The following is an excerpt from an article written by Dr. Anand Tharmaratnam, Senior Vice-President and Head of Clinical Development for Quintiles in Asia-Pacific. It was originally published in the Business Times. Click here to download the entire article.
Finding the talent for success
For companies seeking a competitive advantage in this new environment, however, building and maintaining a viable pool of new talent can mean the difference between thriving and surviving, leading the way or falling behind. As with any growing industry, the competition within biopharma for talent is fierce. Raising the profile of the clinical research and bio-pharmaceutical services industry among potential employees is key to successfully managing a high-growth business in an industry that is still relatively young in the Asia-Pacific region.
In order to increase the number of students and future employees interested in embarking on a career in this burgeoning field, companies must keep a few guidelines at the forefront as they grow:
- Commit to hiring the best talent: The competition for talent in a high-growth industry can be fierce and the candidate pool small - both regionally and in specific countries. However, selecting the wrong or under-qualified candidates will only cause more issues down the road. As a company, you must be remain selective in your hiring practices, seek out and hire only the best talent in each country and across the region, and stay true to your hiring standards.
- Invest in continuing training and education: In a high-growth industry and region, ensuring your employees receive a consistent, high-quality training and development experience is key to continued overall performance as well as employee engagement and retention.
- Raise awareness: In an industry with tremendous growth potential, it is imperative to increase the number of students and future employees interested in embarking on a career in the field. Working with local universities, career fairs, internship programs, government organizations and others can help raise the overall awareness of career opportunities that exist across the full spectrum of the industry.
- Be willing to recruit and rotate talent in from other regions: By bringing more 'seasoned' staff in for assignments or rotations in growing regions, firms not only meet the current needs of customers, but also help train and mentor young staff as they grow with the organization.
- Hire with the future in mind: For companies confident in their future growth trajectory, it is important to find people capable of dealing with a strong growth pace and able to manage larger teams and roles in a short amount of time. Hiring strategically - and not simply to meet the current situation - can help lay the groundwork for future growth and innovation.
As more and more biopharma companies move and expand into the region, competition for talent is likely to increase, potentially mitigating the competitive advantages locations such as Singapore currently enjoy. Raising the industry's profile among potential employees early in their careers so that they better understand the opportunities that exist in this industry can help Singapore remain at the forefront of global bio-pharmaceutical innovation and development.