Talent attraction in the pharma industry

Talent attraction in the pharma industry


The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a massive shift that industry insiders have dubbed PHARMA 3.0. And it’s made the fight for top talent tougher than ever before.

Pharma 3.0 is the result of a confluence of forces. Increasing demand for healthcare from new middle classes in developing nations, aging populations, and the rise of chronic diseases have placed enormous pressure on the industry.

The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, non-communicable diseases such as obesity and diabetes will account for 44 million deaths a year – 15 percent more than in 2010.

Technological advances are also contributing to this unprecedented level of disruption. Consumers enjoying compelling and individualized experiences in sectors such as retail and telecommunications now expect similar treatment across all interactions, including those with the healthcare sector.

The rise of biotechnology has created a complex web of collaborations and cross-industry partnerships. Non-traditional entrants like Google Ventures are investing heavily in analytics-based startups in the life sciences and health sectors. The tech wearables trend is also booming, with companies like Apple bringing health and fitness information-leveraging apps, watches and other devices to market. Big Pharma is no longer seen as the industry with all the answers to health problems, and pharmaceutical companies now compete on multiple fronts against new market entrants.

As EY’s latest research explains,“Pharma products may find themselves implicitly competing not just with each other but with other interventions that are very effective and much cheaper – a phone call, a nurse’s visit, a 99-cent smartphone app.”

That’s because in the era of Pharma 3.0, prevention is the name of the game. The industry is shifting its R&D, marketing and sales focus from ‘cures’ to ‘outcomes’ as a way of achieving financial sustainability. IBM research revealed the shift of payer focus from cure to prevention resulted in the growth of vaccine sales from US$12 billion in 2006 to US$30 billion in 2014.For the pharmaceutical industry, the increased focus on prevention could be seen as a threat or an opportunity. According to EY, industry leaders must simultaneously develop multiple business models to meet the needs of a broader and more fragmented product offering. But to do so effectively they require talent with a wider set of skills than they traditionally have in house – people with experience in analytics, social media platforms, customer segmentation experience, and more.

The pharmaceutical industry isn’t alone in its struggle to attract more broadly talented people. A recent global study by PwC found that 81 percent of CEOs are in search of talent with a wider range of skill sets than they traditionally looked for.

So what impact do these issues have on pharmaceutical industry hiring companies? In this report, part of the Talent Insights Series, Universum aims to uncover what university students are looking for in future pharmaceutical employers – and how companies can translate these findings into actionable steps for HR, recruiting and C-level leaders.