More than 360 high-tech jobs were “opened” in less than two years in Thessaloniki by the American pharmaceutical company “Pfizer”, which received more than 16,500 CVs from around the world for recruitment at the Digital Innovation Center (CDI), which it created in the city.
In fact, 15% of those hired are people who worked abroad and returned to Greece, precisely because they saw a new job perspective open before them. The above data were presented, from Thessaloniki, by Irini Paganopoulou, Human Resources Manager of Pfizer Hellas in Greece and Cyprus, speaking from the podium entitled “CDI Tech Career Days”, organized today and tomorrow by Pfizer, with the aim of hiring another 18 highly qualified people.
“For us it is a strategic goal to bring back the Greeks (scientists) who emigrated abroad”, actively contributing to the “brain gain” for Greece, noted Ms. Paganopoulou, who added that the company also wants to support in practice the entry of female technology workers and today 35% of CDI staff are women.
At Pfizer’s first and only Digital Innovation Center in the world, based in Thessaloniki, more than 360 employees today work in eight cutting-edge areas: machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, software development and Engineering, agile project management, business architecture, Data Science, process automation, product and experience design and customer analytics and insights.
“We do not just want staff, but we are looking for the best”, stressed Ms. Panagopoulou, pointing out the need for a combination of formal qualifications and horizontal skills (soft skills) in the face of ideal candidates, while adding that before the establishment of CDI in Thessaloniki, Pfizer was known in Greece as a pharmaceutical company, but it needed to create a parallel identity, in order to highlight its role in the field of digital and to attract high-level employees in this field.
Internship program at CDI in July
In order to attract and select employees, five bootcamps (intensive training programs, lasting 4-5 weeks) and two hackathons (application development marathons) have been organized since August 2020, through which more than 150 people were selected and hired. Ms. Paganopoulou also announced that next July it is planned to start – for the first time – at the CDI six-month internship program, in collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Macedonia, which will be attended by five to ten people per year.
In more than 200 Pfizer projects around the world, the executives of the Pfizer Digital Innovation Center in Thessaloniki have worked and are currently working, as announced by the head of CDI, Nico Gariboldi, who pointed out that Pfizer is in Thessaloniki thanks to to the extraordinary level of human talent in the city, whose recruitment is growing rapidly: the first recruitment took place in May 2020 and the number of employees increased to 100 as early as January 2021 and to 300 in July of the same year. Mr Gariboldi also noted that Pfizer drugs and vaccines had a positive effect on more than 1.4 billion people in 2021, adding that potentially another 95 drugs were currently under development as a number of research projects were under way.
“One of the reasons Pfizer created CDI in Thessaloniki is all of you”
The reasons why Pfizer chose Greece, and especially Thessaloniki, to install its first Digital Innovation Center in the world, were repeated by the company’s senior vice president of Finance, Global Procurement and CDI, Jeff Hamilton: “I chose Greece and especially Thessaloniki for several reasons. The first reason is all of you (he said, addressing the audience of prospective workers at the event), the extraordinary human talent of the city. The second is the incredible innovative ecosystem and the third is the strategic geographical location and the convenient time zone “he explained and added that the operation of CDI has a direct and indirect positive impact in Greece: directly by creating new job opportunities in critical sectors and indirectly through Pfizer partnerships with local players, whether they are start-ups or academics and researchers.
In addition, investments such as Pfizer’s help Greece to be on the world investment map, giving the message that it is a country with impressive human resources and a positive development perspective.
Το μεγάλο deal που έρχεται, οι επιστρεπτέες που φτάνουν, το landmark της Κηφισίας, και η κεντροαριστερή «νύφη»
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