Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Fall 2010 corporate recruiting stats

After some, um, encouragement to look somewhere other than Harvard (and other helpful commenters who found other sites), I was able to get some numbers on what other major chemistry departments are seeing as far as corporate recruiting. The results are tabulated above, with MIT coming out ahead by a nose with 14 companies coming to visit.

A potentially interesting note: it's not much of a surprise to see a corporate recruiter visit both Harvard and MIT -- you've just flown across the country, so why not visit both institutions? But for a company to visit either (or both) Boston school(s) and Stanford shows a certain level of commitment to finding people; in no particular order, those companies are Amgen, Dow, Dupont, Genentech, Lilly and Novartis. Have at, folks.

P.S. bad wolf suggests looking at both UC-Irvine and UIUC and the commenters respond!

A8:52p responds for UC-Irvine: "Recruiting at Irvine has gone downhill recently, mirroring other top-notch organic programs. Prior to Merger Mania, something like 40 companies (Pharma and Biotech) showed up to campus. From 2005-2007, the number of recruiters hovered around 25-30. After the economy tanked, the number dropped to around 12. I wouldn't be surprised if Irvine is looking at single digits this year. Like at other places, the postdocs and super-ambitious senior grad students are probably trying to pull every trick up their sleeves to secure an onsite interview."

A7:53a reports some UIUC RUMINT: "I had an interesting discussion with the chair of UIUC's department today at lunch (he was visiting/speaking at my department). He said that they usually have 8-10 companies on campus recruiting throughout the fall/winter and that this year is about the same. I found this particularly interesting considering the fact that my department, Emory University, has 0 lined up."


  1. Here at Cornell we have seven total for September/October: P&G, Dupont, Dow, 3M, GE, Exxon, and Infineum. The Dupont guy claimed they were "hiring like madmen." We'll see...

  2. Its also important to remember that just because companies are on campus for recruiting, doesn't mean that they are hiring. Last year, 6 or 7 visited Scripps and only 2 of them seemed to have actual positions available.

  3. tja over the past few recent months, I've applied to a few openings at Dupont to no apparent avail. So there are madmen and there are angry men (me).

  4. @Anon 6:19AM: Ha! Are you telling me that the organic demigod KCN couldn't summon industry positions out of thin air? Can't Boger call in a few favors or Baran enrapture companies to take his "superhuman" postdocs and grad students?

  5. @Chemjobber: Amgen & Novartis have operations in Cambridge anyway, so it's not like their local recruiters have to travel that far to interview. Genentech & Lilly are filled with Harvard folks, but why isn't Gilead paying a visit? Also, where's Abbott, Takeda, J&J, Celgene, GSK, & Pfizerborg? I am most surprised to see petroleum and consumer products companies interviewing at these synthetically-inclined schools. Do their students know anything about formulating bathroom cleaners, designing lubricants, or manufacturing tires? MIT, Cornell, & to some extent Stanford I can understand since all three have strong engineering & physical/analytical programs. The MIT campus interviews also appear to be open to non-chemists.

  6. Anon7:54p:

    Interesting points -- I had forgotten about Amgen's Boston (Cambridge?) facility.

    I don't know the personal ties of the different school; I certainly hadn't heard that Lilly was Harvard-oriented, but what do I know?

    I haven't seen much interviewing from Abbott, Celgene or GSK. PFE, I believe, is doing some quiet hiring, but they haven't had any of their traditional monster-style ads in C&EN.

    Assuming that we're seeing some moderate level of activity re large-company hiring, it's not surprising that there are some companies that are more aggressive (DuPont?) than others.

  7. @7:54:

    The P&G guy I talked to went to the same grad school I did and worked in a conducting polymer lab. He now works in "Baby Care Materials Development." Basically diapers. So glad to see that if I manage to actually get a job the likelihood of actually using my specific skills

  8. I have seen campus recruiting visits on several sides as grad student/post-doc and then a number of different companies sides. Cynically speaking I would suggest even in good times these are more about PR than actual serious attempts to hire anyone. Even if there are open positions (and many times there are not) the employees that go to campuses are simply basic screeners at the front end of usually a much larger game. This is more about Networking with recruiting as an excuse. More often then not if a technical person goes the underlying focus is interactions with the faculty, typical with "campus recruiter" being an ex-student of a school/group, with emphasis on staying in touch with "Big names". As eluded to above there is so much back channel actions, with feedback or recommendations directly from PIs who may call their ex-students or the companies they consult for, or very likely receive calls to ID promising students even before any campus visit. Although not assured such calls will go anywhere they will get people moved to the top of the pile, where at most places the number of CVs can be huge even if no ad was ever posted*.

    In the end HR customarily controls the hiring process and they can operate on their own agenda, which can include being able to claim "we recruit at all the top schools". Its nice if HR encourages and utilizes input from the technical people closet to the position but that circumstance has been rare in my observations.

    *I wonder if part of the decline reflects that with computerized tools now available CV can be scanned/converted to readable format then system easily "matches" to any openings so the whole screening requirement has shifted away from as much call for campus visits.

    I will add I am generalizing above, mostly in regards to Pharma which I know, and do realize there are some "honest campus recruitment efforts" where companies to take and act seriously when seeking people.


  9. LMAO, a Dupont process chemistry position on the ACS Careers site states that in addition to having a PhD in organic chemistry, "Certification in Six Sigma methodology is preferred." Forget about teaching Curtin-Hammett or Felkin-Anh, proficiency in Six Sigma should be a requirement for advancement to candidacy!

  10. A8:33p: That's pretty funny; note that they would like at least 3 years industry experience. I assume that's enough time to get your green belt or whatever.

  11. @Chemjobber: Back from the HPLC Room. Anyway, you've just conjured up a hilarious image for me. Imagine Miss Piggy as a Six-Sigma instructor...HI-YA!

  12. That IS funny -- imagine Kermit as the hapless scientist.