Senior Recruiter

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA, USA
Full Time Academia Biotech Human Resources

Job Description

The Sr. Recruiter is responsible for independently managing the full cycle recruitment of lab and administrative staff. The Sr. Recruiter works closely with HR Partners/HR Managers during the recruitment strategy, offer, and onboarding. Maintains and monitors recruitment processes, placing ads, reviewing resumes, and advising on specific recruitment sources to generate a skilled and diverse pool of candidates for specific vacancies. The Sr. Recruiter executes proven recruiting strategies using cold calling, research, passive talent, networking and using social media, internet and other direct sourcing channels. Provides guidance and assistance to job applicants in the navigation of the Institute's web-based application. This position works closely with all levels of personnel. Ensures confidentiality of information and sensitive documents by following operational procedures and through the exercise of good judgment.


Applicant Sourcing & Screening (45%)

  •  Works with appropriate HR Partner/HR Manager to understand the needs and goals of the hiring department including timing considerations, budgetary considerations, etc. Meets with hiring managers in collaboration with the HR Partner/HR Manager to establish a recruitment strategy for each recruitment and to recommend innovative strategies for hard to fill recruitments. Regularly and proactively discusses and revises strategy with hiring manager to ensure a clear understanding of goals and maximum efficiency.  Responsible for the job posting process which includes specific verbiage used, appropriate posting sites, and cost containment considerations.  
  • Reviews and screens resumes and applications as they arrive in the applicant interface. Identifies and refers qualified candidates to managers in accordance with the recruitment strategy.
  • Compares incoming applicant materials to the minimum qualifications of each position. Ranks each position to identify which candidates should be moved through to the next step of the recruitment process.
  • Identifies appropriate questions (skills/behavior based) and skills testing as required by each position.
  • Conducts pre-screening and phone screening interviews as requested by the hiring manager. Determines and asks candidate appropriate follow-up questions after processing responses to standard questions pertaining to skills and/or behavioral based scenarios.
  • Manages interview process, including but not limited to customizing interview questions and rating sheets for managers gathering and compiling interview feedback from managers, scheduling subsequent interviews for managers with candidates by phone or e-mail. Contacts hiring manager proactively when process is not meeting established timeline to identify means of altering recruitment strategy.
  • Ensures additional duties are handled which will enhance the process surrounding each individual recruitment, in an effort to provide a greater service to the hiring manager and select the best candidate for the position.
  • Builds ongoing candidate pipeline through research, networking, and database information to source qualified applicants for current/future job openings and raise awareness of the Institute as a key San Diego employer.
  • Continually researches and identifies new sources. Identifies best use of social media and professional networking sites to identify and source candidates. Conducts cold calls as needed.
  • Sources and manages outside vendors for hard to fill positions, when Institute or lab funding allows. Interfaces with staffing agencies for temporary positions, when agency use is desired; negotiates competitive bill and placement rates in alignment with master agreements and pre-negotiated terms and conditions.
  • Maintains candidate details and extracts statistics and reports as needed via applicant tracking software.
  • Provides consultative advice to HR staff and hiring managers in regards to job descriptions, candidates and creative recruitment ideas.

Candidate Processing & Experience (20%)

  •  Ensures that references provided by candidate are appropriate with regard to relationship to candidate, duration of relationship, and value in speaking to the individual(s) listed. Works with People & Culture Coordinator to conduct reference checks via SkillSurvey. Determines whether additional references should be checked and provides underlying rationale for recommendation to hiring manager and/or HR personnel.
  • Upon reference check completion, works with assigned HR Partner/HR Manager to evaluate details of job offer with regard to salary, benefits, start date, schedule, etc. and then obtains written approval to proceed in accordance with established procedures.
  • Makes verbal job offers upon receipt of written authorization.
  • Coordinates with HR Partner/HR Manager to prepare and send out written offer letters to candidates.
  • Obtains physical results and evaluates results with assigned HR Partner/HR Manager, elevating to Sr. HR Director as needed.
  • Regularly conducts new hire orientation as scheduled.

Process Management (15%)

  •  Attends the beginning of the bi-weekly HR meetings to discuss recruitment status and brainstorm with the HR Partners/HR Managers to identify innovative ways to fill open positions. Prepares and maintains recruitment status reports.
  • Develops and maintains a current, effective recruitment process for posting on the intranet. Updates recruiting information on the website as needed.
  • Ensures that job descriptions are updated by HR Partners as recruitments begin.
  • Maintains documentation that records success rate with various sources. Produces a recruitment action report each week with a status update on all openings. 
  • Develops and recommends improvements to recruiting processes and procedures for alignment with best practices within recruitment.
  • Conducts regular follow-up with hiring managers and HR Partners/HR Managers to determine the effectiveness of recruiting plans and implementation.
  • Builds strong relationships with the community for both short term and long-term hiring goals.
  • Helps build and maintain reports and KPIs.

Compliance (10%)

  •  Ensures recruitment plans, activities and practices are in compliance with equal opportunity laws and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
  • Advises managers and HR team on equal opportunity practices to ensure compliance throughout the recruiting process.
  • Maintains and updates approved recruitment processes and procedures as needed for compliance purposes.

Employment Branding (5%)

  •  Promote the Salk Institute brand at key web resources across the locations, as well as at a number of global resources and keeping up to date information on (LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Promote company vacancies using various marketing tools.
  • Effectively telegraph Salk Institute culture, mission and working environment both internally and externally in order to increate internal engagement and attract external talent.
  • Collaborate closely with COMM team to create employment brand marketing plans, with a strong emphasis on Science and Staff Administrative hiring needs.
  • Define target audience and develop marketing campaigns and messaging that promote Salk Institute as a great place to work and authentically communicate our unique culture.
  • Produce and coordinate content execution for careers website and other channels.
  • Project manage day-to-day planning and execution of brand and marketing efforts to support our hiring initiatives.
  • Coordinate and support Employer Branding events.

Project Participation, Misc. Regular Duties, etc. (5%)

  •  Actively participates as a team member in the planning, analysis, evaluation, modification, development and implementation of recruitment strategies, procedures, processes and systems. Participates in any HR projects deemed appropriate by departmental management based on skills and availability.
  • Performs other duties as assigned which may include but are not limited to supporting any other members of the department whose roles overlap on some level with recruitment.
  • Participates in job fairs and campus recruiting activities. Develops working relationships within college career services departments to further the recruiting process and continually raise Institute visibility.
  • Provides individual consultation and training to supervisors on recruitment and selection practices that conform to EEOC & OFCCP guidelines. Ensures recruitment plans, activities and practices are in compliance with equal opportunity laws.
  • Updates recruiting information on the Salk intranet as needed. Develops and recommends improvements to recruiting processes and procedures for alignment with best practices within recruitment. Maintains accurate and concise records and reports concerning all phases of the recruitment process.
  • Supports Manager, Recruitment & Engagement in leading high-level projects, mentoring other team members and other duties as needed
  • Assists the HR Team as needs on special projects, tasks and back-up.



  •  Minimum of 6 years of high volume, professional recruiting experience.  Excellent interpersonal skills, reflecting tact, diplomacy, judgment, flexibility, and confidentiality; including the ability to interact constructively and effectively with a diverse group of people, such as faculty, staff, administration, and external constituents.
  • Ability to follow and adhere to policies and procedures concerning compliance, confidentiality, security and retention of information and systems.
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills that illustrates the ability to prioritize daily tasks and longer-term projects in order that deadlines are at times fluid and at others, inflexible.
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically and analytically.
  • Ability to think in nontraditional ways about common problems that require new approaches or solutions, especially in response to changes in the labor market.
  • Ability to successfully problem solve, remain calm and focused, multi-task, and maintain a sense of urgency in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to be detailed oriented when dealing with a large volume of incoming information.
  • Passionate about creating great recruiting experiences for our candidates.
  • Ability to coordinate effectively with teammates.
  • Solid knowledge of HR policies and best practices
  • Familiarity with HR databases, applicant tracking systems and candidate management systems.
  • Knowledge of related business issues, trends and best practices as it relates to talent acquisition.
  • Strong relationship management and influencing skills and demonstrated ability to build relationships.
  • Strong customer-service orientation, ability to prioritize multiple initiatives and desire to deliver end to end solutions.
  • Familiarity with social media, especially LinkedIn


  •  2 years of full lifecycle recruiting experience healthcare industry/biotech/research
  • 7+ years of increasingly responsible professional, semi-autonomous experience as a Recruiter.
  • Experience recruiting both exempt and non-exempt employees using traditional and social media sources.
  • Experience identifying, developing and using behavior-based interviewing techniques.
  • Experience using and documenting EEO and OFCCP compliant procedures, processes, and tools.
  • Demonstrated success in sourcing candidates via a wide array of internet recruiting options.
  • Previous experience in a life science company.



  •  Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of education and experience in human resources or related field.



  •  Demonstrated organizational and time management skills that illustrates the ability to prioritize daily tasks and longer-term projects in order deadlines that are at times fluid and at others, inflexible. Ability to multi-task and without losing focus even when working under conditions that include frequent interruptions received in person, by phone and by e-mail without losing focus.
  • Extreme attention to detail and a high degree of accuracy at all times. Ability to work well independently and in a team environment. Strength in thinking quickly in response to answers provided by candidates and ability to react with immediacy to request additional information or to ask a follow up question about key or missing details.
  • High level of initiative and resourcefulness. Ability to adapt to deviate from established processes as needed to continually find new avenues for sourcing, recommend cost-effective alternatives to traditional processes, and to increase procedural efficiencies. Ability to think in nontraditional ways about common problems that require new approaches or solutions, especially in response to changes in the labor market.
  • Strong follow up and follow through skills that are self-directed and effective. Ability to proactively manage difficult processes (recruitments, etc.) and the diverse individuals involved in them.
  • Effective listening skills and the ability to build rapport with customers, peers, coworkers, vendors, and applicants all of whom may have differing perspectives and opinions.
  • Effective verbal communication skills that include tactful but persuasive negotiation techniques that attain effective compromise in a manner that reflects the best interest of the Institute.
  • Skill in establishing and communicating realistic expectations for employees and departmental personnel. Excellent interpersonal skills reflecting tact, diplomacy, judgment, flexibility, and confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with all levels of personnel, deliver strong customer service, and work efficiently and effectively to meet objectives. Excellent verbal communication skills that including the ability to effectively interact with a broad cross section of individuals.
  • Strong, polished written communication skills for use in recruitment ads/announcements, job descriptions, procedural documentation, and other project work.
  • Ability to write job descriptions and work with HR partners and/or hiring managers to identify where content could be added for better clarity, comprehensiveness, and breadth, to attract qualified candidates.
  • Willingness to embrace new ideas, processes and procedures to continually stay at the forefront of the industry.
  • Ability and interest in active participation in appropriate professional organization meetings and events and demonstrated skill in leveraging such participation to the Institute's advantage.
  • Exercise of good judgment and ability to identify potential risks to others at the Institute.
  • Interest in continually keeping abreast of current knowledge about best practices in recruitment and demonstrated ability to actively recommend their application to the Institute. Knowledge of compliance issues within the staffing and recruitment function, including state and federal employment laws, and EEOC regulations.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality of sensitive and/or private information.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office to include Excel and Word and interest in continually expanding knowledge of these programs. Experience with common HRIS and ATS systems.
  • Ability to interview by phone and transcribe comments in electronic format simultaneously.
  • Exercise of good judgment and ability to identify potential risks to others at the Institute.
  • Skill in cold calling targeted organizations for hard to fill positions through professionalism and discretion.


  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, as needed. Some overtime may be required.
  • Willing to sign an employee confidentiality agreement.


This position will be constantly adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, touching/feeling, reading, reasoning, writing and working inside.  

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)


Human Resources

Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree


Depending on Experience and Education

Insertion Order Number


Requisition Number