Skip to content

Building Out Companies in the Modern Age

Posted by Lauren Kendall on April 11, 2022
I’ve yet to meet a person who sets out to be in recruiting as a career path. Those I know in the search world have fallen into it from a range of backgrounds and mine happened to be from a decade as a discovery scientist. At the time of that transition, I was seeking a way out of lab life but also a way forward where I’d continue to make an impact on patients and healthcare broadly speaking…something I remain passionate about. Here at The Bowdoin Group, I make that impact by helping founders and investors build biotech and healthcare companies with human capital, a resource these days that is arguably as important as intellectual property and a clear development path.

A nascent biotech company has a specific challenge and opportunity as they emerge from stealth mode. They are likely surrounded by other well funded teams with similarly cutting edge ideas who might just be the next big thing. They are also likely to fail in less than five years. How these organizations go about attracting and retaining talent can dictate which of those two fates arises. The points below outline some areas of focus that we feel are paramount to that fate.

  • Branding Your Story – Why is your approach unique, novel, game changing? Highlight your founders and your culture early. Be bold in your messaging as it’s a crowded landscape at present.
  • Building Systems – Human capital data is just as important as what is in the lab notebook. How are you tracking who you know, who has applied, and whom you’ve met as a potential candidate? Have you developed a streamlined interview process? Does your internal team know how to leverage their own network and do they know how to interview properly?
  • Creative Sourcing – Org charts align with a need in corporate strategy but there needs to be flexibility on title, past experiences of a given candidate, and what are the musts vs. nice to haves. Our clients who are able to hire slightly outside of the box are keeping pace with their hiring timelines.
  • Talent Retention – startups are operating in 5th gear every day so it can be easy to lose focus on professional development of your people. Clients who are thinking about the development of their own people retain top talent. The pandemic has highlighted this as more important than free lunches and a foosball table in the breakroom. People seek trust in leadership, meaningful work, and the ability to be a part of a company culture in an increasingly remote world.

Considering that we partner with a range of organizations tackling the above points we have real time perspective on what works when trying to build a world class organization from the C-team down to the fresh associate. One commonality in successful recruiting is the ability to deliver a technically accurate and targeted message about the role and organization to the educated candidate base that we are interacting with. It is the intellectual property, funding, and leadership team behind the what, how, and who of the young biotech that will grab attention in a saturated market. 

We at The Bowdoin Group are passionate about building companies who are helping patients so please stick around for additional blogs covering a wide range of related topics.