RPO & Staffing

Creating a Standout Brand

Competitive differentiators for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.

By Zee Johnson

The pharmaceutical and life sciences industry has always had the duty of not only impacting lives, but in many cases, saving them too. And it goes without saying, the pandemic made this job even more essential. In fact, a PwC survey showed that more than half of respondents (56%) now think more positively of the sector, mainly due to how it handled COVID-19 (including the development of vaccines).

With such an important role in the lives of many, pharmaceutical companies must smartly position themselves when acquiring talent in a highly competitive market.

Currently, candidates have the ability to choose the businesses they want to work for -the ones that are going above and beyond to attract them and to deliver on the promises of their employee value proposition (EVP).

“It is currently a candidate’s market and companies are needing to invest now more than ever in recruitment marketing and branding to attract and engage talent,” says Sharon Kloc, vice president of client services for Cielo. “Individuals want to understand an organization’s culture, stance on key social topics, flexibility, and being able to clearly see their development should they join the company. Every touch point with a candidate from start to finish is critical in their decision process.”

While there are many avenues a company can take when creating a great EVP and brand image, having a unique, one-of-a-kind approach will strike the biggest chord in today’s talent market.

Take Becton Dickinson (BD) for instance. A leader in patient and healthcare worker safety and the technologies that enable medical research and clinical laboratories, the company was looking to boost hiring at its office in Grenoble, France. To do this, employer branding and sourcing were key. Without any existing messaging for the Grenoble site, Cielo leveraged a weeklong visit to the location to create a bilingual microsite, relocation story sheets told by families, leader story sheets, and an image library for the office and campus.

It’s this type of creativity that helps set businesses apart. Today, organizations must take their acquisition efforts very seriously and rethink how they can be seen as impressive amongst competitors.

“Continue to challenge the ‘norms’ of how to acquire, onboard, engage, and retain digital talent,” says Josh Needle, managing director of life sciences for Cielo. “There is a need for continuous learning on what is attracting and retaining this talent within your organization, while course correcting in real time when strategies begin to become obsolete.”

Here are two proven ways companies can differentiate themselves from the competition.

  1. Give opportunities to support innovation. One great aspect of the life sciences sector is employees’ access to opportunity, a factor that makes it an industry of choice and that other sectors may not possess. Opportunity often falls right in line with innovation, where fresh mindsets and perspectives are sought for a company to reach the next level. For the pharma industry, new tech like AI and robotics are here to stay and innovative candidates are needed to head these implementations.
  2. Be people-oriented. A culture that closely follows employee careers and well-being is critical. An EVP that properly explains how workers are looked after, given flexibility, and supported is wildly attractive to jobseekers. It’s also important for current employees and has a direct correlation to retention rates.

Forever engrained in the minds of candidates will be the company whose strategies, along with their EVP, struck a personal and authenticate chord during the acquisition process. Candidates are no longer looking at how they can serve a company, but instead, how a company fits into their outlook and lifestyle. The best way for organizations to show they fit is by conveying an approachable and relatable image and EVP.




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