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Current Talent Shortage

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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:34 pm

Raphael, the sarcasm is unnecessary and only detracts from your commentary. Please refrain in the future, because as you know, this is a moderated forum and we do not take kindly to "rants."

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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby Nate W. » Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:12 pm

Raphael Mueller wrote:As long as this won't change: Welcome to all Dr. Glorified Administrative Assistants and articles about companies complaining they can't get the right employees with the right skills...


Just delete this. You make a valid point that there is degree creep in the biotech job market.
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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby Nate W. » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:13 pm

The author of this article needs to make a distinction among various job markets in the STEM category. There is a shortage of well qualified candidates in engineering and computer science due to the growth of the high tech industry and the increase use of that technology. The job market in the life sciences is completely different. There is a glut of well qualified candidates with advanced degrees in the life sciences. The biotech job market is highly restricted by geographic (i.e. hub cities) and regulatory barriers. Biotech is a two-tiered industry where startups discover the technology and the pharmaceutical companies, for the most part, commercialize and market the technology. Thus, the startups are bought out for investor returns by their big pharma collaborators. Thus, most of the scientific hiring happens at the startups but these positions are often short lived to reap investor returns and that startups can’t raise the capital to be a self-sustaining company (i.e. due to regulatory costs of drug development and the lack the expertise in marketing pharmaceuticals).

The bottom line is that this article is geared more for the high tech industry not the biotech or pharmaceutical industries. As Dave has alluded in his LinkedIn post about this article, pin-point hiring in biotechnology sector is a problem created by non-technical recruiters, w/o a scientific expertise, evaluating candidates based on keywords and not relevant content. This is why I believe candidates should network directly with hiring managers and circumvent normal recruiting channels (besides submitting a resume and making nice with HR). If biotech HR or recruiters are having a problem with a real “skills gap”, like that in the high tech industry, maybe the problem is that they don’t understand the technology. If so, let the managers with the technical expertise evaluate the credentials of prospective candidates. Because of this phenomenon many well qualified candidates are getting overlooked and the HR crowd is crying “skills gap” when it doesn’t exist. Maybe recruiters should look in the mirror and ask themselves if they have the expertise to evaluate the technical qualifications of these candidates. Otherwise, defer to the manager.

As qualifications requirements and the technology advances, this can be a challenge for a lay person when the competition is fierce and the distinctions among candidates is subtle.
Last edited by Nate W. on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby Raphael Mueller » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:18 pm

I deleted it, thanks for constructive criticism and back to topic.

I tried to point out that with our current situation in the life science we might just have to rethink our education system. I attended recently in my company a career talk and it started with: "how many different jobs did your parents have and have many do we think digital natives will have". The answer was I think 3-5 for the first am 20 for the second.

So their point was the we have to rethink the way education has been working so far and that we need to constantly learn and change our skills during our working life.
So I fully agree on this part of the article:
"and spent some of the money on training that we currently spend on recruiting, we would create a vibrant and creative workforce ready to tackle the demands of the future."

Sorry again.
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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby Nate W. » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:56 pm

Raphael Mueller wrote:I deleted it, thanks for constructive criticism and back to topic.

I tried to point out that with our current situation in the life science we might just have to rethink our education system. I attended recently in my company a career talk and it started with: "how many different jobs did your parents have and have many do we think digital natives will have". The answer was I think 3-5 for the first am 20 for the second.

So their point was the we have to rethink the way education has been working so far and that we need to constantly learn and change our skills during our working life.
So I fully agree on this part of the article:
"and spent some of the money on training that we currently spend on recruiting, we would create a vibrant and creative workforce ready to tackle the demands of the future."

Sorry again.


Lost in this discussion is the elephant in the room (i.e. the real topics behind the problem which few will admit). When this happens, well educated individuals want to rationalize and deflect from the truth with plausible sounding reasons. Sometimes there is an agenda behind this misdirection; you have to sort the rubbish from the truth. The elephants here are:

1) nobody wants to pay for training no matter how minor (e.g. salesforce.com experience required; get a certificate yourself).

2) there is a glut of well trained biologists with industry experience who will pay for further training; why not be picky!

3)HR/recruiters get paid to shorten the stack of qualified candidates when they might not have the expertise to evaluate candidates scientifically; self created skills gap to explain their lack of ability or effectiveness.

This is a sign of the time. Where companies just don't want to pay for training and academia wants to benefit from cheaper labor and/or additional certificate or educational programs to shore up "so called gaps" or regulatory concerns about worker training. For example, diagnostics companies and medical technologist (MT) licensing programs in CA. CA requires all MTs to work for free in a CLIA academic lab for 1 year in order to get a license regardless of your previous experience. Please give me a break; free labor for academic CLIA labs!
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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby D.X. » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:12 am

Here' my view and its a bit related to Company Training and development but more willingess of a Company to hire someone who has potential but a bit rough around the edges.

In General, in my opinion, its not a shortage of STEM workers as the article notes, but it is in fact the shortage of the "right" Talent.

Today, in the the Business world at least for the non-technical/Jobs its more than scientific know how or technical knowledge. Today its about having that knowledge AND its about having a workstyle that is consistent with being a leader, a team-payer, a cross-functional influencer, effective and super efficient communicator, a harmonizer, while carrying a well-established business-minded way of working. Now ticking all those boxes, is difficult.

Now take that, combined with super picky employers due to a super competitive and global Level market place and you get the perscieved Talent shortage.

So today you have 150 applicants for a job, of which really say 70% are sufficiently qualified if you check the STEM box - but then you start narrowing down based on "fit" and so called "right" Talent - next then you know then say 5% fits the bill, 3% get a call, and you start to get to the Notion that there is a Talent shortage.

Then there is the Age and experience perspective. Folks rise up with Age and experience but as one increase with age, there is a diminshing return on value of experience - so perhaps a 35 year old is more valuable than a 50 year old and that adds as well - an that addes to percieved shortage. But let me not talk further on this one.

Quite often I have heard that the Talent shortage from hiring Managers is not due to a gap in STEM backgrouds as appropriate but its that "chutzpah" they're looking for - that well rounded Person - who's just perfect, no rough edges, that eloquent Speaker with presentation skills to match a News anchor and leadership skills of Captain Piccard - when you start digging deeper.

Now from a career development perspective as it pertains to me. What took me ahead in the begining was in part my Science Background -but what differentiated me was that other stuff - so called soft skills, presentation skills, ability to alivate fear that I would diminish crediblity of my Boss, myself, my Team etc. I'm not a News anchor or Captain Piccard, but aspiring to that seems to work.

So a bit wordy, but to me the so called shortage of STEM is beyond STEM, its the the STEM with the right stuff - smooth talker, calm, cool, collected, Team Player, influencer, Driver, solid communicator. And that's the shortage. And much related again to employers who are not willing to take a risk on someone with any rough spots - who are Diamonds in the rough so to speak, who just Need a bit of polishing for super value.

Just my opinion...

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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby E.K.L. » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:52 am

Nate W. wrote:The author of this article needs to make a distinction among various job markets in the STEM category. There is a shortage of well qualified candidates in engineering and computer science due to the growth of the high tech industry and the increase use of that technology. The job market in the life sciences is completely different. There is a glut of well qualified candidates with advanced degrees in the life sciences. The biotech job market is highly restricted by geographic (i.e. hub cities) and regulatory barriers.


I'm not sure if one can separate engineering/IT from life sciences nowadays. They are becoming more and more interconnected, and I think in a way the former is contributing to the job shortage of the latter.

For example: there is a shift in the diagnostic industry towards automation and point-of-care testing, because it allows to downsize personnel. Nowadays technology makes it possible to move away from the old scheme of take sample > analyze in the laboratory, and brings the testing directly to the patient.

Consider: some assays can actually be run by the patients themselves at home (e.g. blood sugar). The patient receives the POCT device, takes a sample, the device analyzes it automatically and sends the data directly to the physician. For this you don't need laboratory personnel at all, but you do need IT people to take care of data handling and software troubleshooting. And I think this will be reflected in the industry as well, which will need more and more engineers and software developers, instead of life scientists.
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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby PACN » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:34 pm

Dave Jensen wrote:But, if you were a finalist for a position, and you wanted that job, wouldn't you accept a week's paid consultancy to take a shot at it? I would hope that every reader of this forum would have that kind of burning desire to make a successful transition. I wouldn't be too receptive, if I were the hiring manager, to someone who I offered $2000 to, and who was one of two or three people who had a shot at a full-time job in my team. I think that would be a real turn off.

Making the move from academia to industry takes a huge effort. If something like this was offered, my guess is still that those who were interested would raise their hand and find a way to make it work. Perhaps it would end up being a filter - those who make the move successfully to industry would be self-selected, so to speak.

Dave


I don't know. If I had no vacation time left and needed to take a week to do an extended job interview-- how do you work that out? It doesn't seem likely that my current employer would be particularly willing to accommodate. If that seems unlikely, consider this-- at my last place of employment, I had to use all of my vacation and personal days as part of my maternity leave. I couldn't take any vacation days for the rest of the fiscal year. Add to that uncertainty that there were no guarantees that I would get the job at the end, even if I did a good job, since there are several other candidates doing the same thing-- I don't know if I could do it, regardless of how much I wanted the job. It seems to me it selects for the people who have the most flexibility in their current jobs, who can tolerate the most risk, or have other financial resources to fall back on.
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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby RSD » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:23 pm

So a bit wordy, but to me the so called shortage of STEM is beyond STEM, its the the STEM with the right stuff - smooth talker, calm, cool, collected, Team Player, influencer, Driver, solid communicator. And that's the shortage.


This rings true to me. There are plenty of candidates out there who are qualified on paper, but don't deliver on the leadership qualities and other soft skills. One doesn't have to be a game show host or overly charismatic, but demonstrating overall competence, clear communication, and self awareness is critical, in my opinion.
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Re: Current Talent Shortage

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:38 pm

PACN wrote:
Dave Jensen wrote:But, if you were a finalist for a position, and you wanted that job, wouldn't you accept a week's paid consultancy to take a shot at it? I would hope that every reader of this forum would have that kind of burning desire to make a successful transition. I wouldn't be too receptive, if I were the hiring manager, to someone who I offered $2000 to, and who was one of two or three people who had a shot at a full-time job in my team. I think that would be a real turn off.

Making the move from academia to industry takes a huge effort. If something like this was offered, my guess is still that those who were interested would raise their hand and find a way to make it work. Perhaps it would end up being a filter - those who make the move successfully to industry would be self-selected, so to speak.

Dave


It seems to me it selects for the people who have the most flexibility in their current jobs, who can tolerate the most risk, or have other financial resources to fall back on.


No, in my opinion, it would select for people who will do anything necessary to land a good job in a company. And it would get people who do not have a long list of check boxes on their CV, people with a good brain but no industry training, into jobs in companies.

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