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Is Pharma industry expecting rapid growth? What is the recruitment strategies that a Pharma company adheres to? Swati Chabra: Assistant Manager HR at Avantor Performance Materials, Inc. speaks on this and a lot more at CBHR Talk. Avantor is a new identity, in terms of Indian market perspective and Avantor has been primarily known as RFCL Limited in Indian market.

Here is a direct conversation:

In which domain does your company majorly work upon?

If I talk about Avantor’s division, we are mainly into pharma segment, refine chemicals division as well as the diagnostic segment. Lab products, what we usually call our fine chemical division is the division that deals into fine chemicals for industries like the big industries which are into chemical, manufacturing, or probably using these chemicals in the end products. When I talk about Pharma, all the big pharma consumers, who are into manufacturing of medicines, we are one of their partners and supply fine chemicals to them for those process. When I talk about the diagnostic segment, i.e. the third segment we have in Avantor, it would majorly focus upon the health care industry, it is the part of the health care industry I should say, and we are also into diagnostic, life sciences, and wherein, we are partnering with the famous pathology labs & hospitals across India.

Did you notice any change in the recruitment trends?

Definitely the recruitment trend has changed from what it was in probably you can say last decade. It’s a very traditional industry, wherein we definitely hire people through portals, and references. In fact, I would say, reference is the main source from wherein I get the most or majority of the talent in my organization. And rest, we are definitely dependent on the portal.

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What role does Social Media has to play?

With age & time, social media has been one major aspect wherein people are focusing upon to look for new jobs, and we as HR are concerned, and we are focusing on to look for the new talent, the quality talent I should say. Because there is definitely a dearth of people available in the talent market but not everyone suits to my industry.

Can we expect rapid growth in your industry?

Definitely, with so many options coming in the refine chemical industry, there is so much of growth. Pharma industry is growing at a very fast pace, and we are expecting a good growth of say around 20% this financial year as well. So, definitely, there is a lot of demand from the business managers, for us to look for quality employees and we are definitely referring to LinkedIn these days.

What about LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has definitely come out as one of the very important source of hiring as far as social media is concerned. We are not going to Facebook & Twitter because they have certain policies, wherein the company has still not established itself, and for the company like Avantor, wherein, there is not much of an employer branding initiative as of now because we are too new & small for that, we are definitely building the reputation of each & every individual in the HR, who builds up his own credibility on LinkedIn and people know us as the face of the organization, so we are trying to leverage that.

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What about your association with CareerBuilder?

We recently had a partnership with CareerBuilder, wherein we have tied up with them globally. So the talent network opportunity that we are leveraging from CareerBuilder is something very new. All the applicants that are coming to my portal are coming to me through CareerBuilder, I directly get the resumes in my inbox, and the quality of the resume seems to be good. So, I’m sure the company is building up the new ways & new things to build up on the talent pool.

Give us an example of a talent that you hired?

Recently, I would like to quote an example of an intern that I have hired, so we have summer interns coming to us, then we do competency mapping of the entire market in the lab products or I should say the refine chemicals & the diagnostic industry and it is totally helping. So we would like to build more upon the employer branding initiative at the same time I would like to focus on the social media going forward.

Your thoughts on traditional & social media:

If I talk of traditional media, then that has been a major source for hiring in our type of industry. But I have always seen that it is more of a cycle that happens. So the same person might come back to me after four to five years and I need to rehire because there are some three to four players in this sort of the market in the industry that we are operating in.

When it comes to social media, people are more open, they are more flexible, they want to change their functions, they want to change their industry, plus at the same time they are more aware. So, that’s one advantage of the social media that I have been facing that people are more open and adaptable to the kind of changes that happen in the organization because they have that kind of the mindset but at the same time, the biggest advantage with traditional media at the other hand is that we are very well aware of the industry that I am operating, so there has to be a balance of what I hire from traditional & social media because I need both kind of people in my organization.

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