Working with international talent - Byondis
Byondis's workforce consists of over 25 nationalities, all of them sharing the same passion: developing pioneering medicines against aggressive forms of cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Innovation is key in everything Byondis – an independent biopharmaceutical company – does. The organisation is involved with preclinical R&D as well as with clinical research and the manufacture of new medicines. "We develop precision medicines aimed at the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases", says Astrid van Alst, HR Manager of the Nijmegen-based company
International top talent
You can only release ground-breaking innovations to market if you're working with top talent and have the right in-house expertise, Penny de Villiers – Talent Acquisition Partner at Byondis – emphasises. "Especially for senior positions, like specialist roles in R&D, clinical studies and manufacturing, we don't limit ourselves to only people in the Netherlands."
Byondis currently has over 400 employees of 25 nationalities. These numbers will only grow in the coming years. "We are experiencing massive growth and are speaking to candidates from over the entire world: Switzerland, Italy, Scandinavia, the US, you name it", says De Villiers, who herself is from South-Africa.
Talent acquisition takes places through existing company networks, enthusiastic colleagues, and job ads on LinkedIn, for instance. Employer branding is important to Byondis. "We are emphatically positioning and promoting ourselves as an interesting organisation and possible employer. That way potential employees can see what we have to offer", says De Villiers. "And of course, we ensure that the people already working for us enjoy their jobs and time here. They are the face of the company."
Van Alst emphasis that working with people from so many cultures feels as a privilege: "No matter how different we might be, we want to achieve the same dream: develop new medicines that allow for the improved treatment of patients. The mutual diversity keeps us sharp and leads to new ideas."
Growing Byondis family
It can sometimes take some extra time to bring foreign employees to the Netherlands. "Visas and tax papers need to be sorted, accommodations and schools need to be arranged, and so forth", Van Alst explains.
Byondis guides employees during this process. "HR maintains intensive contact through online meetings, phone, e-mail and WhatsApp, and people get a warm welcome from their team once they're here." That goes beyond a mere onboarding. We take good care of our people, and our teams are happy to welcome new employees. New arrivals soon feel like a part of the growing Byondis family."
The Life Net also plays its part: by offering all information for foreign employees on one platform, and redirecting them to partners in the area, they experience a speedier and better homecoming to their new living environment. It could also play a part in guiding international talent and their families. "Think of helping partners find a job or helping people make social contacts", Van Alst illustrates.
Open, approachable, and engaged
Be open, approachable, and engaged, is the advice of Van Alst to other businesses who are looking to attract international talent.