What it does: Helps people breathe
Staff stats: Around 5000
The good bits: Impressive facilities and benefits
The not so good bits: Heavy-handed bureaucracy
The ResMed story
ResMed was made possible by Dr Colin Sullivan, a professor at the University of Sydney. In 1981, he invented a machine to pump air into the lungs of those suffering from sleep apnoea. (Sleep apnoea causes people to stop breathing, causing them to wake up gasping for air. This has obvious effects on the quality of their sleep and ability to function during the day.)
After Sullivan’s continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) technology was patented and clinically trialled, Baxter Healthcare looked into commercialising it. However, it ultimately decided not to proceed. In 1989, a senior figure at Baxter Healthcare, Dr Peter Farrell, bought the intellectual property rights to CPAP. He also formed a company – ResMed – to manufacture and sell CPAP devices.
The company began modestly, with less than 10 employees and revenue of less than $1 million in its first year of operation. A little under three decades later, the company has manufacturing sites in Australia, France, Singapore and the US and operates in 100 countries. It is listed on the New York and Australian Stock Exchanges, headquartered in San Diego and in 2017 had annual revenues of US$2.1 billion.
These days the company defines its mission as “developing, manufacturing and distributing market-leading medical equipment for treating, diagnosing and managing sleep-disordered breathing, COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease] and other chronic diseases”. While the company’s core business is still producing technology to treat sleep-disordered breathing, it’s been branching out into respiratory care and cardiology and developing diagnostic tools, humidifiers, healthcare informatics software and ventilators. The company’s growth strategy includes conquering emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America.
ResMed is a multinational that employs people from a range of nations and cultural backgrounds. However, it apparently doesn’t feel the need to trumpet its diversity and inclusion credentials. Part of the company’s commitment to ethical business behaviour involves promoting “equal opportunity”. This suggests job applicants are not discriminated against on the basis of race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability or age.
ResMed places a great deal of emphasis on ethical behaviour. This includes the workings of its supply chain and “the manner in which our raw materials, components and final products are produced”. At a minimum, this involves an expectation that “there is no child labour, no slave labour, and that workers are safe”.
ResMed is committed to environmental sustainability. It seeks to minimise its use of natural resources and the pollution and waste its manufacturing activities generate. It encourages employees to take the environmental impacts of their actions into account. It also encourages its suppliers and customers to act in an environmentally responsible manner.
The company gives staff time off to volunteer for charities and community organisations and will often match donations employees make to worthy causes. Since 2002, ResMed has bankrolled the ResMed Foundation. The primary mission of the Foundation is to “promote research, as well as public and physician awareness, about the importance of sleep and respiratory health.”
The recruitment process
In Australia, ResMed allows uni students (once they’ve completed their first year) to apply for a three-month engineering internship that runs from November to February. It also offers an engineering graduate program. This runs for two years. It involves four six-month rotations through departments such as product development, manufacturing and marketing.
To be eligible, you’ll need to have studied one of the following engineering disciplines: biomedical, chemical, computer science, electrical, manufacturing, mechanical, mechatronic or software. Personality-wise, you’ll be expected to demonstrate intense curiosity, passion, drive and a yearning to “do things better”. You’ll also need a “natural fascination with how things work” combined with “a desire to understand people”, particularly in relation to producing medical products that make their lives better.
While the recruitment process may vary from applicant to applicant, it will involve at least the following four stages. An online application, which must include a cover letter, resume and academic transcript. A video where you’ll be expected to “show us a little bit of your vibrant personality”. An interview, where you will “meet [ResMed’s] leadership team and gain an insight into what makes us tick” and, finally, the necessary background checks.
ResMed staff receive a “salary package and benefits commensurate with experience”. The company offers staff paid parental leave and the option to purchase extra leave. There’s also subsidised life insurance, training and education fee assistance and access to health and wellbeing programs, as well as reward and recognition programs. ResMed’s Sydney HQ is a purpose-built, 30-acre campus in Bella Vista. It offers parking, two cafes, a pool, a gym and a range of subsidised fitness and recreational activities.
Given the company’s spectacular growth over the last quarter of a century and its ambitions to both penetrate huge developing markers and expand its product line, there should be no shortage of promotion opportunities at ResMed in the years to come. The company is committed to “supporting, inspiring and developing our people” and you will be encouraged to reach your full potential.
The vibe of the place
As a company, ResMed is committed to “Ethics and integrity… apolitical teamwork… [and] concern for co-workers”. Of course, the reality of life at the company doesn’t always live up to that mission statement. Nonetheless, ResMed staff seem to like their co-workers and enjoy their well-appointed facilities and plentiful benefits. Most also have a sense of pride working for an innovative healthcare business that has improved, and in some cases saved, the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
From the Employer:
"The global team at ResMed is united in the commitment to change millions of lives with every breath. With more than 4,000 employees and a presence in over 100 countries, the company has pioneered innovative devices for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleepdisordered breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions for more than 25 years. ResMed’s world-leading products and connected healthcare solutions improve the quality of life for millions of patients worldwide, reduce the impact of chronic disease, and save healthcare costs.
Our Resmed Graduates and Interns have this in common: an intense curiosity and passion to drive change and find ways to do things better. Our two year Graduate Program consists of four, six month rotations through the following Global Business Units:
- Product Development: including Software Engineering.
- Manufacturing: including New Product Introduction.
- Applied Research: including Biomedical Algorithms.
- Product Marketing.
So what next?
Joining ResMed is more than saying “yes” to making the world a healthier place. It’s discovering a career that’s challenging, supportive and inspiring A career where a culture driven by excellence helps you not only meet your immediate goals, but also begin a lifetime of ongoing development and achievement. A career where each day you can uncover new reasons to love what you do."