New to the industry PostDocs: What do they need to know?

You have openings in your R&D team that require a PhD.  You would be fine with recent PostDocs, if only…..

hiring postdocs

We know that the current recruiting methods are not really very good.  Lots of information is lost between the needs of the department, the hiring manager’s articulation of them, the HR person’s written job description and the hopes of the potential candidates, especially those looking for their first job after academia.

I’ve been in this business long enough that we went from the time of finding people from academia (with nine papers in something obscure) for R&D spots to now when hiring managers and HR people really would prefer someone with at least 2-3 years of industry under their belts.

Of course this frightens the newly graduated and may eliminate the very people who can take a company to its next big product.

So why is this?

What I have heard from hiring managers is that the pace of work in industry is simply much faster than academia and does not allow for the exploration of all of the possibilities of a lead molecule or protein.  They say that it takes some experience and time for a newly minted PhD to realize that the clinical, product and marketing endpoints are much more important than knowing “everything” about a molecule or protein.

Is this all that it is?  What else makes the “veteran” of a few years in another company “better than” the fresh from school PhD?

Are you hoping to get some inside information from the other company?  Process expertise?  Simply less “wetness behind the ears”?

What advice would you give the person currently prepping for their PhD defense and looking for their first industry job?

HR and Hiring Managers , , , ,

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