Meet Cristina Varela, Recruiter at Roche

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, my name is Cristina Varela. I am originally from Spain, from a small city called Ponferrada located in the north. I did my graduate studies in Labor Science, as during my university studies I realized that I wanted to work with people from business perspective. So I earned a Masters in Human Resources Management, and at this time I moved to Madrid, where I lived for six years.

In 2011 I joined Roche in Madrid as a recruiter for Pharma Informatics, where I was responsible for attraction and recruitment for IT and collaborating on global projects.

In my free time, I love skiing in winter, and when it is warmer, experiencing the beautiful Swiss outdoors. I enjoy also traveling, discovering cities and places where you can feel the way of life of the area.

In which Roche location are you currently working and what can you tell us about that location as a work environment?

I work at the Roche site in Basel. The site is very international, as we have employees from more than 90 countries. People are very open and approachable; it is so exciting to exchange and network with people from different nationalities, discovering new fields and sharing experiences in our diverse environment.

Basel is a lovely city, set on the Rhine with its location in the “Three Countries Corner”: cultural capital of Switzerland, plenty of interesting history, charming old town with cobblestone streets, and a must for lovers of art and contemporary urban design. It’s a great place for outdoor activities; you can get around easily by bike, swim in the Rhine in summer, and enjoy their famous Carnival in winter.

Why did you decide to join Roche and why at this location?

I moved to Basel with an International Assignment as a recruiter for Group Informatics. It was a great opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally, to discover the headquarters and how people interact with each other: a different site, diverse and multicultural, but the same values. This experience has now brought me to my next career step, as a recruiter for Pharma Development: a new area with new challenges and a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone.  You will always learn something positive from these opportunities, as they keep your mind open to new ideas and ways of working.

What is your current position at Roche?

Currently I am a recruiter for Pharma Development. This area is dedicated to delivering outstanding therapies that provide meaningful improvement to patients. I interact with different teams located not only in Basel, but also in other countries such as the US and UK.

I am passionate about my job, and I feel honored to be one of the first contacts for candidates: I can show them our company, how we work, how we behave, our culture. Interacting with candidates allows me to learn a lot from different perspectives. As a recruiter, my objective is to find the right candidate for the position and company, fitting not only the job profile specifics but also our culture and values.

How is your job connected to “Doing now what patients need next”?

…Our mission is to improve patients’ lives around the world with unique medicines. Since 1896, we have helped over 45 billion people do so. From diagnostics to personalized healthcare, what we do makes a difference to people’s quality of life. It is amazing to contribute to the company by recruiting the right people to make it happen.

How would you describe Roche as an employer?

Roche is a great place to work from different perspectives:

Professional Development: Encouraging and helping people to build their professional career and providing the right tools for it. Roche invests in their employees by providing professional development training and other initiatives like rotation programs both locally and internationally.  

Work Life balance: Trying to make it easy for their people with flexible working hours, kindergarten on site, healthy initiatives for living well, different facilities in the Roche buildings.

How would you describe the people working here?

Multicultural, accountable, smart, curious and fun.

What would you advise job seekers who want to join us?

If you are looking for the opportunity to work in a multicultural environment with a range of development opportunities, I highly encourage you to visit our career website Even if there are no suitable vacancies, you can join the Roche talent pool to learn about the new opportunities that arise on a regular basis.​​​​​​​

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