Select at Knowledge for Growth

Published on: 16 May 2019

The War for Talent can be felt everywhere in our country. Job openings remain unfilled and there are not enough candidates. There is also a shortage of talent in the Life Sciences sector. Flanders.bio, the sector federation, did not want to lose sight of this important topic during their Knowledge For Growth conference. Marcus Van der Erve, founder of the new GEN/GEO tool at Select, shared his knowledge and experience during the panel discussion on the shortage of talent in Life Sciences.

The panel discussion opened with the following statement: “as a company grows, it can also break faster”. The Panel was of the opinion that a growing company should indeed not forget its employees. Marcus gave the tip to provide clear communication from above when a company grows. “In a growing company, you can also train your people to grow with it. For example, an entrepreneurial type of person who started the company at the time will have to adapt in a subsequent growth phase.”

Working together for growth

Joan van de Wetering (Trendminer) emphasised cooperation to promote growth. “When you let process engineers collect big data, they need to be able to read and analyse that data as well. By working together with data scientists, you can achieve much more with the collected data.” Ans De Vos (AMS) agreed, “A company and its people must always keep the bigger goal in mind in order to grow.”

Perfect long-term match

While recruiting, a company often looks for someone who can get the work done, someone who has the hard skills. But new employees must also fit into their future business culture. “So let a candidate talk to the CEO, so that he can see for himself whether he fits in with the company,” says Marcus. “And that’s how you can get your candidate excited, too. That’s important.”

Someone you recruit today might not fit into your company tomorrow because your company is evolving. “That’s why it’s best to know in advance what the priorities are and will be. So that the candidate you are currently recruiting can remain a perfect match in the long term.”

How to deal with the shortage?

When asked how we could tackle the shortage of candidates, Ans gave a good tip: look internally. “You can also water down the criteria and make the pond bigger that way. By looking internally, you can be sure of the match with your company. That saves you a lot of energy.” Another path that employers can take is other forms of work, such as freelancers or project sourcing. “In an ideal world, a system could be created in which companies lend talent to each other. You could then build up a network of candidates and, depending on what you need at that moment, you would be able to lend out a candidate.”

Pascale Engelen (Flanders.bio) also mentioned the importance of students. “We need to focus on students right from the start. There’s still a big gap between the idea that students have of a job and the reality. With Flanders.bio, we try to avoid these myths by means of talks. We bring together students and professionals to talk about the corporate world. Flanders.bio also supports companies and schools with internships and tailor-made talent programmes.”

The shortage of talent remains a major challenge for many companies in the Life Sciences sector. But it’s not just about hiring the right person with the right skills. After all, if you think about the long term, the course that your company will take in the future, you can also keep the perfect match in your company.

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