importantly, what did this recruiter expect me to do with all of these resumes?  Why should I pay their fee if I am doing all the work?

The second scenario:  A different agency sent over a resume for the same job order and the candidate looked really good.  I requested to speak to the candidate and the recruiter told me he would call the candidate to check her availability to pick up a project.  What?  Hadn’t the recruiter pre-screened the candidate and confirmed her availability before sending her resume to me?

In both scenarios, not only was my time wasted, but these recruiters added to my workload.  And the worst part is that I still didn’t have a solid candidate to add to my team.  Your clinical recruiting firm should only submit fully qualified candidates who have confirmed their availability and interest in your projects.

Every time…every candidate.  Simply put, you should just have to pick from one of the submitted candidates and if it becomes more difficult than that, you should question the quality of your recruiting agency.

So do your homework; as a hiring manager it is imperative for you to know and understand your recruiting firm’s process on pre-screening and qualifying candidates.

Signing off,


fred_elmore[use AT symbol here]