Published Articles

Pharamceutical Jobs are plentifiul- Know why you are looking

According to the January 2005 R&D Directions’ publication, the top pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in research and development and are continuing to thrive and that only means one thing for the pharmaceutical industry, jobs are plentiful.

Since third quarter of 2004, our firm has experienced the largest steady influx of open job requisitions. Our specialty area is clinical development and commercialization and we are currently working on over 130 job orders. The need is to hire quality candidates and our job is to identify these candidates in a timely and efficient manner. 

To begin the search process we need to assess what each of these companies has to offer our potential recruits and we need to know what it is that our candidates our looking for in the “ideal” opportunity.

 "After years in the search business I have come to learn that money is not the only driving force for why people change jobs."

 Although enticing, it is not the main motivator. In an industry that is constantly changing and growing and in a society that demands so much of us, the reason why people change jobs for me goes back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. 

Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist, developed a theory of personality that hasinfluenced a number of different fields. Humanists focus upon potentials and believe that humans strive for an upper level of capability. Maslow calls this level, "self-actualization.”

In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on. Maslow's basic needs are as follows: physiological needs, safety needs, needs oflove and belongingness, needs for esteem and needs for self actualization. When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualizationactivated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do." Thus in recruiting it is very important that the candidate feelsas though the job they pursue will meet their needs and will provide self -satisfaction andbenefit their overall quality of life. It is my job as a recruiter to work with my candidate in identifying and understanding his or her needs, so that together we can determine if now is the time for change and if so, with which client.

A recruiter is a catalyst for change when the candidate least expects it and the recruiting process becomes a team approach between recruiter and candidate.  

Companies are competing hand and fist with each other to attract and retain top talent, thus the compensation packages are relatively equal across the board. So what can a company offer to a candidate to entice him or her to consider them amongst the pack?  

If Maslow's theory holds, there are opportunities for companies to motivate employees through management style, job design, company events, and compensation packages. Let me break down Maslow’s theory from a recruiting perspective: 

•Physiological Needs: More vacation time and a compensation package that is sufficient topurchase the essentials of life.

•Safety Needs: Provide a safe working environment and relative job security in a fast paced changing industry.

•Social Needs: Create a feeling of acceptance, belonging, and community by reinforcing a team environment.

•Esteem Needs: Recognize achievements and assign projects that make employees feel appreciated and valued.

•Self-Actualization: Provide challenging and meaningful work that enables innovation, creativity, and progress according to the employee’s long-term career goals.  

However, not all people are driven by the same needs - at any time different people may be motivated by entirely different factors. It is important to understand the needs being pursued by each candidate. To motivate a potential candidate I must be able to understand his or her needs and assess if my client can offer the resources to satisfy these needs but most important, the candidate must know why he or she is looking and what they are looking for.

Published in April 4, 2005 

Resources to article

Adapted from “10 Best Pipelines” by R&D Directors Volume 11, No.1 January 2005
George Norwood, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs,, June, 1996.

Abraham Maslow, Motivation and Personality, 2nd ed., Harper & Row, 1970.
Adapted from Psychology - The Search for Understanding by Janet A. Simons, Donald B.

Irwin and Beverly A. Drinnien West Publishing Company, New York, 1987
Adapted from