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Job candidates that evangelize a company are worth more than PR campaigns.
Remember that popular Fabergé shampoo commercial that ran in the early 80s? In it, a flaxen-haired model explains that the product was so great, she told two friends about it. In turn, they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on. That's what came to mind when I read Bob Hennessy's article about candidate care. He explains that companies should take great pains to treat job candidates.
well, whether or not they decide to hire them, because if one has a bad experience during the interview process, they'll tell some friends, who'll tell some friends, and so on. And that's good advice because, beyond the argument for common courtesy and good manners—which seems to be less and less fashionable these days—there's a real benefit to making sure people leave interviews with a good impression. The likelihood, even if they don't get the job, is that the candidate's value as an ambassador (of sorts) far outperforms even the most sophisticated PR and corporate branding campaigns. Hennessy says candidate care is important enough to be given top priority in pharma's boardrooms, and shouldn't be restricted to the confines of human resources departments.
That's just one of the ideas populating this new supplement, dedicated to addressing some of the issues facing pharma companies as they try to recruit, train, and develop tomorrow's industry leaders. And when you consider that the average Big Pharma company employs tens of thousands of people of varying cultures, working in various professions, in multiple countries, on different compensation structures, and within an environment that is increasingly hostile toward them all, finding the right people to guide pharma's workforce is no routine headhunt. The editorial contributors of this issue cover several ways companies might gain some advantage in the tough competition for attracting, keeping, and nurturing talent.
In her candid "tell-all," veteran recruiter Denise DeMan Williams admits that her profession has some work to do before declaring itself client-focused, and suggests some changes to help the process. On a Q&A with expert biotech recruiter Stephen Israel reveals what life after Big Pharma might look like for commercial—not scientific—experts, who are among the most sought-after professionals by biotech companies. Training and executive-level education play an important role in helping employees hone their skills and achieve the growth necessary to keep them moving up the professional ladder. That's why, according to Michelle Reece and Barbara Lockee collaborations with executive MBA programs and other higher education institutions are becoming popular with companies seeking to promote their sales and marketing people. Expert translator Jorge Arteaga offers communications tips for training international teams a challenge for companies running global operations. Consultants Bill Roiter and Dan Williams offer a new definition of "MVP". They suggest that pharma's most valuable performers are those employees who can lead global teams to success, and argue that MVPs should be treated differently—better, in fact—than their less multi-culturally adept counterparts, lest they be poached by competitors.
And that should be the goal of any staffing strategy: To get the right people in the door, and keep them satisfied once they get there. That requires a keen awareness of what company employees need to develop skills, hone talents, and continue up the corporate ladder, whether they spend their days in the field or the boardroom.
Sibyl Shalo is Pharmaceutical Executive's senior editor and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.