Moving from contract to permanent employment in life sciences

Contracting is a popular choice for many professionals within the life sciences industry and many use the variety interim working offers to move from company to company as they move from contract to contract. However, there are occasions where you maybe offered permanent employment at the end of their fixed term, either in the same role or in a different capacity, leaving them with a big decision to make. With aspects such as the introduction of IR35 to the private sector in the UK impacting the contracting opportunities within life sciences, what should a life sciences professional consider when moving from contract to permanent employment in life sciences? Naturally, the choice to move to a permanent position after contracting is a personal one that will be impacted by many factors. As recruiters for both the permanent and interim markets of life sciences, these are some of the core elements we discuss with candidates:Salary vs wages Benefits and flexibilityCompany culture vs. contractor independenceCareer development and job stabilityWhat is the company offering?How will moving from contract to permanent employment impact your income? Contracting jobs generally equate to more income per hour than permanent positions. There are numerous reasons for this: To secure an expert consultant’s time in the competitive contract marketTo cover costs contractors will have that would be covered by an employer in a permanent roleTo match the high expectations of a contract employee to meet deadlines and work to chargeable hours Although a base salary may be less income, permanent companies may offer additional benefits such as sick pay, pension scheme contributions or a bonus incentive. It is important that a proposed salary is in line with your expectations and you’re able to maintain financial commitments and living expenses. It is likely when considering a move from contracting to permanent that you will need to consider if you are willing to lower your salary for the benefits of a stable income and other company-funded financial perks such as sick pay and pension contribution.How do the company benefits weigh up to your contracting freedoms?There is a lot of rigidity within a contracting as hours are chargeable. Yet, contracting provides a great deal of freedom as well. Contractors have more control over the roles they take, the type of work they accept and can often negotiate their contracts around family and life commitments outside of the work place. This flexibility and ability to define their schedules is a common reason that keeps contractors from moving back to a permanent career. However, this independence also means contractors have very limited support, and with IR35 changes soon to hit the UK, clients are even more cautious of the benefits they can extend to contractors. When weighing up the option of taking a permanent opportunity, there are a few benefits to consider: Training and resources – Contractors fund and schedule their own training. Some roles within life sciences, such as biometrics or other digital-based areas, require consistent upkeep with in-demand technologies to keep their skillsets relevant. Would your permanent employer be able to support your personal development through courses and training as part of your employment? Financial schemes and healthcare support – Sick pay, healthcare, maternity or paternity leave, long-term illness cover, and pension schemes are benefits that permanent employees may be entitled to as standard from their employer. It is key to understand the benefits your potential permanent employer offers and how they impact your current or future plans. Holiday and flexibility – While we are seeing demand for flexible working hours and working from home, most life sciences companies, are still adapting to introducing these benefits across permanent employment. What are your current flexible benefits with contracting? Will you be able to transfer these to the permanent opportunity?Could you see yourself in the role permanently? The benefit of a contract to permanent move is that you essentially get to trial your future job before you commit. At some point within your contract period, you have likely questioned whether you could see yourself working in the role or at that company long-term, but it is important to take the time to reposition your thinking and review those thoughts in closer detail. Knowing the temporary nature of contracting, it is easier to appease frustrating aspects or monotonous daily tasks while working through your contract period, subconsciously knowing it is only temporary. Similarly, it’s easier for colleagues and the company to maintain some form of distance knowing the temporary nature of your employment. Inviting contractors to company events can have an impact of their IR35 determination so there can be less opportunities to identify how you’d fit into the team.   Once you start considering a permanent opportunity, take the time to reframe your thinking over the aspects of the job that you may have taken for granted: The team – How close are you with your current colleagues? Would you find yourself fitting into the culture? Would you be comfortable working as part of that team permanently? The management – Will you keep your current reporting structure? What support and development is offered? Where will you fit into the management structure? The company – What are the growth plans for the business? Do you like their ethos, their message and their employee considerations? Would you enjoy being part of their company mission? The role – What is the future of that role? Is it something you could do everyday? How much diversity in the role is there and is there opportunity to create more diversity? What do you dislike and is there room to carve out your ideal role? What is being offered and how does this fit in with your career goals? Before any of these considerations take place, it’s important to know what the company is actually offering you and why they want you to move from a contracted specialist to a permanent employee. Are they offering a permanent role or the opportunity to apply for the permanent position? Policy may dictate that they need to formally interview you for the role. This could be an opportunity to reframe your thinking about the position and get some answers to these questions, or it may be a red flag that you have been offered out of convenience. Perhaps an interview is required because the role on offer is not exactly what you’ve been doing under your contract. Are they offering the same role on the same project or a permanent opportunity on a different team/project? If your responsibilities are going to change, it is key to assess if your reasons behind undertaking the contract job initially still balance with the new opportunity. Similarly, do you want to continue with the project? Is there room to negotiate what type of role you want? Are they creating a new position to keep you? Undoubtedly a flattering offer; these types of moves imply that your skillset and expertise is so invaluable that the company wants to work with you to find you a place on their team. This is a great opportunity to discuss your career aspirations and how this company could help you achieve them, potentially building your ideal job through negotiation. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for your career progression, so it is important that you communicate your future plans and aspirations with your contracted employer and they know what you are expecting, where you want your career to go and the reasons behind you not moving to a permanent position sooner. There are many variables that will impact your decision, whether circumstantial or personal and ultimately, deciding whether to move into permanent employment or continue contracting is filled with many ‘what if’ scenarios. With IR35 impacting the UK and many uncertainties in the global life sciences industry, the option to move into permanent employment may be more prevalent. However, developments across the life science industry continue to create more contracting opportunities amongst employers – demand within the industry is still high, particularly for niche expertise. If you would like to talk to one of our recruiters about the hiring trends and stability of your sector within life sciences or discuss your interest and options between contract and permanent positions, please contact our team here.            Find a recruiter       

Case study: Helping a cell & gene therapy start-up 10x their headcount

The situationDuring a candidate check-in, one of our previous candidates informed us he’d joined an upcoming clinical stage cell and gene therapy company that had developed new labs. They were a small team of 5 people and needed to bulk hire GMP technician and production scientist for a bulk project. As a small team in a highly competitive industry, they struggled with the resources and reach to attract top candidates with the required skillsets. Based on our previous relationship with the senior vice president, we arranged a site visit to discuss how Hobson Prior could help them increase their headcount.Hobson Prior solution At the initial meeting, we identified the – Basically, found out as much as we could about the company and the project they were working on, so we could best represent them to the talent in the industry. As well as agree a budget and timescale – from this we tailored a recruitment package to suit them. We utilised our international candidate pools of pre-screened candidates with the required skillsets. Our technical operations recruitment team spoke to these candidates to ensure they were appropriately skilled, available and to ensure they were engaged and excited by the opportunity to join the project. We were quickly able to source a list of 20 candidates that would be suitable for the role. As resources and time were key areas of concern for the company, we suggested using our digital interview system, HireVue, to give them more control over the initial stages of interview review. Each of the 20 submitted candidates completed a video interview that could be quickly and simply reviewed by the company to ensure we maximised their time. From these 20, 10 were taken into a final face-to -face interview.The resultWithin 6 weeks, we had sourced, screened and placed 8 candidates. 9 out of the 10 final interviews were offered jobs and we have been working with this cell and gene therapy company since. Their team has grown from 5 members to over 50, with Hobson Prior responsible for the pre-screen checks, gathering references and on-boarding for half of these new hires. In fact, the last 4 placements made by Hobson Prior were for a team reporting into one of the original 8 we helped place. We are proud to be a trusted part in this innovative company’s rapid growth as the continue to research ground-breaking developments in the life sciences industry. 

Writing a manager CV for pharmaceutical companies

Updating a CV is consistently considered one of the more tedious parts of securing a job, but as the first step and the first impression to potential employers, it is important that it reflects your aptitude and successes appropriately. This is especially key if you are writing a manager CV for more senior roles within the pharmaceutical industry. When writing a CV for managerial role, there is often a temptation to mimic and loosely adapt an existing template. However, a CV for a senior role must reflect different attributes that are not often present in CVs for lower seniority roles. There are some core elements to consider when updating a CV for senior-level jobs that hiring managers and HR will look out for during the initial selection process. By adapting your CV to take these tips into account, your manager CV is more likely to stand-out and be considered for more senior-level positions as part of your career progression through the life sciences and pharma industry. Show results with quantitative data The life sciences industry grounds itself in evidence-based data and this mentality should continue through to a CV for a manager job in pharma. A key differentiator from an early career CV and a CV from someone applying for a senior role is whether they “show” or “tell” their employment achievements. Rather than simply listing your responsibilities in former jobs, hiring managers want to see your results. A CV will stand out if it includes quantifiable data that show examples of achievements. 20% increase in efficiency 12% reduction in costs Delivered over 30,000 units on-brief and within the deadline Phrases like these are much more impactful than a list of daily tasks and demonstrate how your work supports the wider business goals. Remember who will be reading It is key to keep the reader at the forefront of your mind when writing it, especially for more senior positions. Listing tasks you were assigned is useful, but does that tell the hiring managers that they need to hear for a management role? With senior roles likely having a tough application competition, a strong CV will help a strong candidate stand out. If you are writing a CV for a manager job in pharma, then you will likely be looking to lead a team or project. It may sound obvious, but it is important that your CV shows demonstrable leadership experience and thinking beyond your daily tasks to be invited to the next stage of the recruitment process. Keep the content relevant and honest Ambition and enthusiasm are great traits for a potential employee, but it is never advisable to falsify information on your CV. This is particularly important when writing a CV for senior roles as senior managers will be expected to represent and be accountable for the pharmaceutical company that hires them. It’s cliché advice, but in nearly every recruitment process, there are instances where great candidates miss out on opportunities due to inconsistencies in their CV. Exaggerations are much less likely to be tolerated by hiring managers for senior roles and whilst it might make a CV may stand out, it will likely have a negative impact on the remainder of the hiring process. Prioritise your CV space allocation When writing a CV, it is important to keep the reader – HR’s talent acquisition of hiring manger - at the forefront of your mind. Therefore, it is important to consider factors such as the formatting and weighting of a CV. This is particularly key for the large-scale pharma companies, they will receive a lot of applications and may employ a strict initial vetting process to highlight core candidates to consider. CVs for manager jobs in pharmaceutical companies will likely come from professionals with a developed employment history; especially in the pharmaceutical industry, where academic success and external contributions to the field may hold core relevance. CVs are generally about 2 pages long and with potentially hundreds of other applicants, it is more beneficial to focus the relevant experience towards the beginning of the CV. Listing your core achievements and technical skillsets in an executive summary, alongside quantitative achievements and perhaps some testimonials if you have them, will immediately emphasise to a hiring manager the key elements that show your suitability for the role. Early career positions and academic history arguably show growth and career development; however, they should not be prioritised over the recent roles and contributions that will help make you stand out as a desirable candidate. These can be included as bullet points towards the end if you have space or listed within an accompanying appendix.  Tailor a CV to the position By applying for a senior position, you’re looking for more responsibility within a business. If you can tailor your CV to ensure it is representing key points of the initial job description, your CV will not only immediately tick boxes for your relevance to the role, but it shows an attention to detail that many employers will value. When applying for a senior role, showing the difference between a default CV curated for multiple early level positions and a manager CV where you have dedicated time and effort to tailor your CV to the specific role/company highlights your understanding of the recruitment process, experience within the industry and commitment to secure this job as part of your career development. Promote your personal brand in the industry When it comes to senior positions within a pharmaceutical company, it is likely the hiring managers have a strong idea of the experiences, skillsets and personality traits they are looking for to fill the position. Senior roles will still like to see potential in candidates, but experience and specialism are more important to stand out in the application process. Your experience and your successes are all part of forming your place within the industry. Whilst you don’t have to be a key speaker at several events or an award-winning pioneer, promoting your unique qualities and specialist expertise is very important, particularly within pharmaceuticals. Niche skill sets and specialisations such as specific experience within oncology or a unique background in the medical field help make candidates stand out. Clients have a specific brief in mind of what they need so if you can promote your specialisation, you’re in with a much better shot of progressing to the next stage. List technical skills separately Depending on the type of management position you are applying for, your technical and practical skills are not the only qualities hiring managers are looking to find in your CV. If you will be leading a team or project, your leadership, people management and operational experienced will also hold high weighting in the application process. It is unlikely that you will be competing with candidates that do not hold the technical knowledge to succeed within the role, so listing your technical skills separately is a useful way to ensure you have space to highlight your leadership experience within your employment history. In large pharmaceutical companies, there are often multiple stages in recruiting senior-level positions. The initial screening is usually to determine whether your CV contains key buzzwords that make you a relevant candidate. This checklist is not always conducted by a line manager or someone with the same scientific knowledge for the specific, niche role so a list of technical skills is a useful way to highlight your experience and training for anyone who reads your CV to understand and acknowledge.  For life sciences professionals looking to advance their careers and move into management, ensuring their CV is targeted for these level positions is key to getting noticed and moving through the interview stages for more senior roles. The CV writing process for management positions varies from non-management positions mainly in the balance between promoting skillsets, as well as promoting leadership and management qualities. By prioritising quantifiable achievements and demonstrating specialist experience within the life sciences sector, candidates can stand out in the recruitment process and will be more likely to be considered for senior management positions within the pharmaceutical market. Our recruiters work with several candidates looking to climb the career ladder and move into more senior roles. For more information on opportunities within the industry to advance your career, you can contact our specialist life sciences recruiters here.            Send us your CV       

Case Study: Sourcing a validation team to meet a tight deadline

The situationOur client, a growing biopharmaceutical company with sites across the UK and Europe were looking to develop one of their site’s manufacturing capabilities due a large increase on sales from the previous year. They were given the task to construct a new facility, install new equipment and develop current MP processes within a 12-month period, giving them extremely limited time to complete projects. The challenges they faced were recruiting Validation individuals who had Marchensi and SEA vision equipment experience, along with general CQV and Serialisation knowledge. As SEA vision is considered niche within this market, they had struggled to find candidates for the roles. Given the tight deadline, getting the validation work started was a priority. Hobson Prior solution Having struggled to source the correct type of candidates themselves, it was key that we understood precisely what they were looking for in validation professionals. We met with the key stakeholders on site to ensure we understood their requirements and company culture, as well as develop an immediate strategy to focus on priority sourcing candidates. Based on this meeting, we completed a 48-hour search and successfully provided 5 validation contractors with direct experience and expertise in Marchensi SEA vision. This allowed the key stakeholders to focus on the new facility while the contractors ensured the priority validation work was covered. We continued to source by identifying companies using this specific equipment, enabling us to utilise our network of validation professionals to headhunt experienced candidates in similar roles. The resultWe successfully recruited 100% of the required positions needed in the 12 months. All the workers completed their contracts and one was even taken on in a permanent capacity. Due to the speed at which the contractors were sourced, the site’s validation teams successfully implemented the validation life cycle and the product sales continued to rise following successful GMP. We continue to work with this biopharmaceutical company in their UK and EU teams as their exclusive recruitment partner. 

Hobson Prior obtient une Licence de Travail SECO pour le Recrutement Intérimaire Suisse

View Press Release Hobson Prior obtient une Licence de Travail SECO pour le Recrutement Intérimaire Suisse Hobson Prior est heureux d'avoir obtenu une licence de travail SECO pour le recrutement intérimaire. Cela leur permettra de fournir à l'industrie Suisse de sciences de la vie des solutions de recrutement intérimaire, sans avoir besoin des sociétés de gestion tiers. Détenant déjà une licence de recrutement SECO pour des postes de durée indeterminés, Hobson Prior sera en mesure de fournir des solutions de recrutement complètes et de soutenir à l’échelle plus grand des candidats pour des entreprises des sciences de la vie et des demandeurs d'emploi en Suisse. Après avoir récemment déménagé son bureau en Suisse de Lucerne à Bâle en 2019, Hobson Prior a plus de 10 ans d'expérience direct avec des entreprises basées en Suisse, ainsi qu'avec des entreprises souhaitant s'implanter en Suisse, avec leurs besoins d'embauche. «En fournissant directement des solutions d'emploi aux travailleurs temporaires, nos clients auront un processus de contact plus simple pour leur personnel intérimaire», souligne Patrick Forster, Directeur Général de Hobson Prior. «La Suisse est un carrefour cruciale sur le marché mondial des sciences de la vie et en tant que l'un des rares recruteurs des spécialistes axés sur les sciences de la vie. Nous sommes ravis d’offrir des solutions de recrutement encore mieux à nos clients et un meilleur soutien de notre société basée en Suisse». Reconnue comme un leader mondial de la compétitivité des talents, de l'innovation et de la sélection des sites par le KPMG, la Suisse est l'un des principaux foyers de biotechnologie, des dispositifs médicaux, de nanotechnologie et des produits pharmaceutiques. «Nous avons une équipe dédiée et spécialisée dans des services de recrutement en sciences de la vie en Suisse, couvrant divers aspects du secteur, y compris des affaires réglementaires, des opérations cliniques, la biométrie et des opérations techniques», ajoute James Inwood, Directeur Européen des Services à la Clientèle. «Nos consultants connaissent bien le marché, les coutumes et les processus de recrutement en Suisse. Avec des consultants en recrutement basés dans notre bureau à Bâle, nous pourrions fournir du soutien dédié, non seulement à nos clients, mais aussi aux candidats et aux entreprises qui souhaitent se développer sur les marchés biotechnologies et pharmaceutiques Suisses.» «La Suisse acceuille de nombreuses entreprises innovantes et cette nouvelle licence nous permettre de les connecter à notre vaste réseau de professionnels talentueux des sciences de la vie à distance de leurs bureaux Suisses et même d'aider à la relocalisation pour ceux qui souhaitent de déménager en Suisse.» La Suisse acceuille déjà des grandes sociétés pharmaceutiques et des innovateurs en biotechnologie; alors il n'est pas étonnant qu'il y ait eu une augmentation des créneaux de démarrage d'entreprises tirées d'endroits, par exemple le marché américain, pour faire de la Suisse un carrefour de développement et de livraison des sciences de la vie dans le monde. En tant que leader expérimenté sur le marché Suisse de recrutement dans le domaine des sciences de la vie Hobson Prior fournit, depuis plus de 12 ans en Suisse, des services exceptionnels de recherche et de sélection aux leaders mondiaux et aux entreprises à venir. Cette nouvelle licence leur permettra de continuer à soutenir l'effort impressionant des sociétés pharmaceutiques, biotechnologies et de la technologie médicale grâce aux services de recrutement d’experts. Pour plus d'informations sur la licence SECO de Hobson Prior, ou sur des solutions de recrutement disponsible en Suisse, veuillez contacter notre équipe: E-Mail: clientservices@hobsonprior.chTéléphone: +41 (0) 615880991

Hobson Prior sichert sich die SECO Arbeitsgenehmigung für die Zwischenrekrutierung in der Schweiz

View Press Release Vorläufige SECO Genehmigung für die Schweize Rekrutierung Hobson Prior freut sich, sich für eine SECO Arbeitsgenehmigung für die vorläufige Einstellung berechtigt zu haben. Auf diese Weise darf die Firma der Schweizer Biowissenschaftsbranche vorläufige Rekrutierungslösungen anbieten, ohne dass Lohn- und Gehaltsabrechnungsunternehmen von Drittanbietern erforderlich sind. Hobson Prior verfügt bereits über eine SECO Rekrutierungsgenehmigung für unbefristete Stellen und kann jetzt Volldienst Rekrutierungslösungen und eine breitere Unterstützung für Kandidaten für Life Science Unternehmen und Arbeitssuchende in der Schweiz anbieten. Nachdem Hobson Prior kürzlich sein in der Schweiz ansässiges Büro in 2019 von Luzern nach Basel verlegt hat, verfügt er über mehr als 10 Jahre Erfahrung in der direkten Zusammenarbeit mit in der Schweiz ansässigen Unternehmen sowie mit Unternehmen, die in der Schweiz starten möchten. „Durch die direkte Bereitstellung von Lösungen für Leiharbeitnehmer haben unsere Kunden einen einfacheren Einzelkontaktprozess für ihre kurzfristige Mitarbeiter“ kommentiert Patrick Forster, Geschäftsführer vom Hobson Prior. „Der Schweiz ist ein wichtiger Knotenpunkt auf dem globalen Markt für Biowissenschaften. Als einer der wenigen auf Biowissenschaften spezialisierten Personalvermittler freuen wir uns, unseren Kunden noch bessere Rekrutierungslösungen anzubieten und unsere, in der Schweiz ansässigen, Mitarbeiter besser unterstützen zu können“. Der Schweiz ist vom KPMG als Nummer eins für globale Wettbewerbsfähigkeit, Innovation, und Standortauswahl anerkannt und gilt als eines der führenden Unternehmen für Biotechnologie, Medizinprodukte, Nanotechnologie und Pharma. „Wir haben ein engagiertes Team, das sich auf Rekrutierungsdienste für Schweizer Biowissenschaften spezialisiert hat und verschiedene Aspekte des Sektors abdeckt, einschließlich regulatorischer Angelegenheiten, klinischer Operationen, sowie biometrischer und technischer Operationen“, fügt James Inwood, European Client Services Manager, hinzu. „Diese Berater kennen den Schweizer Markt, die Zoll- und Rekrutierungsprozesse. Mit Personalberatern in unserem Schweizen Büro können wir nicht nur unsere Schweizer Kunden, sondern auch Kandidaten und Unternehmen, die in den Schweizer Biotech- und Pharmamarkt expandieren möchten, unterstützen.“ „In der Schweiz sind viele bahnbrechende Unternehmen ansässig. Mit dieser neuer Genehmigung können wir sie mit unserem umfangreichen Netzwerk talentierter Biowissenschaftler in Pendelentfernung zu ihren Schweizer Büros verbinden und sogar bei der Unterstützung von Umzügen für diejenigen helfen, die in die Schweiz ziehen möchten.“ In der Schweiz sind bereits große Pharmaunternehmen und Biotechnologie-Innovatoren ansässig. Deshalb ist es eher klar, dass die Zahl der Nischen-Start-up-Unternehmen, die von Orten wie von den US-Markt vertrieben werden, zugenommen hat um die Schweiz zu einem führenden Zentrum für die Entwicklung und Bereitstellung globaler Biowissenschaften zu machen. Als erfahrene Führungspersönlichkeit auf dem Schweizer Rekrutierungsmarkt für Biowissenschaften bietet Hobson Prior seit über 12 Jahren außergewöhnliche Führungs- und Auswahlunterstützung für weltweit führende Unternehmen und aufstrebende Unternehmen in der Schweiz an. Mit dieser neuer Genehmigung kann die Firma weiterhin die bahnbrechenden Bemühungen von Pharma-, Biotech-, und Medizintechnikunternehmen in der Schweiz durch Expertenrekrutierungsdienste unterstützen. Für weitere Information über die SECO Genehmigung, oder ueber die Schweizer Rekrutierungslösungen, die den Hobson Prior anbietet, wenden Sie sich bitte an unser Team: E-Mail:  Telefon: +41 (0) 615880991  

Hobson Prior secures SECO labour license for Swiss interim recruitment

View Press Release Hobson Prior secures SECO labour license for Swiss interim recruitment Hobson Prior is pleased to have qualified for a SECO labour licence for interim recruitment. This will enable them to provide the Swiss life sciences industry with interim recruitment solutions, without the need for third-party payrolling companies. Already holding a SECO recruitment license for permanent positions, Hobson Prior will be able to provide full-service recruitment solutions and wider candidates support for life sciences companies and job seekers within Switzerland. Having recently moved their Switzerland based office from Luzern to Basel in 2019, Hobson Prior has over 10 years’ experience working directly with Swiss-based companies, as well as companies looking to launch in Switzerland, with their hiring needs. “By directly providing employed solutions for temporary workers, our clients have a simpler, single contact process for their interim workforce,” comments Patrick Forster, Managing Director of Hobson Prior. “Switzerland is a crucial hub in the global life sciences market and as one of the few specialists’ recruiters focused on life sciences, we’re excited to be able to provide even better recruitment solutions to our clients and better support to our Swiss-based interim workers”. Recognised as number one for global talent competitiveness, innovation and site selection by KPMG, Switzerland stands as one of the leading homes for biotechnology, medical devices, nanotechnology and pharma. “We have a dedicated team specialising in Swiss life sciences recruitment services, covering various aspects of the sector, including regulatory affairs, clinical operations, biometrics and technical operations,” adds European Client Services Manager James Inwood. “These consultants know the Swiss market, customs and recruitment processes. With recruitment consultants based in our Swiss office, we can provide dedicated support not only to our Swiss clients, but to candidates and companies looking to expand into the Swiss biotech and pharmaceutical markets.” “Switzerland is home to many ground-breaking companies and this new licence empowers us to connect them to our extensive network of talented life sciences professionals within commuting distance of their Swiss offices and even help with relocation support for those looking to move to Switzerland.” Switzerland is already home to major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology innovators; it is no wonder there has been an increase in niche start up businesses driven from places such as the US market to make Switzerland a leading hub for global life sciences development and delivery. As experienced leaders within the Swiss life sciences recruitment market, Hobson Prior has been providing exceptional search and selection support to global leaders and upcoming businesses for over 12 years within Switzerland. This new license will empower them to continue to support the ground-breaking effort of pharma, biotech and med tech companies within Switzerland through expert recruitment services. For more information about Hobson Prior’s SECO license or Swiss recruitment solutions, please contact our Swiss team here:Email: Telephone: +41 (0) 615880991   

Competing for top talent as a small biotechnology company

Taking calculated risks has led to some of the ground-breaking developments within biotechnology, particularly amongst younger businesses. From bringing a new orphan to market, to delivering solutions that reduce suffering for patients; the growing rise in emerging biotechnology solutions is transforming healthcare and the life sciences industry. Despite making waves across the industry, many of the merging biotechnology companies that come to us highlight the difficulty they have in securing quality candidates. With investors needing timely results and budgets often tight, having qualified employees on the team is key, but how can these lesser-known companies compete with the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that are also vying for exceptional candidates? What motivates life scientist to take a job? To attract the best talent within the industry, it is important to understand what encourages life sciences professionals to take a new job. We asked over 1,280 life sciences professionals what was their key motivator for changing job, and the top three results were: Career progression (24%) Flexibility and work-life balance (23%) Ability to work on an exciting project (23%) Interestingly, only 2% ranked company reputation as their main motivator in selecting a new job, suggesting the focus appears to be more on career opportunity and the vision of the company, rather than the infancy of the business itself. Now if this were truly the case, lesser-known enterprising biotechnology companies wouldn’t struggle to compete for top talent against established, internationally renowned biopharma. Ultimately, numerous factors, beyond company reputation, encourage professionals to work a for a company, but it is promising to see that size and infancy of the company are have less influence than may be expected. Competing as a smaller biotechnology company The biotechnology industry is continuing to grow. As greater investment and improved accessibility to resources evolves, more advancements and breakthroughs keeps small, independent and start-up biotechnology companies in competition with big pharma. Talented life sciences professionals are regularly headhunted by global pharma companies and rarely stay out of a job for long. There are numerous reasons for candidates to consider joining a smaller company at a junior or senior level: Greater exposure to processes Exciting projects to work in a ground-breaking industry sector Potential fast-track to leadership positions A more targeted benefits package relevant to their lifestyle More flexible working hours and less rigid internal policies Potential investment of shares Despite these exciting career opportunities, there are still roadblocks making it more difficult for a smaller company to attract experienced and skilled candidates: Vacancy Visibility Limited budget and minimal experience hiring within the life sciences industry can make it difficult for start-up and small biotechnology businesses to promote their vacancies. Even with a competitive salary and desirable career development opportunities, if the job advertisement is not visible to the relevant candidates, it is unlikely to draw in applications. The biotechnology employment market is seeing a greater demand for professionals with niche specialist knowledge. Often these skillsets are limited and without the ability to promote vacancies to a broader audience, particularly on an international level, this creates a higher risk for frustrating and costly hiring delays. Resources Without an established internal talent acquisition or dedicated HR function, the role of hiring within smaller businesses can often fall onto senior leadership. This can be problematic in the early stages of a company’s development as these leaders’ time is sparse. Even with a dedicated team to aid in internal recruitment, smaller companies are short on budget, time and will be unlikely to have the same resources available at a blue-chip pharmaceutical company to attract top talent. Without candidate sourcing tools, headhunting processes and an interview planning and execution process, hiring can become a tedious and draining project, alongside the various other important tasks of establishing a new lab and developing new business. Reputation Despite only 2% listing it as their main motivation, it is naive to assume that candidates will not be interested in previous success and the future stability of their prospective new employer. Arguably less of a prominent issue within the contract employment market, professionals looking to move into their next permanent position will be cautious of moving to a company they may not have heard of before. The best candidates that will bring efficiency and innovation to a small company are likely also being headhunted and offered positions at businesses with extensive teams, proven history of development and a global reputation. It can be very intimidating trying to source candidates against such competition, especially when resources and visibility are limited. Attracting the top talent Although some candidates may consider a small business or start-up as a risky move in their career, a smaller, less established brand allows for many opportunities to grow in a role and take a lead on projects. There are various ways in which leaders in small biotechs can attract top talent to consider joining their teams. Networking The adage still stands true today; “it’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know”. Attending corporate events is a useful way to engage more in the industry as well as widen your network of professional contacts. Talented professionals tend to know other talented professionals so the wider your network, the greater your chance of business and vacancies being communicated to relevant and skilled people. Social forums such as LinkedIn can be a useful way to engage with industry professionals and builds international bridges across the sector. A few moments a day contributing to discussions within groups, expanding your networking and communicating with relevant professionals can have a large impact. Outsource your recruitment If time resources are limited, it is worth looking into utilising a recruitment agency to remove the pressure of sourcing candidates, arranging interviews and managing candidate feedback and communication. A recruitment agency will also enable you to quickly and effectively widen the scope of your candidate search, with pre-built, global networks of experienced life sciences professionals. Working on your behalf, they will engage the industry and ensure that you have access to a diverse selection of talented and skilled individuals who can bring value to your business. Clear career development progression, company benefits and flexible working, achievements and goals for the company’s future, a strong and inspiring mission statement; all of these can help your small business stand out against larger pharmaceutical companies, where company culture and employee value can be difficult to demonstrate or more rigid. However your small business operates, highlighting your forward-thinking and unique company culture is a great advantage, particularly when engaging candidates who are fed up with some of the difficulties and restrictions of working as part of a global enterprise. Size doesn't matter There are numerous advantages in joining a smaller team, including more influence and experience, faster access to leadership roles and potentially greater flexibility to offer better working benefits. Understanding and actively promoting the benefits of your business and its culture, you are in a much stronger position to attract top talent. We work closely with our clients to ensure that the candidates in the interview process are aware of the numerous benefits of company life as well as the opportunity within the role. It can be difficult to compete for talented scientists and specialists against globally established businesses. Often, the issue is not convincing candidates in taking the risk to join a newer or smaller company, but rather, getting access to them in the first place. By outsourcing recruitment and continuing to network within the industry, your reputation and visibility will continue to expand, allowing your headhunting efforts and headcount to grow as your business continues to develop and establish itself within the market.

Case Study: Helping our clients set up facilities in Europe to help combat Brexit

The situation One of our global pharmaceutical clients based in the UK contacted us for our support on a specific European project. At the time, they manufactured their products outside of Europe, completed QP release in the UK before distributing throughout Europe. 65% of their products were distributed throughout Europe – In the event of Brexit, all products released in the UK would potentially need to be rereleased when they cross the boarder into the EU. Understanding that this could potentially lead to them losing business to EU based companies, our client wanted to implement a proactive plan to combat future issues that could arise from Brexit. That solution was to open two sites in Europe, one QP office in Belgium to complete European QP release and a distribution centre based in Poland. Our client had specific plans in place with project milestones and headcount for each of those stages, But hadn’t ever hired anyone in Europe previously.  Hobson Prior solution Firstly, we gained a detailed briefing from the client on; the project plans, milestones, locations and why all these decisions had been made – This gave our team a great understanding of the business and project to allow us to sell it to candidates effectively. He then outlined to us more specifically about the hiring plans, he explained to us that this was a project that would run for roughly 2 years and he expected up to 40 new hires of both contract and permanent members of staff including consultancy support for things like validation. He explained the skill sets, level of experience, location, language skills, contract or permanent and what the expected hiring dates would be for each position. After digesting all of this information, our Quality team begun to proactively talent pool in the specific area’s he had mentioned – we initially started speaking with people inside our network that would consider opportunities in Europe. We then began a targeted approach of headhunting local talent to build our network in country, as we understood that this was where the main bulk of permanent hires would come from. We opted to conduct a lot of this work up front, so as each milestone was hit and new hires were required we already had a relevant shortlist of candidates.  The resultBecause of our team’s proactive approach, we were able to support our client fully with the delivery of their project, on time and under budget. We were successful in helping them hire 15 contract and 10 permanent employees across the two sites over the two year project. These positions were; 6 QA Officers, 4 QA Specialists, 2 QA Managers, 4 QPs, 3 RPs, 1 Head of Quality & 5 Senior QA Consultants. The client was impressed with our delivery within Quality in the early stages of this project, that they then worked with other managers in the business to give us access to other areas of the project. We went on to make successful contract and permanent placements within Regulatory, Technical Operations & Production. 

Hobson Prior awarded for European Supplier Excellence 2019 from AgileOne

(London, UK), September 19th, 2019 – Specialist life science recruitment company, Hobson Prior is proud to announce that on 19 September, 2019, we received AgileOne’s UK Platinum Award for European Supplier Excellence 2019. The award was presented to David Chipp and Calum Watson during an award ceremony that took place during the AgileOne Supplier Excellence Awards held in London, England.  All the winners at the AgileOne Supplier Exvellence event “With each candidate interaction and each successful placement, our suppliers play a critical role in our success at AgileOne. We are constantly evaluating our suppliers to ensure they are providing the best possible service to our clients. The Supplier Excellence Awards allow us to recognize the suppliers that consistently exceed expectations,” Brian Clark, Senior Vice President Global Operations of AgileOne. “As a trusted partner, Hobson Prior has risen to the challenge of delivering world-class customer service and high-quality talent for AgileOne’s clients around the world.” “The entire Global Strategic Sourcing team is dedicated to building strong partnerships with suppliers around the world. The Supplier Excellence Awards are just one of the many ways AgileOne seeks to showcase our ‘Best of the Best’ suppliers,” said Jaideep Majumdar, Associate Vice President of AgileOne “Our supplier partnership program strives to connect, build, foster, and grow our supplier partners so that they curate innovative, technology-based workforce solutions to better serve our clients. From sharing world-class processes to giving suppliers the opportunity to grow their business, our ‘Best of the Best’ suppliers serve as an example of what can be done when you create win-win partnerships that benefits everyone.” Calum Watson accepting the Platinum award on behalf of Hobson Prior "We are honoured to have been recognised by AgileOne. Collaboration is key to providing innovative and effective life sciences recruitment solutions and we take great pride in working with AgileOne to provide an exceptional service,” commented Managing Director of Hobson Prior, Patrick Forster. “A crucial part of Hobson Prior’s mission is to develop and build recruitment partnerships, so we can help our clients find the specialist candidates they need to make an impactful difference to patients around the world. We hope to continue developing our partnership with AgileOne as a go-to solution for life sciences recruitment.” Hobson Prior managers David Chipp and Calum Watson accepting the Agile One award About Hobson Prior Hobson Prior is a leading specialist life sciences recruiter focused on finding and placing exceptional candidates across the global life sciences industry. Our highly selective clients trust us to source and secure the best contract and permanent candidates to contribute to their success.We’ve been recruiting exceptional life science professionals since 2002 and our team of consultants, many of who used to work within the industry themselves, have been delivering tailored and successful recruitment solutions. About AgileOne From cutting-edge technologies to award-winning services, AgileOne has the resources to provide true total talent management. Good vendors can provide cost savings, risk mitigation, vendor management, and talent acquisition; but a great partner supports your business goals and navigates the legislation, regulations, and trends that will shape the future. Go beyond traditional workforce programs with a single consultative partner that understands where you want to go, and how you can get there. Minority/woman-owned, with operations in 32 countries around the globe. One World. One Workforce. One provider: AgileOne.

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