Deliberately engaging with company culture and actively working on employer brand. That is the ‘secret’ of Randstad's Award winner, Janssen Pharmaceutica’s success.
‘Those who work here can see and feel the impact of their job. That makes it all worthwhile.’ Stef Heylen, CEO of Janssen Pharmaceutica
The 18th Randstad Employer Brand Research collated the opinions of 11,000 students, employees and job-seekers regarding the appeal of the most important Belgian employers. The overall winner this year is Janssen Pharmaceutica. 47.1% of the people who work at the company are happy to work there.
‘We are delighted with this recognition’, explains Hilde Claes, HR Manager at Janssen Pharmaceutica. ‘We have made huge investments in our human capital over the past few years. This prize is an acknowledgement of these efforts. This is the fourth time that we have won the Randstad award. Our approach seems to be working. And we are rightly proud of this.’
‘The company culture at Janssen Pharmaceutica is based on the foundations laid by Doctor Paul Janssen himself’, explains CEO Stef Heylen, who was recruited by the company founder. ‘Our company must focus 100% on innovation. And you create this by giving staff the space to experiment and develop ideas. And by stimulating cross-pollination between domains and departments. In order to nurture collaboration and new initiatives, Doctor Janssen went to each of the various departments and the labs every morning to update them on the news of the day. That still forms the basis of our company culture.’
This approach keeps our employees sharp and committed to their jobs. Stef Heylen: 'By putting the patient at the centre of all we do, we expand the sense of commitment. We always ask ourselves what we can signify for the patient and healthcare in general. Those who work here can see and feel the impact of their job. That makes it all worthwhile. Recently, we launched a medicine for tuberculosis that saves the lives of people who would previously have had an 80% chance of dying. This realisation is incredibly important for the motivation of everyone who worked on the development of this medicine.’
Employees thrive when they have useful work. It is the link between talent and interest. The fact that this is not always easy was clear from a recent study by the Antwerp Management School. According to the study, one in three employees doesn't feel their work is useful.
This is not the case at Janssen Pharmaceutica, explains Hilde Claes.
‘93% of our employees indicated in the study that they thought their work was useful. We are a value-driven company. And not just with respect to roles within R&D, but for all of our departments.’
Being very aware of the employer brand is also hugely important. Every company must understand how society sees them, according to Tim De Kegel, spokesperson for Janssen Pharmaceutica.
‘This doesn't just mean the products or services that a company provides and the impact thereof, but also its appeal as an employer and the ability to recruit new talent. The best people always attract the best people. That is why we continuously ask ourselves if we are still an appealing employer. And whether we are offering the right environment for facilitating collaboration between the most talented people.’
This approach goes much further than simply publishing interesting vacancies. Stef Heylen: ‘We focus on our employer brand via groups, networks and populations. In this setting, we concentrate on finding interesting profiles for our company. For example, we work with universities in order to ensure Janssen is well-known. People can also get to know our company culture. Then talented individuals realise that they don’t need to move abroad to make a difference in the pharmaceutical world. By contrast, around 58 different nationalities work on our campus. We draw a lot of people from overseas.’
Hilde Claes adds that every employee at Janssen Pharmaceutica must have a development plan.
‘We make sure there are discussions and provide our employees with the building blocks for their careers. We also stimulate our people to venture outside their comfort zones, in order to fill their ‘bags’ with new competencies. That makes them versatile, both in our company and within the labour market.’