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Exploring Talent in the Evolving Pharma Landscape

Pharma has a new face. A mass move towards the prioritisation of operational resilience is changing the shape of the pharmaceutical industry, and opportunities await. Emerging from a three-year high, the delayed funding, supply chain insecurity, and soaring demand for talent have taken their toll on the life sciences.

Still, the recession-resistant industry soldiers on, and it’s never short on innovation. A range of influences exert pressure on the pharma space, and decision-makers will need to embrace new methodologies to compete.

Whether that’s:

  • Technological Maturity – Pharma has been slow to adopt new tech (tech 4.0) in the past, but this is changing. The transformative impact of AI-powered IoT tech, blockchain, extended reality (EX) and curative therapies are becoming difficult to ignore.

  • Flexible Working – employee expectations have changed. Remote working is no longer a trend but rather a concrete change. The majority of pharma companies have adopted some form of hybrid working, giving rise to a new era of operational complexity. Developing a robust flexible working infrastructure will strengthen organisational competitiveness.

  • Retraining, Upskilling, and Transferrable Skills – as companies scramble to draw from a wider talent pool, a solution to the candidate shortage lies in transferrable skills. Retraining and upskilling, and expanding the scope of the talent search can help plug gaps while simultaneously lowering the attrition rate.

Searching, Securing, and Retaining Talent

Alongside the fierce competition for talent, pharma companies must navigate the persistent issue of poor retention. Burnout is a key culprit, surfacing time and again across the pharma space. A recent global survey from O.C. Tanner discovered that nearly 50% of employees working in Biopharma found their work exhausting, with 30% reporting feelings of emotional frustration.

Talent management should be woven into the fabric of operational strategy to have a hope of improving long-term outlook. Salaries alone won’t solve the issue, not when candidates have so many other options available.

What Can You Do About It?

  • Create Access to Learning and Development – Stagnant careers do not benefit anybody, least of all the employees. L&D is a way to bypass this stagnation and accelerate a culture that thrives on innovation.

  • Establish Resource Groups – In many ways, all business productivity is a by-product of company culture. It’s a cornerstone of the life sciences that often sits neglected. Employee-led resource groups, diversity and inclusion initiatives, flexible working time and wellness benefits all contribute towards a more desirable workplace.

  • Optimise your recruitment process – Tackling the problem at an earlier stage in the talent acquisition process can go some way to preventing burnout later on down the line. Clear role responsibilities, expectations, transparent career pathways, and a supportive culture can all be precedents set (and upheld) by hiring managers at the beginning of the talent pipeline.

Specialist Support

The team at BioTalent have had the opportunity to support many pharma companies during periods of tough growth. As specialist recruiters, we have the tools, knowledge, and network to deliver more than just talent, we can provide our clients with the means to embed sustainable, long-term change.

If you need any help navigating through the choppy waters of the modern pharma space, our specialist recruitment consultants can provide it. Get in touch with the team here to find out more.