What it was like to join Next Phase - by Alex Butcher
What makes one Recruitment Consultancy different from another? It was a question I asked myself recently when I decided to leave my previous position. In fact, it was THE key question for me; and it should be whether you have a career in Recruitment or whether you are looking to engage with a specialist Recruitment Partner. There are plenty who offer the world but do not deliver; and as such they are just empty words and promises.
I was seeking a Recruitment Consultancy whose focus was solely within the Life Science arena - a consultancy where the Consultants were focused on specific sectors and therefore were true Specialists in their fields. I was also ideally seeking a Recruitment Consultancy who preferably had strong client partnerships within the Cell, Gene & Translational Scientific areas as I have a personal interest in this field, as not only is the science fascinating, but the impact it will have on everyday lives is immense.
I initially came across Next Phase through their adverts in early 2019. It was clear to me that they knew about their clients, as the advertisements contained more than just the typical text – anyone can copy and paste! I got a sense that they looked to partner with their clients and not just be another agency in a sea of agencies, as additional details were present that you wouldn’t know if you hadn’t visited a client’s site or didn’t know them well. They were also focused solely on Life Science and had a great variety of Advanced Therapy related opportunities.
It is surprising what you can gain from a few minutes on the internet. A company’s website and LinkedIn profiles of Consultants can reveal a lot about the company, the people who work there and their approach. It was clear from the website, case studies, the blogging content and recommendations on LinkedIn that Next Phase were worthwhile investigating further. Terms such as “understanding”, “effective”, “transparent”, “identified business fit”, “listened”, “accessible”, “helpful”, “guidance” and “advice” resonated well with me. After an engaging and informative conversation with Steve Twinley, the MD of Next Phase, I felt that this Consultancy had a great offering. Not only was one of the Directors the Chairman of APSCo – a sure sign of the importance the company places on the quality and standard of Recruitment they provide - but it was the approach Next Phase embraces: “research-led” recruitment.
Next Phase Recruitment’s Consultants have the space required to fully understand their client/candidate needs rather than meet a KPI, “production line” approach. This is then followed by the design and execution of a detailed recruitment strategy, specifically tailored to them. This results in gaining access and buy-in from a small number of identified targets. You can read more about Next Phase’s unique approach to recruitment here.
Candidates are supported from the first conversation they have with Next Phase. Consultants understand the depth and breadth of their abilities and needs, as well as understanding any limitations. Through such investigations Next Phase are able to introduce them to the best possible positions.
Clients are supported equally by Next Phase. Consultants understand their clients through in-depth discussions about their requirements, exploring the team and company ethos, spending time on site and in front of each other, and engaging with them at Industry Events such as the Paradigm and Terrapinn Global Events - The 9th World Organ Drug Congress and The 14th World Advanced Therapies & Regenerative Medicines Congress.
The result is that the individuals Next Phase represent are well prepared for their interviews. Next Phase enables them to start thinking about questions the interviewer may ask them, meaning we get to understand what is important and key for all parties involved subsequently resulting in a high level of engagement from the outset to placement.
I work in collaboration with James Hume and Steve Smith as part of the Science and Innovation team. As a team our core focus includes Rare Disease, Cell & Gene Therapy and Translational Science from laboratory to C suite (Globally), and R&D to IP. Given the development of several key Recruitment Partnerships in the London, Cambridge and Hertfordshire areas, I have decided to position myself to focus on the supporting this market, but also to expand upon this.
During the interview process it became clear that Next Phase are who they said they are - experts in their market who are held in high esteem with their clients. This has meant Next Phase has won business over large national agencies because of our bespoke approach, scientific expertise, sector knowledge and delivery. We make strategic placements on behalf of our clients, supporting them as they open new business areas and engage with technical scientific expertise to drive forward patient centric research.
Some of the science is new to me, and it’s been a learning curve. But with the research-led recruitment approach at Next Phase and the close recruitment partnerships we have, the engagement with this market has been fascinating, even if I am eating, sleeping and dreaming viral vectors and cell cultures!