For more than 40 years, the Almac Group has supported the global biopharmaceutical industry with their drug development activities and bringing new drugs to market to advance human health. They are global leaders as well as one of the most prestigious companies in Northern Ireland.
Almac will be recruiting at Jobs Expo Belfast on 17 September. But what’s it like to work there? Aisling McConaghy, Recruiting Specialist for the Almac Group, gave us the lowdown.
Tell us about the Almac Group?
The Almac Group are an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides specialised drug development services to over 600 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, including all the market leaders.
Services offered range from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IXRS technology (IVRS/IXRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture and companion diagnostic development.
We are a privately owned organisation that has grown organically over the past 40 years and now employs in excess of 4,500 highly skilled people worldwide. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations in the UK, Ireland, across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).
Tell us a little bit about the kinds of projects the company is working on?
On average, a company will spend between 11 and 16 years to gain approval of a new drug with an investment of $1 billion per drug; patent protection lasts 20 years. Almac has grown to the point where we now offer an unparalleled range of integrated pharmaceutical services ranging from diagnostics, research and development, API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) manufacture, formulation development, clinical trials and delivery of the finished product on a global scale which speeds up this pipeline process enabling companies to reduce overall time and cost of getting new drugs to market.
Is there anything many new hires find challenging when they first start with your company?
The size of our organisation can be quite daunting for new hires and understanding what we do can be fairly complex. We understand that the initial support we offer to new hires is critical to their effective integration into a new environment and culture. At Almac we recognise that in order for our new hires to overcome these challenges, a comprehensive and effective induction process is invaluable.
Our comprehensive induction programme includes both group and individual sessions and includes:
- An overview of the history of Almac, our products, services, culture and values
- Overview of our customers and current place in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry
- Organisational structure
- Terms and conditions of employment
- Health and safety
- Departmental/team structure, reporting lines and coach/mentor assigned
- Performance management and learning management systems
What makes your company a great place to work?
Almac is committed to recognising employees for their achievements in supporting business objectives, high quality customer service and dedication to the generation of superior solutions for the advancement of human health. We will actively recognise the positive results, behaviours and company values demonstrated by our employees through the use of our Almac Celebrates Excellence “ACE” recognition programme. The ACE scheme aims to reward those employees who surpass expectations and deliver achievements beyond their normal day-to-day duties.
Almac continues to keep its corporate recognition programmes under review to ensure we remain fresh and relevant to the business and employees.
Below are some examples of recognition that Almac provides at a Group level:
- Almac Family Fun Day
- Corporate Box at the Odyssey, Belfast
- Long Service Awards
- Almac Ambassador Programme
- Appraisals and Assessments
- Training and Development Opportunities
- Career Progression
- Team lunches
As well as giving our people the recognition they deserve, we also reward our people well for the hard work they do. Our employees benefit from industry competitive salaries and the chance to work with great people on exciting projects with lots of opportunity for growth. However, we recognise that attracting the finest talent calls for more than just a good financial package and stimulating work. That’s why we’ve worked hard to create initiatives that benefit our people and their families, both inside and outside of work.
Our benefits include:
- Competitive salary
- Family friendly flexible working
- Learning and development opportunities and support
- Health promotions
- Enhanced pension contribution
- Long service awards
- 34 days annual leave allowance
- Marriage leave
- Free car parking
- Moving house leave
- Subsidised restaurant
- Paid medical appointments
- Childcare vouchers (including early return bonus)
- Occupational sick pay
- Enhanced maternity pay
- On site physiotherapist
- Critical illness policy
- Perks discount scheme
- Death in service benefit
- Westfield health benefit
What about opportunities for advancement?
Almac recognise that our people are our core asset. Individually and collectively, people are critical to the success of our vision. We recognise excellence, and acknowledge that to empower our employees, we need to invest in their continuous development.
Almac is committed to developing and recognising our internal talent pool in order to support not only the business objectives of the company, but also the career and development aspirations of our people. At Almac, we strive to provide employees with the opportunity to build on the already great skills and experience that they bring with them, and we give everyone the opportunity to learn, develop and progress within our organisation.
When you start your Almac career, you can look forward to a wealth of learning opportunities, which will equip you with all the skills and confidence you need to fulfil your potential. We also recognise the importance of formal further education and where appropriate, will encourage and support employees in the pursuit of job related studies and qualifications.
As well as personal development, there are clear career paths for progression throughout some of the different job families within the Almac Group.
Is there anything else you’d like potential recruits to know?
Some tips for job seekers:
- The shortlisting panel will be assessing your application form against the essential and desirable criteria for the role – provide relevant examples of your previous skills and experience to demonstrate your suitability against the criteria.
- Provide as much information as possible – one line of text is not enough! Remember the shortlisting panel cannot make any assumptions as to your previous experience or job title etc. so it is your responsibility to sell your skills.
- Don’t leave your application form to the last minute and ensure you read through carefully before submitting to ensure you don’t leave out any important details.
- Save a copy of the job description of the role for your future reference if you get invited to attend interview.
- If you are invited to complete psychometric tests, ensure you complete the practice tests first before you attempt to complete the assessments.
- If you are invited to attend interview, make sure you fully familiarise yourself with the job description to help you fully understand the role. Have some questions ready for the interview panel if you can.