Hiring in a crisis: AstraZeneca’s playbook for an unprecedented talent hunt
Discover the extreme challenges around hiring one of the most renowned teams of the decade.
How AZ’s talent team stepped up.
Practical steps to get proactive recruitment right, and enable TA teams to reap the successes.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca was at the center of the world’s attention during the race to find a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. During that time, the talent team was faced with the challenge of quickly identifying, engaging with, and hiring an entirely new vaccine team, at a time where most of their competitors were doing the exact same thing.
UNLEASH and Beamery invited Klaudia Żywczyk, HR Product Owner at AstraZeneca, to tell us how their TA organization managed to form, in a matter of weeks, the team that would later successfully roll out the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid vaccine to the rest of the world in under a year.
Watch this webinar on-demand and learn:
- How the AstraZeneca team used proactive recruiting strategies to identify and engage with hard-to-reach candidates in an extremely competitive context
- Where recruitment marketing campaigns and events helped the talent team to engage with valuable candidates and accelerate their hiring cycle
- What made it possible for the talent team to be agile and quickly adapt to this recruiting crisis while continuing to provide an excellent candidate experience
- The tools that had the most impact on the recruiting teams’ objectives in the past year at AstraZeneca
Key challenges for the AZ hiring team:
If it wasn’t a challenging proposition enough for AstraZeneca to solve, “How do we bring a COVID-19 vaccine to the world”, the AZ team were not immune to the challenges the rest of the world were facing either. The sheer speed that the world was hit and the consequential lockdowns that took place – the shift to remote working and remote recruiting – also affected them. Other big challenges the team faced, were also outlined by Klaudia in the session:
- Competing with the whole world for certain skills and qualifications – make, test, research, distribute, communicate and take to market
- Talent relocation and travel restrictions
- Scarce talent pool before the pandemic, let alone now – demand globally
- Need for finding the RIGHT talent – not just seen as a temporary need
- ASAP – no timelines, but as quickly as possible was a must
Klaudia shared with the audience how AstraZeneca had a pre-existing layer of strong foundations, hinged on great data, and a fully integrated talent tech stack. She also explored with viewers the multi-pronged action plan that enabled the recruiting team to leverage their proactive approach to talent.
We also took a deep dive into their recruitment marketing campaigns, as Klaudia detailed steps from impressions to engagements to hire conversions, and some great additional practical tools and techniques that other recruitment professionals will be able to benchmark against and learn from.
Exploring new opportunities with skills hiring and talent lifecycles:
AstraZeneca went through some major learnings through this hiring journey, and as Klaudia shared, they have subsequentially shifted their mindset to hire through the lens of skills by updating their job requirements to allow for better sourcing – by hiring by skill or through the potential for upskilling as a new approach to talent acquisition.
They have also looked internally where teams have successfully self-organized to have an internal talent marketplace, to make a more formalized and detailed database to enable better redeployment of internal talent.
The AZ team are clearly looking to continue to enable themselves to be agile and resistant, whilst managing change as and when they need to. This is an amazing recruitment story, and one definitely not to miss.
If you enjoyed hearing about this amazing hiring feat, why not join UNLEASH and Beamery again, as we hear from Northwestern Mutual’s Head of Talent Acquisition, Kelly Culler on 2nd November.
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