Recruiter on the road - a Q&A with Dominik Hilbl, Team Lead

7 Minutes

How long have you worked at i-Pharm Consulting and what are the main responsibilities of you...


How long have you worked at i-Pharm Consulting and what are the main responsibilities of your role?

I started at i-Pharm on the 1st of May last year, so I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary. I work within MedTech and focus on Regulatory and Quality positions. I was recently promoted to Team Lead for our Frankfurt office, so I am now also responsible for our new Consultant here who is focusing on Quality positions.

Tell us a bit about your Functional Specialism

My main focus is on Medical Devices in Regulatory and Quality. An example is a Regulatory Affairs Manager, who is responsible for submitting medical products or medical technology to the market. They are in charge of creating all the documents that are required to launch these products all over the world. So it's quite an international job. These roles range from junior, all the way up to director levels. For Quality Assurance roles, these are basically the people who are responsible for the whole quality aspect of these products. They need to ensure they are submitted or developed to meet the quality standards. The roles we hire into are often a mixture between both Quality and Regulatory positions because in Germany, 95% of Medical Devices companies are quite small, with under 500 employees.

How did you get to where you are now?

I graduated with a BSc in Business Administration and started working at another Life Science’s recruitment company back in January 2019. I started off as an Associate Recruitment Consultant and was responsible for Medical Devices, Regulatory and Quality positions. I quite quickly developed myself to get my first promotion to Recruitment Consultant and then I was promoted to Senior Recruitment Consultant. After two and a half years at the previous company, I decided to move to i-Pharm and have been here for just over a year now and recently received my promotion to Team Lead.

What do you enjoy most about working at i-Pharm?

Starting with my first interview at i-Pharm, I really liked the talk I had with Stephen McAnaney, CEO and Founder and Colin Lynam, Founding Director. I had a feeling that they both have the exact same ways of working, in terms of how to treat clients, how to work with candidates, and just the whole approach they had matched mine. There were points that I didn’t like at my first employer, and so I was looking for a company that would match the way I want to work. I remember thinking that if our Founders share the same ways of working, then this could be a really good match. Looking back over the last year, things got even better. When I first started at i-Pharm, we didn’t have flexible working so when this got introduced it was a big thing for me and I was really happy about quite a few of the other new company benefits. I can’t imagine leaving i-Pharm because I just think to myself, it can’t get any better than this. You can’t get more flexibility than we have right now. That combined with how we want to do business is just a perfect fit. The company Founders are really close to all of us and that’s something you don’t usually have in a bigger company, so I really like that. You feel like you're growing with the company because so much is happening. That’s where departments like Marketing comes in and provides us with so many new tools that really make our jobs a lot easier.

What do you think makes your team a success?

My team in Frankfurt recently went on a trip to Munich, where most of our colleagues here in Germany are based. Whenever I visit I feel like we are part of one team, even during my first time meeting everyone, it was a really warm welcome. Everyone looks to improve each other on a daily basis and it feels like home in a really short period of time. You really get into the company and you’re involved in all of the processes and meetings so it gives you a feeling of having an impact in your team, as well as for the whole region and for the company in general. We're all really close and that's definitely a good environment to be in.

What have been your proudest achievements, individually and as a team?

Getting promoted to Team Lead is definitely a big achievement for me and it's like a whole new step in my career. The biggest achievement as a team was probably qualifying for the company incentives because it tells us that we’ve smashed our goals. Everything we are working on really has an impact and it makes a difference. The final quarter of last year was my first incentive with i-Pharm and I had a really good time.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

Not many people know that I’m actually quite a gamer. After a long day of work, sports and cooking, I really like to play video games. I also really want to buy a van, like a camper van and be more flexible. My dream is to be a recruiter on the road, where I can travel to clients and candidates on a daily basis with my camper van. That’s the plan! This is where i-Pharm’s flexible working would come in as although I’m a Team Lead and need to be close to my team, I could go for a long weekend. For example, I can set out on Thursday afternoon and come back on Monday and you can basically attend client and candidate meetings on Friday and Monday. I think it’s a really cool idea and I'm really looking forward to testing it out.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t in recruitment?

I’d probably be a forest ranger as I would love to be in nature all the time. I'm heavily into being on trips and exploring so that would be really cool. On the other side, I really like to talk a lot and so being a forest ranger is quite lonely, so I don’t think I could just talk to myself. Although I’d be in nature all the time, my personal strength revolves around communication, so it wouldn't be as good of a fit as recruitment.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?

Based on recent events, I would like to have a chat with Angela Merkel because she’s basically that German chancellor I grew up with and I feel like talking to her could be really inspiring.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into recruitment?

The best thing you can do is establish the mindset of building your business for the long term. Really fast money is nice, but it's just fast money and it doesn't come back around. Building up relationships with people within your market can provide you with a lot of information and contact details. That's the way to go in recruitment. It's all about the people and focusing on building up relationship as soon as possible and really keeping those relationships going. Having good communication is vital. It’s important to reach out to people regularly, even for a causal chat and not only when you have a new position to fill. It’s about getting so deep into the market that you know the people and you know what they are looking for. You can provide them with advice such as taking the next right step, something they’re really looking forward to and assist in building up a career for these people. It’s very long term. I have several candidates I worked with when I first started out, and I'm still in contact with them three and a half years later.

There’s so much time for things to happen. And you never know where someone will end up if you just stick with them. Establishing several relationships like these will make your life easier as they provide you with information that you can use to strengthen your in-depth knowledge in the market. You need to work with candidates and not by simply placing them and moving onto the next one, it's really about the long-term relationships.