“5 Questions With…” is a weekly BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. This week we welcome our own Laura Frew, who is celebrating 3 years as a scientific recruiter at Workforce Genetics.
Workforce Genetics is a life science search firm that is trusted by top growth stage and venture-backed biotech companies to attract and recruit the top talent they need to grow their business and bring their technologies to patients. It also happens to be the parent company of BioBuzz Media. Laura was one of the first recruiters in the company and has since built a great career and reputation for delivering exceptional candidate experiences.
1) Please introduce yourself to our audience by looking back at your education, training, and career.
My passion has always been to help others. Some say I have a “bleeding heart.” I wanted to be a doctor, but I realized that I’m not great with blood. I was introduced to the field of psychology and soon realized that if I can’t help people physically, I can help them mentally. For me, I thought it was the fastest way to be able to help people. After accruing the education and being a therapist for several years, I soon found my way into business.
After leaving the mental health field behind, I thought I had found my calling as an insurance sales expert. I’ve seen families struggle with making ends meet when a primary breadwinner passed and didn’t leave a way to help the family they left behind. So I made it my mission to talk to as many people about this need and trained others to have the same passion for helping as I did. But it took a lot of time (working well over 60+ hours a week), and with moving back home to MD and being pregnant, I wanted to have a job that didn’t take me away from family as much.
I continued in insurance sales until my firstborn started daycare. It was around that time that my brother-in-law said I should give recruiting a shot, and now here I am 3 years later, happy as a clam as I work from home and get to see my kids throughout the day.
Having a Bachelor’s and a dual Master’s degree in psychology in addition to my previous experience as a therapist and insurance professional have collectively equipped me with very favorable skills to help my clients and candidates as a recruiter – a profession that is all about knowing people.
I see the candidates who I work with as more than their resume and try to incorporate a well-rounded approach to recruiting and finding the best-fit job for them. I get a lot of joy and satisfaction from getting to know candidates better and helping them find a new position that they love. It’s also very rewarding to be trusted as an extension of our clients, and I take great pride in helping them find candidates who fit their company and care about their mission.
2) You’ve been at Workforce Genetics for three years now – what are you most excited about when it comes to your line of work, and what are you hoping to achieve in 2022 and beyond?
I love talking to interesting people every day and working with amazing companies who are fighting cancer, developing vaccines, and saving lives. For me, nothing is more exciting than helping someone find their “dream job”!
For instance, I can think of a few candidates I worked with just this past year who were working in a job that kept them from their family and provided no work/life balance—they were miserable. I remember very clearly those moments when I delivered the news that they got the new job they were hoping for, and how very happy it made them to hear those words, knowing that their life was about to change. That is priceless. That’s what I get excited about.
This year I’m hoping to increase my responsibilities with new clients and help foster our growth as we hire and train new recruiters. We’re planning on doubling in size, so there’s going to be plenty of opportunity for me to hit those goals.
3) You’ve worked with a number of jobseekers over the years – what makes a candidate stand out among the crowd when it comes to landing a life science job?
When it comes to landing a life science job with me, candidates who can really explain their “why” and engage with me in a discussion beyond their resume and technical skills to show what they are passionate about are the ones who really stand out. This really helps me to understand their soft skills better, and shows me that they understand that the relationship with me is more of a partnership than a transactional, one-sided engagement.
It’s not easy applying and interviewing for jobs, but by partnering with me I promise that you’ll get full transparency and someone who will work with you to figure out what the best role is for you based on the market and the direction you want to take your career. In return, I look for candidates to show that same transparency with me and be responsive since everything these days is time sensitive. When I look back over these past three years, it’s those candidate relationships that have resulted in the best placements and most satisfied candidates.
4) Beyond work, what are some hobbies or things that you like to do in your free time?
I used to play almost every sport recreationally, went running, did snowboarding, etc. I still love all of that, but I injured my knees playing basketball so now I really enjoy reading, doing low impact HIIT workouts after I get the kiddos to bed, biking (with my kids in a bike carrier in tow), walking, playing catch with my kids, etc. Do you see a trend? 😉.
I also am a huge Harry Potter and Marvel fan, so when I get the chance I’ll rewatch a movie and am working on catching up to Spider-Man: No Way Home. This love of fiction is definitely something I’ve passed on to my kids as well!
5) If you could go out to dinner with anyone – alive or dead, real or fictional, who would that person be, and where would you go to dinner?
I would go out to have sushi with my husband. The last time my husband and I had any time to ourselves was back in 2016 before my first son was born. My husband is my best friend and we like most of the same things and we are 100% ourselves around one another. I’m very lucky. He’s definitely my partner in crime (though rest assured we haven’t committed any crimes 😊).