The latest statistics point to a job market that saw steady rather than spectacular progress in 2016. The Office for National Statistics’ recently released UK labour market report shows that there were 31.8 million people in work as of September to November last year, an improvement by 294,000 on a year earlier.

However, time invariably marches on, with many candidates for science jobs and their potential employers now turning their attentions firmly to 2017. What are some of the trends that will likely define the science recruitment market in the year ahead?

1.    A culture of engagement

As the CIPD’s Employee Outlook report for autumn 2016 has stated, while the UK’s net job satisfaction has improved since spring 2016 – now sitting at +40 – this is still some way short of the +48 recorded for autumn 2015.

As a result, it’s fair to say that most science organisations could probably improve their engagement strategies, which looks likely to be a key focus in the coming 12 months. More engaged employees will be more effective brand ambassadors, which will significantly aid your recruitment drive.

2.    The continued primacy of mobile

According to Pew Research Center, 28% of all Americans have used a smartphone to search for a job, rising to 53% of those aged between 18 and 29 – and you can bet that similar trends are continuing to hold sway on this side of the Atlantic.

It therefore couldn’t be more important to continue the optimisation of your science organisation’s online presence for mobile users. If potential candidates visit your site via their smartphone or tablet and find it inaccessible, slow-loading or difficult to navigate, they are unlikely to remain for long.

3.     Workplace diversity remains crucial

The benefits of more diverse workforces are well-documented, but nonetheless bear repeating. Firms with greater diversity in their personnel are more adaptable, can offer a broader range of skills and experiences and deliver better overall results.  

Management consultancy McKinsey & Company, for example, found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to financially outperform those in the bottom quartile . For ethnic diversity, the figure was 35%. 

4.     Treating the candidate like a customer

That term that has been mentioned so often in recruitment circles in the last few years – ‘candidate experience’ – certainly won’t go away in 2017. In fact, science employers will need to make even more of an effort to make candidates feel as pampered as a customer, throughout the recruitment process, if they are to lure the biggest talent.

With Millennial and Generation Z jobseekers notoriously impatient compared to those before them, more emphasis is set to be placed on a swift and efficient candidate experience than ever before.

5.     Centring an employer brand around the employee

With so many avenues through which disgruntled (or for that matter, contented) current or former employees of your organisation can voice their true opinions of what it is like to work for your firm, it is becoming even harder to preserve a certain image of your organisation without your employees’ cooperation.

2017 will therefore be a year in which you need to be more alert than ever to manage your employer brand, in large part by cultivating the best possible working environment.

Are you a science employer looking to work with experts in such sectors as biotechnology, pharmacology and medical devices to secure the talent that your firm needs in the 12 months ahead? Talk to Hyper Recruitment Solutions about the wide-ranging, specialised and informed recruitment solutions on which we have built our reputation. 


‘Company culture’ may be an elusive thing to define at times, but neither employers nor candidates are in any doubt as to its importance.

A survey cited in The New York Times found that eight in 10 employers worldwide considered ‘cultural fit’ to be their top hiring priority. Meanwhile, ‘people and culture fit’ was the top thing that Millennials looked for in an employer, according to research cited in Harvard Business Review, above even ‘career potential’ and ‘work/life balance’.

So, once you have undergone all of the stress of applying for science jobs, passing through the interview and then finally securing your dream role, how can you ensure you are that ‘cultural fit’ your employer is likely to desire so much?

Thoroughly research the organisation

The more you know about the culture of your employer before you walk through its doors, the more proactive you can be in adapting to and embodying that culture – so be sure to do your homework well in advance.

Have you discussed the company culture with the contacts that you already have within the organisation, such as the HR staff that interviewed and hired you? Do your friends have any contacts that have worked for the company before and can give you some tips?

The Internet is also a good place to research companies, but be careful here – with Glassdoor reviews being anonymous, you can never be completely sure as to their authenticity. It may therefore be better to thoroughly immerse yourself in your new employer’s website first, paying particular attention to any ‘vision’ or ‘mission statement’ pages.

Take an open approach

It can take a while to fully acclimatise to the culture of a new employer, and organisations tend to be understanding of this. Indeed, in your early days, you should focus just as much on becoming accustomed to the company’s culture and people as you do on the work itself.

Be observant, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if necessary, of co-workers as well as your boss. Make any notes that you need to make of people’s names, job titles and contact details, as forgetting this information will be much more embarrassing later on than it will be during your first days and weeks at the company.

Maintain engagement over time

Don’t presume that you are automatically embedded into your company’s culture once the first week, month or even quarter has passed. The truth is that fitting in with the culture of your new employer will require continual effort, not least as culture naturally shifts over time with changes in workload and priorities.

So, take every opportunity that you can, even when you have spent a year or more in your new position, to ingrain yourself further into the culture of the company, such as by attending and participating in any weekly meetings, annual conferences and holiday parties.

The more steps that you can take to fit into the culture of your employer, the less likely you are to be among the 89% of hiring failures – according to one Forbes article from a few years ago – that are attributable to poor cultural fit.    

Are you looking to partner with a science recruitment agency with the strongest track record in enabling ambitious people like you to secure the best science jobs? If so, simply get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions today, or read more about the many sectors in which we have hiring expertise.   

The most recent statistics concerning the UK job market are unquestionably positive ones, with the number of people in work increasing between the February to April and May to June periods of this year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The employment rate is also at its joint highest since comparable records began in 1971, so why are so many job seekers so worried that they won’t be able to find a rewarding new role this year?

 

Here are some of the common job search worries that you really shouldn’t be too anxious about when you are perusing the online science jobs portals.

 

Gaps on your CV

 

Fair enough, so many employers will almost certainly ask you about especially large and recent gaps in your CV, but if you have a perfectly understandable reason for yours – such as needing to take time out to care for an ill relative – no decent employer will judge you harshly for it.

 

Furthermore, if the gap was a long time ago or only a few months long, it’s unlikely that you will even be asked about it.

 

Missing a job from your CV

 

Many job seekers worry that they’re supposed to include every single job they’ve ever had on their CV, even if it has little relevance to the role for which they are applying.

 

Remember that your CV is ultimately a marketing document, and that it’s therefore fine to leave off that call centre job you only had for a few weeks post-university, especially when you are seeking a role in a highly specialised science field like biotechnology or immunology.

 

The exception to this is if removing a certain job from your CV would leave a several-year gap – in that case, it’s probably best to be truthful, even if that job has little or no connection to the career that you are seeking now.

 

Giving a complicated justification for a certain salary

 

Particularly if you are still relatively new to the job market, it can be easy to presume that you need to justify any particular desired salary in very complicated terms – but most of the time, it really doesn’t need to be like that.

 

A lot of the time, all that you need to do is say, “I was hoping that you could go up to £XX,XXX – is this possible?” The negotiation process is often a very simple one.

 

The logistics of contacting former managers

 

Understandably, many of those who approach our science recruitment agency worry that they simply must include their most recent manager or university tutor as a reference, to avoid giving the impression that they were on poor terms with them. But what if the logistics are getting in touch with that person would be difficult anyway – for example, they have retired or are travelling on the other side of the world?

 

Ultimately, you should include that past manager or tutor as a reference for the aforementioned reasons, but not worry about how they will be contacted. Making them one of your references is only about giving permission for your prospective employer to get in touch with them, not whether they are actually available.

 

Remember that one of the best ways to minimise job search worry is to be as well-prepared as possible! That’s why, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we provide such comprehensive help - including advice on recruitment agencies – to those seeking science jobs.

 

Contact us now about how we can serve as your trustworthy partner in your search for the most rewarding science jobs presently available. 

The established wisdom in job interview preparation is that while dressing well will never overcome deficiencies in what you actually say in front of a prospective employer, it can nonetheless play a big role in projecting a more positive image of yourself.

Indeed, there have even been indications recently that the saying "the clothes make the man (or woman)" has more truth to it than many of us realise, a study cited in The Atlantic finding evidence that people's thought processes change when they wear a suit.

So, you might know the importance of dressing smartly when being interviewed for jobs - but what exactly does that entail?

How suitable 'interview wear' differs between the sexes

The basic rules of interview dress arguably don't change much whether you are a man or a woman - you are still best advised to wear something comfortable and that you actually feel confident in. It's a good idea to go for 'safer' colours like black, not using more than three colours across your entire outfit, while you should also pay attention to all of those 'small' aspects, such as shoes and socks.

Beyond these broad principles, if you are attending an interview for a role, whether it is in chemistry, pharmacology, immunology or a different scientific or technical field altogether, you will almost certainly be expected to dress more formally than the 'business casual' that can be prevalent in interviews for other job sectors.

What men might wear to a science job interview

A good rule of thumb is to dress one level more formal than would be expected in the day-to-day job. For men, that often means opting for darker, more sober colours, choosing cotton instead of linen on account of the latter's tendency to crease easily, and brown or black shoes - leather rather than suede.

Colours are an important consideration for men, which at the most basic level, means avoiding distracting or garish ties and socks. Also give thought to colour combinations and coordination - while blue can be made to work with brown, the same cannot be said of black and brown.

Some good dress pointers for women

Suits aren't merely timeless - they also effortlessly cross gender lines. Further down one's outfit is a different story, with women needing to choose between trousers and a skirt. If opting for the latter, the distance between the hemline and the knee should not exceed the length of one biro.

Women, like men, are advised to wear darker colours like black, navy or brown, although a lighter, plainer colour can be a good choice in the summer. Scarfs can also be a source of brighter colour, but patterns anywhere are generally a no-no. Any blouse is best plain, and heels should not be too high.

While many would reasonably argue that there are no hard-and-fast rules governing what to wear to an interview with a recruitment agency, the above should nonetheless constitute sound guidelines for the many of us who consider the thorny issue of interview wear almost as intimidating as the interview itself.   


In today's highly competitive jobs market, it's common for employers to have many highly suitable candidates for just one or two positions. This naturally raises the question of how they can better separate candidates, to which one of the most obvious answers is to ask more challenging interview questions.

As there's no substitute for preparation for your own next interview, here are 10 of the most difficult questions that you may be asked, and how you may best answer them.

1. Can you tell me something about yourself?

This is a question where it is so easy to slide into endless irrelevant talk about where you were born, your parents, childhood, family, personal likes and dislikes and so on. Instead, pick out brief examples of your personal and professional experiences that make you suitable for the position - or even have a 'lift pitch' ready to deliver.

2. Why do you think you would be successful in this job?

Don't just wander into general boasting about how brilliant you are - remember that this is a very specific question about what makes you suitable for this job, as opposed to others. Match your strengths to the characteristics that are outlined in the job description and person specification.

3. Why are you leaving your present job?

Like many questions that you may be asked by those conducting recruitment campaigns, this isn't too tough a question if you prepare well. Talk about the personal and professional growth opportunities, challenge or excitement of taking on this position, rather than whinging about your present or last employer.

4. Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?

There are two big risks with this question - criticising a past employer or incriminating yourself in relation to that bad experience. If you can't truthfully say that you have never had a bad experience with an employer, at least describe a difficult situation that you emerged stronger from as a way of demonstrating your potential now.

5. What are your most and least favourite aspects of your present job?

Be more specific than just citing "a nice atmosphere" - something that relates to the position, such as your enjoyment of teamwork, is ideal. As for least favourite aspects... try to make it something as far away as possible from the responsibilities that you would have in this particular job, and make sure the answer illustrates either good performance or an ability to learn. 

6. Give me an example of when you handled a major crisis

Many candidates are thrown by just how dramatic this question sounds, so feel free to reframe it as "Give an example of when you coped with a difficult situation". Look back through your personal, professional and educational life and think of situations where you successfully dealt with an unexpected problem.

7. Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative

A big danger here is of stumbling into describing an idea that you had that you didn't put into action. It is therefore better to describe an idea that you did act upon, where you solved a problem by yourself and can back it up with examples of the positive consequences that such action had.

8. Where do you expect to be in five years' time?

Saying that you want to be running the company or in the interviewer's role isn't a very insightful answer. Talk instead about your motivations and your understanding of your likely career path in this particular organisation or industry - this being very much a question where you will be expected to have done your employer research.

9. What can you tell me about this company/industry?

It's obvious advice to say that this requires extensive prior research, but again, it's true. Look at the company website, its 'About Us' section and any other details about the company's history, objectives and values that you can find. Write down some key points to tell the interviewer that show you are interested in a job with this company, not just a job.

10. Do you have any questions or anything else you would like to add?

This shouldn't be your cue to just say "no". Take the opportunity to end the interview on a decisive and memorable note that banishes any lingering interviewer doubts. Prepare some questions in advance about the company's culture or even what the interviewer likes best about the company, to demonstrate that you are interviewing them, rather than merely being interviewed by them.  

Don't be yet another candidate who thinks they're good enough to "wing it" - by thoroughly preparing in advance with answers for questions like the above, you will be able to gain a decisive advantage in the race for many of the most desirable jobs. 

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