Jenn ThomasAugust 3, 2023
Topics: Customer Stories

Inside Scoop: How Thermo Fisher Scientific Is Filling 40% of Roles Internally

Nurturing and retaining top talent is crucial for organizational success — so much so that an increasing number of companies are setting — and reaching — impressive goals to hire more employees from within. 

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Amy Ritter, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, is well versed in the topic as she and her team close in on their own goal to fill 40% of roles internally, diversifying their candidate pipeline and helping talent management grow and retain employees. 

In this IAMPHENOM 2023 session recap, learn how Thermo Fisher is empowering two critical HR functions and simultaneously boosting employee satisfaction. 

Overcoming the Overreliance on Buying Talent

Today, the average organization meets talent demands most often by buying talent. Pressed to fill critical roles or plug skills gaps, employers pay a premium on wages to acquire employees — many of who turn over all too quickly, leaving the organization back in the same bind.

“The most common reason for employee attrition is lack of career development and personal upskilling,” Phenom’s Kumar Ananthanarayana, Executive Director, Product Management, pointed out. 

To break that cycle and secure better retention, organizations need to commit to an internal talent transformation that favors three of the four B’s of HR:

Build: Identify and nurture employee potential through a culture of constant learning

Bridge: Optimize in-house talent and find alternate ways to bridge obsolete skills to meet emerging needs

Borrow: Cultivate internal and external worker communities that can complement the existing skills base and serve as a resource to quickly meeting short-term needs

Partnering with Phenom for a Strategy Pivot

Thermo Fisher wanted to do just that: create a more resilient organization by cultivating employee skills and career development rather than relying on outside talent. “In 2022, we reset our strategy with Phenom’s help,” Ritter said. “We set a goal to fill 40% of open roles with in-house talent by 2024.”

A global leader in providing products and services that help clients make the world safer, healthier, and cleaner through the acceleration of life sciences, ThermoFisher is no stranger to meeting challenges through innovation. A Phenom client since 2020, they decided to expand their platform usage to drive internal mobility and retention with the following features:

  • Internal talent marketplace with content showcasing business units and respective opportunities, including open job roles and learning courses

  • AI-driven career pathing recommendations

  • Automated campaigns to generate excitement and engagement with the platform

  • Talent CRM to source internally as well as externally (“We leverage our CRM to source for talent internally just as much as we source our talent externally,” shared Ritter.

“Our internal hiring rate reached almost 36% in 2022. And we saw it increase as the year came to a close. As of March 2023, we’re off to an incredible start, at 38.4%. We're well within striking distance to make our goal of 40% by 2024,” Ritter said. “We’re so grateful for our partnership with Phenom in helping us meet these lofty goals.”

The Secret to Securing Employee Buy-In

So how did ThermoFisher ensure that these tech enhancements would be effective in helping them meet internal hiring goals? Ritter knew that building employee engagement with the platform was critical. After all, one of the top challenges organizations face regarding internal mobility is ensuring that skills databases are kept current. 

“If employees aren’t motivated to take the time to keep up with their profile, you end up with outdated information. That means talent management can’t make the most relevant recommendations for internal hires,” Kumar said. 

That’s why, in Ritter’s view, the most valuable driver of adoption and usage is Phenom’s ability to match employees with relevant learning content and internal opportunities right off the bat. This immediately engages users — and keeps them coming back for more. 

As Kumar explained, the platform is built on a foundational AI model trained on a large dataset that Phenom has accumulated over the years. That data includes job skills and common career progression associated with a role. Based on an employee’s interactions within the talent marketplace, managers and Talent Management can create an individualized career path strategy for employees. 

“Because of the baseline model that we already have, and the massive amounts of data in our ecosystem, we can deliver 80% to 90% accuracy out of the box for certain job roles in certain groups,” Kumar explained. “As a result, employees receive relevant recommendations that motivate them to keep their profiles current. And that gives the system feedback so that recommendations get better and better.” 

Keeping Engagement Strong

In addition to using the ThermoFisher’s TA team also leverages the platform’s campaigns functionality to continue promoting their internal talent marketplace and the benefits for employees like personalized job recommendation. 

“We build internal marketing campaigns to maintain interest among employees who have built their profile and have engaged with a piece of content related to a particular learning journey,” Ritter shared. 

Looking at those interactions, the team creates segmented campaigns to send related information on that particular business line, including job and learning opportunities. “That way, we can pull them back into the internal career site and keep them engaged.”

Ritter emphasized the value of Phenom’s ability to serve individualized learning and career pathing recommendations. “When you show employees that using the platform helps them grow and develop, that’s the best mechanism to keep enthusiasm going.” 

Easing Managers’ Fear of Losing Talent

Managers are an important audience to take into account when planning to ramp up internal mobility. “Talent hoarding,” the result of managers’ fearing they’ll lose their best talent, is a common barrier.

“But that talent really belongs to the organization,” Ritter pointed out. “Managers have a duty and responsibility to develop that talent to help secure a strong future.” To counteract talent hoarding, ThermoFisher embeds this expectation into manager onboarding and training from the very beginning.

On the flip side, managers need to know that the organization will support them when it comes time to give wings to high-performing team members. “We make sure policies are manager-friendly, with enough transition time built in to allow managers to plan accordingly,” Ritter said. 

At Thermo Fisher, maintaining the talent platform is a shared partnership among talent acquisition, talent management, and learning and development. “It's a joint effort that we manage together to make sure it's the right experience for our colleagues around the entire talent cycle,” said Ritter. 

With that mentality, there’s no doubt they’ll far exceed their goals. 


Learn how Phenom Talent Marketplace can elevate internal mobility at your organization. 

Watch the entire IAMPHENOM presentation with Thermo Fisher here

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