In recent years, Ireland has become one of the biggest pharmaceutical locations in the world. Even though the bio-pharma industry is still relatively new in Ireland, it is growing at a rapid speed.
For instance, only 2,500 people worked in the sector in 2005, and as of 2016 that number grew to a staggering 25,000 direct employees and around 25,000 support staff. This shows how fast the sector is growing, which implies that pharma companies in Ireland are often in need of new skilled employees.
The challenge is that the best candidates have also realised that they are in high demand, and subsequently can be picky with the company they choose to work for, and the conditions of their employment contracts. This problem has a tendency to force employers to hire under-skilled or unqualified candidates for important jobs - such as Operator Level roles.
Here are four common reasons why this happens and what you can do about it.
Reason #1: Your job spec isn’t compelling
Your job posting is typically the first thing a potential candidate comes across. It is the first impression that he or she gets about the job opportunity and your company. Unfortunately, many employers think that they can put together a simple job spec and still attract quality candidates. That way of thinking can be extremely limiting.
Don’t forget that you aren’t the only company that is hiring. You need to be at the top of job searches wherever candidates look for jobs, and your listing needs to stand out from others. Your job description should be both precise and specific and show the top candidates exactly why you are the best company to work for.
Reason #2: Your reputation and brand is tarnished (or non-existent)
If you do not have a reputable company name, then getting the right candidates can be tough. Everyone wants to work for the best company in the industry. That means that candidates are out there reading your company reviews and talking with your current (or previous) employees. If you’ve ever had to let staff go, due to downtime, or for some other reason they’ve left on less than perfect terms, it can quickly tarnish your reputation in the industry.
These employee-related reputation issues can be hard to overcome because they are largely out of your control. However, working with a staffing agency such as FlexSource can help manage this situation more proactively. Instead of letting candidates simply read about your company and make broad assumptions on their own, we work closely with each individual and help them understand the inner workings of your business. This can avoid misunderstandings and repair the damage to a bad reputation.
Reason #3: You are asking the wrong interview questions
The sheer nature of the traditional interview process can be extremely misleading. You can end up hiring poor candidates simply because they know how to sell themselves in an interview, or just as worrying, you can miss out on great candidates because they don’t interview well.
It’s not just about how you conduct interviews - although that is important too - it’s more about re-thinking your whole recruitment process so that it is less reliant on interviews alone.
At FlexSource we go beyond a simple interview process by placing candidates in temporary roles first, so pharma companies can “try before they buy”. We then keep these candidates in our system so we can provide on-the-job references and performance reports for future employers. This approach eliminates the risk of a one-off interview and helps you make informed hiring decisions.
Reason #4: You make it all about you, and not about the candidate
The hiring process should be a two-way street. The candidate should have an opportunity to tell you about what they are looking for, and you should be listening intently to what they have to say. As much as you are interviewing potential candidates, they are doing the same to you. And remember, they hold the power in today’s market, so you need to make yourself sound attractive to them.
Using Flexsource can reduce the amount of work you need to do in order to get to know candidates. We engage each candidate individually before placing them in roles, and usually have experience and references from placing them previously.
Getting the ideal Operator Level Candidate in the pharmaceutical sector is not a walk in the park. You need as much information as you can get your hands on - which is often hard to come by if there is a level of urgency around a placement. It pays to have an expert staffing partner like Flexsource in your corner to reduce the effect of these challenges.
Are you in-market for an Innovative Recruitment Partner?
Linda Hickey - Service Delivery Manager at Flexsource Recruitment.