This Maryland BioPharma is Preparing for Massive Growth by Showcasing its Mission, Culture and People

May 29, 2019

With unemployment hovering near 3% and 13 job openings in the STEM fields for every one job seeker, many companies are looking beyond job boards and career fairs and turning to new channels to attract the talent they need.  In the BioHealth Capital Region alone there are 2,000 open biotech jobs, so the competition for skilled, technical workers is high.

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GSK has recently partnered with BioBuzz to host recruiting-oriented events that focus less on the specific jobs they have open, and more on showcasing the company’s mission, their culture and their people.  More than 150 attendees and dozens of GSK employees participated in the last event at True Respite, which was the second GSK sponsored professional networking and recruiting event in the past six months.  

GSK, Rockville is one of the region’s largest biotech employers with 450 people working in the Biopharm manufacturing division.  According to GSK Biopharm VP and Site Director, Craig Malzahn “We’re excited to talk about GSK Rockville BioPharm and what we’re doing in the region. We’re in a massive growth mode right now and are hiring like crazy. We have engineering, technology, scientist and production roles to fill.”

During the event, participants mingled in a casual atmosphere with GSK employees, hiring managers, and with each other.  This type of event provides potential employees with an opportunity to learn about the work environment, the responsibilities, and more importantly get a feel for the people and culture within a company.  For hiring managers, this is a great opportunity to establish a first impression, get to know potential employees better and get a good sense of their soft skills before ever evaluating a resume. These are things that can be very difficult to accomplish under most traditional interviewing models.  

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Many companies have realized that the most important demographic they need to reach and attract is the passive candidate pool.  These passive candidates are not active on job boards and they have a very specific set of criteria they consider before deciding to apply to a new job.  Passive candidates are looking for ‘the right fit’, which means they care about getting to know a company first and learning more about its culture, people, work environment, and the growth potential.  Events like this really help to give candidates a chance to experience the company and learn about these elements, rather than just reading about them on the company website. It’s the experience that creates candidate loyalty and really helps them remember the employer’s brand.

Malzahn addressed the attendees and highlighted three things that show why GSK is such a great place to work and why they are out sharing their message to recruit new teammates.

Here is what Malzahn had to say about the three things that make GSK a great place to work; Impact, Innovation, and People.

IMPACT:

“The first thing that anybody in this industry will appreciate is the difference we make in patients lives. Just a couple of weeks ago we had one of our patients out to our site for the town hall to tell her story about living with Lupus.  It’s incredibly rewarding to hear how a medicine that we make in our factory right here in Rockville, the only place it’s made in the world, is making a difference in somebody’s life. That’s really why we show up every day and why I roll out of bed every morning; to make a difference in patients lives.”

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INNOVATION:

“The next thing, is what we’re doing here in Rockville, in particular around innovation and the novel drugs that we’re making, it’s really special. We’re making monoclonal antibodies, primarily large molecules, that are first in class novel biologics that are making a huge difference.  We’re excited that we have three GSK assets that we’re manufacturing that are potential blockbuster medications. Blockbuster being defined as generating over $1B in revenue in a given year. It’s a big deal for us that’s driving our overall growth.

We’ve got fantastic facilities and equipment. We have made a $139M+ investment in a new factory that is coming online later this year.  We have two 10K bioreactors and state of the art technology, including a mix of traditional stainless steel and single-use systems. So there’s lots of excitement around the equipment and facility and the breadth of development and technology transfer expertise that we bring to the organization.”

PEOPLE:

“Finally and most importantly, our people. Our people and our culture are huge and are incredibly vital to what we do. First, starting with the patient-focused type of environment, and really driving through our goal for building capability and creating a learning environment for our people.  We have a very collaborative, science lead, continuous improvement environment that supports our success and the success of our people. I hope that you learn more about all of this from the many great GSK colleagues here tonight.”

You can find a list of the many open jobs at GSK Biopharm here. For those who attended the event, they got to experience what makes GSK a special place to work and build a career, it’s people.


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Chris Frew
Over the past 8 years, Chris has grown BioBuzz into a respected brand that is recognized for its community building, networking events and news stories about the local biotech industry. In addition, he runs a Recruiting and Marketing Agency that helps companies attract top talent through a blended model that combines employer branding and marketing services together with a high powered recruiting solution.

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