Member Spotlight: Q&A with Stratacuity
Every month, MassBio spotlights a member company and the great work they're doing to advance the life sciences industry and support the patients we serve. This month we spoke with for Jeff D’Italia, who for the last 11 years has been a core part of the leadership team at Stratacuity, a specialty life science placement firm located in Portsmouth, NH. Having worked a recruiting desk for the majority of his career, Jeff understands what it takes to overcome the challenges of talent acquisition in the competitive Massachusetts life science arena.
Tell us about your organization and your current initiatives.
Stratacuity has been partnering with local Boston area Biopharmaceutical companies to recruit, hire and retain the very best employees for the past 17 years. Our company was built to find exceptional people who are dedicated to making a difference scientifically, and that ideal guides our every step in our placement process. Our highly focused team of industry experts are aligned by niches which include Clinical Operations, Technical Operations, Quality/ Regulatory and Discovery/ Pre-Clinical. We’re currently focused on expanding our internal teams to meet our clients’ growth demands along with continuing to expand our partnered services offerings. We’ve evolved quite a bit from our initial founding 17 years ago. Today our focused industry experts are a valued resource for HR professionals and hiring managers alike, needing an expert eye for specialized talent. Also, our partnered service offerings have allowed us to strategically align our capabilities and knowledge of building high-quality teams with our client’s growth challenges.
How does your organization’s activities help patients now and into the future?
A huge part of what motivates and drives all of us at Stratacuity is knowing that the work we do directly impacts not just those we place, but more importantly the patients desperate for better or in many cases any therapeutic options. We got our start back in 2001 from a very personal and profound need to understand and battle Cystic Fibrosis. That passion became the spark that ignited a broader cause to stay highly informed of the latest therapeutic approaches and be involved in developing the cures our clients seek. It’s gratifying to know that many of our clients are working on rare or ultra-rare diseases that currently have limited if any therapeutic options. Without their science and compassion, these patients wouldn’t have the hope they do today. Having the chance to play our small part in that is extremely fulfilling! In addition to our client and patient-driven passion, Stratacuity has fundraised over $1 Million for a number of excellent philanthropic causes since our founding. We’re highly involved in spreading the word and generating enthusiasm towards causes we’re passionate about.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the life sciences industry today?
Without a doubt, quality people! Delays in getting highly skilled and experienced people into an organization along with challenges in retaining top talent in the fluctuating world of drug development can slow timelines and raise the cost of development even higher. This is a complex issue that’s not easily solved with great recruiting. Retention is just as important and specifically developing and preserving strong company culture can make a huge impact when trying to both recruit and retain the best talent.
Boston has an unprecedented amount of highly skilled life science professionals with a bountiful history of success in bringing therapies to patients. It also has hundreds of employer’s vying for the exact same talent. Overcoming the challenges involved in recruiting hiring and retaining the right talent in life sciences is a key driver for success today. A major differentiator is having a seasoned partner like Stratacuity who can help navigate recruiting challenges. Recruiting challenges are unique to each company and obstacles are wide and varied. Massachusetts has a distinct advantage in the sheer number of available talent but new challenges are always on the horizon. Today’s latest recruiting challenges are varied and constantly shifting. We’ve become experts at finding qualified individuals in new emerging fields of study while overcoming unfavorable immigration policies and helping to build diverse teams in highly rare and challenging fields of study. I’m proud to have such professional team of recruiting experts that are so experienced with helping clients overcome these challenges and more, every day.
What’s next for your organization / what are you focused on in the coming year?
2017 was a banner year of success for Stratacuity that we’re all very proud of. We were thrilled to announce the change in ownership to our new parent organization, Apex Life Sciences. The timing for investment couldn’t have come at a better time with our teams coming off record years of growth along with our internal team expanding by over 30%. In 2018 we will continue to add to our core team to support hiring demands and growth opportunities. We are also adding to our list of partnered relationships where we create long-term strategic collaborations with our clients. In addition, our geographical footprint will continue to expand into hotbeds outside of Boston. Last but definitely not least we will also continue to support and participate in a growing number of patient-driven charities and events.
If you’re interested in learning more about workforce development issues in the industry, register for MassBioEd’s Life Sciences Workforce Conference on May 18th.