Skills focus for service centre roles

Pharmaceutical giant Astra-Zeneca is optimistic that a new approach to
recruitment, introduced to help the company staff its financial service centre,
will help keep employee turnover to a minimum.

The Financial Services Shared Service Centre opens in Manchester on 2
January and will serve 15 European countries.

Carmen Drinkwater, Astra-Zeneca’s HR director for European business
services, said the firm needed to look closely at all aspects of recruitment
because the service centre is a first for the company.

"It is known there is a high turn-over of staff among shared service
organisations so we needed to make sure we were offering something
different," she said.

The company, working closely with consultants CDA Search & Selection,
developed a capability framework based on the technical skills and behavioural
strengths needed to excel at the various roles in the centre.

Candidates have to be good team players, flexible and natural communicators
as well as have the right technical backgrounds and language skills.

Drinkwater said AstraZeneca’s strong emphasis on people development was
highlighted during the recruitment process.

The organisation used a combination of adverts in local newspapers and on
local radio. Some were also placed through European consulates in the
Man-chester area.

For the most senior foreign language-speaking posts, adverts were placed in
national newspapers abroad.

In January the service centre will go live with 45 staff covering five
countries. It will be operating at full capacity with 100 staff by the end of
next year.

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