Defining the things you should do during CRA Recruitment is as easy as 1, 2, 3.  First, you have to identify the job requirements for the staff who will be monitoring your clinical trial.  Then, you need to post your position and interview candidates. Finally, you need to hire one of your applicants.  Those steps seem pretty straightforward; however, the devil is in the details!  The hardest part is defining what NOT to do when focused on CRA Recruitment.  Here are the 3 biggest recruiting tips for things to avoid:

1.  DO NOT post the position or start considering applicants without a complete and thorough understanding of what you want.  Think about what your team needs (“have to haves”) and wants (“like to haves”).  Know what qualities would be beneficial for this position including therapeutic and phase experience.  If you are having trouble, evaluate your current CRA team: what qualities do they have, and what qualities would enhance their work?  Need some tips on what to consider?  Take a look at our advice on how to Qualify a Position Some overlap in skills and qualifications is okay, but the goal is efficiency.  Most importantly, DO NOT settle.  The candidate pool for CRAs is wide enough for you to find exactly what you need.

2.  DO NOT enter an interview unprepared.  This could have negative consequences for you, your company, and your clinical trial.  You need to plan what questions you will ask and you need to have a general understanding of what you want the candidate to tell you.  Additionally, use Behavioral Interviewing Methods during your interview as this method will give you a clearer idea of the candidate’s true experiences, character, and ability to think on his feet.

3.  DO NOT involve everyone in the hiring process.  It will over-complicate things, and it may muddle the CRA recruitment process.  Of course you will want to bring in the appropriate people at the appropriate time; however, involving extra people too early takes away from your time and resources, and those staff members could be using their time in more productive ways.  I recommend one person to do the initial phone interview.  This will weed out a large percentage of your non-qualified candidates and will fine tune your top candidate group.  Once you have reached a group of top candidates, then you should engage more team members for future interviews as a sanity check and to finalize the selection of your new Star Employee.

What you SHOULD DO When Searching for a CRA

Searching for a CRA isn’t easy- that’s why we’re here. Along with plenty of things you SHOULDN’T DO when searching for a clinical research associate, there are even more things you should keep in mind to always do when searching for your next team member.

1. Treat the team members you have with respect. This may seem obvious, but treating your colleagues with loyalty and respect goes a long way in attracting new ones. A prospective hire can tell if they feel respected by the company or if they value their time there. Building a company culture conducive to their well-being is step 1 in growing your workforce.

2. Do your research. What is the landscape like in your field? What other offers and opportunities are these CRAs being offered by different organizations? When looking for a new member of your team, you want to make sure that you can provide a competitive and beneficial offer to them, just as you expect them to use their knowledge and expertise to be beneficial to you. To this end, you should always try to stay up to date on current trends and movements within your industry to offer relevant and enticing opportunities to your prospective hires. 

3. Be transparent. Nothing is more demoralizing than dealing with an employer that is not transparent about the hiring process. Make sure your prospective CRAs are on the same page as you regarding their potential contract or employment- there’s no need to keep secrets! When searching for your future teammate, whether or not the position is permanent, these CRAs are the people that will be working with you in the future, so you want them to be with you every step of the way.

4. Understand your weaknesses. Your company is looking to hire a new CRA to fulfill a need or weakness. Before beginning the hiring process, you should make an effort to obtain an intimate understanding of what that weakness is and how you should go about solving it. Every CRA is unique, and every prospective hire will be best suited to help you and your organization solve different problems. Therefore, understanding your weaknesses and how each prospective CRA  will affect them is an essential part of ensuring the best recruitment results.

5. Outsource if necessary. Another part of understanding your weaknesses as a company is understanding when and why you might benefit from outsourcing your hiring process or engaging with a firm that offers consulting services. Some companies don’t have the time or staffing available to conduct the hiring process and can’t incorporate all of the tenants listed above. That’s okay! If you’re lost in your search for clinical research associates, craresources has your back.

Refer to our FAQ page if you’re interested in more advice for finding qualified CRAs. If you’re interested in working with craresources to find your perfect hire, contact us– we are committed to providing quality CRAs to all partners. 

Need assistance establishing a competitive clinical research salary or recruiting tips to improve your clinical recruitment results?  We offer complimentary consultation in these areas!