Our Experts | Marc Kotora
Originally published by Smart Business.
In the U.S., there’s been a greater demand for food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical devices that are either produced abroad or are made with materials acquired outside the country. With that increase in production, hiring people with the right kind of experience to deal with global regulatory compliance has been dramatically affected as well.
“The manufacturing environment has become increasingly complex because companies across the globe are connected within the supply chain,” says Marc Kotora, managing director at Alliance Scientific Solutions.
“The skill and specialization needed to be successful in this expansive marketplace hinges entirely on a company’s workforce. It’s imperative that businesses find ways to bring the best talent into their companies to remain competitive,” he says.[/perfectpullquote]
Smart Business spoke with Kotora about the competitive landscape and how to find the right people for the job.
Where are the greater needs in terms of position and industry?
Global production of products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has quadrupled during the past decade. The ingredients and components originate from more than 150 countries, and involve 130,000 importers at 300,000 foreign facilities. This has triggered an increase in demand for people with a working science background and experience dealing with regulatory agencies who can help align businesses with their strategic partners, suppliers and vendors across the globe. These areas of focus include quality control, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, compliance, documentation and engineering departments.
Who can fill these positions?
An academic background in biology, chemistry and engineering is helpful, but it’s better that candidates have on-the-job experience. The most desirable candidates have had interactions directly or indirectly with the FDA or other global regulatory agencies such as the European Medicines Agency or Canadian Medical Devices Regulations.
How are employers finding the right talent?
Many companies are proactive in seeking this type of talent. They will post positions and assemble internal talent acquisition teams that are led by internal hiring managers. They work with an internal applicant tracking system to find, vet and hire the right talent for their needs. Keeping the hiring process in-house, however, might mean missing out on the highest-level talent.
The best candidates are typically employed. Certainly, there are talented people without a permanent job, but many of the best-fit candidates are currently working. Professional service firms can access candidates through their deep referral network and offer them new opportunities.
What can companies do to ensure they have the talent necessary to compete?
At a minimum, companies working in the affected fields will need experienced internal talent acquisition teams or third-party sourcing partners, a strong employee retention strategy, robust training programs, and branding strategies that promote awareness in the market place to attract the best talent to support hiring initiatives.
The specific knowledge and experience necessary to fill these positions has many companies reaching out to professional service firms to supply the most qualified candidates. Recruitment process outsourcing allows companies to tap into the deep industry knowledge of the professional service firms that are able to thoroughly vet candidates. An outsourced firm has the industry knowledge to find the types of candidates that best fit the position by tapping into its vast referral network of industry leaders. Firms working in the talent acquisition field have a great deal of experience recruiting specific types of candidates and are good at recognizing the most applicable skill sets.
The specialization and experience needed to fill these high-demand positions means there are few highly qualified candidates available. Companies will be at war with each other to acquire the best talent. Businesses that don’t have the internal resources should consider utilizing recruitment process outsourcing or professional services firms to keep the pipeline of candidates full.