Why Your Next Industry Hire Should Come From Academia

By Austin Powell

We at ResearchGate hear it from industry recruiters all the time: “Academic researchers aren’t a good cultural fit,” or “Academic researchers don’t have enough practical experience.” But we believe this isn’t usually the case.

While it’s no secret that some academic researchers prefer to remain in higher education throughout their entire career, it’s a misconception that researchers aren’t a good cultural fit or don’t have enough practical experience to succeed in an industry position. This article aims to correct such misconceptions.?

Academics are, in fact, particularly suited to industry research roles, and they’re open to change.

Academic researchers increasingly want industry careers

In a recent survey we conducted with our members, nearly 80% of respondents in academia expressed some interest in working for industry. An academic environment may offer more research freedom, but with the trade-off of lower income and shorter-term research appointments.?

A corporate environment might offer something different, such as a stable income and job security, without the recurring need to secure grant funding to pursue one’s research. An industry setting might be attractive to researchers interested in contributing to a company’s specific mission or vision. And researchers might be especially interested in companies that allow them to pursue a particular area of scientific interest — which is the primary on-the-job factor for academic researchers when deciding where to apply next.?

Today’s academic research is driven by cooperation

Far from being lonely geniuses in a lab, academic researchers are agile networkers, who often collaborate with peers from different backgrounds and cultures — which bodes well for when they enter a corporate environment.?

On ResearchGate, 17+ million researchers collaborate with peers from across the globe, accounting for hundreds of millions of professional network connections. They add their publications to showcase their strengths and knowledge within their respective fields, which helps them earn respect and credibility among their scientific peers. (Incidentally, these publications are also useful for STEM researcher recruiters: they can help highlight how qualified a researcher is for a particular role.)

Furthermore, researchers from academia often assume an interdisciplinary approach to their research field, which means they may have a network of connections that spans different disciplines and regions. This interdisciplinary approach gives academics a holistic advantage in their research field, and corporations can benefit from the researcher’s expansive knowledge and collaborative approach.

The combination of knowledge and social cooperation are exactly the traits that companies look for in candidates.

There’s a better way to hire STEM talent

We often hear from our recruitment partners that they find candidates on ResearchGate that they otherwise would not have found via other channels, including leading recruitment networks or specialized STEM job boards. Why?

ResearchGate connects the world of science — including people, organizations, and resources. This means researchers can quickly scour publications while also reaching out to members on the platform when they’re unable to find an answer to their questions. This dynamic social research activity means recruiters gain access to a bustling community of interconnected talent — including key influencers and rising stars in their fields.

With over 93% of ResearchGate members open to being contacted by a recruiter, corporate recruitment teams can benefit from finding their next candidate on ResearchGate.?

Your company can also access this unique candidate pool, filled with scientific experts. Contact ResearchGate to receive a free consultation about your current and future hiring needs, and find out how we can help you optimize your STEM recruitment.?