Thermo Fisher Scientific Completes Acquisition of PPD, Inc., a Leading Clinical Research Organization Learn more


At Thermo Fisher, we want all colleagues to achieve their full potential and career aspirations. We are committed to the development of our diverse, global workforce, enhancing their skills and knowledge to achieve current and future business objectives. Talent is the differentiator to a successful future, and we’ve instituted a range of tools, technologies, processes and programs to ensure we are attracting, cultivating and retaining our talent. From our colleague referral program to our Graduate Leadership Development Program, we continue to build strong internal and external sourcing. Talent Development at Thermo Fisher is an organizational capability; that is, we actively manage our talent through deliberate, intentional rotations.

Our executives and leaders participate in frequent discussions around organizational talent, leveraging workforce data and predictive analytics to

better anticipate the needs of our business based on growth and market demand.


47.2% positions filled by internal candidates*


Global leadership hires filled internally

*This disclosure reflects a refined calculation methodology established in 2020 and, therefore, is not comparable to prior year data.

Talent attraction and acquisition

Our colleagues are our first source for talent, and we work to ensure we maximize their growth potential. Employees are encouraged to develop their careers through various programs and learning and development curricula. This focus on development provides the opportunity for colleagues to advance internally to the next phase of a career or chart a new career path. Knowing our employees are ambassadors of our company, we look to them to refer great talent since they are familiar with our culture and drive to achieve. Our colleagues are rewarded for a successful referral and placement lasting at least six months.

To ensure we are attracting talent from diverse candidate pools, we partner with organizations representing various heritage and identity groups to source candidates, and work with our D&I team to ensure our colleagues are set up for success once they join. We know our employees’ overall and familial wellbeing is a key attractor, and our investment in them is reflected, in part, in our Total Rewards offerings. 

Stem workforce development

As the world leader in serving science, we continue to need a steady pipeline of smart, innovative and talented engineers, scientists and researchers.  STEM curriculum is essential to building the next generation of Thermo Fisher employees. Through our STEM programs, we are able to harness talent through key strategic community partnerships, which enable Thermo Fisher to progress and remain competitive in a technologically advanced business environment. 


For example, part of our commitment to STEM education, we have partnered with the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council’s STEM@Work program over the past three years to provide critical, real-world internship experience to high school students. Through the program we offer students an immersive hands-on experiential learning experience that includes individual projects, site tours and a team product design challenge.

Career Path Exposure

Colleagues from our Information Technology (IT) Center of Excellence in Tijuana, Mexico, partnered with COBACH, a system of public high schools in the country, to raise awareness of the range of computer science and software development career opportunities available in Tijuana. Thermo Fisher colleagues engaged more than 200 students in STEM activities that focused on algorithms, problem-solving and teamwork. They also shared their own career paths and experiences and ultimately why they decided to pursue a career within IT.

Talent development

Our talent is a key differentiator. Thermo Fisher is dedicated to retaining and growing our talent to meet our business needs of the future and to provide our colleagues with the opportunity to have a long and successful career here. Every employee is driven to achieve, and it’s our responsibility to invest in their potential. We consider a multi-tactic approach to development, including formal and self-paced training, networking opportunities, on-the-job stretch learning, strategic and data-driven talent management, coaching, mentoring, and manager development.

New hire onboarding

The first major task for our new hires is to complete the onboarding process, which can be daunting to navigate as they learn Thermo Fisher’s terminology, organizational structure and information systems. Through our newly deployed Colleagues Service Center, our new colleagues are provided visibility to the end-to- end onboarding process to track progress, with automated tasks and checklists, centralized information storage and a user-friendly single sign-on process.

Performance management

Collaboration between an employee and their manager is the best formula for ensuring strong performance and development growth. To equip our managers and employees with the tools for success, we support an annual performance management development (PMD) process with checkpoints throughout the year and encourage ongoing dialogue between checkpoints. The PMD process is available to all employees and ensures employee and manager alignment on measurable targets, resulting in tangible progress that can be reviewed at year-end, providing information for rewards such as compensation and long-term incentive decisions. Regular discussions throughout the year ensures our colleagues are clear on their priorities and provides more opportunities for individual development to help them reach their full potential and achieve their career aspirations.

Career development tools

Ongoing employee development is critical to our success as a company. We ensure that our colleagues can develop their skills and achieve career objectives through a variety of tactics, including on-the-job and formal learning.


Whether improving a specific professional skill such as influence or negotiation, or honing a management or leadership skill necessary to guide a team and enable their development, we offer a mix of self-service and on-demand programming in partnership with formal learning opportunities. Our investment in our colleagues deepens our high-quality internal talent pool and enables our colleagues to advance. Our global mobility benefits further support our colleagues who are ready for a new career chapter. By focusing on internal talent, we also enable a deeper understanding of the business and areas where we most need targeted skills development.


Additional training is available to, and in many cases mandatory for, all colleagues on specific topics such as Practical Process Improvement (PPI)diversity and inclusionethics and anti-bribery, our EHS management system and our quality management system.




Leadership development

Managers play a critical role in the development and engagement of our employees. That’s why we provide them with a suite of resources for their development. Every manager is invited to our people manager broadcast series, a monthly webinar and newsletter. Topics include material relevant to the development of their teams and themselves such as talent management and strategy. Additionally, aspiring and new managers can explore tailored learning paths, including networking opportunities and leadership exposure, to learn more about what it means to lead others. More experienced managers are eligible for a number of highly tailored programs that target skill development, such as how to manage and develop a high-performing employee. Many of these programs are taught by faculty from renowned institutions such as Harvard Business School and Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth).

When developing skills for a highly focused career path, we nominate employees for year-long, function-specific leadership programs. By deepening the content to align more directly to a function’s competencies, our emerging leaders in functions such as human resources, general management, research and development and operations are more equipped for success the day they step into that next critical role.

Executive-level training

Managers play a critical role in the development and engagement of our employees. That’s why we provide them with a suite of resources for their development. Every manager is invited to our people manager broadcast series, a monthly webinar and newsletter. Topics include material relevant to the development of their teams and themselves such as talent management and strategy. Additionally, aspiring and new managers can explore tailored learning paths, including networking opportunities and leadership exposure, to learn more about what it means to lead others.

2020 impact


Visits to Professional, Management, Leadership and Executive curricula on Thermo Fisher University in 2020


Professional, Management and Leadership Development resources on Thermo Fisher University (classes, e-learnings, articles, etc.) in 2020

Tools and resources

While we offer tailored development solutions for specified functions and role profiles, we leverage our digital corporate university to ensure our development opportunities are universally accessible. Thermo Fisher University hosts a robust collection of professional, management, leadership and executive programs with a variety of self-paced microlearnings and programming such as e-learnings, books and book summaries, articles, TEDTalks, virtual-led training and more.

Networking is about relationships. Our B/ERGs provide networking opportunities and mentorship programs both locally and globally in order to advance communications, education and career opportunities for heritage and identity groups.


And while we offer robust learning resources internally, we know there are more growth opportunities out there. Benefits programs such as tuition reimbursement can help to open the door to ongoing learning. Whatever their next step, we can help our colleagues get there.


The Developing Emerging Leaders program was designed for our high potential leaders to equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to lead their teams and achieve key performance goals. The program focused on helping leaders understand their own leadership strengths and opportunities, how their business unit operates within the overall strategy of the organization, and how to effectively lead others.


This comprehensive program includes virtual instructor-led training, self-paced learning, performance-based application plans, networking opportunities, and, for each leader, the development of a personal brand. Since its launch in 2016, it has delivered 50 global training sessions for 800+ high-potential leaders in nine countries.

Virtual and augmented reality transforms training

While the pandemic has presented challenges for traditional forms of training, leading-edge virtual-reality and augmented-reality technologies are providing solutions for our colleagues. These offerings provide learning experiences with interactive telepresence functionality, remote-assist technologies, and virtual tours. Not only do the lessons provide a realistic user experience, but the trainings can be conducted socially distanced. These virtual-reality training opportunities are currently available at several of our sites including Greenville, North Carolina; Toronto, Canada; Cambridge, Massachusetts; St. Louis, Missouri; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Quotation marks
Through this significant investment in training we are changing the operating and quality culture of the site. We are seeing significant benefits for our colleagues, customers and ultimately patients who rely on the medicines we manufacturer here.”

Dr. Amie Fulcher
Senior Manager
Training & Development

Developing leadership

Thermo Fisher’s General Manager (GM) Development program, bringing the total number of graduates to 71. Thermo Fisher’s General Manager (GM) Development program is a year-long leadership development journey designed to accelerate the success of early entry GMs and critical pipeline leaders ready to move into a GM role. The program focuses training around three key areas: talent management, strategy development and execution, and financial and commercial acumen. Each training module is sponsored by a member of our senior leadership team, and many of them, including CEO Marc Casper, conduct individual lessons within the module. The training program also consists of a leadership assessment, coaching and mentoring, and in-person and virtual learning sessions throughout the year.


Quotation marks
The GM Development course helped me to strengthen my ability to make strategic decisions by enabling me to analyze the pros and cons of different alternative scenarios. I feel more confident selecting the best course of action for topics critical to the business.”

Francisco Chavez
Vice President and General Manager
Asia-Pacific and Emerging Markets

Talent management

University internship program

At Thermo Fisher, we know it’s critical to gain experience and exposure prior to and after graduating, which is why we invest in meaningful internship programs, support education through scholarships and create additional opportunities for students who will develop into the next generation of scientists, engineers and business leaders.

Our University internship program provides “in-role” experience – an important part of cultivating the skills interns need to fully and effectively transition into the workplace from their focused academic endeavors. We offer internships across various areas of the business to help students create career paths that align with their interests and aspirations.

Leadership development programs

To create our pipeline of talent who will be the next generation of business leaders, we offer seven leadership development programs for new graduates determined to accelerate their careers with robust, on-the-job learning opportunities, mentorship and structured learning plans.

Our Leadership Development Programs support: General Management (Graduate Level), Human Resources (Graduate Level), Finance, Information Technology, Operations, Procurement and Sales.