A decade of dedication: celebrating 10 years of success in scientific recruitment


In the world of scientific recruitment, where careers often take unexpected turns, one story stands out as a testament to perseverance, growth, and achievement. As we celebrate a remarkable milestone at CY Partners, we are proud to highlight the journey of our Head of Chemicals & Pharma Recruitment, Graham Hankinson, a dedicated recruiter who has been with us for a decade! Graham was recently interviewed about his time at the company, and his insights are truly inspiring.

Ten years ago, in 2013, CY Partners was already making waves in the scientific recruitment industry. We had relocated to new Northeast headquarters, and the arrival of Graham played a pivotal role in shaping our transformation as a business. Today, as a much larger organisation, our fundamental values and ethos have remained at the core, helping shape our reputation as being the preferred choice for many within the scientific community.

Interviewer: Can you share your journey with us? How did you get started in the field of chemical and pharma recruitment?

Graham: “I studied for a degree in Chemistry, and while I was passionate about science, I didn’t see myself in a lab-based environment. I started exploring alternative career options and first landed a one-year contract role in the UK sales department at Palintest which gave me some hands on experience that drew the attention of CY.

Interviewer: What drew you to CY Partners initially, and how has it met or exceeded your expectations as a place to build your career?

Graham: “I first received a call from Dan who described the company. What drew me in was the company’s supportive ethos, which didn’t seem at all in line with what I had heard about other recruitment agencies at that point in time. Over the past decade, the company has consistently exceeded my expectations by providing guidance and unwavering support for my growth.”

Interviewer: Reflecting on your time with us, what have been some of the most significant challenges you’ve encountered, both in the industry and within our company?

Graham: “In recruitment, challenges are common. The industry can be unpredictable, with sudden shifts in assignments, jobs and candidate availability. One of the significant challenges I faced was establishing ourselves within one of our major pharmaceutical accounts, which had strong competition. However, perseverance and self-motivation helped me cement our position as their key recruitment partner. We continue to partner with them on their hiring challenges and have a truly long-term relationship.”

Interviewer: Are there any particular projects or placements that stand out?

Graham: “Placing graduates in their first roles, or helping individuals who have faced redundancy stand out as particularly rewarding placements to me. Every successful placement is gratifying, but these moments hold special meaning for me as a Recruiter. I truly believe that we change people’s lives, securing them their first role and setting them on their way in their career is very rewarding.”

Interviewer: How have you influenced the growth and development of the company?

Graham: “While I’ve been involved in various initiatives, one of main things for me has been maintaining the nurturing and cooperative atmosphere within the team. Our commitment to supporting each other has been influential in our development and achievement.”

Interviewer: How has the organisation evolved, and how has your role played a part in that evolution?

Graham: “When I joined, we were relatively small. Over the years, we’ve grown to over three times our original size. My role has played a part in this by contributing to our success financially and culturally, and making sure we had the right foundations to grow.”

Interviewer: How would you describe the culture and values that have contributed to your long-term commitment to the CY team?

Graham: “The culture and values of honesty, integrity and dependability have been integral to my time here. Within our team, we prioritise support rather than a cutthroat approach, and this has fostered a positive work environment.”

Interviewer: How has recruitment changed in the last 10 years?

Graham: “Recruitment has evolved a great deal in the past 10 years, but even more so since the pandemic of 2020. Of course, it’s always been network-centric, however platforms like LinkedIn have revolutionised hiring, making it a more complex process. Candidates and companies now seek flexibility, remote work options and better work-life balance, which requires adaptation and investment in training and development.”

Interviewer: How do you feel the market has changed in the past 10 years?

Graham: “In the past 10 years, the market has become more competitive, and clients and candidates are looking for a higher level of service and consultation. The market demands dependability and deep industry knowledge, and the company has consistently distinguished itself through these qualities. We’ve evolved from an underdog to a trusted leader in the industry.”

If you are on the hunt for your next role or have hiring needs in the pharma, chemical, biotech and related sectors, contact our friendly team today.

If you are interested in learning more about why CY Partners is a great place to work as a recruitment consultant, visit our work for us page.

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