Role of HR in Pharma Industry and Recruitment Challenges

The session started at 11.15 am with a formal welcome note by prof. Veena Shenoy and Ms. Deepanshi gave the formal introduction of the guest speaker who then took over the session. The session started with an introduction to the market size and product information about the pharma industry. Then he showed us the top 10 pharma companies in India. Then he explained the advantages of the pharma industry in India.

He then gave a gist about the opportunities in the pharma industry which includes chief executive officer, vice president marking and sales, vice president in finance, logistic and production, vice president in HR, and so on. He also mentioned the challenges the pharma industry is facing are – in the process of selection of marketing and production teams. He gave the list of major 5 careers in the pharma industry and they are –

• Sales team
• R & D management
• Project management
• Manufacturing and Quality control
• Laboratory analysts
The speaker also explained the key skills and abilities required for applying in the pharma industry. The skill sets are – Computer skills, Leadership experience, Communications skills, People skills, Organizational know-how, Collaboration talent, Problem-solving abilities, etc. Then he talked about the major HR role in the pharma industry.

The speaker also explained the selection process and steps that are mention below –
• Documentation and background verification
• Offer letter issuance
• Releasing appointment orders
• On-field reporting and creating reporting systems
• Salary
• Annual increments
Then he explained the recruitment and selection process in detail. The major 5 steps involving in the recruitment process are –
• Recruitment planning (identifying job vacancy, do job analysis, create job description)
• Strategy developments
• Searching
• Screening
• Evaluation and control
The selection process could be of two types – first is an internal source which is within the organization. This helps in building the morale of the employees, take people who you can trust for the job and it could avoid more attrition as they know they have a career within. The second type is an external source. The first preference should be on referrals, salary negotiation should be on par with the existing employees of the same grade. The selected person and the referral will both be concerned about the integrity and commitment to work. Then he talked about the qualities of a good medical representative/detailer/field officer.

He also explained the major HR challenges and issues in the pharma industry. The challenges are –
• Development in technology, is a disruptive force, particularly in the pharma industry.
• Scarcity of talent. Pharmaceutical roles are mostly research-intensive and do not follow a fixed schedule.
• Employee retention

• Employee motivation
He also mentioned the attrition rate i.e., around 30% which means more work for HR. attrition is mainly from the sales & marketing team and production. The reason for this situation is – poaching in the industry for good talents, high stress at the workplace, burnout, inadequate payments, etc. Then he explained the challenges in different fields.

The speaker also gave advice to the HR students. He mentioned how to embrace passion at the same time understand strengths and weaknesses, apply what we learn in life, be tech-savvy and be competitive. Also start building the network and HR community and understand another department (such as finance, logistic, production, etc.) functions very well so as to know the productivity of each department.

The question asked in the Q & A segment was,
Q1. If a candidate doesn’t have much information or knowledge about the Pharma industry, how
difficult will it become for him/her to crack the interview??

Feedback from students:
The session was very insightful. The speaker explained the recruitment and selection process in the pharma industry. Also, the challenges they are facing in that industry regarding recruitment and selection. It was a very informative and interactive session. As a whole, students found the session engaging and informative with many live organizational examples.

About ISBR:

ISBR Business School, Bangalore-based, Top Class B School for PGDM or MBA, Consistently ranked as best B School in India, AICTE-CII Platinum Catagory, with multiple specializations.