Gene editing world leader Horizon Discovery has triggered the biggest search for talent in the company’s near-10 year history.
It is underpinning the recruitment drive with a remuneration and benefits package that would put a lot of companies in Cambridge’s jobs-hungry technology cluster in the shade.
CEO Dr Darrin Disley says Horizon is seeking 27 immediate hires in Cambridge UK, the US and Vienna but reveals that the business has the potential to hoist headcount from the current 300 to around 450 over the coming years.
Dr Disley says: “Horizon is looking for talented go-getters to fill numerous UK, EU and US positions in its commercial, research and corporate operations functions. These hires will help us deliver on our scale-up ambitions for the next five years and enhance delivery against our mission to be a world-class science company that is unashamedly commercially successful and has an impact on patient outcomes, education & training and fostering the spirit of life science enterprise.”
Technology companies in Cambridge tell Business Weekly they are in a dogfight for talent, especially with so many global players now anchored in the cluster.
Now the arrival of Big Pharma big-time in Cambridge – allied to an explosion of gene editing work throughout academia and industry – is starting to shake up the jobs market in the BioMedTech arena with an unprecedented choice of jobs on offer.
Horizon says it is up for the challenge and is competing not just by offering strong remuneration packages but also by growing its own talent with record investment in cultivating new generation employees.
Dr Disley says: “I have been to over 50 schools in the last year to promote careers in science. We are introducing work experience opportunities, internships, apprenticeships – both for school leavers and graduates; we have expanded staff training and retention schemes using, amongst other things, apprenticeship levy contributions.
“Our benefits for our people are extensive; they include 8% pension, 4x life insurance, permanent health insurance, full medical cover, assistance with childcare, paid maternity/paternity leave and paid days off for charity volunteering.
“We believe we are a great company to work for; we realise that our people have lives away from work and people are the lifeblood of Horizon Discovery.
“We positively encourage career progression: Dr Chris Lowe is a fabulous example of the kind of loyalty we engender. Chris was a scientist when he first joined us; he has worked his way up through the organisation and is now head of global research operations managing around 200 people across four sites globally.”
The average age of Horizon people is in the mid-20s and, demonstrating its appetite for talent over gender, more than 50 per cent of employees are women.
Horizon’s current requirement for newcomers embraces a broad range of roles and opportunities. The company needs a large number of scientists – many of them for senior positions in the UK-quoted company – and a raft of technicians to enable the business to keep pace with demand.
It is also intent on ramping up its sales force, especially in the US, where there is huge potential for growth.