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Beyond Industry Experience: Closing Gaps with Transferrable Talent

​The life sciences are driven by the ebb and flow of innovation, piloted by technological advancements, regulatory red tape, and an elite talent pool. Many emerging life science companies are operating in uncharted territory – sectors like Bioprocessing & MSAT are pushing the limits of scientific knowledge, contributing to even wider skill gaps.

In many cases, the tech being used across the industry is not too dissimilar, it’s just the market outcome (and the end user) that differs. For employers to fill skill gaps, they’ll need to look beyond industry experience and shift focus to candidates with transferrable skills. What do some of those skills look like?

Digital Skills

The world’s digital transformation has driven demand for tech talent sky-high, and the life sciences are no exception. The industry is now forced to (or rather, able to) compete with a range of sectors for a chance to hire from the same talent pool.

Widening the search criteria and sourcing digital tech talent from other sectors is not lowering the bar, it’s expanding the number of options available.

Candidates with a strong background in digital tech will have a penchant for critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, making them a compelling target even without direct experience in the life sciences.

Analytical Reasoning

Big data is a mainstay of the life sciences. Its transformative power has been leveraged in nearly every cornerstone of the industry (the average clinical trials generate 3 million data points).

Professionals in this space with the ability to analyse and interpret data efficiently are extremely valuable. Employers can assess analytical skills by looking at an applicant's educational background, previous work experience, and ability to solve complex problems during an interview.


Working at the leading edge of innovation demands adaptability. Candidates with the ability to wear many hats, solve new problems under pressure, and think critically and creatively are a must in the life sciences.

To find adaptable candidates (and any great candidate in general) you must be an adaptable employer. The new generation of candidates has different wants and needs, and at a time when they have more options available than ever before, setting yourself apart from the competition with a strong employer value proposition is critical.

It’s worth looking out for candidates who:

·      Have demonstrable experience working in diverse teams

·      Are naturally curious

·      Present strong interpersonal skills

·      Can remain resilient in the face of ever-changing challenges

What Do You Need to Offer as an Employer?

Targeting transferrable talent isn’t enough on its own – the responsibility falls on life sciences companies to inspire candidates to make the move in the first place. Is your business making a positive impact on wider society? Can you offer a purpose-driven role that enables your employees to make a difference in the future of the life sciences?

If you need support with your hiring process, we’re here to help you. BioTalent’s consultants have the reach and the passion needed to deliver talent into hard-to-fill roles. If you have any questions about our diversity-led hiring methodology, or you need some advice when it comes to attracting and retaining candidates with transferrable skills, get in touch with the team here.