Maturing Biotech Firms Face New Challenges

Growing enterprises are rethinking staff needs and realigning priorities as they move to parlay early gains As more biotechnology companies bring products beyond the discovery stage, small, research-driven organizations find themselves acquiring large staffs. Company officials say this new era of growth demands that they change recruiting strategies to hire employees with different skills, cope with increased competition among companies for workers, and create management structures that will p

Marcia Clemmitt
Apr 12, 1992
Growing enterprises are rethinking staff needs and realigning priorities as they move to parlay early gains
As more biotechnology companies bring products beyond the discovery stage, small, research-driven organizations find themselves acquiring large staffs. Company officials say this new era of growth demands that they change recruiting strategies to hire employees with different skills, cope with increased competition among companies for workers, and create management structures that will promote efficient business practices while protecting the creative freedom scientists cherish.

"Until recently, when I thought `biotech company,' I pictured a research firm with a handful of employees," says William Small, the newly appointed executive director of the Association of Biotechnology Companies, a Washington, D.C.- based industry group. But Small says that a recent cross- country tour of the industry helped him replace that outdated image with a truer picture of biotechnology in the 1990s.

"I was amazed to see so many...