Meet the Country
SummaryRunning clinical trials and recruiting experienced clinical personnel in the UK has certainly challenged many senior managers and recruiters over the past year. At a recent UK conference, both the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and a UK pharmaceutical website were quoted as stating that there continues to be a skills shortage across all disciplines; a lack of long-term educational investment and less development of the existing talent pool were cited as the main reaso
Running clinical trials and recruiting experienced clinical personnel in the UK has certainly challenged many senior managers and recruiters over the past year. At a recent UK conference, both the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and a UK pharmaceutical website were quoted as stating that there continues to be a skills shortage across all disciplines; a lack of long-term educational investment and less development of the existing talent pool were cited as the main reasons.
With both pharmaceutical companies and CROs requiring two years’ experience when recruiting, and in a climate where experienced clinical personnel expect rapid career management, development, and rapid career progression, i3 Pharma Resourcing UK and Ireland has reviewed how we work to ensure that we continue to deliver to our three areas of focus:
As a result, we have effected a number of changes, the initial and most significant of which impacts our internal resourcing and management group to ensure that we continue to remain responsive to employee, client, and candidate requirements.
We are pleased to report that we have been joined by Michelle Hunter who, as Recruiting Manager, brings eight years of recruiting experience, and by Charlie Mackay (née Stevens), recently back from Australia, who now serves our UK team as Senior Resourcing Manager. Other additions to our staff include Sarah Kettlewell as Senior Administrator and Nicola Stansfield as Field Based Manager with Employee Focus, while Jo Fleming from our Human Capital department now works for us as Recruiter.
Claire Hutton has been promoted to Resourcing Manager in recognition of her excellent work satisfying both our clients and candidates. In her new role, Claire now has responsibility for recruiting trainees into our training program. While many of our candidates interview with our clients, we also place a significant number directly with pharmaceutical companies or with i3 Research, our CRO; Claire Armstrong looks after this side of our business and is always happy to talk through options and offer career advice.
These personnel changes will help us balance the needs of our employees, candidates, and clients, while aiding us in being more responsive to the UK market, developing our employees, having an urgency when recruiting, and increasing innovation in how we recruit and retain.
Another area of innovation is our development of the Partnership Training Program (PTP). Introduced in response to a UK client evening at i3, PTP enhances our ability to recruit, train, and place work-experienced graduates within client organizations. To date, five customers have partnered with i3 on this program, and a client recently utilized it to provide their employees with an introduction to clinical research. In a new venture, i3 Pharma Resourcing now also offers the training for a fee to high-calibre candidates who are keen to enter the industry; this latter program has proven extremely successful with 60 percent of the first group already placed by us. Monica Evans, who has taken on the development of PTP, is available to discuss program details should you be looking to change career and move into clinical, or if you are unsure how to resource for the more junior roles. Overall, we view our Partnership Training Program as a great way to give something back to our industry.
We are seeing an increase in customers requesting resourcing services outside of the UK and Ireland, and are in the fortunate position of being able to work with our i3 Pharma Resourcing offices in France, Germany, and Spain on the pan-European opportunities and with Australia and the US on the global ones. For i3 Pharma Resourcing UK, this is an exciting development and we are enjoying the challenges it brings, as well as the opportunity it provides us to work more closely with our colleagues in the various countries.
In 2004, i3 Pharma Resourcing introduced Best Practices to benchmark the services we offer to our clients and candidates and aid in the ongoing management of our employees. Given the changes in the UK market and our restructure, we have reviewed these and will be re-introducing them in September 2006. At the same time, we will be launching two new employee-focused plans, Career Development and Project Reassignment. We strongly believe that these will reinforce our ability to do what is right, consistently and appropriately.
Our UK list of clients has grown to the extent that we are not so dependent upon several large customers—enabling us to avoid having all our eggs in one basket, so to speak—and in the past 12 months, many pharmaceutical companies, both large and small, have chosen us as their preferred provider. Such developments not only serve to recognize the excellent work i3 Pharma Resourcing is doing, we believe, but also create a considerably larger number of client-based opportunities for our insourced employees when considering a project move or reassignment.
Other challenges within the UK market relate to legislation where, on October 1, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 (age discrimination) and the new Work and Families Act will both come into force. In response, i3 Pharma Resourcing hosted another client evening to prepare both our recruiters and client hiring managers for these impending changes in an effort to help them avoid the pitfalls that await the unwary.
In summary, the UK market remains dynamic and exciting and the i3 Pharma Resourcing UK and Ireland team is well-placed and structured to rise to any of the above challenges as well as those not yet visible on the horizon. To find out more about us, please visit us at www.i3careers.com or contact Iain Jessup for an invitation to one of our regular client evenings.