Green Card Changes to Slow Down Biotech Hiring

snailThe current US administration has announced that green card applicants will now have to go through in-person interviews as part of the process, as outlined in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The move, intended to provide more security, is seen by many as an unnecessary burden in the hiring process as applicants would have already been vetted during their immigration process.

Kathleen Spero, an immigration attorney in San Diego, said that because of the steps required for employers to sponsor an employee’s green card, fraud is rare.

“There are certainly instances where marriage fraud occurs, where people pay someone to act as a sponsor,” Spero said. “But in the employment context, it’s not typical to see that type of fraud. People don’t make fraudulent offers of employment all that often.”

She said people who are in the U.S. working on temporary visas who are applying for green cards were already vetted before they came to the U.S., so the security concerns don’t make sense either.

“It’s hard to see what the benefit of the interview will be,” Spero said.

The new rules are expected to impact hiring in the biotech industry:

“This will definitely impact the STEM community,” said Anita Rusch, executive director of the MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego.

Diana Vellos Coker, a San Diego-based immigration attorney, said that the federal agency that processes green card applications does not have the resources to accommodate a large increase in demand for interviews. The agency had about 138,000 applications nationwide waiting for a decision at the end of March, its most recently available data.

Interviews at the local office take about 20 minutes, Coker said, and she didn’t think they could be streamlined much further and still be effective.

“We are anticipating tremendous delays in an already extremely lengthy process for these green card cases to be completed,” Coker said.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Biotech Gender Gap

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Mind The GapRobin Toft, life sciences executive recruiter, recently wrote an op-ed piece on Xconomy San Diego entitled “An Insider’s Guide to Bridging the Biotech Gender Gap”. She starts by summarizing the sad state of affairs for women in biotech.

Among biotech executive leadership teams, women make up a scant 20.9 percent for small and medium-sized enterprises (between 10-1,000 employees), which drops to 13.9 percent for big biotechs (more than 1,000 employees), according to the life sciences search firm Liftstream.

She then goes on to offer some solid advice for breaking out of middle management roles. It’s intended for women, but it’s good advice for men, as well. Here’s the basic outline:

  1. Identify your desired executive role.

  2. Be seen and heard in the community.

  3. Apply, even if you don’t meet all the qualifications.

Finally, she gives advice to those who are in a position to make a difference.

It’s essential for you to expand your talent pool through mentoring. (And yes, men can and should mentor women.) If your company doesn’t have a mentoring program, create one

…finding the leaders who are really the best for our companies means stretching beyond your own comfort zone.

When seeking out diverse candidates, don’t pretend that unconscious bias doesn’t exist. It does. Unconscious bias can influence the hiring process to favor men in various ways, from the language used in job postings to the way you screen resumes.

Provide career progression through promotions and profile-boosting projects.

Read the full article over at Xconomy San Diego

Welcome to the Biotech Career Center!

Welcome to the Biotech Career Center! We’re just getting started, but we’ve already gathered the best job listing sites for making the next move in your career. We’ll be focusing on sites that cater to careers in biotech, life sciences, pharma, diagnostics, and genomics. We’ll also be updating the site with biotech resources that you can use on a daily basis. And we’ll keep you up to date on the latest trends in career management, including salary surveys, hiring practices, and social media usage. We hope you like what you see and that you stick around for what’s to come!