Recruitment for the Contract Research Industry – An Interview with Mike Ragno of Key Corporate Services

Mike Ragno is Business Development Manager– Drug Discovery and Preclinical CRO

As an executive recruiter, how do you feel the needs of the CROs differ from other areas of the Life Science industry?


In dealing with CROs almost exclusively my team has come to find that there is often a great deal of focus placed on short, precise turn around times and the ability to function under these conditions is critical for potential candidates.  CROs are also usually operating on a tight budget so the onus comes on our team to make sure we are finding not only someone who fits the necessary skillset but also the price point is crucial.  This often pushes us to think outside the box in our searches and go beyond just the job description.  A number of our clients are also family owned businesses which I feel is a big difference from Big Pharma.  The culture and personality fit often is just as, if not more important that the skills themselves.


How did you get to this point in your career? What brought you into the industry?


I actually started early on working at a very small local CMO as an encapsulation machine operator.  I worked there while I was going through college and shortly after before the company was sold.  I then transitioned into the transportation industry where I worked in BD for a truck rental and leasing company.  During my time there I spent my days doing outside sales covering my Brooklyn and Queens territory selling a partnership service with my company.  When I started looking for more responsibilities I ended up working with our HR team to help them recruit and on-board new talent and my interest in the executive search space grew from there.

What do you find most interesting about the CRO industry?


I love the idea of being able to help a company discovery a life changing drug or substance.  The conversations that I get to have with high level executives in the CRO space are something that I don’t think anyone could ever get tired of.  Some of the companies that I work with are at the most early stages of drug discovery and development before they reach the clinical trial stages.  To be able to speak with some of these people about the strides that they’re trying to make in the cardiovascular, oncological, pulmonological industries among many others keeps my work engaging every day.

For someone in the drug development and clinical research space, why does working with an executive recruiter make sense?

Key Corporate Services has over 20 years of experience helping companies in the Pharmaceutical industry grow and thrive.  Our Managing Partners Dave Kerns and Jeff Wilson have been cultivating relationships since the 80s and we’re able to leverage those relationships to help match talent in the industry with the companies that need them.  We understand that some of the companies we work with don’t have the capacity to have a full recruiting team to reach out into the industry effectively, and other times the roles are so specific that you’d need someone who has the ready-built connections to tap into.  At Key Corporate we’re also looking for long term partners to grow our own business with, and the more we’re able to grow the more we’re able to help find the talent that these organizations need.

To learn more about how Mike Ragno or other representatives at Key Corporate Services can assist you, contact us today.

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