Executive Recruitment in the Health and Pharma Sectors is increasingly sensitive. Issues in the healthcare sector will always make headlines. However, recent media coverage of high-profile cases in this industry – including, the ongoing lawsuit against Martin Shkreli, otherwise known as ‘the most hated man in America’, have highlighted the scrutiny that today’s health sector leaders have to contend with.
Speaking exclusively to Executive Grapevine, Anke Janssen, Managing Director, Life Sciences EMEA & US, explained that in an industry that has to grapple with so many macro-challenges, in full view of the public, enticing the best executives can often come down to the basics.
She said: “It has become more difficult for clients who don’t offer or have the ability to offer geographical flexibility to attract great candidates, as many of them are asking for flexibility to commute and also the ability to work from home, but don’t want to relocate even for financial incentives.”
The need for the client to appeal to the best candidates is reflected in what Janssen calls a “candidate driven market” which she puts down to “the further consolidation of the Life Sciences market, with massive M&A happening”.
As a result, “candidates are more careful about making career changes in this environment, as they see change as a risk.” Janssen adds: “We have also seen the rapid development of in-house recruiting departments and the use of RPOs. However, this applies mainly for more junior talent or mid-level positions rather than Senior Executive level. There has also been an increase investment in talent management activities, with employers for example being able to counter-offer faster than in the past to retain talent. Brexit has also had an impact (although not substantial), but we are now seeing a clear interest from candidates in coming back, or moving from, the UK.”
However, with candidates now aware, more than ever, of how a company is performing and how it treats their staff, Janssen believes the coming 12 months will see major disruption as Search firms are tasked with scrambling for the best candidates in a tighter-than-ever marketplace.
She concludes: “We see clients putting more focus on improving the employer brand and ensuring a smooth selection and assessment process as the “war for talent” and realities of a candidate driven market take effect.”