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Why Today’s Pharma Recruiters Need to Hit the Books!

There’s been a dramatic shift in the demands made of a life-science company’s leadership, especially of those stepping into managerial positions. In short: roles are becoming more specialized, and applicants need to have knowledge of a company’s particular area of focus to land the job.

Many life-sciences businesses (from biotech companies to CROs) are developing and offering exciting niche products. For example, some forward-thinking companies are creating exciting new gene therapies, and candidates wishing to lead these revolutionary organizations must understand why gene therapy research is vital to the healthcare industry.

That’s not to say you can never switch fields, but you’ll need to learn both the history and the innovative aspects of the new field before you can expect to be impressive in a job interview—and be effective in the role.

Why the change?

The life-sciences industry produces daily discoveries in the fields of biotech, pharmaceuticals and the clinical-research industries. However, a great majority of these new medicines and technologies are products of larger growing trends, such as the use of personalized medicine and mobile health technologies. It’s no wonder many pharmaceutical companies are going niche, specializing in a particular brand of cutting-edge medical technology. CROs are doing the same. This means changes for the people at the top of these organizations.

What This Means for Pharma Recruitment

This means that recruiters need to hit the books! We know this through experience: we’ve been doing a lot of studying. When we partner with a biotech client developing a really novel therapy, we spend time researching and using our collective expertise to really understand the intricacies of the client’s products. Each recruiter who works on the project needs to understand the significance of the treatments in question in the context of that client’s particular slice of the life-sciences pie.

This is most important when it comes to recruiting executive-level positions. After all, the senior-level professionals will become the new leaders of these specialist life-sciences organizations developing cutting-edge therapeutic products and research services. To make the perfect match recruiters need to speak the language of the client and the interviewees to truly understand what the hiring company needs, and what each candidate has to offer. Recruiters also need to know what questions to ask each side; the savvier the question, the more meaningful the responses.

Finding the Right Recruiters

We firmly believe one of the most important things a pharmaceuticals recruitment firm can invest in is training recruiters to provide niche-knowledgeable recruitment. This involves encouraging them to be hungry for information—to dive into each client’s niche of the life-sciences world until they feel at home there, and giving them the resources to do so. Soon a team of specialists will emerge, with different recruiters focusing on the areas which interest them most/with which they have the most experience.

For the CROs and pharma and biotech companies, it’s important they partner with recruitment agencies who engage in this practice when hunting new staff members—particularly those who will play a leading role in the organization. Having a database full of candidates is not as important as it used to be; the niche areas life-sciences clients are now focusing on requiring in-depth digging to find the right fit.

It’s easy to figure out whether your potential recruiters know their stuff: just talk to them. Tell them what you do and who you’re looking for and see how they respond, what kind of questions they ask. A short conversation will let you know whether you’ve found your niche-knowledgeable recruitment partner. The life-sciences industry is evolving, so the pharma-recruitment industry must evolve too.

If your life sciences company is looking to partner with a pharma recruitment company that invests time and energy in increasing knowledge in bio-science business, call us for a lovely conversation at:+31(0) 20 29 00 016 or email: