Innovation and Success in the Life Sciences Field with BioTalent Canada

Dalton Pharma, a leading pharmaceutical contracting company in Toronto, started unremarkably enough. “I couldn’t find a job, so I created one in 1986 based upon research I had conducted during my Master’s degree,” remembers Peter Pekos, the company founder. Mr. Pekos had been part of a business incubator at York University where he excelled at making compounds. He partnered with a professor and named his fledgling company after John Dalton, the renowned English chemist, meteorologist and physicist of the 18th century.

Image of Peter Pekos founder of Dalton PharmaDalton Pharma, a leading pharmaceutical contracting company in Toronto, started unremarkably enough. “I couldn’t find a job, so I created one in 1986 based upon research I had conducted during my Master’s degree,” remembers Peter Pekos, the company founder. Mr. Pekos had been part of a business incubator at York University where he excelled at making compounds. He partnered with a professor and named his fledgling company after John Dalton, the renowned English chemist, meteorologist and physicist of the 18th century.

Mr. Pekos remembers that the team were good synthetic chemists and able to provide chemistry services using the skills they had developed at university coupled with access to the university’s infrastructure and people. Early growth was both invigorating and fun, says Mr. Pekos, “although in our early years people tended to give us their problems instead of their more exciting projects. We were good bench chemists and we could tackle those problems.”

Peter Pekos QuoteDalton has grown from its humble origins and now has a full-time complement of 70 professionals working on various projects. Mr. Pekos has used BioTalent Canada’s products and services repeatedly to locate suitable candidates for his growing firm. “New grads might not have a lot of experience, but BioTalent Canada introduces us to people who are eager and  motivated and that overcomes a lot of inexperience,” Mr. Pekos says. “Wage subsidies have helped us hire people who are looking for a place to prove themselves,” he says. “BioTalent Canada is one of the best places to look for people and we use them extensively.”

Mr. Pekos believes that the ability to manage complexity is “one of the most important attributes that we look for in a candidate. We need people to be able to work in an uncertain world where results are unknown and, often, unanticipated.” Being a team player with a collegial attitude is very important along with an understanding of the connection between the industrial complex and employment. “It’s companies like ours that go out into the world creating jobs and products that generate economic growth,” Mr. Pekos says, “and training and products from BioTalent Canada have been a part of our success from the beginning.”

BioTalent Canada’s labour market information feeds into such products as the Biotech Resumé Builder—enabling internationally educated professionals to create targeted resumés for the Canadian market—as well as the BioSkills Recognition Program, designed to help internationally educated professionals have their skills recognized as BioReadyTM and stand-out  to Canadian employers.

“We like to hire with confidence, and the BioSkills Recognition Program is a huge step in leveling the playing field and enabling employers to read people clearly. Training from webinars has been very helpful, along with a strong advisory board at BioTalent Canada” he said. “Access to a talent pool helps us considerably and BioTalent Canada is a national organization that is connected to both talent and know-how. There is no doubt,” Mr. Pekos says, “that BioTalent Canada has played a role in our success.”