Talent acquisition professionals Preet Mehta and Shay Bascombe spend their days matching stellar talent with Medidata Solutions, a technology company they describe as having the best of both worlds. The company pairs an important mission — providing software as a service for clinical trials — with a culture that’s supportive and celebratory.
“We truly work hard and play hard,” Mehta told Fairygodboss in a recent Q&A. “I’m proud to be a part of it.”
2020 has been an especially important year for the company. It’s currently hosting over 500 trials for COVID-19 vaccines or treatments on its platform, and conversations on race in the United States have made its D&I efforts, which have long been a priority, even more pertinent.
As members of Medidata’s talent acquisition team, Mehta and Bascombe play important roles in shepherding the proper talent to this important work. Sometimes that means empowering job seekers with insights and advice, like the tips you can read below.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
Mehta: I’ve been with Medidata for two and a half years. I’m currently a Sr Talent Acquisition Partner, Sales – meaning I recruit amazing salespeople for our organization. Before this, I worked in recruiting with various organizations including Google, Buzzfeed and AOL.
Bascombe: I’ve been in my current role as a Talent Acquisition Partner for one and a half years. Before this role, I was a HR Coordinator.
What is your favorite part of working in recruiting?
Mehta: Extending the offer. It’s so rewarding to be the person who gets to do that. Besides that, providing constructive feedback to candidates and acting as a “coach” to help them get the job.
Bascombe: The connections I make with people. It feels great to meet candidates, work with them throughout the hiring process and be able to offer them a role. Those are the best calls; It’s even more fulfilling when months later they reach back out to tell me they love it at Medidata and they’ve made a great decision.
As a recruiter, what are three things about your company that you always make sure to highlight when talking to a candidate?
Mehta: These days, I like to talk about how we’re pandemic proof. We’re thriving during this time; More than 500 trials for COVID-19 vaccines or treatments are being run on our platform. That’s incredible and I’m proud to be a part of it. I also talk about our amazing benefits.
Bascombe: I’m always sure to highlight how the people I encounter here are so easy to work with and learn from. I also discuss our mission — we really are contributing to a company that is doing great work and helping to save lives! Last, I highlight our culture. There is great work being done and we enjoy ourselves while doing it. The parties, happy hours?! I must say Medidata is a company like no other, and even with our remote work structure, there are creative ways we connect and have a good time.
What’s one thing your company does — whether a formal policy or program, or more in terms of office culture — that you think is particularly unique or unexpected?
Mehta: We celebrate, A LOT! There’s a summer party, winter party, Halloween party and there are special events all the time, sponsored by our business resource groups (BRGs). It says a lot about our philosophy — we truly work hard and play hard. We celebrate all wins.
Bascombe: Medidata is unique because everyone can go to work dressed in what makes them feel comfortable. I’ve always enjoyed this aspect. You can go to the 9th floor in the NYC office and see someone wearing a nice suit jacket and jeans, then go to the 7th floor and someone wearing shorts and flip flops. I love how free everyone feels.
Tell me a bit about your company’s D&I efforts and/or employee resource groups.
Mehta: D&I is top of mind. Recruiters are expected to submit diverse slates of candidates — this is tied to our performance expectations, that’s how important it is for us. We have a partnership with Jopwell, a diverse hiring startup, to find great candidates from a diverse background. I personally am a member of our WOC (women of color) BRG — we highlight and examine different issues surrounding women of color and aim to have open discussions around it. It’s an open and supportive environment.
Bascombe: I’ve witnessed Medidata come a long way with our BRGs. In the past few years, the list of BRGs grew so rapidly and really helped to transform our company culture. There’s a group for everyone and the business has really helped the BRGs feel supported and valued.
As a recruiter, what are the top 3 qualities you look for in a candidate?
Mehta: Enthusiasm, curiosity, preparation.
Bascombe: 1. Someone passionate about their work and our mission, 2. Someone who is collaborative and works great with others and 3. Someone who is genuinely a nice person.
What’s your No. 1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Mehta: Conduct deep research on pay range. Benchmark against industry standards, and get good at negotiating. There are lots of courses, videos, articles and books available on this topic. I would also advise finding a recruiting agency that specializes in your profession and ask an Agency Recruiter what they’re seeing for pay ranges with your years of experience, industry, etc.
Bascombe: Keep searching, keep applying. The right role will come your way. When searching for a new role, make sure you choose a company with an awesome culture — this will certainly help in the long run and make you feel more excited about working each day.
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