Is your recruiting process costing you candidates?

The current financial climate and world events have dramatically changed the world of recruitment, with candidates focusing more on having a good work-life balance, being more selective with their choices and prioritising benefits packages.

In this candidate-driven market, attracting the right talent is proving harder than ever. Here at CK Group we are in the privileged position of being able to help employers in the industry structure their job offers and use candidate feedback to improve the overall recruitment experience.

Last year we conducted an extensive survey into the current job market in the Life Science and Chemical industries. Our report shows a comprehensive overview of current job market trends and which benefits and working conditions employees are most interested in. Areas covered include: the most sought-after benefits and perks in the Life Science and Chemical sectors, current trends including remote work and flexible hours, confidence in the market, the factors which influence decisions to accept or decline a job offer, and candidate experiences with interview processes and suggestions for improvement.

The interview experience

Did you know that half of candidates would continue interviewing with other companies after receiving a job offer? The main reason being to explore what else is out there.

We found the factor that would most influence someone to accept a role was a detailed explanation of potential projects and scientific initiatives in the interview. This means that candidates are interested in finding out as much as possible about what environment they’d be working in and what the company can offer them before committing.

What influences candidates to accept a new role?

While there has been a definite shift over the last decade towards the whole remuneration package being important rather than just base salary, it is perhaps telling of the current financial climate we find ourselves in that 66% of participants still pay most attention to salary.

The other most influential factors in acceptance of a role were found to be location, remote working options and a short commute.

The most appealing benefits packages

Unsurprisingly, financial factors proved to be a key element, with over 30% of respondents choosing a performance-based bonus as the most appealing benefit an employer could offer.

The rise of flexible working

Employees are increasingly prioritising a good work-life balance, and flexible working options are a key motivator for candidates.

Due to the pandemic, we saw a rise in hybrid and home working. This is a condition that remains desirable to employees, with 64% of participants preferring hybrid working!

Why do candidates turn down job offers?

Interestingly, over half of respondents said they would accept a counter offer from their current employer. The top reasons for turning down an offer were: a negative interview experience, low salary offer, and unclear progression opportunities.

As previously noted, the current financial climate has immensely influenced the current job market. As a result, candidates are focusing on the bottom line: salary is a big driver in seeking a new role, bonuses show as the most important benefit, and under-offering salary is the second most-popular reason to turn down a job offer.

Ultimately, the survey showed us that there is still confidence in the Life Science and Chemical job markets. It is now more important than ever that companies listen to what employees are seeking in order to attract the right candidates.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss how CK Group can help with your recruitment strategy.

Read our full survey report here.

Visit our Client Advice Centre for further insights.

Posted in Client, News

Organise your hiring strategy

Start the year well with new hires! In the rapidly advancing field of Life Sciences, Chemicals, Engineering and Clinical Research, staying ahead requires not only pioneering research and innovation but also a workforce equipped with diverse skills and expertise. As the industry evolves, so do the challenges and opportunities in attracting top talent.

Understanding the current market:

It has been evident that 2023 has been full of economic uncertainty, this has had a knock-on effect for recruitment – making it a difficult time for people looking for work and for those hiring staff. The market is constantly changing and growing; through breakthrough discoveries and technological advancements, the types of jobs and skills in demand ever evolving.

This growth comes with a heightened demand for skilled professionals across various disciplines such as molecular biology, bioinformatics, clinical research, and regulatory affairs. As companies strive to stay competitive, a strategic and well-organised recruitment strategy becomes imperative.

5 key considerations for a strategic hiring approach:

1. Identify skills gaps:

Before diving into the hiring process, there must be a comprehensive assessment of the current employee’s skills and competencies. Identifying skills gaps allows for targeted recruitment to fill these and ensure that the team is well-equipped to tackle all challenges. A great way to cover skills gaps that arise, is by hiring a contractor on a temporary basis!

2. Invest in professional development and soft skills:

The rapidly evolving nature of the Life Science, Chemical, Engineering and Clinical Research markets requires a commitment to continuous learning. Opportunities to take on people with new skills will always arise, by keeping up to date with the latest advancements, you can pre-empt these needs. It is also important to remember, that while technical expertise is crucial, soft skills such as communication, collaboration and adaptability are equally important.

3. Embrace diversity, equality and inclusion:

The Life Science, Chemical, Engineering and Clinical Research sectors benefit immensely from diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Embracing diversity and inclusion in the hiring process not only creates a culture of innovation but also helps address problems from different angles. This includes promoting gender diversity, ethnic diversity, and ensuring an inclusive workplace for individuals with varying abilities – catering to everyone’s individual strengths.

4. Make the most of technology:

The integration of technology in the recruitment process can streamline and enhance the hiring strategy. Here at CK we have a database of over 250,000 candidates, with an extensive network of job seekers. In todays world, it is important to factor in all of the technologies available, in particular the use of social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Networking and building strategic partnerships can vastly increase your visibility in the community.

5. Utilise a specialist recruitment agency:

Many larger companies have the capacity for dedicated recruiters to be employed internally or for the function to be outsourced to a service provider. It is important to remember, that while recruitment agencies charge a fee, they are not always an expensive alternative. Choose the right consultancy for the right position and you have an ally who will take much of the hard work from you, be well networked with the right people and act as an ambassador for your organisation.

Consider cost against value. If you called thirty different recruiters you could probably find half of that number would agree to very low fees and you’d have an instant preferred supplier list to send a bulk email out to for every vacancy. Low cost and low maintenance, but you wouldn’t have the time to brief each of those companies on the detailed requirements of each role. The recruitment consultants will be working on a large number of vacancies in order to boost their salary and with companies offering low fees this could mean the level of attention given to your roles will likely be low priority for them. Remember, that consultant is the first point of contact on behalf of your company with potential candidates.

A good recruiter should be able to advise you on organisations to speak to for areas in which they aren’t specialists. If you view your recruiter as a business partner they will view you in the same way. If you have a small list of trusted suppliers you’ll have the time to properly brief them with the full details of positions, background to roles, the personality required to fit well with the team and they’ll be able to offer advice upon the pool of candidates available. Once armed with that information they can begin the search process, speak to candidates with a sense of conviction and supply you with a shortlist of highly targeted applicants. It’s useful at this point to plan timelines, agree dates up front for CV submission, management review and interviews and you will have that person on board sooner than if each stage in the process was managed ad-hoc.

The success of any company centres on the ability to attract, retain and develop top-tier talent. A strategic hiring approach that addresses skill gaps, embraces diversity, adapts to industry trends and invests in professional development is crucial for growth and innovation. By staying informed on the ever-evolving landscape and adopting a proactive hiring strategy, you can position you will build a skilled workforce and successful organisation.

You may also like to read:

5 Insights into the Current STEM Job Market in the UK

Diversity, equality and inclusion

Unbiased hiring with CK Group

Why work with a specialist recruitment agency?

Posted in Client, News

Unbiased hiring with CK Group

At CK Group we offer a range of options for our clients to give the best talent a fair chance.

Giving the Best Talent a Fair Chance

CK Group is an influential element of the life science recruitment chain, sourcing the best talent for our clients, from all across the globe. People can be the most important assets to a successful business, and by putting in place measures that give everyone a fair chance we increase the odds of finding the perfect fit for an organisation.

Click below to read CK Group’s Unbiased Hiring document.

What do you think of these ideas? Do you have feedback on what we can do better, or suggestions of your own?

If you want to learn more about how we can support your diversity & inclusion initiatives, or just want to chat further about any of these suggestions, you can start the conversation with us today by emailing Naomi Menary at CK Group at

Posted in Client

Why work life balance is important for both employers and employees

Work life balance is crucial for both employers and employees, it contributes to the overall wellbeing and success of both parties.

Benefits for Employees

Health and Wellbeing: Maintaining a healthy work life balance helps reduce stress and avoid burnouts, which can lead to physical and mental health problems. When you feel physically and mentally well, you are generally more productive and engaged in work.

Increased Job Satisfaction: Employees who have a good work life balance tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. This satisfaction can lead to higher levels of motivation and better job performance.

Personal Growth: Having balance allows time for personal growth, which can vastly improve overall quality of life. When you have the time to pursue personal interests or spend quality time with family and friends, you can feel much more fulfilled.

Benefits for Employers

Increased Productivity: Employees who are not overworked are more likely to be productive and efficient. When employees are well rested and have time to recharge, they can bring their best selves to work. Good work life balance can reduce absence due to stress related illnesses or personal issues, employees are more likely to show up for work when they feel their personal lives are in balance.

Attracting New Talent: Companies with a culture or benefits package that offers flexible working arrangements and prioritises staff work life balance are more attractive to potential employees. This can give employers a competitive edge in the job market.

Employee Loyalty & Staff Retention: Companies that prioritise work life balance are more likely to retain their best staff. Employees are more likely to stay with an employer that values their wellbeing. Reducing staff turnover can effect costs for employers, recruiting and training new employees is expensive – having a stable and satisfied workforce can help reduce these costs.

Creating a culture that values a good work life balance is a win-win situation for both employers and employees. It leads to happier, healthier and more engaged employees – which in turn, leads to increased productivity, reduced turnover and overall improved success of the business.

Find out more below:

Candidate Advice Centre

Client Advice Centre

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