Is it time to reseed your stability group? It’s autumn and with cooler weather, I was re-seeding some sparse patches in my lawn when the thought occurred; this process has an analogy for Stabilitarians. Are there any sparse spots in your group?
Let’s face it, Stability Operations often doesn’t rank high on the industry glamor list. It doesn’t appear in the prospectus used by on-campus recruiters, it ‘s not a stopping point for postdoc candidates and depending on the size of your company, the promotion ladder can be pretty narrow or consist of very few rungs. So how should your Stability Group remedy this? Here are 5 pathways to reseeding your group, perhaps with healthier, fast-growing and more resilient varieties of candidate than you’ve sown in the past.
In posting positions, you may seek those from in-side your company or perhaps from out of the broader pool of job seekers. When was the last time you’ve reviewed your job description and requirements? You want to be sure your candidates are well-equipped, but you don’t want to scare them off with a dire job description and a multi-page list of duties that no 3 persons could fulfill. Try using terms like rewarding, varied routine, opportunities to improve the program and grow professionally. Take a look through the job postings here on StabilityHub and follow the links to see great examples of what and what not to do in describing your position. Investigate the reasons why recently departed employees left the position and do your best to remediate any negative causes. Sophisticated candidates will be conducting their own investigation and you’ll want their sources reporting that all is well.
#2 Natural Jumps Over the Fence
There’s a great advantage in luring a star from another group into yours. While HR may not be applauding, you can pick up someone who doesn’t have to move cross-country, already navigates the corporate values, company rules, and benefits program and you’ll be able to get some great internal feedback on their work style and ethic. You can also focus on obtaining specific talents for your operations. Over the years I’ve managed to pick up staff from Analytical Sciences, Sample Management, Statistics, Microbiology and Information Technology, all filling in skills gaps that had been underserved.
Harness the relationships gained with Stability Stakeholders to make sure those around you are aware of the role Stability plays in the organization and how your group may have fewer stresses than some of the stakeholders have. Utilize group liaisons and joint group meetings to know and be known by the teams you interact with.
#3 Industry Conferences
Conferences, particularly those of the annual variety, where you may see and interact with talented individuals year after year. They may bring presentations or perhaps participate knowledgeably in in-depth discussions, giving you an idea of what they could bring to the table. In addition, it’s very likely you may be able to interact with, or observe them socially in end of day dinners or activities to gain an impression of how well they would fit in with your team. Interestingly, they may be evaluating you as a potential manager.
#4 Industry Committees
You may have the opportunity to serve on an industry committee or working group addressing some aspect on the stability spectrum. While less likely to have a social component, there is an opportunity to see someone’s depth of expertise and style of interaction and leadership. The advantage of the Committee over the Conference is that it will probably meet much more frequently and it’s less likely that attendees will be alternating with colleagues or perhaps sampling other conferences than the one you attend. This author was recruited for a new position by a fellow committee member that he never met in person, but had demonstrated the qualities that his colleague’s company was seeking.
#5 Stability Intern Program
While Fall represents the traditional conclusion of an internship, it’s exactly the right time to initiate one for next Spring. Typically, candidates apply by the first of the year. Additionally, your company may have partnerships with local educational institutions for Work-Study programs where classes and work experience occur simultaneously during the school semester. The key to internships is to have a well-defined plan of instruction, responsibilities and opportunities matched with a specific mentor or team of mentors that will never leave an intern vegetating unattended in their cubicle. Participating in corporate training as much as possible and shadowing those with technical expertise, interns can take on tasks such as inventory, retained sample examination, setting down study starts as well as assignments to improvement projects where they can hone their academic training by defining a problem, gathering data, interviewing subject matter experts, researching options and emerging technologies and practices and finally, presenting a proposal to their department and academic advisors. Many companies utilize their internship program to identify the best candidates coming out of academia and some have even made job offers prior to the start of the Intern’s senior year.
To sum up, there are multiple avenues to replenish and upgrade your staff. All require a bit of planning and effort, but they represent satisfying and rewarding challenges that will bring handsome rewards to your staffing endeavors. Where do you stand in the greening of your Stability Operations staff? If you have some staffing experiences or tricks of the trade you’d like to share, we’ll post this article in the Stability Situation Room and you can easily respond to it there.