Strategic Human Resource Retention Strategies

Strategic Human Resource Retention Strategies

The Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry is an industry that demands a variety of different professionals. Individuals who are skilled in chemistry, medicine, management, and marketing are just some of the areas of skill which are in demand in this industry. Because of this wide diversity of professional necessity, pharmaceutical organizations have developed a recruiting and selection approach which focuses on college graduates.

Human resource strategies for hiring are developed in order to meet the objectives of the organization. The key objectives that hiring strategy is intended to achieve competitive advantage by finding the most qualified people for particular jobs and retaining these individuals for as long as possible. There are many different strategies for achieving these objectives including the use of placement consultants, internal job postings, employee referrals or using online job portals (Bajpai and Vimhar, 2008). However, campus recruitment is the most popular hiring strategy for the pharmaceutical industry.

College Recruitment

One of the ways in which the pharmaceutical companies maintain a competitive advantage over each other is by recruiting the most talented students straight out of college. The company’s recruiters use the campus recruitment strategy not only to attract, but also to screen students for a variety of different positions prior to graduation (Management Study Guide, 2012). Pharmaceutical companies use the college recruitment strategy; however, the government, graduate schools, and non-profits utilize this strategy as well. This makes this method highly competitive.

College recruitment can occur in several different ways. One method is for the organization to sponsor small events on a campus with a few company representatives. These small events reach out to particular students who will be graduating with degrees in the fields that need fulfilling. For example, a pharmaceutical firm would notify students in the chemistry department. Being on a small scale, these sponsored events also allow for more specific recruitment if desired, such as recruiting students majoring in forensics or chemical engineering.

The other college recruitment method takes place on a much larger, campus-wide scale through job fairs. Colleges will collaborate with multiple industries and hold large job fairs several times a year. In this instance, students must be proactive about seeking out the booths of prospective employers in their field of study. Rather than recruiters going to students, the students must seek out the recruiters. As part of the screening process, it is a good indication to recruiters when a student proactively searches for the organization at a job fair.

College recruitment benefits both the organization and students. The pharmaceutical organization is able to hire new talent straight out of school either as interns or as employees. As interns, students are able to get real-world experience in their field of study and network with useful contacts while the company is able to benefit from inexpensive skilled labor while continuing the screening process for potential permanent employment if the intern is a good fit. Because the pharmaceutical industry, requires many technical fields that are in short supply of graduates, the organization will often target the best and the brightest students by offering immediate employment to attract them to the business rather than to the competitors.

Certain tactics can be used during job fairs or sponsored events to attract student interest. Depending on the budget of the organization, different levels of advertising and screening can be conducted. For example, in addition to having a booth on campus, recruiters may also throw parties, distribute small gifts, provide free meals, or sponsor entertainment. Depending on the economy, recruiters may have to spend large amounts of money to compete for creative talent. However, in more recent years during the economic slump, recruiters are inundated by many students trying to obtain a job out of college and as a result, they do not have to do anything special to attract student interest. This allows recruiters to select the most promising candidates.

The campus recruitment process also includes formal interviews with potential candidates that can either be held on campus or elsewhere. The formal interviews are important for the screening process of the hiring team and, even if the student is not hired it provides a great learning experience before they graduate. Depending upon the recruitment needs of the organization fortunate students may receive job offers before graduating.

As a strategy for hiring, college recruitment is an important tool for the pharmaceutical industry. Fresh talent can be easily sought after and hired through college recruitment to give the business an inexpensive, competitive edge. More importantly the college recruitment process allows the organization to build long-term talent while decreasing turnover. Pharmaceutical companies also encourage ongoing education in order to maintain competitive edge with industry peers. New help is often enticed with education reimbursement programs as well as investment plans such as 401Ks and health benefits. This is an important part of the recruitment process because students are shown that the company values them and is willing to invest in their future. This factor goes a long way to decreasing long term turnover.

Competitive Hiring

Not all pharmaceutical companies practice college recruitment. Many companies today have taken the approach of only hiring from their competition. As odd as it seems, many companies utilized this approach during the depressed job market of the Great Recession. This recruitment strategy occurred via an assumption that individuals who are currently employed during high unemployment must be the top performers.

“If they’re employed in today’s economy, they have to be first string,” says Ryan Ross, a partner with Kaye/Bassman International Corp., an executive recruiting firm in Dallas. Mr. Ross says more clients recently have indicated that they would prefer to fill positions with “passive candidates” who are working elsewhere and not actively seeking a job (Mattioli, 2009).

This strategy is highly controversial and costly. In most cases, individuals who are recruited in this manner need to be given significant payroll increases to change jobs (Mattioli, 2009). Typically, individuals who can be recruited in this manner are open to a negotiation which makes them prone to leaving, thus increasing long term turnover. This tactic is used in pharmaceutical companies but mostly in companies that are profitable since startups and research divisions cannot afford this recruitment method. Still, for the pharmaceutical industry most reputable and financially sound companies choose the college recruitment approach to achieving their company objectives.


“Hiring Strategies followed by Organizations”. Management Study Guide. Retrieved on September 27, 2012 from

Bajpai, Vimhar. “Innovative Hiring Strategies.” Dare. July 7, 2008. Retrieved on September 28, 2012 from

Mattioli, D. (2009, June 30). Only the employed need apply . Retrieved from 4.html

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Triola Vincent. Tue, Jun 01, 2021. Strategic Human Resource Retention Strategies Retrieved from

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