Employment Group Helps Find the Right Person for the Job

By Mika Ono

How do you find the best-qualified candidates for a position, convince them to apply for the job and accept it if it is offered, and set the stage for a productive employer-employee relationship? These are the questions that Employment Manager Lori Escobedo and her team in the Human Resources Employment Group address daily.

"We try to make it as easy as we can for managers to identify and hire the best person for the job," says Escobedo. "We know there are other demands on their time."

Those in the Employment Group reach out to potential candidates in a variety of ways. They attend career fairs, sit at booths at biotech conferences, meet with other human resources managers in the area, make presentations on scientific careers at local high schools, and target relevant trade groups.

"We try to get The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) name out there," notes Escobedo. "One of our best sources of candidates is referrals from current employees. I'd say we end up hiring 50 to 60 percent of these referrals. Employees know our environment and the type of person who would be successful here."

Finding qualified candidates to fill the 400 or so positions (not including postdoctoral fellowships) that open up each year is a challenge. Contributing factors are the tight labor market, the specialized skills needed for many jobs, and the institute's tremendous growth over the past several years. To fill these positions, 8 to 10 candidates are interviewed for each opening. A total of over 10,000 resumes are received each year.

Escobedo notes that TSRI is in competition with other academic institutions and the biotech industry to attract good candidates. "Part of our job is to convince potential applicants that TSRI is a good place to work," she says. "The institute's biggest selling points are its stability, its growth, the terrific benefits here, and the enjoyable yet challenging environment."

The Employment Group, which also supports hiring managers by checking references, making job offers, and conducting employee orientations, is currently streamlining the hiring process. The web page listing jobs (www.scripps.edu/hr/jobs) can now be searched by department or category. Relocation information has been added to the site. With the help of Webmaster Jim Keais, the group is working on a resume builder so applicants can submit a resume online. In addition, a system that would enable resumes to be received online and forwarded to hiring managers more quickly is under review.

"Timeliness is everything," says Escobedo. "If we take too long to process a resume, a candidate we want to hire may receive other offers. We want to get the technology in place to turn resumes over as fast as possible so we can continue to attract the best-qualified people to work here."


"We try to make it as easy as we can for [hiring] managers," says Employment Manager Lori Escobedo.
Photo by Mika Ono.