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  • 1 Recruiting & retaining a competitive workforce

    Spotlight on: European employers 2014

    Recruiting & retaining a competitive workforce Pharma, biotech and medical devices

  • 2 Recruiting & retaining a competitive workforce 3



    Employer perceptions and their impact on recruitment and retention

    The commercial environment The recruitment market Recruitment trends and challenges Tailoring the employer proposition The international question Paying attention to retention Conclusion

    Salary and market trends Clinical Operations Research & Development Quality Assurance Regulatory Affairs Pharmacovigilance & Drug Safety Medical Affairs Health Economics & Outcomes Research Business Intelligence & Data/Biometrics Sales & Marketing Medical Communications Operations


    6 7 12 20 22 27 31

    34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 53

  • Methodology This report is based on the European results of our worldwide employer survey, conducted with over 200 leading pharma, biotech and medical devices organisations from across the world. Participants ranged from small start ups and SMEs, to some of the world’s largest pharma and medical devices companies.

    Further industry insight is based on the perceptions and experiences shared by European pharma, biotech and medical devices companies at our series of roundtables, held across the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The roundtables were attended by senior decision-makers, including representatives from leading organisations. Addressing the key themes raised by employees across the industry in 2013, our roundtables explored the impact of changing employee expectations, together with the impact of an increasingly competitive and global marketplace as organisations look to build sustainable workforces.

    Introduction The pharma, 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.

    In this report we explore how organisations are managing the changing expectations and perceptions highlighted by employees in our 2013 report; from increased market confidence and willingness to move jobs, to an increasingly migratory talent pool. We also examine employers’ drivers for the future, together with how organisations plan to recruit and retain talent.

    Drawing on insight from our global employer survey, series of international roundtables and the experience of our network of dedicated recruitment specialists, this report looks at the factors affecting employers across the industry and helps to understand what companies need to do to recruit and retain a competitive workforce.

  • 6 Recruiting & retaining a competitive workforce 7

    As we look at the recruitment and retention trends impacting the pharma, biotech and medical devices sectors across Europe, we explore the commercial environment and its impact on organisations across the industry. By first understanding the commercial motivations of firms for the year ahead, we can further examine the impact on supply and demand of talent as organisations look to build sustainable workforces for the long-term.

    With that in mind we asked pharma, biotech and medical devices organisations from across Europe what their main commercial objectives were for the next few years. Unsurprisingly, we see increasing market share as the main objective for both organisations across the pharma & biotech (70.8%) and the medical devices sectors (73.1%).

    This may, in part, be reflective of the fact that the top 10 pharma organisations still account for less than 50% of the global pharma market, despite the series of large mergers and acquisitions seen over the past decade. What is evident across the sector is an increasing desire for organisations to increase their share of the market, and not just the big pharma companies but a rising number of smaller biotechs who have seen growing opportunities to increase their foothold in the industry – both across the domestic markets and within the emerging markets.

    As organisations aim to secure greater market share we see increasing diversification, particularly as big pharma looks to compensate for the loss of exclusivity on many of the

    blockbusters following the patent cliff. With less than five drugs reaching ‘blockbuster’ status in the last few years it appears the days of reliance on a single product may be reaching an end. In fact as the market sees growth across diagnostics and a number of firms moving into devices, many organisations are broadening their portfolios in order to not only maintain but to extend their market share. It therefore comes as no surprise that organic growth is a key objective for nearly a third (30.6%) of the pharma & biotech organisations we spoke to.

    The continued impact of the patent cliff has also meant generics have continued to see high growth, not just across Europe but also across markets such as Japan, where increased cost efficiencies are driving their use. As pharma & biotechs look to maximise the growth seen across emerging markets organisations are having to diversify and develop lower cost products to meet the needs of patients in these developing economies. Medical devices organisations continue to lead the way in this regard and have already shown an increasing ability to adapt and manufacture low cost products specifically for these regions. So much so that new product development has become a key commercial objective for 61.1% of pharma & biotech organisations and 69.2% of medical devices organisations.

    With ambitious plans in place there is no doubt there will be a significant impact on organisations’ recruitment and retention strategies as they gear up to maximise their market.

    Intentions to recruit

    Examining the medical devices sector we see that 84.6% of organisations are either definitely looking to recruit or are considering it in 2014. With five of the ten largest medical devices markets located in western Europe; Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain, and growth in the largest markets expected to continue at an average annual rate of 1.6% until 2018, it perhaps comes as no surprise that medical devices organisations are looking to bolster their workforce with a view to achieving their long-term commercial objectives.

    Across the pharma & biotech sector we see a similar picture, with levels of employer market confidence mirroring those of medical devices organisations. As a result 83.3% of organisations are either considering or definitely planning to recruit in 2014.

    A confident market

    In early 2013 we spoke to thousands of pharma, biotech and medical devices professionals throughout Europe, to understand their motivations for the year ahead and their perceptions of the job market. Confidence was particularly high in the Netherlands where almost 95% (94.1%) of employees said they had no real concerns surrounding job security. The Dutch were not alone in this feeling of general confidence though. In fact, across Europe we saw confidence reach its highest level than at any time in recent years with 85.4% of people saying they had no real concerns for their job security, and 16.5% of respondents even going as far as to say they were ‘very confident’.

    One employer reflected this mood at our UK roundtable when they said they had seen a distinct shift in employee confidence over the past year.

    A participant in Belgium suggested that in the light of organisational changes seen across the sector, employers have extended the scope and remit of employees’ roles and as a result employees have taken on larger roles than ever before, and now feel indispensable to some degree. He even went as far as to say ‘Look at my role, I do the job of four people, so naturally I feel very secure in my job.’

    What we saw emerge last year was a distinct perception that employees felt safe in their current jobs and felt they had a good platform from which to seek their next role. Considering that in 2013 almost three quarters (74.1%) of European employees were either ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to look for a new role in the 12 months ahead, we asked organisations whether they had seen this intention translate to employees leaving and whether there had been an associated impact on the talent available.

    The commercial environment The recruitment market












    31.9 30.6







    34.6 34.6 34.6 38.5



    Pharma & Biotech Medical Devices

    Increase market share

    Increase competitiveness

    Protect market share

    Expansion through organic


    Expansion through merger or acquisition

    Expansion into new international


    Expansion into new disciplines

    e.g. medical devices/biologics

    Develop new products

    What are your commercial objectives/goals for the next 3 years?

    Are you looking to recruit over the next 12 months?

    Yes No Maybe

    Yes No Maybe

    Medical Devices




    Pharma & Biotech