Recruiting competent, reliable, collaborative and motivated staff is important in every sector and industry. However, in the clinical trial field hiring the right people is not just a factor for organizational success: it is a matter of organizational survival.
According to Greg Orzeck, a clinical trials expert who leads the full-service Clinical Research Organization (CRO) AI Research Inc., here are three hiring practices that are essential for conducting effective research, and establishing a reputation for excellence:
Align hiring strategy with success measures and team culture
Even the most competent and enthusiastic hires will struggle instead of thrive if they fail to fit into the team culture, or if their skillset does not contribute to key success measures. Greg Orzeck states that at AI Research Inc., all staff are Registered Nurses, which allows them to function extremely well in hospital settings when carrying out clinical trial monitoring, and also for training hospital staff. Their cohesive and tight-knit team of RNs excel in performing cost-effective and complete processes, from pre-study qualification through closeout visits, and with meticulous attention to detail.
Use both behavioral and situational questions during the interview process
The traditional interview approach of asking candidates to discuss their education or ambitions may work for certain types of jobs, but it is not insightful and is often misleading when hiring in the clinical research space. The solution to this obstacle is to ask behavioral and situational questions. Behavioral questions ask candidates to reference specific experiences from their work history that demonstrate relevant skills, such as problem solving or data analysis. Situational questions ask candidates to describe how they would deal with realistic hypothetical job situations, such if they discovered that a colleague was doing something unethical or unprofessional.
Greg Orzeck states: “Both behavioral and situational interview questions are very important in our hiring process at AI Research Inc. Asking open-ended questions also helps build rapport and establish a comfort level with candidates, which typically leads to even more insightful responses and dialogue.”
Remember that the other side of recruitment is retention
Some organizations — and not just in the clinical research space, but across the entire work landscape — do a relatively good job (and sometimes a great job) when it comes to recruiting, but they drop the ball once a candidate joins their ranks. This is not to suggest that they perform a “bait and switch,” but rather that they lose sight of the fact that recruiting a candidate is not the end of the story: retaining them is. As such, making sure that new hires integrate and meaningfully contribute to the work culture is critical; especially given the high costs and risks of turnover.
Greg Orzeck claims that staff retention is a major focus at AI Research Inc. Working on clinical research trials can be stressful, as there are a multitude of details to stay on top of, several relationships to manage, and an ongoing set of milestones to achieve and deadlines to meet. Making sure that all employees have the support they need, both emotionally and professionally, is a major factor in continued growth and success.