How to Create a Hiring Strategy For The STEM Market

How to Create a Hiring Strategy For The STEM Market
Shen Mawani

10 minutes

How to Create a Hiring Strategy For The STEM Market

Pharmaceutical careers involve working at the threshold of medical innovation – whether your job is within drug development, leadership, or advertising, there’s a role where every skill set can make an impact on the wider world of health.

In an increasingly competitive talent market, effective hiring strategies are becoming heavily linked with business success.

In the UK alone, skills shortages drive a loss of £1.5bn a year, with similar figures echoing across the global STEM industry. Driving success and building business continuity starts with understanding why the talent market has changed, and how your brand can respond with the right hiring strategy to secure appropriately skilled, and culturally aligned, talent.

In this article, I’ll explore the three key discerning principles behind an effective talent strategy in STEM today, drawing on my own experience in the field, as well as the expertise of Lucy Colgan, Talent Acquisition Specialist at QIAGEN, a leading global biotechnology company with a major development site in Manchester. QIAGEN’s mission is to deliver Sample to Insight solutions enabling QIAGEN customers to unlock valuable molecular insights.

Expect to discover:

  • How leading diagnostics company, QIAGEN, power inclusive hiring practices
  • Why mission and value-led campaigns resonate with candidates
  • The value of technology-facilitated hiring in the remote world of recruitment

Building a diversity and inclusion hiring strategy

44% of Fortune 500 companies have found that diverse teams increase innovation and agility, and 51% say diversity also improves employee engagement – all key criteria for a successful STEM workforce.

In research from Deloitte, 80% of candidates say inclusion is an important factor when choosing an employer, and 72% would potentially leave a less inclusive organisation for a more inclusive one. Actively communicating with your prospective candidates about tangible inclusivity efforts can motivate talent to prioritise your organisation.

Talking to Lucy Colgan, Talent Acquisition Specialist at QIAGEN, diversity has a central role across QIAGEN’s recruitment and talent management. Lucy describes how QIAGEN “discuss with our agency partners their policies on D&I recruitment” when outsourcing any hiring activities. Lucy explains, “everyone involved in the hiring process has undergone training on unconscious biases, so we can be aware of these as much as possible”.

Embracing a mission-led approach

Clarifying the mission behind your work can inspire and motivate potential candidates to feel connected to your organisational purpose.

What’s more, actively involving employees in shaping that mission, and the wider company culture, can boost the likelihood of long-term retention. High-performing candidates are more likely to prioritise organisations where they can make a tangible impact and feel a sense of belonging.

According to research from McKinsey, 51% of employees left their roles over the ‘Great Attrition’ because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work.

Providing impactful opportunities for employees to contribute at work is a priority for QIAGEN. Lucy says, “we want to further develop the company culture so everyone has a voice where they can do their job, change things and contribute their suggestions”. She describes the highly impactful employee workshops that have been held globally to empower QIAGEN employees to share their views: “senior management are really listening to the good and bad from the workshops, and there’s a lot of really good input and changes happening”.

“QIAGEN believes that focusing on its current and future employees drives the company’s economic performance and considerably influences the sustainability of its operations. “We are convinced that the professional and personal development of our employees is an integral factor in creating value for our customers, patients, colleagues, partners and shareholders”, says Lucy. “Being the industry’s employer of choice by attracting and developing top talent is one of our global goals.” To achieve this, QIAGEN creates a work environment that empowers and involves employees at all levels.”

Strengthening recruitment with technology

The key to bringing these approaches together is a streamlined candidate process, and technology that can make that happen.

A group of inspired candidates, who feel they could belong at your organisation, are more likely to prioritise your role if your candidate experience is streamlined enough to reinforce that sense of belonging. Without a timely response, or streamlined process, you’re likely to lose the attention of high-performing candidates.

Lucy Colgan describes, “QIAGEN’s reputation sets us ahead, most people know us as a company they want to work with”. She added that “there are many more jobs out there than candidates, and we need to move quickly”. The right recruitment partner is important as Lucy goes on to describe: “SRG really helped us with video interviews so that we weren’t missing out on good candidates and could move quickly”.

Reconsidering skill sets is imperative as the wider industry adapts to the fourth industrial revolution. Adopting a data-led approach through personality testing, and utilising video interviews can help scientific organisations make the specialised hires needed to succeed.

Find out how SRG could help you

SRG are part of Impellam, the UK’s largest staffing business, and the sixth-largest MSP worldwide. Our global presence, extensive talent network and over 20 years of experience in making scientific hires, enable us to meet the unique requirements of every company we work with.

Connect with Shen on LinkedIn or email our client services team here to find out how SRG could help you. 

About the author: Shen is a highly successful, award-winning, solutions-orientated, global life sciences recruiter who is now part of a unique team for a global leader in Scientific and Clinical hiring. Shen supports the STEM Portfolio as a Client Solutions Manager at the Impelllam Group dissolving borders incorporating brands including SRG, Lorien and Carbon 60, to ensure the best talent is secured and retained, using data intelligence combined with a flexible and transparent process. Partnering with businesses across STEM to offer solutions suited to the need, for niche roles, senior appointments and, delivery on project builds.

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