Ravensburg-based Vetter Pharma GmbH has been constantly growing over the last few years; the company took on 300 new staff in 2011 and plans to recruit 350 more in 2012. The company is desperately looking for qualified young people to help manage its growth. In what way does this impact on job opportunities for bachelor’s and master’s graduates? In the following interview, Christiane Priebe, Director of Human Resources at Vetter Pharma, talks about recruitment criteria, further training options and the company’s dual study programme.
Christiane Priebe: Yes in fact we’ve recruited a lot of new people over the last few years due to rapid growth in the company. We’ve recruited a lot of bachelor’s and master’s graduates; 30 in 2012, and I believe that it will be more or less the same in 2013. In cases when we need to recruit extra staff for our specialist departments, we prefer to take on people who have done their practical training or degree thesis in our company. We also use standard methods of recruitment as well as trying to attract young people from other regions to the Upper Swabian and Lake Constance area. When you go home in the evening you are living in a place where many people choose to come on holiday. Isn’t that a nice thought?
For me, a good to very good degree, a person’s expert knowledge and how they will fit into a certain job are all very important. We run assessment centres to determine students’ suitability for particular roles within our company. We also organize interview panels with people from different departments, including the human resources department.
We receive equal numbers of applications from people with bachelor’s, master’s, diploma and doctoral degrees. We train and recruit people for almost all sectors within the company, and in particular the fields of quality assurance, quality control and pharmaceutical production. In some sectors of the company we train our own bachelor’s students, but we also externally recruit people who have done their bachelor’s degrees elsewhere. The students that we train ourselves have outstanding experience in how Vetter works; they have been trained in project management and have already supervised their own projects. People with bachelor’s degrees that we recruit externally are given in-depth training in company processes and are also offered English and communication courses.
Bachelor’s graduates do not usually have the same practical experience as master’s or diploma graduates. Three years are just not long enough to follow the same in-depth training. Master’s graduates are usually given professional and practice-oriented training, part of which is the master’s thesis they have to do. In my experience, diploma and master’s graduates from technical universities are very similar when it comes to professional and technical knowledge. Another important factor is the technical priorities of the university where they have studied, as well as the university’s research priorities, professors and lecturers. And to answer your last question, the demand for work placements is increasing, as Vetter requires all new staff to already have in-depth practical experience. An alternative to such work placements is what is known as “Duale Hochschule”, a university of cooperative education which combines scientific studies with on-the-job-training within a company.
Yes! As Vetter is a contract manufacturer that supplies the pharmaceutical industry, all new employees need to undergo in-depth training in the pharmaceutical processes that we apply throughout the company.
I do not believe that there are any major differences between the two when students come from good universities. But it always depends on the field of study as well. In the end, it is the individual that makes the difference!
As an international company, Vetter attaches great importance to students’ international experiences and good command of the English language that they gain during work placements, for example. Vetter is also open to foreign students from both Europe and other countries.
Vetter has adapted very well to the new degree system. We usually look at an applicant’s individual suitability and their abilities. We know that bachelor’s graduates usually require further training. Bachelor’s graduates that we recruit can do further professional training that gives them a greater insight into the pharmaceutical, technical and economic processes our company applies.
I think they are well prepared to tackle the challenges in our company. However, as I said before, they receive specific training that builds on their existing abilities. As a matter of fact, master’s graduates are not absolutely ready either for all the challenges that may arise. They also often require further qualifications. When we advise students to go on to do a master’s degree we would also recommend them to do their studies part-time alongside the in-house practical training, rather than studying full-time for a master’s degree.
The practical component is the pivotal issue for us. When we recruit a bachelor’s graduate, we prefer students who have undergone training at a university of cooperative education that combines scientific studies with on-the-job training in companies. When we recruit a student who has graduated from a university or university of applied sciences, we attach great importance to the number of practical internships the student has done. However, what is most important of all for us is an applicant’s personal suitability, i.e. whether the candidate fits into Vetter and vice versa.
Vetter Pharma-Fertigung GmbH & Co. KGSchützenstraße 8788212 RavensburgGermanyTel.: +49 (0)751/ 37 00 - 0Fax: +49 (0)751/ 37 00 - 40 00E-mail: info(at)vetter-pharma.com