A group of ten people standing together in a bright white room at the opening of BioMarin Cork's new expansion.
Members of the BioMarin exec team with Government representatives. Fifth from left, Conor Delaney and eighth from left, Liz O'Mahony. Image: Michael O'Sullivan

What BioMarin is looking for in new recruits at its Irish operations

9 Jun 2023

BioMarin is recruiting technicians, scientists and engineers with various levels of experience across quality, engineering and operations at its newly expanded Cork site.

When BioMarin cut the ribbon on the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Co Cork at the end of April, it made a commitment to hire an additional 40 staff.

The biotech multinational develops and produces targeted treatments that address the root causes of serious rare genetic conditions.

Its Irish workforce is an integral part of this. The company started off here with just 12 employees in 2011, and since then it has grown to 500 staff across two locations. The Dublin office serves as BioMarin’s headquarters for Europe and Canada. But it is in Shanbally in Co Cork where a lot of the manufacturing happens – and this is the location the company has chosen to invest millions of euro in.

Conor Delaney, VP of Shanbally operations and site lead said that the April opening was the “culmination of years of innovative work and an investment of €38m over the past four years”.

Actively recruiting

“BioMarin is investing more than €30m expanding its packaging operations at Shanbally and is actively progressing with recruitment for more than 40 roles across its operations at the site.”

Delaney said the company is currently advertising vacancies on its website as well as through recruitment partners. The recruitment team is aiming to fill the roles over the coming months, but Delaney stressed that they are focused on finding the right candidates that fit with the company culture so applicants shouldn’t feel constrained by timelines. “More roles will open up as the expansion plans continue,” he added.

To find out more about the type of roles BioMarin is hiring for and their ideal candidates, SiliconRepublic.com spoke to Delaney and his colleague Liz O’Mahony, who is the senior director of people at BioMarin Ireland.

“The roles are across a broad range of functions and experience levels – we are recruiting technicians, scientists and engineers working at entry, expert, management and leadership levels across quality, engineering, operations and many other areas,” O’Mahony explained.

Competitive sector

She pointed out that the biopharma manufacturing sector is one of the biggest and most competitive employment sectors in the country. Lots of people want to work in the area, and O’Mahony has noticed that university students are engaging with potential employers even before they graduate from college.

That means BioMarin has a pretty large crop of people to pick from. O’Mahony believes it pays to be choosy when it comes to hiring – particularly when it comes to retaining talent long term and building a good workplace culture.

“It may seem counterintuitive for an employer to be picky and decide that someone who is qualified isn’t the right fit for the culture. But it is essential that we know what makes our business work – a big part of what makes BioMarin a success is the culture that has developed here.”

She said that the best foundation for building a well-functioning team is to ensure they “select the right people to begin with”. The company looks for “teamwork, communication, innovation, agility and collaboration” from its employees.

BioMarin’s Cork manufacturing site has provided therapies for patients across the globe. Now, thanks to the expansion, production levels for some of its products have increased by as much as 150pc.

Both O’Mahony and Delaney are proud of the Cork site’s success and the work ethic its employees have. “As a team, we have a collective sense of purpose that connects and drives us to strive to do the best we can for those living with rare, genetic conditions,” said Delaney.

“Our culture is inspired by the work we do and is sustained and lived by our team. Our culture isn’t driven by any one function or leadership group but is owned by everyone. It is at the heart of everything we do and keeps our organisation pushing for the best and makes us innovators and entrepreneurs in the industry.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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