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Europe – International talent drive at the core of Pharma industry

24 March 2014

The Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Devices sectors continue to face significant change; increased competition, tightening regulations, and increased global expansion are all impacting salaries, benefits, and the ability of organisations to build sustainable workforces, according to the ‘Recruiting & Retaining a Competitive Workforce’ report from Real Staffing, a trading division of recruitment firm SThree.

The top 10 pharmaceutical organisations account for less than 50% of global revenue, despite a series of large mergers and acquisitions over the past decade. As a result, many firms are embracing diversification as a means of growing their market share. This in turn will have a significant impact on recruitment and retention strategies moving forward.

According to the report, 61% of Pharma and Biotech companies intend to recruit within the next 12 months, with a fifth (22%) of companies perhaps recruiting this year.

Five of the top 10 largest medical devices markets are located in western Europe; Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain, and growth in the largest markets is expected to continue at an average annual rate of +1.6% until 2018. This has resulted in an especially high degree of confidence in the European market. In the Netherlands, nearly all (95%) of employees said that they had no concerns about job security.

Further highlighting the confidence in the marketplace, more than a third (36.3%) of workers said that it was extremely likely that they will look for a new role in the next 12 months, with 37.8% of workers advising that it was likely that they would look for another job.

Four jobs in demand, highlighted by the report, are Quality Assurance, Sales & Marketing, Regulatory Affairs, and Research & Development. These four areas are seen by the companies as key to growing their market share.

Although 40% of the medical devices firms that advised that they ‘definitely’ looking to recruit are opting to bring in talent for the long-term and are focusing solely on permanent hires, Real Staffing also noted an increasing tendency for organisations across the medical devices sector to take a blended approach to recruitment. In fact, over half of Real Staffing’s European medical devices panel (53.3%) said they would be looking to recruit on both a permanent and contract/interim basis in 2014. 

There is a slightly different picture across the Pharma & Biotech sector. Whilst there are similar levels of employer market confidence and plans to recruit (83.3% of organisations are either considering or definitely plan to recruit in 2014), there is a notable preference for permanent talent. In fact, over half (54.5%) of organisations looking to recruit in 2014 intend to focus only on permanent recruitment.

As organisations across both the Pharma & Biotech and the Medical Devices sectors look to address the key challenges of scarcity of talent and competition, attention is increasingly turning to the international recruitment market as firms look to access a wider talent pool. Over a third of both Pharma & Biotechs (37.5%) and Medical Devices companies (34.6%) are already recruiting international talent, or have definitive plans to in the near future which is testament to some organisations taking an increasingly flexible approach to recruitment.

What’s more, with a further 25% of Pharma & Biotech organisations and 23.1% of firms across Medical Devices ‘considering’ sourcing talent internationally the picture emerging is of an increasingly global recruitment market.

To read the full report, please click here


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