With so many unknowns and an ever-shifting recruiting landscape, biotech and pharma hiring managers need all the help they can get to find the right people for their respective companies. One of the most important resources for hiring managers are search and staffing firms.
Can setting workforce diversity goals and posting progress reports help companies move the needle on diversity? This approach has spread like wildfire in the last two years. It’s too soon to tell whether the new fad is working, so we turned to past experience of firms that set goals and posted progress as early as the 1970s. That experience suggests that when done right, goals and regular progress reports can boost diversity even among management jobs.
The current wave of posting workforce diversity data began in the early 2010s, with a group of tech firms. Then, in 2020, prompted by the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, and by growing shareholder pressure to disclose diversity numbers, firms across the economy began to set goals and post data. By September 2021, 55% of Russell 1,000 companies had posted workforce gender, race, and ethnicity data, up from 32% in January. By then, more than 70 big companies had set public gender-diversity targets for 2025 or 2030, including Airbnb, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Coca-Cola, GE, Intel, McKinsey, TaskRabbit, and Xerox.
As more life science companies flock to the region a new challenge arises – how do we create a strong pipeline of local talent to support their needs? This pipeline not only includes the high concentration of experienced talent the BHCR is known for but entry-level employees and people without four-year degrees who can be trained on-the-job.
In this podcast episode, Max and James Ellis of Employer Brand Labs debate the impact of application volumes on recruitment efforts. Listen as they tackle how factors like job descriptions and much more can make or mar the volume and quality of candidates that apply for your vacancies.
Watch the entire episode below.
If you assume marketing helps your sales efforts and you say hiring is one of your biggest needs, why don’t you take employer brand marketing as seriously as your sales marketing?
That’s what Stefan Frank says. He is the talent brand director at Comcast NBCUniversal, which as one of the country’s largest companies brings considerable lessons on what investments bring real results.
“There’s a natural tendency for us as humans to gravitate toward stories. We all appreciate and understand stories,” Frank said. “Anything important should be crafted as a story.”
Life science is one of the industries most affected by the constant pressure put on supply chains. As a highly regulated industry, it is answerable to mandates and evolving customer needs, but must have the flexibility to create innovative solutions in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health tech, and more. This leaves it vulnerable to changes in supply demand and supply access. Having a plan for overcoming the challenges is essential.
Since the pandemic, some life sciences groups have been able to diversify their vendors, but due to regulations this can’t resolve every need. If a life sciences product is regulated or has been specifically tested through clinical trials, a change could completely alter the impact or open the organization up to additional risk.
To this day, some of my closest friends are people I met at various jobs over the course of my career. Before the pandemic, every day I looked forward to seeing friends at work, going out to lunch, getting coffee, being in meetings together, and having impromptu hallway conversations. These friendships transformed what work meant to me — it wasn’t just work, it was life.
In sociology, the “proximity principle” describes the tendency for people to form interpersonal relationships with those who are nearby. We often become friends with people we encounter regularly, energizing and bringing joy to each other and sharing a smile, an inside joke, or drinks after work.
It turns out these friendships really matter for employee engagement. A now-famous Gallup survey found that employees who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged at their job. For years prior to the pandemic, companies benefited from the proximity principle. Many leaders further invested in office layouts, micro kitchens, and team events to encourage even more shared moments and were rewarded with a workforce that was highly engaged.
When I worked in industry, I helped review resumes for potential new research associates. We often looked for fresh-out-of-college candidates who had worked in a lab for at least a year, and finding them wasn’t easy. Students would pad their CVs with tales of “experience” that turned out to be nothing more than an assigned lab section for a course. “I have extensive hands-on experience in the research area of Labs 1 through 6 and real-world applications like Homework Questions 18-25 Due Monday” wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. After all, there are a lot of nuances that come with real lab work, and it was safer if someone had experienced those nuances before we turned them loose in our facility.
So I was pleasantly surprised recently when I spoke at a conference where most of the students had spent a full 2 years working in a lab—an impressive amount of experience for any undergraduate. They presented their work on well-crafted posters, gave interesting talks about their research, and generally seemed thrilled to spend their Saturday this way.
Part of why it was a surprise—though in hindsight maybe it shouldn’t have been—is that the conference was exclusively for community…
Vanilla is one of the most popular flavors in the world. Just ensure it doesn’t become how people describe your employer brand.
Today’s job candidates and workers are often compelled to stay with one company versus another because of the company’s purpose and value. In other words, companies need a strong, direct, authentic employer brand that keeps employees from quitting and joining the Great Resignation. In most cases, a vanilla employee experience won’t cut it anymore.
Labor markets and workforces have witnessed significant transformation in recent years. Despite all the displacement and financial stress caused by the pandemic, the unemployment rate has fallen rapidly and competition for talent has become increasingly intense. While some of this competition has eased in sectors like tech, hiring managers will continue to face a difficult labor market for the foreseeable future.
In other words, norms and expectations among employees have undergone a permanent shift. Company leaders and recruiting professionals have never been under more pressure to develop effective strategies for attracting talent and maintaining a healthy workforce.
With that in mind, Criteria’s just-published Candidate Experience Report (which questioned 2,000 job seekers globally) examines the demands and concerns of today’s job seekers, from how they view their roles in light of Covid and the economy to what they expect from employers. Here are some of the key takeaways: