Sekisui Diagnostics is an international bioscience firm with locations in the US, UK, Germany, and in the West Royalty Industrial Park on PEI. The Charlottetown operation is one of its largest, and produces clinical chemistry reagents used in hospitals and clinics around the world.
“When patients get their blood tested, we make the clinical chemistry reagents that are mixed with the blood to determine such conditions as high cholesterol or high blood sugar,” says Rachel Miller, Senior Human Resources Business Partner. “In addition to making the reagents, we test, package, and ship them to customers.”
About the staff
There are 137 full-time permanent staff members, and 20 to 25 full-time temporary staff. Most people work during the day, but depending on customer demands, sometimes they run an evening shift from 4:30 pm to 12:30 am.
Staff members range from new hires to people who have worked for the company for up to 43 years. “A couple of people are retiring during the next couple of years, which is an opportunity to bring new people into the organization and for present staff to progress in their career,” says Rachel.
“Bilingualism is not required, but would certainly be a bonus. We are a Japanese company, and one woman in our purchasing department speaks Japanese. We also have a Japanese expat from Sekisui Japan who works at our site.”
“Most of our open positions are in Operations, Packaging, and Quality Control,” says Rachel. As of September 2019, 15 open positions were available:
- Associate Quality Compliance Specialist
- Associate Director of Quality Assurance
- Quality Compliance Specialist
- Regulatory Affairs Specialist
- IT Technical Support Analyst
- Packaging Associates (11 positions)
Other positions at Sekisui
- QC Technologists
- Process Technicians
- Shipping & Receiving Associates
- Research Associates
Wages and benefits
Sekisui offers a competitive compensation package including medical and dental benefits, life insurance, bonuses, and RRSPs.
Requirements for some technical jobs at Sekisui can require a Bachelors or Masters degree in Science (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medical Technology) or related discipline. Relevant industry experience is also needed, as well as good communication skills.
Other positions, such as Packaging, require a high school diploma.
“We have a volunteer time off policy which gives each employee 40 hours a year to volunteer at the organization of their choice.”
Sekisui has partnered with Island Nature Trust where staff has had the opportunity to do beach clean-ups and plant trees and Marram grass on the Island’s dunes. “We like to give our staff an opportunity to make the world a better place.”
Most difficult position to fill
“Scientific positions requiring a Bachelors or Masters degree are most difficult to fill. In addition, we are looking for work experience, and sometimes need to look off-Island for suitable candidates.
“I started working here four years ago, and recruitment was not as challenging as it is today, due to the economic growth on PEI.”
How do you attract, develop and retain staff?
“We work with Holland College to take on one or two OJT students from the Bioscience Technology program to work in our Quality Control department annually. Most of the time, we hire them full-time or in a temporary role.
“We try to invest in our people by providing training and development opportunities so that they will stay and grow with the company.”
Best way to get your foot in the door
“All our positions are posted on our website, which is the best form for applying,” says Rachel.
“I work closely with the PEI BioAlliance, who refers candidates from time to time. We also get a lot of employee referrals. If a person is hired and passes their probationary period, the employee who referred them will receive a cash bonus.”
All potential candidates should apply through the company website at www.sekisuidiagnostics.com.
“We contact applicants if we are interested in moving forward with them. We do a pre-screening phone call to discuss their background, their experience, and their salary expectations.”
Typical interview questions
- What do you know about our company? “Check our website to find out what we do.”
- Tell us about your past job experience that relates to the job you are applying for.
- What are your strengths and how do they relate to the job?
- Would you enjoy working in our fast-paced manufacturing site?
- Why should we hire you instead of someone else?
- What is your salary expectations?
When working for the company, what are the keys to successful employment?
“Successful employees are engaged and enjoy what they do, and enjoy making a difference. The company will invest in them and give them the opportunity to grow their career here. We would like everyone to stay long-term, and it is our job as a company to give them the opportunity.”
What will the work within your company look like in five years?
“The company continues to grow at an accelerated rate, demanding more resources to keep up with world demand.”
For more information, visit www.sekisuidiagnostics.com.