MedCity News has a new Jobs section to provide employers in healthcare another avenue to promote openings. To highlight this new section, company executives are sharing insights on hiring trends and emerging roles in healthcare.
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Medidata provides a platform for clinical development, commercial, and real-world data. It offers services to CROs, pharma, biotech, medical device and diagnostics companies, and academic researchers.
Andrew Bott, Director of Talent Acquisition for EMEA and APAC countries at Medidata, shared his insights on hiring trends in this sector, in response to emailed questions.
Note: This exchange has been lightly edited
What roles are most in demand?
In short, all roles are in huge demand and we’re seeing hiring needs across all functions. From sales professionals to take the story to the market, or R&D specialists to drive innovation across the software development life cycle, or customer-facing professional services who can conceptualize solutions for customers and help them extract the max from a specific technology. We’re seeing this in our organization, as well as the industry as a whole, that hiring is across all functional areas.
The challenge is finding talent that marries a functional skill set, be it in sales, professional services or technology, with domain experience in life sciences and clinical trials. This is the “silver bullet”, so to speak. Artificial intelligence (AI) and data science are still relatively young industries and concepts so finding these product specialists can be extremely challenging.
Compared to other industries, e.g. financial services, healthcare and life sciences has been traditionally slower to adopt and invest in technology. Whilst in more recent years this was changing, the global spotlight on the industry driven by the pandemic hugely disrupted and accelerated technology adoption and investment. Consequently, this has attracted interest from private equity, consulting houses, global health organizations, big tech, start-ups, etc. All of a sudden, the market for talent has become very crowded and incredibly competitive as we all look to cope with growth and demand. We’ve been living in a candidate-driven market for a while, but in the last two years this has become even more evident.
What strategies are companies using to attract the best qualified candidates to compete against larger organizations?
Companies aren’t just competing against larger organizations for talent. The benchmark for career focused professionals is no longer that all roads in your career lead to joining a larger organization – that’s an outdated and old fashioned view of what candidates want. Higher calibre candidates don’t define jobs by the size of organization, but by the quality of role and the impact they can have. This means companies are competing against all other companies, no matter their size or evolution.
Traditional talent acquisition strategies simply aren’t enough anymore. You have to be sharp and innovative in all routes and channels to reach candidates. Your company’s employee value proposition must be clearly defined and easily accessible. Candidates aren’t just looking for a job — they’re looking for a company that aligns with them in terms of values, diversity, opportunity, inclusion, commitment to CSR, culture, employee happiness, work/life balance, etc. So not only do you need to activate and target every channel to a candidate, but this needs to be backed up with a strong and clear employee value proposition.
At Medidata, there are multiple initiatives we’re taking to attract talented candidates. In the last 12 months we have built an in-house global talent sourcing function. We feel we are best placed to articulate our message and employee value proposition because we live it ourselves as employees – and dedicating time and resources to this process is key.
We also have an enhanced employee referral scheme to drive our own networks and incentivize employees to put candidates forward. Additionally, as a Talent Acquisition team, we are driving a culture of teamwork with our hiring managers, sharing talent pools and agreeing outreach strategies together. Hiring is a team sport, not the exclusive role of TA. Where we have achieved this, we are winning and attracting top talent.
What are some emerging job roles/hiring trends you are seeing at your company, and companies in this sector?
We’re seeing a lot of emerging roles in the artificial intelligence (AI) and data science spaces. While this is true across most sectors, it is particularly relevant for Medidata and our Acorn AI business. For the last 20 years, Medidata has been working with clinical trial data (to date, more than 25,000 clinical trials have been conducted on our platform) so we’re constantly looking at how we can leverage this data to better serve patients, increase the speed of trials and drive better decision-making earlier in the process.
Since the start of 2020, Medidata’s AI team has increased headcount by 35%. For Medidata, the pandemic also massively accelerated the growth of our Patient Cloud business due to the increased adoption of Medidata patient-facing technologies, solutions and devices — all designed so clinical trials can be accessible to patients wherever they are.
The hiring trends we’re seeing in the sector are similar to what we’re doing at Medidata — a focus on elements outside of any particular role. This includes the mission of the company, work/life balance, employee wellbeing, CSR initiatives, strong work culture, etc. Candidates are a more discerning population now, especially post pandemic. They have more clearly defined needs and what’s important to them has changed. They demand more all-round fulfillment. Companies need to offer employees a way of life, not just a job, and a community where they are welcome, respected and can make an impact.
To learn more about posting job announcements on MedCity News, contact Winnie Liu at email@example.com.
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