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Talent Acquisition Lead, Research and Development

Date: Jun 9, 2021

Location: Philadelphia, PA, US

Company: Spark Therapeutics

Join the Spark Team


We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable – until now.


We don’t follow footsteps. We create the path.

Primary Duties


As the Talent Acquisition Lead, you will partner with senior leadership in the recruitment of talent to Spark’s Research and Development functions - individually managing a portfolio of senior and executive openings and focusing on meeting or exceeding client's expectations ensuring a positive candidate experience. You will work with employees and managers in the client organization to ensure that we have the talent required to meet their business objectives and growth. You will be widely recognized as a senior level talent acquisition leader with demonstrated in-house life science industry experience in addition to managing a high performing team. You will be recognized as a talent acquisition professional with a deep technical understanding of research and development functions, life science talent marketplace and talent discovery. In addition, your ability to partner with your client groups and develop long term talent attraction strategies based on workforce plans is critical to your success. As a leader within Human Resources, you will foster a team environment and demonstrate collaborative leadership. You will partner with the Human Resource Business Partners and Head of Talent Acquisition to develop and implement staffing plans and recruitment strategies for your client groups while ensuring that elements of diversity and assessment for Spark’s values are included in the recruiting and hiring process. In addition, you will develop and manage vendor relationships.




Job Function, Description and Percent of Time















































Recruitment - 60%

  • Creates and maintains an exceptional hiring manager experience framework for functions supported
  • Advises executive team members independently on talent acquisition strategy and processes
  • Creates and maintains an exceptional candidate experience framework for functions supported
  • Possess and seeks out in-depth knowledge of the talent landscape and industry talent acquisition best practices
  • Designs recruitment strategies with input from clients and team
  • Develops recruitment advertising strategies for critical roles and skill sets in partnership with Corporate Communications
  • Leads functional executive recruiting, including identifying appropriate sourcing strategies
  • Sources, recruits, screens, interviews and recommends candidates at all levels
  • Manages expectations of hiring managers and candidates, identifying and resolving issues
  • Coaches managers in providing feedback to candidates, developing offers, determining competencies, coordinating and training interview team
  • Provides consultation and analysis to clients regarding staffing reports and metrics
  • Conducts interviews using in depth behavioral and skills assessment techniques
  • Attends job fairs, conferences and networking events as needed
  • Uses best practices and knowledge of internal/external practices to improve processes
  • Utilizes, updates and maintains applicant tracking system
  • Possesses thorough understanding of relocation/Immigration process and resources self and team
  • Possesses thorough understanding, adherence and enforcement of internal staffing process for self and team
  • Possesses thorough understanding of offer development and negotiation for self and team
  • Proactively manages escalation processes related to all requisition activity


Client Consultation and Management - 20%

  • Builds and leads strategy for complex searches and projects of diverse scope for clients and the Human Resources organization
  • Partners with finance and HRBP in determining headcount for client groups
  • Participates in strategic planning for talent with clients and HR partners by determining talent acquisition objectives
  • Interprets internal/external business issues related to talent and recommends solutions/best practices
  • Partners with HRBP and client groups on internal talent management, including succession planning, talent review and internal candidate movement


Talent Acquisition Leadership - 20%

  • Leads a high performing talent acquisition team with a focus on long term development, high engagement and goal achievement
  • Manages all recruitment activities for a function including Talent Acquisition special projects/assignments with a high technical difficulty under minimal supervision
  • Leads a functional recruitment team in addition to managing senior and executive level requisitions
  • Provides direction/training to others
  • Partners with Head of Talent Acquisition on budget recommendations
  • Manages vendors, leads functional project teams
  • Contributes to the development of staffing process improvements, tools and innovation
  • Ensures recruiting solutions are consistent with Talent Acquisition and HR objectives
  • Keeps abreast of other functional areas to provide an enterprise-wide view and consultation to clients and team


Values - Demonstrated always

  • Inspires and motivates hiring managers and candidates by articulating Spark’s vision and mission
  • Creates a culture of continuous improvement in talent acquisition and with team
  • Continuously communicates priorities, decisions and changes with hiring managers and candidates so they can excel in the process of hiring
  • Seeks out feedback to improve and grow
  • Embraces diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and thinking styles in the recruitment process
  • Leads by example and role models the behaviors expected of others

Education and Experience Requirements


  • BA/BS degree required; advanced degree preferred
  • Minimum 10 years of extensive experience recruiting in-house in the life sciences sector
  • Minimum 5 years experience in-house recruiting for a life science research and development functions preferred
  • Minimum 3 years designing and implementing Talent Acquisition technology solutions
  • Demonstrated progressive growth and leadership in Talent Acquisition

Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

  • Demonstrates strong, independent judgment in selecting methods/techniques for obtaining recruitment solutions
  • Recognized as an expert in Talent Acquisition for biotech/pharma and in a specific business function(s)
  • Implements advanced knowledge of candidate discovery and engagement
  • Works independently to determine methods and procedures on new assignments
  • Possesses a complete understanding and application of principles, concepts, practices, standards of TA
  • Develops solutions to a variety of complex problems
  • Exerts influence on the overall objectives and long-range goals of talent acquisition for clients
  • Solves unique and complex talent acquisition problems that have a broad impact on the business
  • Possesses strong negotiation skills and can successfully close complex offer negotiations
  • Demonstrated use of internal tools and resources
  • Demonstrated understanding business issues and impacts to hiring
  • Possesses superior presentation skills
  • Experience consulting and managing clients
  • Experience driving efforts and projects
  • Experience building relationships across a global business
  • Proven experience in working directly with C-Level executives
  • Strong track record of solving complex problems, designing creative search strategies, and delivering significant impact as a talent leader
  • Strong domain knowledge and expertise in search or talent acquisition.
  • Demonstrated personal accountability and integrity
  • Demonstrated ability to meet tight deadlines and work in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment
  • Strong passion for advancing the People agenda of the organization
  • Deep interest in life sciences and the impact we can make on patients










Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia