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Chapter 4 Recruitment process of pharmaceutical industry

4.1 Forms of recruitment – internal external

4.2 Recruitment planning
4.2.1 Organizational issues
In house Vs recruitment agency
Centralized Vs Decentralized

4.2.2 Administrative issues-

Staff engagement proposal
Number of contacts
Type of contacts
Development recruitment guide
Selecting recruiters

4.3Strategic development
4.3.1 Closed open and targeted recruitment
4.3.2 Recruitment sources
4.3.3 Choice of sources
4.3.4 Manpower approval process
4.4 Applicant searching
4.4.1 Communication message
4.4.2 Communication medium
4.4.3 Advertisement guidelines
The recruitment process of pharmaceutical industry can be
generally classified into some types, which are done based on the
various job grade/ group. These are as follows:
1) Entry-level Management and officers (MR, SR, MPR)
2) MT (Manager Trainee)
3) Mid or / and Senior level management
4) Graded staff / Non- management staff/Support Stuff

A responsibility for recruitment usually lies with the HR

department. This department works to find and attract capable
applicants. Job description and specification provide the needed
information upon which the recruitment process starts. The
recruitment functions of HR department are given below:

1. Need Assessment
2. Defining the position description
3. Checking the recruiting options
4. Advertisement

4.1 Forms of recruitment

There are mainly two forms of recruitment used in the industry-
internal and external. The form of recruitment varies from job to
job. Choice of recruitment form depends on several factors such
as nature of the job, number of employees required, job worth
4.2 Recruitment planning
The HR department first focuses on certain organizational and
administrative issues for effective matching of vacant position
with applicants.

4.2.1 Organizational Issues

Following Organizational issues are considered during
recruitment process

In house vs. recruitment agency

Most companies use a combination of both. In house agencies are
mostly used for internal recruiting as companies sometimes
prefer known and experienced employees from within the
organization. Recruitment agencies are also currently used by
many companies, especially for top level position. For example,
Acme conducts head hunting via recruitment agencies. An
agency finds and prescreens applicants, referring those who
seem qualified to the organization for further assessment and
final selection. The agency can screen effectively only if it has a
clear understanding of the position it is trying to fill. Thus it is
very important that an employer be as specific and accurate as
possible when describing a position and its recruitment to an
employment agency.

Centralized vs. decentralized

A centralized recruitment function is one for which recruitment
activities are co-ordinated by HR department in the corporate
office. A decentralized recruitment function is for which individual
business unit’s individual manager co ordinates the recruitment
process. Centralized recruitment function is present in most
companies of the industry, as in most pharmaceutical companies
recruitment requires the approval of management and HRD for
manpower requisition. Also the involvement of HRD during
recruitment is essential. In some cases, decentralized recruitment
is practiced for convenience. In ACI local HR division does some
recruitment of field worker positions at ACI pharmaceuticals
factory in Naraynganj. The reason behind this is high attrition
rate and greater replacement needs in short time at field. In such
scenario decentralized approach is used to acquire cost effective
and ensure flow of operations.

4.2.2 Administrative issues

The following administrative issues might also be considered by
the companies during recruitment process-

Staff engagement proposal

A staff engagement proposal is a formal document proposing the
filling of a job opening stated and approved by the top
management. The concerned Department head usually raise job
requisition form with required information and forward it to HR
department for review and after it is justified by HR department
and approved by management recruitment process is taken
further. The new appointments must be according to the
approved HR budget and must be approved by the Managing
Number of contacts
The exact number of contacts needed to fill the vacant position
can be difficult to identify. HR usually reviews the job requisitions
and consults with related department heads to assess how many
applicants must be contacted against the job opening.

Types of contacts
The types of contacts needed depend on some variables. First,
qualifications needed to perform the job are implemented clearly.
It is done through job analysis process which is used to identify
job description and job specification.
Second, job search and choice process used by applicants is also
considered. Companies try to recognize the suitable mode for
applicant search and identify ways to attract job candidates.

Development of recruitment guide

Companies usually develop some sort of recruitment guide which
consists of details regarding recruitment approaches to be

Selecting recruiters
Recruiters come from various sources, including HR personnel,
Head of business unit or divisions, senior managers etc.
Sometimes recruiters are hired from outside, if required.

4.3 Strategic development

After the completion of recruitment planning, HR proceeds with
development of a strategy. A general strategy development
process includes:

4.3.1 Closed open and targeted recruitment

After the approval of the staff proposal, HR department
determines where to find applicants.
In practice, during the assessment of the job the following things
are to be considered:
 Whether the work is difficult or not.
 Whether experience is required or not.
 What are the qualities needed for the work to be done?
 When the work will be started?
 What is the desired job demographic?

Also recruitment sources and applicant interests also have to be


4.3.2 Recruitment sources

Once it is specified how and where to look for applicants, various
sources are used for applicants search. The companies in the
industry use a variety of sources. The following sources are used
depending on situations-

Internal sources
Job posting
HR departments become involved when internal job openings are
made known to employees through job positioning programs,
which informs employees about openings and required
qualifications and invite qualified employees to apply. The notices
are usually posted on company bulletin boards or are placed in
the company newspaper. The objective of job posting is to
encourage employees to seek promotion and transfers and to
help the HR department fill internal opening and meet
employee’s personal objectives. Job posting is most common for
lower level positions and for recruiting support stuff.

Promotion and transfer

Some companies use skill inventories and succession plans to fill
the need for recruitment. ACME uses this approach particularly in
the field where MRs may go up the career ladder according to
their performance and immediate supervisors’ recommendations.
Only entry level position is recruited from outside sources.

Manager referrals and networking

Manager referrals and internal advertising through networking is
another source of recruitment used by some pharmaceutical
companies in the industry.

Retired and retrenched employees

Retired employees may also be recruited once again in case of
shortage of qualified personnel or increase in load of work. Their
experience often proves valuable to the company and saves time
and cost of the organizations. In ACME some retired employees
are recruited for contractual jobs.
External sources
Most companies undertake external recruiting more as internal
sources can only fill recruitment need up to a certain level. Many
external sources are available. They are given below:

Advertisements are given to newspapers when external sources
are used. Usually it is more applicable for recruitment in higher
level positions and when mass recruitment is conducted, for
example recruitment in the field. Both Bengali and English daily
Newspapers are used for advertisement. Some companies like
GSK depend largely on newspaper advertisement for recruitment.
Companies such as Beximco Pharma Ltd. (BPL), keeps its identity
concealed in the ads, mentioning a GPO BOX number only. The
purpose of the concealed identity is to avoid the unwanted
pressure from the stakeholders for the employment of their
desired candidates. However, for support stuff most companies
do not give out advertisement, rather internal advertisement is
mostly used.

Websites have become a popular and convenient mode of
recruitment for both companies and applicants. Websites such
as bdjobs.com facilitates such recruitment.

Unsolicited applications, Walk-ins and write-ins

Walk-ins are some seekers who arrived at the HR department of
companies in search of a job; Write-ins are those who send a
written enquire. Both groups normally are asked to complete an
application blank to determine their interest and qualifications.
Usable application is kept in an active file until a suitable opening
occurs or until an application is too old to be considered valid,
usually six months. Most companies use unsolicited application
as it ensures a relatively bias free recruitment.

CV banks
The unsolicited applications stored in the data bank are
consulted. If the quality of a person matches with the
requirements mentioned in the position description, then he / she
is called for interview.

Employee reference and networks

Employee reference means using reference of current
employees. Employee reference is used by many companies in
the industry to avoid falsified information given by job
candidates. But in some companies such as ACME it is mostly
discouraged as they prefer recruiting from other sources.

University and placement offices

Some companies seeks applicant through universities and
placement offices. For instance, ACI recruits largely from such
placements but, for some companies such as Acme these sources
have been rather unsatisfactory.

Unconventional sources
Currently pharmaceutical industry is rapidly growing and the
competition is intense in the market. So naturally the need for
hiring the best employee has become one of the top priorities of
companies. Some companies have started using unconventional
sources of recruitment, particularly for high positions. For
example in Acme, Indenters or brokers, who are the local agents
of raw material suppliers have proven useful source as they have
ample information regarding the pharmaceutical companies.

4.3.3 Choice of sources

There is no single best way for recruitment. The choice depends
largely on the situation and need of the organization. Some
factors influencing the choice process have been given below:

Quantity of labor
The number of jobs vacant is an important determinant.
Sometimes organization conducts an overall review once in a
while as was done in Acme in 2008 to get a clear picture of the
recruitment needs and possible job openings. When mass
recruitment is done, companies usually use more external
sources to attract larger number of applicants.

Quality of labor
If job requirement is very high and applicants are rare then
special attention is given to recruitment. Organizations may
contact recruitment agencies, advertise through newspapers etc.

Budget constraint
While choosing sources companies always opt for less costly and
more effective sources.
Experience required
The choice of sources may also depend on the experience
needed as per the job requirement.

4.3.4 Manpower approval process

• Whenever the position becomes vacant the department
head examines if the job can be redistributed among
remaining staff or if it is at all relevant during present
circumstances. Such critical job analysis and exploration of
possibility of not replacing departing employee ensure
organizational efficiency and staff productivity.

• When recruitment is necessary which has no prior approval,

staff engagement proposal is prepared by the head
forwarded to HR. For replacement and selection for position
within the sanctioned strength limit new staff engagement
proposal may not be necessary.

• HR evaluates the proposal and forwards it to management

along with job analysis information such as job description,
job specification etc which are usually supplemented by
related department heads.

• After receiving approval HR notifies related Department

head and proceeds with the recruitment process.
• In most organizations, a manpower budget has to be
submitted each year before a particular date for evaluation.
Sometimes department heads takes approval in advance for
a year for certain positions. In ACI such procedure is
followed for entry level positions. But when increasing
manpower is beyond sanctioned limit, approval must be

4.4 Applicant Searching

After completion of recruitment planning and strategic
development, HR starts candidate searching. A message is
developed and a medium to communicate the message is

4.4.1 Communication message

Information presented by the company is essential in the
decision of the applicants. Organizations may use any four
types of messages:
1. Traditional messages
2. Realistic recruitment messages
3. Attractive messages
4. Targeted messages

Communication messages play a vital role of creating a

positive image of the company to job seekers. One of the
leading pharmaceutical companies ACI uses traditional and
attractive messages depending on situation. ACI portrays
the organization in such a manner which induces applicants
to apply- “Join and stay with ACI”. Often communication
message for non management positions is in Bengali in
order to keep communication noise to a minimum.

4.4.2 Means of Communication

Not only the communication message but also the choice
medium is very important. A lot of communication medium
is used as given below:
 Advertisement-
 Classified advertisements
 Classified displayers
 Display ads
 Online adds
 University placement office/Notice boards

4.4.3 Advertisement Guidelines

In any advertisement company may have guidelines and
procedures to ensure attractiveness of the advertisement
as well as maximum visibility and mass coverage if needed.
HR department usually makes draft of advertisement and
after finalizing it with related department head forwards it
to communication department for publication. A copy of the
advertisement may be posted on company notice board so
that employees are informed about the recruitment process
and may even refer suitable candidates for the job.
Following items may be included in the advertisement-
 Company name and logo
 Brief about the company
 Title and summary of jobs
 Required qualifications and personality traits
 Contact address for application
 Encouraging and attractive words for candidates