LifeSciences and Brunel

lundi 31 août 2015

“We help graduates with a medical and or scientific background in their search for a job. There are often more career opportunities than they are aware of. Brunel is there to help them find the perfect match, to advise them and to take care of the whole process.”

Sales Manager Europe for Brunel Life Sciences, Peggy Buys, has just returned from the Netherlands. “In the Netherlands, we’re very busy widening and deepening our network for Brunel Life Sciences,’ she says. Brunel has already found posts for many candidates in the Life Sciences market and there are a lot more still in the pipeline. 

‘There’s good cooperation between the Brunel offices in Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Amsterdam and our Belgian office. 
The goodwill factor is very strong and at the moment I’m working with our Belgian colleagues to strategically roll out Life Sciences further,’ says Peggy.

An odd man out

The Toronto, Canada, office opened in 2007. Apart from Engineering, our Canadian colleagues mostly focused on pharmaceutical companies in the initial years. 
Despite being rather an odd man out, the Canadian office quickly proved successful and, within a short time, was employing several full-time staff to focus purely on Life Sciences.

The scientific knowledge acquired in the clinical world and Life Sciences made it possible to discuss and respond to the needs of this industry at a high level, which resulted in the successful placement of specialists.

Brunel was quick to see whether this could be commercialized elsewhere in the world and in 2007 it was decided to start Brunel Pharma in Belgium. The initial objective was to conquer the Belgian market and then expand into the European market. 


‘Life Sciences have secured their place at Brunel and are growing steadily. Since recently, Life Sciences have also been actively marketed in the Netherlands. 
We have already built up many good client relationships through other Brunel business lines such as Engineering and IT and now we’re going to see whether we can offer these clients Life Sciences. 
We’re also in discussion with major pharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands such as Amgen, DSM and J&J and we’re already doing good business with MSD, Philips and Grünenthal, among others,’ says Peggy.  

‘As far as our scope is concerned, we have evolved strongly over these last eight years and acquired a lot of know-how. At the moment, we are actually focusing on seven major priority areas: Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology / R&D, Food, Institutional, Healthcare, Medical Devices and Animal Healthcare. At the moment, all of these areas need profiles, which can be supplied by Life Sciences. Among the things we’re talking about are Quality Assurance, Quality control, Lab Technicians, Validation Engineers and Researchers.’

‘We don’t just screen our people on their competences alone’ 

 Not just figures 

‘At Brunel, we always want to attract the best candidates,’ affirms Peggy. 
But what makes Brunel stand out from the competition? ‘Of course we’re fishing in the same pond as our competitors, but as far as the client is concerned, we always want to profile ourselves as specialists and not generalists,’ says Peggy.

‘We don’t just work with specialists in the form of candidates but also at Brunel itself.

We expect our account managers to either have a scientific background or that they’re trained in such a way that they’ve acquired all the knowledge they need to serve the client fully.’

Focusing on people
Peggy is quick to confirm this. ‘It’s entirely true. We don’t just screen our people on their competences alone; we also look at their personality, so as to arrive at an optimal match with the client. After all, we want our people to feel as much at home in Brunel as they do with our clients. So Brunel is not a company that focuses constantly on figures and that’s what makes us so successful.’  


‘It’s important to enjoy your work,’ laughs Peggy. ‘We keep in touch with our employees on assignment every month. We ask them if they like what they’re doing, whether they want to progress, or whether we can offer them extra training? And of course we also ask the client. This allows you to build up a relationship of trust with client and candidate and master many situations.’

Unknown situations 

‘School leavers and the people on the shop floor still know much too little about consultancy for higher qualified personnel. Graduates can pretty much follow the path mapped out for them by their university or their predecessors straight after graduating,’ says Peggy. ‘For example, if you’ve graduated in pharmacy, you can immediately start to work as a pharmacist, of course. But did you know that there are also very many opportunities for working as a junior CRA or as a CTA or as a junior in Quality Assurance or Regulatory Affairs in a Clinical environment?’

I graduated as a physiotherapist / creative therapist. 
I didn’t know then that with a background in that you 
could also be seconded to companies …

Peggy discovered this for herself and found a gap in the labour market. ‘I graduated as a physiotherapist but nobody told me that there was more out there than the old, familiar path.’ So one of Peggy’s personal goals is to provide better information. 

‘In Belgium, Brunel offers job application training via various educational institutes. This not only helps students to profile themselves effectively on the market but we also tell them that there is more open to them than the old, well-worn path. Brunel really wants to be the best for all parties and make people aware of possibilities. Brunel can offer these people so much!’

Applying is a different story to 20 years ago 

Everyone knows that applying for a job has become a bit more intensive over the years. The days have long passed since you sent a letter to an HR manager and it was actually read and answered properly. 
‘Applying takes an awful lot of time and is a very different story to 20 years ago,’ says Peggy. ‘In those days you would write a proper letter, post it and then start waiting. Now that we live in the digital age, it all goes much more quickly and the pressure on the HR department has also increased. Whereas before only a couple of letters had to be read, there are now a couple of hundred and so not all applications are read thoroughly and answered.’

Brunel understands that. ‘We are the ones with the good network and contacts within your sector. If you apply to us, we follow up your application and present you with multiple possibilities. We always discuss what we can and can’t do with candidates. The only thing that a candidate has to do is to wait until there’s a vacancy that matches and then they can go for an interview. We ensure that you have less stress and that we provide you with access to a large network,’ says Peggy. 

‘It’s less time-consuming for candidates and we give as much feedback as possible. This enables a candidate to develop him or herself even further. It’s the exact opposite to when you apply to a company yourself.’

Brunel is looking for young graduates and for specialists 

with experience in Life Sciences

‘Life Sciences started in the pharmaceutical industry but since then we have also developed in the food industry, the biotechnological industry, medical devices and more. We’re looking for graduates but also for specialists. And we offer good training and career opportunities.’


So, if necessary, you can further your career by taking courses such as a language, bookkeeping or perhaps a time management course. ‘We want to create a win-win situation for clients and candidates. This costs the client nothing because we’re affiliated to various institutes where our (potential) employees can take the course that they need. This is a service that is almost never offered by our competitors. This is how we can offer the client and the candidate the very best.’ 

So if you want to work through Brunel, and you have a scientific / (para)medical background or relevant experience in Life Sciences, get in touch with our specialized account managers, who will be more than happy to help you find a suitable job.