Hiring life sciences talent is competitive, especially in APAC. To help organizations realize their potential in this region, Cielo brought together 14 leading talent acquisition (TA) professionals from the life sciences industry in Singapore for an employer brand workshop.

In the workshop, TA experts shared their views on the key challenges in attracting and hiring talent in APAC. Here’s what we learned:

Brand awareness: Standing out from the crowd
Since the pandemic, candidates are increasingly attracted to companies they see as altruistic. Your company’s message and presentation should emphasize the positive contributions made to your communities and stakeholders, allowing you to better stand out from other employers. Additionally, emphasize your commitment to creating social value and corporate transparency if those align with your company’s values.

To support your brand awareness planning, it’s important that your internal and external stakeholders work together effectively to outline responsibilities. This collaboration should focus on:

  • Workforce planning to understand the hiring needs of today and tomorrow
  • Selecting the right channels to reach the right audiences for recruitment with localization that’s tailored to your region, market, and talent vertical
  • Brand segmentation planning to pivot your message appropriately for the market
  • Change management so current employees understand where your organization’s going and know the vision for the future
  • Creating brand ambassadors that are enthusiastic about your organization

Scarcity of talent: Finding the people you need
To overcome a shortage of candidates with the necessary skills and qualifications, identify what talent is required and how to find great candidates. Defining what the career succession looks like – so candidates know what career path may lie ahead – will help to navigate the already competitive talent market.

Start by examining talent intelligence for a better idea of any potential skills gaps. Review your workforce planning strategy to ensure career progression for each employee matches business needs. Rethink your “ideal” candidate to include those who may need training, such as early talent or those who need to learn necessary technical skills. Educate stakeholders on the need to invest in skills-based workforce planning and programs.

Externally, collaborating with TA professionals outside the industry can simplify the process of finding talent in a limited pool. Avoiding compensation bubbles within the industry and talking with other leaders will help you achieve this while remaining competitive.

Attracting niche talent: Targeting specialized professionals
Attracting candidates with specific skills and qualifications requires organizations to define talent needs while considering scarcity, location, or how business-critical they are.

Once you know who your hires are, clearly communicating with them is key. Distill your messaging to target specific types of potential candidates using localization and personalization. Ensure your strategy remains flexible for changes in the marketplace. For example, empower your TA teams to provide a media toolkit or information booklet to specific candidates to convey the employer brand but make sure it can be updated on short notice if necessary.

Measuring success
What does success actually look like? Hiring success varies from organization to organization. It’s influenced by your overall business goals, talent pipeline, employee mobility, and skills analyses, among other factors. Some general signs of a thriving hiring campaign include:

  • Attracting and hiring high-quality talent
  • Filling all open positions
  • Reducing average time-to-hire
  • Improving retention and conversion rates

Collecting feedback throughout the hiring process and conducting social sentiment analysis can also help to measure success. For monitoring brand awareness, try to use tools that measure core KPIs such as click-through rates, social media channel engagement and growth, website visits, applications, the quality of candidates, and conversion rates.

The way forward
Improving brand awareness, understanding the current market, and knowing who your target candidates are will make it easier for you to hire quality life sciences talent in APAC. Once the right candidates are in the right roles, your company can truly focus on achieving its business goals.