Down on the Biopharma

Four hours of driving to and fro last night’s HR Strategy Forum was worth it, because the HRPS affiliate serves you up a higher-level audience than the annual swag-a-thon. The Forum’s audience is a lot like the Journal audience, but not as recruiting-centric.

One attendee is Debbie Rocco of Amylin, a fast-growing bio-pharma that’s hiring for many of the positions you’d expect as well as for an Ohio manufacturing facility. Interestingly, and fairly unsually, it also has a link to recruiter information on its website.

Amylin is a lot like a startup, and is just starting to do such things as “capacity planning.” It’s finding, for example, that in the past it hired a lot of specialists and needs to either hire more generalists or do more training to give people a broader background needed to start a new project when their last one ends.

Rob Reindl’s here from Edwards, a company that once received Workforce Management’s Optimas award. Every time you hear him talk, and I’ve hung out at his HQ with him, you can’t help but think about how special the work is that his firm does. It’s easy to convince candidates that a job at Edwards would “make a difference”; it would save lives.

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There’s a recruiting job open at Edwards, which the company’s website bills as a “great opportunity for 3rd party recruiters looking to ‘break in’ to corporate recruiting.” Indeed, Edwards likes to recruit in-house, not with agencies, when it can. It also likes the “time-to-fill” stat — one that’s not a Sullivan favorite. Reindl pooh-poohs the idea that his hirers would compromise quality just to put a warm body in a seat quickly.

Not everyone here’s growing in the 20% range like Amylin; one HR leader from a large packaging firm says the economy’s been real slow, and for a really long time. Like all year, and then some. That’s both bad and good news. Bad news for them, of course, but good news in the sense that with the average recession lasting somewhere in the range of one year, maybe less, it means that if we’re even in one, it may already be more than half over.

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