Stephen Rose, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Stephen Rose, talent acquisition director, Bristol-Myers Squibb. Image: Luke Maxwell

BMS: ‘We’re looking for the best and brightest talent’

1 Jun 2017

In light of continued growth in the biopharma sector, Bristol-Myers Squibb discusses what they look for from candidates, and why Ireland is an ideal biopharma hub.

The Irish biopharma sector is booming, which translates to a whole lot of jobs for talented pharma professionals. In a world where the opportunities in this area are manifold, it can be hard to know where your talents are best suited.

Looking at what each company offers and looks for can be a simple way to discern between what, on the surface, seem like very similar firms.

At a recent National Institute of Biopharma Research and Training (NIBRT) careers event, we caught up with Stephen Rose, talent acquisition director at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), to find out who the pharma giant is targeting.

“We’re looking for the best and brightest talent in the marketplace right now,” said Rose. “We’re currently hiring aggressively in Ireland for a number of different positions.”

But what is it that will draw that talent to working in biopharma, and to working at BMS specifically?

According to Rose, it’s a culture of teamwork, and the products themselves: “Working on cutting-edge technology, working in leading products and getting those to our patients as quickly as possible is extremely motivating for all of the team.”

That’s a common theme in pharma companies, and something that’s supporting the boom in the sector in Ireland. Many of biopharma’s best-selling medicines are manufactured right here.

So why is Ireland an ideal hub for biopharma?

“We have a strong hub here of talent,” said Rose. “Its strategical location is excellent, and the quality of people and candidates that we can achieve here, and hire [here], is extremely high.”

Competition for talent

While Ireland is replete with talent, it is also facing increased competition, as biopharma recruitment increasingly becomes a global affair. As a result, the sector needs to place a strong focus on developing the biopharma talent pipeline in Ireland.

Earlier this week, we spoke to Louise Prendergast, HR director of biologics at BMS in Ireland, about getting more talent into the world of life sciences.

Prendergast was optimistic about making up any potential shortfall: “Ireland is seen as a biotech hub. The good news is that a number of the skills in small molecule can be transferred and enhanced with further training, supporting the move from pharma to biopharma.”

Is that a move you’ll be part of?

Kirsty Tobin
By Kirsty Tobin

Kirsty Tobin served as careers editor of Silicon Republic from 2015 up to August 2017. When she was younger, she had a dream where she started and won a fight with a T-Rex, so she’s pretty sure she kicked butt at this, too. Passions include eating all the cake, watching more TV than is healthy and sassy comebacks.

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