TO SUPPORT STRATEGIC DECISIONS
In spite of the economic instability we have experienced over the past few years, the Health sector has been one of the most resistant to the inconsistency of the recruitment market. This sector has managed to achieve a balance between moderate restraints and has relied on innovation and technology, which is now crucial for recovery as the economy becomes more competitive. This industry continues recruiting a reasonable amount of specialised professionals in 2010.
However, the past year has not meant recovery. Governmental measures have caused the reduction in price regarding medicines, along with lower profitability and margin. Therefore, the number of employees employed in the Pharmaceutical Industry has been reduced. The market for generic medicine was, as a consequence, one of the most affected.
Even though the Medical Devices sector is among those which registered high levels of movement and numerous recruitment processes, it has also been affected by restraint measures. Many hospitals tend to reduce the cost of purchases, negotiating at a central level, and the majority of the time valorising cheaper products.
The difficulties have caused the industry to adopt a more strategic position in the market by strengthening fewer operational departments, such as Marketing and Sales. Therefore, the demand for positions associated with the Clinical and Pharmacoeconomic sectors have increased. The growth of the Medical Devices market is explained by the constant need to hire specialists in certain areas, such as equipments for diagnosis, or surgical specialists. The Generic Medicine Market chose to hire better prepared professionals, with new skills, in order to face the difficult situation.
The top Management profiles and Sales Representatives in the Medical Devices sector, however, did not benefit from the increased number of professionals in the market. The small dimension of structures, when compared to the Pharmaceutical Industry, prevented the staff turnover and movement in the market.
There were new tendencies with regards to the positions that we are traditionally asked to find. As the market is becoming more and more challenging, professionals and clients become particularly selective and value more the scientific component of the product. Therefore, they prefer people that have been trained in Life Sciences rather than Marketing and Management techniques and operations.
Pharmacoeconomic profiles with experience in Regulatory Authority, Regulatory Affairs, or Medical Managers, are now starting to play a more important role in the recruitment market. The first two benefited from the actions of regulators, which demanded thorough presentation of files regarding new medicine. Furthermore, medical Managers were more operational and key members of team as well as providing support to the whole organisation. These are extremely hard to find because few professionals reveal, besides academic qualifications and technical skills, their real motivation to abandon the clinical practice in order to pursue sales roles.
This year, salaries within this sector have not been increased. The variable component and fringe benefits ended up compensating for this situation as far as Middle and Top Management positions associated with Marketing, Sales, and Medical are concerned. Besides company cars, employers now offer a better lunch allowance, Pension Plan, Stock Options, and Health Insurance, which can be extended to the nuclear family, Internet, Unlimited Mobile usage, and Health & Fitness benefits.
Although companies are making an effort to attract new talent, the benefits they present the candidate with are not always attractive enough. Just like employers, professionals are also becoming more selective and careful when analysing a job opportunities. Even if the salary package is one of the main influential factors to change jobs, it is now comes after the company, career development opportunities, and the quality of the position. All of the above factors are present in Lisbon, which has the best job offers within the Pharmaceutical Industry.
In our opinion the situation in this sector in 2011 is likely to be similar to that of 2010. Strategic roles, such as Pharmacoeconomic, Medical Management, and Key Account Management, should be the most requested, because these are now important for the Generic Medicine sector. In addition, they are described as the driving force of the business, as they are able to meet the new trends of the market.
It is likely that there will be less job offers and there should be lots of available professionals available in the market. The salary package is not likely to be increased and stagnation can be expected.