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Life Science Careers: Leveraging AI in Talent Acquisition and Industry Expertise for Employers and Employees

Life Science Careers: Leveraging AI in Talent Acquisition and Industry Expertise for Employers and Employees

Employers and employees alike will benefit from new AI-driven approaches that can assist with both internal and external talent sourcing. Acquisition of the right talent and a robust company culture are key to success in key pharma fields including clinical research.

At the helm of industry-leading teams is the right combination of expertise, skills and experiences that help drive forward business and innovation. This begins with recruitment and acquisition of the right talent.

While a lot of companies aim to recruit and acquire talent from external sources to diversify and attain specific skillsets, others may opt to leverage and tap potential from employees within their organization, recognizing their experience and aptitudes.

Unless it is a complete horizontal shift, there is usually always a learning curve for new employees, a lot of which can involve adapting to a new company and its culture. This can be mitigated with internal candidate searches, making transitions potentially shorter and smoother.

Companies not only need to be experienced and skilled in their subject matter of expertise, but also in the hiring processes that allow them to become those experts. Acquiring the right talent to drive forward the goals of a company is key to success. Therefore, the role of HR is critical at any organization. Combined with the increasing trend towards, and need of, more automated, objective and transparent hiring practices that can be achieved with sophisticated technologies such as AI, understanding the benefits of the evolving era of talent acquisition is critical for both employers and employees.

In upcoming Xtalks webinars, experts will share their insights into hiring practices and leveraging technologies such as AI in talent acquisition.

Join a webinar titled Unlocking Internal Workforce Potential, at Scale, with AI on February 18 to learn how employers can use AI-based technologies to streamline their hiring practices. And on February 19, join An Insider’s Look: How Syneos Health is Shortening the Distance from Lab to Life in Clinical Trials for key industry HR insights for jobseekers.

AI-Driven Talent Acquisition and Internal Sourcing

Traditionally, talent acquisition has involved going out into the field to hunt for specific abilities and expertise externally. Bringing in new talent has been a way to attract candidates with new skills, diversified experiences and leaders in the field, particularly at the executive level. Bringing in the best of the best has been the conventional wisdom behind external candidate searches.

However, more and more companies are now realizing that sourcing talent internally is also a great, and often desirable, option. Not only can it save on HR resources, but hiring a candidate that currently works at a given company breeds familiarity on both sides of the spectrum, from the perspective of both the employer and employee, allowing for more seamless transitions into new roles in many cases.

Talent acquisition specialists on HR teams can spend upwards of a year seeking out desired talent externally. While an internal candidate search may seem easier at first glance, there are some inherent challenges associated with identifying and scoping out the relevant skills and expertise even within a company. It’s simply not as easy as it seems.

For example, it can be difficult to even identify members that possess, or have developed, the desired skills over their time at the company. This can be a particular problem in larger companies. In this way, many qualified candidates, who have acquired skills and experience at the very same organization, can often fall through the cracks and go unidentified.

Many of these challenges can be addressed with technology. In particular, AI-driven talent acquisition has been gaining traction in recent years for the benefits it can offer, especially for the sourcing of internal candidates.

In a webinar coming up on February 18, experts from Deloitte, Bayer and Eightfold AI will discuss the increasing usefulness and necessity of technologies such as AI in sourcing and leveraging internal talent. AI can help identify networks of potential candidates based on skills, and even personality attributes, and match them to the needs of a given role.

Below are some of the ways that AI can assist in talent acquisition to effectively tap internal pools of candidates as well as optimize external talent searches, making the process easier and more seamless for employers and talent acquisition specialists.

1. Candidate Sourcing

AI can help build pools and networks of candidates faster and more efficiently compared to traditional labor-intensive approaches. Owing to its capacity to rapidly process large amounts of data, AI can identify pools of potential candidates from which sub-pools and defined groups can be developed through targeted algorithms. Moreover, AI has the power to fuel a broad reach, extending out into local, national and international markets to harness data from user profiles worldwide. By leveraging AI technology, organizations can cut the time spent on advertising on job boards, social media and manually going through resumes and profiles online.

2. Candidate Screening and Assessment

The next step in the hiring process is screening potential candidates from the applicant pool. There can be hundreds or thousands of applicants for a given job. As opposed to manually sifting through resumes, or using older computer-based approaches, which can often be inaccurate, machine learning and deep learning-based AI approaches can offer a more targeted way to zero in on specific skills and experiences, and match them to the role. These approaches can involve sophisticated pattern recognition and contextual analysis techniques.

3. Data and Analytics

Gathering data from candidates and performing relevant and targeted analytics can be achieved with AI. Communication data in the form of emails, screening questions, online chats and even telephone calls can be collected and subject to sophisticated, high-level analysis driven by AI. Processes are automated from start to end — from analyzing applicant data to decision-making through to following up with candidates. Offer letters, conducting background checks and other administrative paperwork can be digitized and automated through AI.

4. Interviewing and Onboarding

Conducting interviews is a time-consuming process that involves a lot of administrative coordination. It can be a stressful process for both employers, and especially employees. AI approaches can help make the process more strategic by developing targeted questionnaires and “AI robots” that conduct short, timed interviews. These can be recorded for later viewing if employers wish to get a better feel for candidates that reach final rounds of selection.

Once an applicant is selected, AI approaches can also be used to help with the onboarding of new employees. With a lot of paperwork and administrative tasks involved at the onset, machine learning approaches can minimize and eliminate a lot of the frills by allowing for the direct entry of data and information into databases. The data can then be quickly organized and filed by AI algorithms.

AI can also foster more targeted efficiencies in specific areas such as diversity and remote hiring. Digitized and AI approaches can not only assist employers to make the process of talent acquisition less labor and time-intensive, but it can also benefit potential employees by offering a more objective, targeted and transparent hiring process. This can result in positive experiences for both employers and employees.

The Importance of Both Expertise and Company Culture

As a company builds a reputable name for itself owing to its approaches to building expertise, driving innovation and developing a robust client base, it is likely that it will be excelling in most other areas as well. This includes hiring practices and HR management.

As companies look to grow and expand, or maintain current operations, the need for talent is constant. Organizations are always on the lookout for the best skills and expertise, and some are better at finding them than others.

When potential candidates are embarking on a job search, it is often important that not only are defined skills and experiences aligned with a given role at a company, but also that some of the intangibles are also in sync. For example, a company’s values and goals often speak to their general motivations and can offer insight into company culture. It is important that potential candidates not only thoroughly acquaint themselves with the job description, but also the company description, both on paper and in the real world.

In the upcoming webinar by Syneos Health, experts will discuss their company culture and how that has been important in fueling their success and acquisition of high-level talent. The company is focused on helping develop and deliver therapeutics to patients by leading clinical trials globally. They pride themselves on their unique approach of allowing flexibility and personalization at all levels, from each patient in a trial to every company employee. They will discuss how they achieve this by having a people-centric approach, which helps build expertise to deliver excellence.

Individuals looking to start, or further their careers in clinical research can benefit from the inside look that experts from Syneos will provide in the webinar. With a number of clinical research associate and management opportunities available through their industry partners in pharma, the presentation will offer a deep dive into clinical research jobs, as well as highlight the importance of pharma company culture. This will help job seekers learn more about specific positions and the industry as a whole.

Jobseekers can register for the informative webinar by Syneos on February 19, and employers can learn about AI-driven talent acquisition in another webinar to be held on February 18.