Keeping Science Cool: Meet Carex Director of Scientific Talent Ginger Auchter

Ginger Auchter

Last month, we introduced our newest endeavor — Carex Scientific — a business division devoted to helping partners and candidates in the science industries find their next great fit.

As we continue to build this area of our business, we want to further introduce you to the people behind this new endeavor and talk a bit about why branching out into this specific niche is such a win for both Carex and both current and future partners.

A big reason why it’s such a win is that we have a fantastic leader — Ginger Auchter, our Director of Scientific Talent — at the helm of this effort. We appreciate much about Ginger, but what we love the most is her true passion for and advocacy of the sciences. In our latest blog, we interview Ginger about her professional career before she joined the Carex team, the ways Carex Scientific works collaboratively with partners and candidates, and why she believes it’s her responsibility to introduce students to the sciences and keep them interested.

Ginger’s interest in science started when she was young, and when she got to Lakeland College, she continued her pursuit, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology. Her initial goal was to head to medical school after her undergraduate college career but decided to head to grad school instead. “I actually ended up having a more sales-oriented part-time role to help me pay for grad school and love the people interaction,” she says. “I was recruited into scientific recruiting pretty quickly from there.”

Recruiting and the world of talent acquisition wasn’t a step she planned on taking, but Ginger says she “fell in love with it.” “I loved the duality of it,” she says. “I still could work in the sciences, but I was also able to live vicariously through our partner companies and the candidates we were helping — touring the labs and facilities of our partners, learning about their goals and what they were hoping to do through their innovations, and getting to see what candidates were looking for and what the next steps in their careers were.”

Ginger would go on to spend ten years at Kelly Scientific as their Director of Recruiting Operations, one of the top scientific staffing providers in the United States, before spending several years at Halent as the Managing Director of Talent Acquisition. Prior to joining Carex, Ginger spent several years as a Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant, working through Carex.

“Something that really drew me to Carex was how they treated their consultants and candidates,” Ginger says. “I loved how Carex was endlessly transparent with me through every step of the process, and I knew they had the same behavior on the partner side as well. When I started talking with Bill and Rachel about the possibilities of building a scientific division at Carex, I knew it would be a great match — we all believe in honesty and being long-term partners on both sides of the candidate/partner equation.”

For Ginger, that long-term partnership is key. “I want to sit down with our partners and know everything about the roles they’re hiring for. Not just the particulars — the skills needed, the education or training, but the things that will help us truly find a right-for-them fit. Who is the type of person that will be successful in this role? Who won’t be as successful? What projects or initiatives will they be working on? Will this role change in the future, and what do you see as its trajectory? We’re not just doing keyword searches — we’re immersing ourselves in these companies and understanding both their needs now and into the future.”

In fact, Ginger says, both science-oriented candidates and partners are taking a step back and being more thoughtful about their needs in general, which is something she’s seeing as an echo of the job market and the desire for more job seekers to have purpose-driven careers with a healthy dose of work-life balance.

“Candidates are asking a lot of great questions,” she says. “Things like: ‘What do I truly love to do, and how can I do more of it? What are the projects I’d be working on in this role, and how do they contribute to the success of the company as a whole? What is this company doing in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion? And that’s how it should be. I’d rather them ask the questions and determine that it’s the right fit than take the role and leave six months later — and have both the candidate and the partner back where they started.”

As a result, the hiring managers she’s working with are also asking the big questions. “These companies want to keep employees engaged, and they want to continue to fuel that passion for the sciences, so many of them are asking themselves what they can offer. “It’s a migration of sorts,” she says. “Interviews used to be very job or skill-focused — can they/I do this role? Now it’s very company- and career-focused. There’s more meaning behind the process — and science-focused roles are no exception,” she says.

When asked about the trends she’s seeing in terms of hiring in science talent acquisition, Ginger also says there’s a flexibility she’s noticing. “For some roles, I’m not seeing the rigidity there once was,” she says. “Companies are more open to individuals that maybe haven’t done their 3-5 years in a specific role that was required before — they’re willing to take a look at candidates that have worked in a lab and now want to step into a sales role, for example.”

She’s also noticing that there’s an inroad for people without science backgrounds to get into the industry. “I’m not going to say that you can just jump into a role like Research & Development without any experience, but if people have a passion for the sciences and they’re willing to work towards it, they can get into fields like biotechnology and medical devices in other roles — quality control, sales, regulatory — and have the chance to learn the language and work their way up.”

This speaks to Ginger’s passion for not only helping current partners and candidates but being able to advocate for the sciences as a career to the next generation of job seekers — and it’s another reason why she’s happy to be building this endeavor at Carex. “It’s important to me to go into the universities and tech schools and teach students about how cool science is,” she says. “If there’s some way that we can get students excited about the sciences — and keep them excited — it will honestly propel our entire society forward. There are many people the sciences affect on a daily basis, so many solutions generated when it comes to everyday life, that I want to make sure we’re building that interest for the next generation — especially when it comes to women and people of color, who we know are underrepresented in STEM roles.”

She and her team are especially excited to do that in Carex’s Midwest backyard. “Of course, we help companies all over the United States with their hiring, but right here in Madison — and throughout the Midwest — there are companies that are doing some really amazing things. We even have UW-Madison, which is ranked eighth in the nation for research universities — much of that being science research. It’s our goal to use our science background and expertise to get to know companies and candidates and create meaningful matches. When that happens, that’s where great science happens.”

To learn more about Carex Scientific, or to connect with Ginger and the team, head here.