Research Associate, Pharma/Biotech Practice

Russell Reynolds Associates

The Company

Russell Reynolds Associates is a global leader in assessment, recruitment and succession planning for boards of directors, chief executive officers and other senior roles. With more than 470 consultants in 46 offices around the world, we work closely with public, private and nonprofit organizations across all industries and regions. We help our clients build teams of transformational leaders who can meet today’s challenges and anticipate the digital, economic, environmental and political trends that are reshaping the global business environment.

Our in-depth knowledge of major industries and our clients' specific business challenges, combined with our understanding of who and what makes an effective leader, ensure that our clients secure the best leadership teams for the ongoing success of their businesses. We are a values-driven organization and prioritize teamwork, taking a collaborative approach that spans our international network of industrial and functional experts, and leverages our collective expertise to ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients.

For more information, please visit us at

The Role

As a member of our global research team and an integral member of the search team, a RRA researcher is typically involved in a wide variety of activities across the entire value chain of the search process, from assisting consultants in the identification of business development opportunities through the executive search process to the closure of an assignment.

We are currently seeking to hire an outstanding researcher to join our Pharma/Biotech Practice, ideally based in our San Francisco or Boston office.  Researchers are responsible for identifying and assessing CEOs and other C-Level, Board, SVP, and VP level talent for venture backed, mid-sized, and large companies. Clients include both venture-backed biotech and public biotech/pharma, covering everything from traditional drug developers to digital health and beyond. 

The key responsibilities of an RRA researcher, which may vary according to the level at which s/he is engaged, can be summarized as follows:

  • Search Process
  • Be capable of formulating a compelling search strategy independently and contribute to its execution
  • Produce comprehensive reports, which detail the relevant target companies, possible market sources and candidates for an assignment, and prioritize approaches appropriately
  • Consistently identify and develop “best in class”, high quality, diverse candidate slates (both obvious and non-obvious) by:
    • Utilizing extensive on-line and proprietary database searches to identify high quality candidates
    • Approaching and sourcing key industry players, where appropriate, to develop a comprehensive market overview to help inform our clients
    • Ensuring candidates are market-validated and sharing market insights gathered during the course of a project with internal and external clients
    • Assisting consultants in managing candidates throughout the search process 
  • Liaise with colleagues in other offices to fully leverage our global network by sharing ideas and best practices
  • Collaborate with administrative support in the creation of content-rich, insight-driven client status reports
  • Maintain the highest quality information on the database, including the timely and rigorous capture of insight gathered during the course of search work
  • Business Development
  • Closely monitor specific markets, using both research tools and business contacts, and highlight potential opportunities to support consultants in the development of new relationships and broadening existing ones.
  • Conduct background research to create supporting material for pitches and client presentations, including value added market and client knowledge, alongside Knowledge teams.
  • Where appropriate, attend pitches and client meetings.
  • Knowledge Management and Sector/Practice Activities
  • Work closely with Knowledge team to capture both search and non-search related information in RRA’s proprietary database.
  • Demonstrate real domain knowledge, insight and an informed view to support consultants and enhance our standing in the market.
  • Contribute actively to the development and propagation of best practices initiatives.
  • Hiring
  • Introduce prospects to the firm as and when required – always aware of the need for identifying potential new hires.
  • People Development
  • Participates in on-boarding and training new research hires.
  • Supports, develops and mentors more junior members of the team.


Candidate Profile

  • Education
  • Bachelor’s degree from a respected institution
  • Required skills
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Ability to filter large amounts of information, quickly identify the salient points and provide relevant insights
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal relationship skills, particularly the ability to interact credibly with individuals from all levels of an organization
  • Excellent writing skills and ability to produce quality, well-structured documentation for clients
  • Highly organized – outstanding time management and ability to prioritize.
  • Strong proficient in MS Office, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Personal Qualities
  • Bright, smart, intuitive
  • Intellectually curious and a quick thinker
  • Able to develop and defend a point of view
  • Demonstrates above average levels of skepticism and knows when to question the status quo
  • Drive and tenacity with the desire to excel
  • Self-starter, who is able to meet deadlines while multi-tasking
  • Forensic attention to detail
  • Resilient
  • Results focused
  • Strong team orientation and collaborative instincts
  • Sound judgement
  • Culturally aware


Career Potential

  • Russell Reynolds Associates offers a variety of different career paths for researchers.  The firm takes pride in the fact that, every year, a small number of researchers are promoted into the consultant ranks and we provide formal support in this process through the Associate-in-Training program.  We also provide leadership opportunities to those who are keen to stay in the research ranks but aspire to get involved in broader initiatives around training, mentoring and contributing to the overall research strategy.  Finally, our researchers have the opportunity to move into our Knowledge team, which focuses on creating insight into industry and talent trends.



Bizzy Balaraman '10

Russell Reynolds Associates

101 California Street | Suite 2900 | San Francisco, CA 94111

P: 415.352.3356 

Posted 2.5.20