7 Top Pharma and Biotech Recruitment Trends Today

7 Top Pharma and Biotech Recruitment Trends Today

7 Top Pharma and Biotech Recruitment Trends Today

October 19, 2023


Picture of INS Global



Picture of INS Global



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Key Takeaways

  1. Pharma and biotech recruitment is increasingly competitive due to growing specialist and generalist needs
  2. The pandemic, in particular, has brought new concerns around pharma and biotech safety and professionalism during clinical trials
  3. Professionals who can bridge different areas of expertise and collaborate effectively across interdisciplinary teams are in especially high demand /li>



In the dynamic world of pharmaceutical and biotech industries, staying ahead in talent acquisition is paramount. As the global landscape evolves, so do Pharma and Biotech recruitment trends.

A study made in 2023 of professionals in the Pharma and Biotech industries found that 67% of those interviewed were looking to change their jobs in the next 12 months. This creates both an opportunity and a challenge for recruitment professionals who will have access to this new talent but will also need to innovate the way they attract talent away from competitors.

To help professional companies in these sectors navigate the ever-changing environment of life sciences recruitment, here we present 7 key trends shaping these industries according to an INS Global recruitment expert.




The Growth of Gene and Cell Therapies Requiring New Expertise


The rise of gene and cell therapies is revolutionizing medicine. In 2020, it was projected that this emerging industry would be worth an estimated $14 billion by 2025. As a result, dozens of new facilities catering to the needs of this industry are being announced each year worldwide, bringing numerous jobs.

Consequently, the demand for experts in this field, ranging from research scientists to manufacturing specialists, is skyrocketing. Companies must invest in attracting and retaining these specialized talents to remain competitive.

New technologies like these have even higher minimum skill and qualifications requirements, so it’s left to companies recruiting in biotech and pharma to match requirements with the right incentives that will allow them to hire the best. These incentives will depend heavily on the seniority of the position being hired for and the local benchmarks of the market being searched. Having the support of a local advisor can be crucial in guiding you in the right direction.

Hiring new specialists will also mean that appropriate checks will need to be included in any recruitment process to ensure that candidates have the right levels of qualifications. This can be done using the next of our key pharma and biotech recruitment trends.


The Increasing Applications for AI and Machine Learning


Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI and ML) have become indispensable tools in drug discovery, clinical trials, and data analysis. Recently, there have been year-on-year increases in the number of job posts requiring AI competencies. This is largely due to the perceived efficiency-boosting advantages that these skills are bringing to the industry as a whole, as well as the improvements in terms of safety and cost reduction.

As these are high-demand skills in a typically unrelated field, a recruiter looking for professionals with AI and ML skills will be competing with many others for attention. AI and ML skills are essential not only in the life sciences field today, but they can also be integrated into the recruitment process itself to help streamline and screen potential candidates either in-house or through a recruitment service with access to professional tools.

While these skills allow companies to harness the potential of these technologies for better decision-making and innovation, it will require new ways of thinking to attract these professionals into the biotech and pharma industries.


The Use of Other Global Markets to Fill in for Skill Shortages


Addressing talent shortages is no longer confined to local markets. With skills shortages acknowledged across the industry, pharma and biotech companies are expanding their talent search worldwide to fill in the gaps. However, navigating global legal regulations and local benchmarks across multiple regions can be a challenge.

Overseas hiring brings key advantages to biotech and pharma in particular. Beyond the immediate advantage of expanding the talent pool to encompass far greater numbers of applicants, diversity in the medical field is the perfect way to encourage international collaboration, driving global efforts forward.

For many companies, this may mean benefitting from multilingual new hires with experience in different markets that these companies may wish to expand to in the future. It can also provide a range of new perspectives that promote problem-solving and global thinking in existing teams.


The Implementation of Long-Term Flexible Working Arrangements (to Attract Talent and Build Global Teams)


To attract top-tier talent and build diverse, global teams, companies are embracing long-term flexible work arrangements. Remote work options and flexible hours are proven to improve work-life balance, widen the recruitment net, encourage employee satisfaction, and reduce time off in the long run.

When hiring in pharma and biotech, remote work options can be a way to entice better applicants and enable access to talent irrespective of global boundaries. However, this will require new ways of thinking regarding building a global working environment.

Some companies may see remote working options as a challenge that needs to be overcome, but forward-thinking recruiters are using it alongside flexible work options as new tools in their arsenal of incentives.


The Need for Regulatory Compliance Skills When Entering New Global Markets


Expansion into new international markets is a great strategic move, but it comes with new challenges thanks to complex regulatory landscapes. Regulatory compliance in biotech and pharma can mean many things, including data protection, checks on the safety of new products, legal steps during the company opening process, hiring diversity, and so on.

The pandemic, in particular, has brought new concerns around safety and professionalism during clinical trials to the forefront of people’s attention. Because this is such a key aspect of many industries’ requirements, companies are obliged to hire experts versed in navigating international regulatory frameworks to ensure a smooth market entry.

Hiring staff are now more and more pressed to find applicants that come with specific skills or experience in regulatory compliance. While large numbers of businesses are looking to outsource these skills in order to fulfill their needs, by factoring these needs into the recruitment process, companies can reduce the challenges they face later during expansion.


New Demand for Generalists


At the same time, as the demand for those with particular skills in new technologies or practices is growing, there is also a continued need for generalists. Professionals who can bridge different areas of expertise and collaborate effectively across interdisciplinary teams are in high demand. However, this is a particular concern in the pharma and biotech industries as they become more specific.

Generalists with flexible problem-solving skills are highly prized assets in evolving industries. With these generalists often not playing one particular role but instead being hired to pursue interdisciplinary projects or take on management positions, it can be difficult for recruiters to know what they are looking for. That’s why it’s more important than ever to include those with industry knowledge and experience in the hiring process, who can guide recruiters to the right talent.


Employer Branding Is More Important Than Ever 


In today’s competitive talent market, employer branding is a game-changer. With such a high demand for applicants with the right skills and knowledge, it’s up to companies to attract the best, and this means rethinking what makes your company the right choice for a potential applicant.

Companies that prioritize inclusive, flexible work with a sense of purpose are attracting the best talent, and they are ensuring that their employer brand, or EVP (Employer Value Proposition), is a positive part of any contract that workers have with the company. An attractive employer brand sets the stage for long-term success in recruitment and retention, and this means making sure that potential applicants know your company understands modern needs and can offer employee satisfaction.

Properly approaching good employer branding may now mean going beyond the traditional job posting sites or methods to use other avenues like social media and approaching applicants proactively. However, hiring teams within an HR department have to be sure that they are promising talent the right benefits for their industry or location and that they can also come through on those promises.