Challenges and Trends in Recruiting – Interview with Dorota Ratajska

Feb 7, 2019
Blog - Biotech

Dorota Ratajska has been a team member at Pleinert & Partner for 9 years, and the Practice Leader Life Sciences for the last 5 years, and was promoted to Managing Partner in the beginning of 2018. She focusses on Recruiting as a functional practice, and on Life Sciences & Pharma industrywise. Here is an interview with her after her first year as a Partner, conducted by Dr. Helena Pleinert.

Helena: Dorota, you have been a Managing Partner at our company for one year now, what has been you most memorable project during this year?

Dorota: Each project is typically full of challenges, as we are specialists for solving only the hard cases. Easy positions are handled by the hiring companies themselves, so each single project is something special. Most memorable – a complex project where we helped one of our long-term clients to grow their Quality team. The complexity resided in generating interest with candidates from the biotech industry. We were looking for individuals who would be happy to move to Eastern Europe, bringing with them very specific know-how needed for a new Biotech manufacturing site being set up. Not only was it a very complex project on many levels, but in addition a very dynamic and fast moving environment on our client’s side contributed to the challenge, creating uncertainties. The project ended successfully with several candidates being hired and required a systematic and professional approach by our team at P&P as well as very close ongoing cooperation with the client.

Helena: each of our Managing Partners in Switzerland focusses on a different area of People Management / HR, and you have elected to take the lead in recruitment. Why is recruitment your passion, perhaps more than other areas of HR?

Dorota: Why recruitment, especially external: because it means working at the interface between companies and people. It means not only checking all the typical channels, but also always thinking outside the box. The projects we are working on not only require expertise in conducting interviews, but before that we need to identify and approach the best candidates and successfully generate interest, and after the first interviews we help the process along using our mediation skills. That is why often I am told we were able to finalize projects others could not. Recruitment is the most important area for me, but I also enjoy training and coaching, everything where I am able to see how organizations but also every single person grow and change. This is amazing to observe, and to actively participate in!

Helena: what current trends do you see in recruitment, specifically in Life Sciences, and in general?

Dorota: In general more and more recruiting is done via social media and is moved in-house. There is also a clear trend away from passive advertising towards active approaching of candidates, especially when we talk about key positions in companies. But it is not easy to make general statements, as different types of recruitment would be suitable depending on size of companies, locations, structure, etc. I believe much has changed in recruitment, and we have more and more different approaches that we can choose from, not just one standardized one.

Helena: What would be your advice for decision makers in order to keep their organizations competitive in attracting the best talent?

Dorota: Definitely the consistent development of HR Marketing & Employer Branding, cultivating talent communities and maintaining your talent pool and pipeline via different channels. The more diversity, the better results. Also it is good to maintain relationships to partners who can support you in the most difficult recruitment challenges. The best way to not only attract but also retain the best talent of course is to create a balanced and trustworthy organizational culture within the company as a base. And always, always: focus on long-term thinking and invest in people.


Dorota Ratajska is a Managing Partner and the Practice Leader Life Sciences at Pleinert & Partner and specializes in innovative recruitment approaches based on her extensive experience in recruiting. Her previous experience is in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and in training and teaching. She holds a Master of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Molecular Biology, both from Warsaw University.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart - Confucius.