Justyna Kroplewska
Head of Life Sciences and Human Resources

Mexico Uneven on Talent Supply and Demand

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 14:50

Talent management is undoubtedly crucial to business strategy and firms are not only defined by their products, services, corporate strategy and prestige but by the people who are actually making decisions, contacting customers and running the business on a daily basis. “Companies are not fully dedicated to finding the right talent so most of our clients reach out to us when they need to find the most qualified candidate at a given time or under certain circumstances,” explains Justyna Kroplewska, Head of Life Sciences and Human Resources at Hays. In today’s everchanging and complicated landscape in the healthcare and life sciences industry understanding client needs is a must, which is why Hays has a division completely dedicated to this sector. The life sciences division has been one of Hays' most important ones since it started operations in Mexico City in 2001. “We are aiming to invest more in this area and become more specialized to provide the best recruitment consulting services for companies,” says Kroplewska.

In collaboration with Oxford Economics, Hays releases a publication called Hays Global Skill Index annually, which presents a ranking that evaluates the supply and demand for talent at a global level. According to Kroplewska, Mexico presents uneven levels of supply and demand when it comes to human capital, which results in significant difficulties when looking for specialized talent. “The only thing companies can do is focus on retaining talent through several human resources management strategies, such as offering global mobility, international exposure, training and development and attractive compensation packages,” she adds. Companies in the life sciences industry are looking for a different skillset than before. As explained in the Labor Market Analysis conducted by Hays, pharmaceutical companies used to focus on hard skills, technical knowledge and educational background but today soft skills are more relevant. “Communication, leadership and talent management abilities are more important as managers need to cultivate teams and not having this particular skillset makes failure more likely within the organization,” says Kroplewska. She believes the government should foster exchange programs so that professionals can enrich their experience.

As for the brain drain trend that Mexico has seen with scientists leaving the country seeking better opportunities, Kroplewska affirms that opportunities in this arena are still relatively limited in Mexico. “It is a shame to lose the talent we have in the country because we are not ready to offer solid career development options,” she says. “While we support exchange programs, it is also important to retain Mexican talent in Mexico.” Hays has a global reach while looking for specific profiles and its huge professional database includes Mexicans living abroad who might be interested in returning to the country to continue with their career path.

Kroplewska considers the most important part of her job is finding the right match between companies and candidates, which can be challenging. Although the human resource firm provides services for many multinational companies operating in the same sector in reality they have different values, policies and procedures. Before an employee requirement even arises the values, core activities and future plans of the company must be deeply understood because these differences will determine if a candidate will fit with a certain ethos and vice versa. “At Hays we believe the right job can transform a person’s life and the right person can transform a business,” she states.

Employee turnaround issues are not unique to the pharmaceutical industry but they actually are a global phenomenon across many sectors. Kroplewska observes that commercial positions rotate the most in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. People are continuously looking for different challenges. “Gone are the days when people stayed in a company for 10, 20, or 30 years,” she explains. “Today, we see a lot of movement every two, three, or four years.”. When candidates cannot find new challenges in the companies they are working at they start looking for opportunities outside. For Kroplewska, this has both advantages and disadvantages since companies actually spend considerable amounts of resources in training and developing staff and when talent leaves, businesses suffer from knowledge gaps. However, a company would certainly lack innovation should it retain the same personnel for 20 years. She believes receiving talent from other companies can be enriching because people incorporate best practices and values from previous experiences. Yet, having a high turnaround in a short period of time could be damaging for sales positions because the sales cycle requires people to stay for a set time to create a strategic plan, implement and obtain the return on investment.