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Exploring the World of Paid Clinical Trials Recruitment: A Conversation With Our Dedicated Recruiters

Hand stacks small pieces of wood, forming a magnifying glass, and the words "clinical trial."

The Vital Role of Clinical Recruiters

At the heart of our organization’s success lies the invaluable contribution of our clinical recruiters. They play a crucial role in keeping our volunteers well-informed and up-to-date regarding our latest clinical studies and opportunities, acting as the initial point of contact with BioPharma Services – sometimes, even prior to the Volunteer Hub. The meaningful relationships forged between our recruiters and volunteers are what kick starts a smooth paid clinical trial process for all involved.

In this blog post, we will show you an exclusive chat we had with three of our recruiters for paid clinical trials in Canada: Sindi, Alana and Sukriti. Through this engaging discussion, we aim to provide you with a unique perspective directly from our recruiters. Continue reading to get familiar with the world of recruiting to paid clinical trials from the perspective of those who are most intimately connected to our volunteers!

Sindi, who has been on our team since 2022, answers incoming calls and provides assistance to our valuable volunteers. With a passion for nature, hiking, and a background in Biology and Medical Sciences, Sindi found her calling in the field of clinical research. Her experience as a recruiter has nicely complemented her academic knowledge, allowing her to excel in her role. “It’s been a great experience to learn the ins and outs of research in the industry while having such close contact with the participants daily!”.

Recounting Memorable Interactions with our Volunteers

Who says every call with a clinical research organization must be serious? At BioPharma, we believe in embracing a human approach, and Sindi takes pride in adopting this philosophy. Among the many fulfilling aspects of her work as a clinical recruiter, Sindi particularly cherishes the opportunity of learning with our volunteers and engaging in delightful conversations during phone calls with them.

“We have a lot of memorable volunteers that I’ve had the pleasure to speak to. They understand why the process is done a certain way and treat the staff kindly. They know they can come to us if there are any issues. The best conversations are with those that take the time to share something about their life. I enjoy hearing about their day, little anecdotes or jokes.”

Woman picking or hanging up phone
Sindi isn’t the only one who has good memories of talking to volunteers. Alana, for example, a valuable clinical recruiter and screening receptionist at BioPharma since 2022, also engages in direct interactions with volunteers, both in person at the clinic and over the phone. Apart from providing assistance to participants, Alana also likes to spend her time enjoying a good book. When asked to select her favourite interaction with a participant, she admits that it’s difficult to pick just one.

“I can never have a bad day at BioPharma if I am speaking to our volunteers! I have worked in many people-facing jobs, and I can say for sure BioPharma’s volunteers are some of the best people I have had the chance to talk to. Whether it is over the phone or in person, I feel like our volunteers are in a competition to make my day better! Our volunteers are kind, patient, polite and caring people. Many of them always thank you for calling them even if they cannot make the study. They make you laugh, share interesting tips and facts, and inspirational stories. They are committed to helping us complete studies by coming in for a screening visit, and always have a positive attitude no matter the outcome. I don’t think I can ask for more.”

At this point, Sindi added to Alana’s response by recounting a meaningful moment she had during a phone conversation with a volunteer. This particular interaction highlights the importance of recruiters not only from a practical perspective but also from a psychological one, proving the significance of clinical studies:

“There is one [interaction] that has stood out the most in my time here. It started out the same way as any new registration call: explaining how our studies work and going through the qualifications. It was a slow morning, and this person was chatty, so I conversed with them. We talked extensively about the obstacles they or their friends had faced in getting proper health care or affordable medication. They shared their frustration from losing friends to different diseases. I noted that it was relevant to the decision they had made that day to register for studies, and relevant to the overall structure of healthcare. This turned emotional when that person admitted not a lot of people are willing to listen, and that they were “grateful I was on the phone today”. This interaction was over six months ago but has stuck with me as an example of why my role as a recruiter is important. We are the front line that communicates directly to the people who are interested in volunteering for paid clinical trials.”

Top view of diverse volunteers putting their hands on top of each other like a real team

Challenges while recruiting for paid clinical trials

It goes without saying that clinical research, while rewarding, might have plenty of challenges – and our recruiters are certainly familiar with that. Sukriti, who has been working with BPSI since 2021, has personally embraced having challenges in her life. “The past year I’ve been pushing myself through weightlifting and strength training, which has been a bumpy but rewarding journey!”, she explains when asked about her current hobbies and pastimes. Her educational background in Biological Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences enables her to not only understand complex concepts but also communicate and share her knowledge with volunteers.

Having worked at BPSI for over two years, Sukriti has discovered a unique quality that sets our organization apart from other Clinical Research Organizations when it comes to navigating challenges – and, interestingly, all of our recruiters seem to share this sentiment: at BioPharma Services, it’s all about the people, even if it’s your first study. Sukriti explains:

“I think the main reason why volunteers choose BPSI over other sites is the community they have built with the staff and fellow volunteers. I got to see this first-hand when I attended the Patient Appreciation Day where it seemed like a gathering of old friends. For example, all the volunteers in that room cheered for a clinic staff that is often in charge of their catheter insertions or blood draws. I heard one of the volunteers say, “he’s always gentle when it comes to this and has never hurt me.” This was a sweet moment that made me realize how one staff member’s action can create a positive experience for many volunteers and motivated me to work harder”. Sukriti is referring to Participant Appreciation Day, an event held at BioPharma Services to express our gratitude to our volunteers for their contributions.

“I also noticed how welcoming and friendly BPSI volunteers are which is probably another reason newer volunteers choose us. It can be very daunting to participate in your first clinical trial if you don’t know what to expect. I try to ease some of the worries for newer volunteers during the initial phone interview but, it’s not the same as physically being there. Now that I have seen the tight-knit community built by our welcoming and friendly BPSI staff and volunteers, I can confidently let newer volunteers know they are in their safe hands.”

Alana and Sindi couldn’t help but agree with Sukriti’s answer. Alana also identified another significant factor that she believes contributes to volunteers consistently returning and choosing BPSI: “The long-lasting friendships! Many volunteers are thrilled to visit BioPharma because they get to reunite with their old friends. Whether it’s the staff or other volunteers, friendships that can last for decades are formed here”, she added.

Top view of diverse volunteers putting their hands on top of each other like a real team

Would our recruiters take part in clinical trials?

After talking in-depth about their role and understanding how our recruiters work to be supportive, provide relevant information to our volunteers, and ensure their comfort, we decided to shift the conversation and ask them the following question: after finding your ideal study on Volunteer Hub, would you sign up and take part in a paid clinical trial?

“If I qualified, I definitely would!”, Sindi replied. According to her, there are many interesting studies happening and it would be great to support the research in such a direct way. “Currently, there are a lot of Phase 1 trials with new medications that may be life-changing treatments for their target demographic. Clinical research is a long process, and the first trials start with people who decide they want to contribute to something larger than themselves. In addition, I am also curious to experience studies in the shoes of a participant. While I have volunteered for academic studies before, clinical trials are more involved and take more effort from both the staff and the volunteer. In the end, both are working together to ensure we are collecting quality data that will determine the progression of these pharmaceuticals.”

A clinical study team member looks at the camera while volunteers are being attended to in the background.

Alana also believes that the potential to make a significant difference in society and contribute to advancements in healthcare can be a strong motivation to participate: “Most of us are motivated by the impact we can make! Clinical trials offer a way for volunteers to get involved directly in bringing new medicines to the market and making existing ones more affordable. BioPharma has conducted many studies for a wide variety of medical conditions and our volunteers are the ones who make this possible. Not everyone can look at a medication in a store and know that they helped bring it to market.” 

Every volunteer knows that, by participating in a trial, they can help so many people all over the world get the medication that they need. This inspires many people to tirelessly do trial after trial”, she concludes.

Our Managing Director Anna Taylor warmly addresses all individuals who are contemplating participating in clinical trials with us, at BioPharma Services.

Closing comments and our Volunteers

When we thought the chat was over, Sindi made a comment that beautifully encapsulated their contributions to BPSI as recruiters for paid clinical trials, while also sharing the valuable knowledge she gained from them. When asked about the most exciting aspect of clinical trials, she added: 

“It is that a clinical trial volunteer doesn’t have a stereotype. They truly are a diverse group of people that come from entirely different walks of life. These are people who professionally may work in the school system, manual labour, the arts, administration and sometimes they work in healthcare themselves. We have everyone from students to retirees signing up for studies. I learn a lot by hearing different stories which can challenge my perspective, or I come across an idea that I have not heard of before and I’d like to incorporate in my life in some way.”

We hope that this discussion has provided you with valuable insights into the individuals who work diligently behind the scenes of the paid clinical trials process, ensuring that every aspect runs the best way possible for our volunteers. If you find yourself interested and eager to get involved with Biopharma Services and explore our paid clinical trials, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated Recruitment team at 1-833-879-2774 or 416-747-5246 (or by registering here and a recruiter will be shortly in touch). Additionally, stay updated with the latest opportunities by visiting the Volunteer Hub.

We look forward to welcoming you to our community of passionate recruiters and volunteers driving advancements in science and healthcare.

A clinical study team member looks at the camera while volunteers are being attended to in the background.

Written by Alana StBernard, Sindi Dragusha and Sukriti Mala, Clinical Recruiters at BioPharma Services.

BioPharma Services, Inc., a Think Research Corporation and clinical trial services company, is a full-service Contract Clinical Research Organization (CRO) based in Toronto, Canada, specializing in Phase 1 clinical trials 1/2a and Bioequivalence clinical trials for international pharmaceutical companies worldwide. BioPharma has clinical facilities both in the USA and Canada with access to healthy volunteers and special populations.

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