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New Talent Models In The Pharma Industry

 

Since the Great Recession took hold, the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector has held a unique position in the economy. Traditionally, and according to theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this industry has not been prone to wavering economic conditions. After all, when we are sick, we still need our medicine. We still need the innovative work of the pharmaceutical industry to keep us healthy so we can cope with all the other challenges that life brings.

In both good times and in bad, it seems, medicine consumption usually remains the same.

This simple truth is the backbone of the relative stability that the pharma industry has always enjoyed. But this hasn’t meant a free pass. Pharmapanies have still had to deal with economic woes in the face of big demand for their medicines and RD breakthroughs.

In the past decade alone, the way Big Pharma does business has drastically changed to simply amodate the economic realities of the global market in general.

One stark example is the demise of the so-called “blockbuster” drug. Most patents on these drugs are expiring, taking with them the blockbuster revenue streams. As a result, doing bigger and better business even as financial resources grow thin, or old business models disappear, has be more significant than ever. It doesn’t mean that key things like research and development will ever lose their luster—it just means that pharmapanies, like all organizations, will have to be more efficient in the way they do business.

As those most intimately acquainted with the pharma manufacturing job market can attest, one of the most insightfulponents of executing business is understanding the use of capital and that includes human capital—and how to attract the talent required for the long haul. Pharma is still hugely dependent on intellectual capital, and human expertise is drivingpetition on the global stage. Companies are all analyzing workforce behaviors morepletely in an attempt to predict which employment factors have changed in order to staypetitive.

Not just aggressive recruiting measures, but smart recruiting measures are what are required in 2013 and beyond.

According to Wanted Analytics, a firm that collects and analyzes hiring demand data, since January this year, the number of available science jobs grew by 15%pared to this time a year ago. In the life sciences in general, the number of jobs has grown by a whopping 42% since 2008 (the recession), per Wanted Analytics.

Among the industries with the highest demand for scientists are pharmaceutical manufacturing, but it’s the bio-pharmapanies that are demanding the lion’s share of human capital as they strive to develop best-in-class therapies. With biologicsing to dominate the sector, plant and facility expansion, as well as a growing need for regulatory support, new skill-sets are needed to support these new revenue streams. Bioprocessing technicians, quality assurance auditors and quality control inspectors that can helppanies adhere to regulations are among these emerging, high-demand skill sets.

From here on in, talent acquisition will be focused on individuals with specific skill sets who already possess technical expertise to make an immediate impact. As a result,panies are finally recognizing just how big the challenge of finding the mostpetent skill sets for such highly technical jobs really is. Demand, after all, is expected to be strong for technical skills in 2013 and beyond.

In response to this,panies have moved strongly toward “insourcing” models for manufacturing. In fact, according to PwC’s 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, 30% of pharmaceuticalpanies are insourcing work that has previously been outsourced. Efficiency is cited as one of the major reasons, as in the case ofGlaxoSmithKline, a leading pharmapany that wanted to gain more control over its development and manufacturing process. Furthermore, GSK Chief Financial Officer Simon Dingemans has previously stated that the move basically reflects a desire to use existing facilities more effectively and keep its supply chain working more efficiently.

Of course, while some facilities are being closed altogether in the United States, it is important to note that the reasons for doing so are related to an overall downturn in the industry—not becausepanies necessarily want to outsource manufacturing functions. In fact, the reverse might be true with a recent trend towards insourcing. For example, Novartis is building a new manufacturing plant in Eastern Europe instead of moving toward CMOs. Pfizer has chosen to close plants in expensive places like Connecticut and reopen them in places like Eastern Europe. AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk as well have built new manufacturing facilities and opened them in 2013.

As the scientific workplace continues to change, and as job opportunities grow, talent acquisition has be a primary game-changer in all the science and technology categories.

This Talent Project Blog post is by Mark Lanfear, Global Life Science Practice Leader

 
 
 

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