Thursday, November 1, 2012

Corporate recruiting visits at Harvard Chemistry: The New Normal (?)

This is the 4th annual analysis of corporate recruiting at Harvard's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. As the graph at right shows, the recruiting season (so far) indicates a slight drop from 2011, but the situation more or less staying the same. (NB: the 2012 recruiting season is not over.)

It's surprising to me that corporate recruiting has not recovered back to 2008 levels. After 4 years, it appears that 10-15 companies is the new normal for Harvard. One presumes that full-bore large-company hiring of entry-level research chemists will be back for good when Harvard sees a big increase. It does not look good now.

(Those who want to see other universities' corporate recruiting schedules, click here for a look at Stanford in 2010 and here for MIT's corporate recruiting from 2002-2011.


  1. Let's not forget that the companies who are large enough to support corporate recruiting trips have been merging / acquiring each other at a stupefying rate in the last 6 years as well. I'd also attribute some of the drop-off to the success of online recruiting, especially on a cost basis compared to flying a bunch of chemists up to Cambridge. Since big pharma's cutting back on all travel and outreach costs (I believe it was AZ who just was noted in various news outlets for their cutbacks in this area, and I’ve seen this at my company as well), this is an easy place to cut, especially if the folks are beating down your door with resumes anyways.

    This isn't to say that

    1. That's a good point, and not the first time it's been raised. ( I should look back to see which companies have been absorbed.

      That said, I think it's fewer than you might think.

    2. Another Anon e-mails into say the same:

      "On your recent post on Harvard interviews well taken but also understand that many mega companies (Pfizer, Merck, HLR, Sanofi) have consolidated while the smaller ones went defunct."

  2. whoops... got cut off there.

    This isn't to say that there hasn't also been a frustrating headcount reduction in the last couple of years too.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20