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Attracting and retaining strategies in Pharma sector (and not only)

Any company that has a highly skilled workforce stands the constant risk of losing employees to their competitors. This is a matter of fact, especially since a couple of years in Poland, GUS statistics confirm this trend and all blog and discussion within HR conferences & forum are on the same page.
Those trends are particularly true within the Pharma/Healthcare business: assuring retention of talents and keep them motivated is a critical task for each Talent pool team.  Obviously offer attractive rates of pay and a good package of benefits seems is not enough. Lot of research available, showing up that flexibility and work/life balance are very important, as well employer branding. Nothing new until now, isn’t it?
Allow me to get more in deep with the specificity of the pharma sector. Many senior staff in the larger pharmaceutical companies have spent their whole careers with the same employer, partly due to the fact that other organisations just cannot compete financially. If you don’t have the budget for this though, you can still minimize turnover by ensuring your employees really value their roles and feel valued themselves. Ensure that there is the opportunity for training and development, and then that the acquired skills are made use of. Offer a clear path for career progression, whether it’s a linear one within the same specialism, or one that gives people the chance to develop in new areas with job rotation programs surely helps to broaden their horizons.
Now more than even before, recruiters and HR managers are struggling on a daily basis to recruit highly-qualified pharma/ healthcare professionals all over the world, not just in Poland. Likely, many pharma/healthcare organizations have realized the importance of this problem. They have started using some innovative solutions in order to improve hiring in the healthcare industry.
With the changes in technology, demand for new and more advanced skills has also increased. To be able to keep up with the new trends and make the patients happy, highly-qualified healthcare professionals are also needed. Today’s healthcare professionals should have the ability to follow and implement safe and ethical practices with the highest level of technical competency. In addition, the problems of team building and culture fit are still on the rise.
Undoubtedly, the biggest and most challenging problems when in healthcare recruiting and hiring is the lack of talented people. Healthcare industry has been missing skilled and highly-qualified candidates for years now, and the problem continues to increase. One of the most appreciated technics to hires new talents (often passive ones) is the use- and abuse- of referrals programs or using company brand ambassadors. In same case it works, but if the company is not investing also in employer branding activities and doesn’t have a smart or agile system to manage recruitment, often after on boarding or few months in the new organization, there is serious risk to lose the new people just hired. This cause a couple of problem: the investment made to find, recruit, train people and company image. Much worse is losing senior employees, first because they are not easy to be replaced, the cost in term of recruiting and salary and – especially for commercial/sales position, the losing in term of contacts/commercial network.
The good news is that people have started realizing the seriousness of these problems. Many big pharma/healthcare players have started using recruiting software (ATS) and technology to help them find qualified job candidates, attract them and hire.
Recruiting software, which may include both applicant tracking system and recruitment marketing platforms can help to reduce the on boarding time. Honestly, I have some dubs about using RPO system in this specific sector, but this is just my personal opinion as headhunter.
Regarding recruitment marketing platforms offer great solutions for building a stronger employer brand. Having a reputation of a desirable employer to work for makes it much easier to attract qualified healthcare professionals when hiring in healthcare industry.
There are few ideas you can incorporate into your healthcare recruitment strategies, that – especially for Millennials very much connected with social networks can have an impact. For example, ask your current employees to share their positive stories about working at your hospital or clinic. Ask them to write about you on Glassdoor and other company review sites.
Social media can be a particularly effective tool in pharma/healthcare recruiting, indeed many health job seekers work long unpredictable hours and struggle to find time to research companies that are hiring, let alone submit applications. By utilizing social media in their recruitment strategies, is possible to meet job seekers on the platforms that they are already using during their limited free time, creating more chances for engagement.
With a recruitment marketing tool, you can connect your career page directly do your Facebook job tab. This is a great way to get in front of the social media users with your new job opening when hiring.
Please do not forget about SEO. Firstly, list your job openings with very specific and SEO friendly job descriptions. Secondly, share your employee's’ testimonials. Introduce your team, and tell the world about your success stories.
In the end of the day, there are some strategies and activities your talent pool team can implement. The technology offers lot of solutions, but the most important element, in my personal opinion is how your company is able to communicate values, ideas, experiences and stimulate an interest towards those “outside”. How you are perceived in the market, by colleagues, by competitors, by potential clients, by suppliers and by all peoples the world, is when more important to create long-term relationships. Seeing the world through the eyes of others, especially communities is a fundamental step towards a true talent strategy.