By Angela Rose, Biospace.com
In 2011, Life Science Leader Magazine conducted its ninth annual survey of biopharmaceutical manufacturers. The survey results revealed that employers planned to spend more on hiring both operations and scientific staff in 2012 than they had in previous years when economic constraints made them reluctant to invest in staffing and training. While that’s good news for biopharma professionals seeking work, it presented a challenging issue for the manufacturers.
More than 25 percent of the survey respondents said they were having problems hiring and retaining staff. In fact, 27.7 percent of them felt that the inability to hire new, experienced technical and production staff would constrain their production in 2017. Almost 23 percent were concerned about retaining these employees, and 20 percent were worried they wouldn’t be able to fill scientific staff positions either.
If you want to secure the best new biopharma professionals as demand for their expertise increases, it’s time to improve your hiring process. Consider these five suggestions.
1. Go where the best go
Where can any biopharmaceutical company find the best job candidates? The answer is simple: a niche job board such as Biospace.com. Not only does the site attract new scientists, chemists, and process engineers looking for their first industry positions, but experienced life sciences professionals also visit it. As these passive jobseekers peruse the latest industry news, they may take an interest in your job posting. At present, the site boasts more than 400,000 unique monthly visitors.
2. Engage the community
It’s important to seek out the best new candidates. However, you should do what you can to increase the chances that they will come looking for you as well. This means participating in biopharma conferences, joining industry groups, hosting events for local life sciences professionals, and building relationships with universities. The more you spread the word about your company—and its unique culture and opportunities—the easier recruiting will become.
3. Emphasize professional development
As demand for skilled biopharma professionals increases, your competitors may try to poach valuable members of your staff. You can reduce the appeal of their offers to your QC analysts, R&D associates, and research associates by investing in the professional development of every employee. This is one of the best ways to retain your staff as well as attract the kind of driven professionals who are likely to become top producers.
4. Challenge your candidates
A well-written CV will certainly provide you with a snapshot of their professional development. Their references definitely serve to give you some insight into their past performance. But how can you truly determine if they know what they say they know and can do what they say can do? You may find the answer in written tests and position-related challenges. You can even include such an assignment in the job posting, enabling you to narrow your list of top candidates based on their responses.
5. Include others in the decision
Once you’ve narrowed the field through CV assessment, challenges, reference checks, and an interview or two, involve others in the decision making process. The best way to do this is to have your top biopharma job candidates interview with others in the company—especially those they will work with most closely. Gathering additional perspectives increases your odds of finding the best professional for the position, the department, and your company.
Hiring the best new biopharma professionals is possible even in an environment that favors the job seeker. If you look for candidates in the right places, get the word out, and emphasize the benefits of the opportunity, you may find that you can have your pick.