3 Challenges Biotech Recruiters are Facing Since the Pandemic

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Trends in Recruitment


3 Challenges Biotech Recruiters are Facing Since the Pandemic

Even the best biotech recruiters are facing big challenges since the pandemic. As market growth continues to outpace talent availability, innovation is necessary if we are to support and further the exciting advances our scientific community has brought to bear.

Accelerated Growth Fueling Demand for Top Biotech Talent

There is no question that biotech, life sciences, and the medical field, in general, experienced massive acceleration over the past couple of years. Since March 2020, more treatments have been approved, biotech investment reached record heights, and thousands of new companies entered the landscape, heralding unprecedented growth in just about every aspect of the sector.

And while such growth inarguably benefits the greater good, the challenges of biotechnology recruitment are running nose to nose.

Three Top Challenges that Biotech Recruiters Face Today

Sustainable growth demands close alignment of all variables related to that growth. Continuity requires continuous attention to detail and an acute awareness of the competitive landscape to ensure no opportunities are missed.

Here are the most significant concerns facing the best biotech recruiters today.

1.     Compliance

Compliance is a concern in every aspect of the medical and life sciences field. Data privacy standards like HIPAA and GDPR must be considered at every juncture. Staying abreast of regulations within territories is a complex and risky business with severe penalties for non-compliance.

But compliance comes in many forms—in other words, it’s not limited to data privacy. Labor compliance standards, for example, have undergone a sweeping transformation in recent years. Since the start of the pandemic, they loosened considerably in an effort to address Covid vaccine testing and research, easing the regulatory burden on biotech companies. However, there is little likelihood the changes will hold. Biotech recruiters are bracing for the next wave of labor regulations and must be well-informed and ready to respond.

Meeting global employment standards and dealing with the different agencies has never been a simple matter, but when each country follows a different set of rules, it is challenging to satisfy them. Such complications extend the time it takes for a biotech recruiter to place qualified individuals, delays that impede progress as they ripple through the life sciences industry.

Beyond the regulatory landscape, issues like diversity, equity, accommodation, and debiasing are top-of-mind. Biotech recruiters must level the playing field for all candidates to ensure they appeal to all. The best biotech recruiters work closely with companies to ensure their employer brand is inclusive, attractive, and competitive.

2.     Talent and Staffing

The need for biotech skills far exceeds supply. It’s a landscape that won’t likely change anytime soon as sustainable growth requires cooperation from educational institutions and regulatory bodies. Though more innovation is entering the market, there is a risk of shortfalls in supporting and seeing them to fruition. Without such support, life-changing solutions remain just out of reach, and we risk stepping backward in the race to bring new medicines, vaccines, therapies, and medical devices to market.

The best biotech headhunters cannot restrict their search within geographies and must leave no stone and no resource unturned in the race to identify and attract talent wherever it lives. Technology will most certainly accelerate these processes, but this is a conundrum as well, as where we’re seeing some of the most significant talent shortfalls are in areas like data science and software.

3.     Cost Control

Rising costs in the biotech and life sciences sectors place a massive burden on companies to maintain operations, even as products often take years to come to market. Research and development for a drug or medical device require significant investment with little guarantee of a return for a decade or more. Adding to the burden, governments pressure companies to keep prices down, further impacting profits.

In biotech recruiting, salaries and compensation packages must be competitive to meet hiring goals. As inflation continues to drive these expectations higher, companies must work harder to ensure success. After a market surge in 2020, biotech experienced a 25% drop in 2021, and so far, 2022 is down an additional 20%. Without a rebound, smaller companies may struggle until they identify new markets, funding sources, or merge with larger companies.


Final Thoughts

Biotech recruiters face many challenges every day. Though the pandemic has amplified the issues, Pact and Partners remains a trusted source in executive and technical search for life sciences. Reach out today to start the conversation.

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