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Attract overseas talent to your life sciences company

By Paul Strouts, Global Managing Director of Hays Life Sciences

As the world gets smaller, many of today’s life science job seekers are adopting a global mentality, casting their nets far and wide for opportunities in pivotal locations, such as the UK.

UK employers have much to gain by hiring applicants from overseas. You may find skills that can’t be found locally, diversify your workforce culture and enrich your pool of language skills to foster relationships and knowledge exchange with other countries. Life science candidates seeking to work internationally are generally motivated and ambitious and tend to be diligent, determined and committed employees.

So the race for global talent is on, and there are a few steps you can take to have top scientific, healthcare and med tech minds knocking at your door.

Confirm and publicise your global hiring strategy

Candidates may feel somewhat daunted by the practical and emotional aspects of making a big move, so you may need to make your support for their interest clear. To do this, you need a global hiring strategy and dedicated staff to implement it. This would include offering ‘softer’ support services such as visa processing and relocation assistance, accommodation and schools sourcing. Healthcare schemes and social memberships may help overcome emotional barriers and add to your appeal as a prospective employer.

Offer training and progression opportunities

Candidates from outside the UK may, more likely than not, have a determination to succeed over and above that you might find in a local hire. They are generally hungry for new knowledge and an understanding of where employment with you might lead – and anything that will help them to ‘make a go of it’ in the UK. You can increase your ‘street appeal’ by offering them relevant training from the outset, which will benefit them and benefit your organisation, too.

Tailor your online brand

It’s all well and good to develop and implement such measures, but unless offshore candidates know you are in the market of welcoming them with open arms, all will come to zero. The best way to reach out to them is online, with a website that reflects your desire to diversify globally and social media that engages them in the spaces they occupy. Talk about your vacancies in terms that leave them in no doubt as to their suitability in principle. Use LinkedIn to promote industry discussion on the value of a globally mobile workforce.

Be strategically sociable

If you have a sociable workforce, make sure you emphasise this online. Aim for social media updates that include images of staff social events, and consider ‘warming up’ the biographical section of your website with slightly more personal information about your employees. This gives your company a comfortable feel and enables hopeful candidates to get an idea of who their new colleagues might be should they apply. It will increase your chances of having them make contact.

Medicine, the pharmaceutical industry and life sciences, in general, have, at least for the last century, been heavily dependent on knowledge-sharing across borders, underpinned by the English language. Advances in scientific and communication technology, as well as our ability to travel, have seen an acceleration in this global exchange.

The UK, as a leading global centre of excellence for biomedical, technological and research innovation and the home of the English language, is an understandable prime destination for life science candidates seeking to advance their careers. You can capitalise on their passion, determination, commitment and quality to further your life science business objectives by being the employer of choice for their next international move.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Paul joined Hays in 2007 following the acquisition of his Life Sciences business (James Harvard International) and has been involved in the sector since 2001.

He looks after 29 countries within the group’s portfolio, spanning from New York in the US to Sydney in Australia. From our flagship London office, Paul oversees all operations and sales for the brand, and drives the business forward on a strategic level.

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