The Biometrics market is as technical as it is rewarding. One of our SEC consultants, Marco Menesello, gives his professional insight in to his experience in the sector.
Can you give us a brief overview of the types of roles you place?
I handle biometrics which consist of two different types of roles: biostatistics and SAS programmers, but also all people who are involved in analysis into pre-clinical, clinical and post-clinical research. For my part, I deal with discovery and selection of biostatistics and Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) Modellers (scientists). Biostatistics develop statistic methodologies to evaluate drug qualities, for example its efficacy and efficiency. PK/PD Modellers study for example new molecules or drug dosage, to test their toxicity. It’s a detailed market!
Describe your ideal candidate – what do they look like?
The ideal candidate is somebody with past experience in the industry who has already worked in consulting (pharmaceuticals or biotechs). It is better if they have worked in a similar role within a therapeutic area or phase study. It’s so important the candidate is able to communicate, in the true sense of the word, so they should be able to explain a concept (often a technical and specialist concept) to a non-technical person. This skill is not easy to find however and somebody who can articulate with brevity is ideal.
The ideal candidate should be flexible and not be phased by challenges. Somebody who can quickly react and adapt to any challenges are always important.
For my part, I love working with candidates who are honest, sincere, balanced, professional, who have integrity and are committed to the recruitment process they want to engage in. It is very much like our values at SEC – we have trust, honesty, integrity and commitment and when we work with anybody we would like them to treat us as we promise to treat them.
Good fluency in English is valuable, because our projects are global projects and they will be joining a team where English is the primary language spoken, so we find it important to test and challenge the language skills of all of our candidates.
What I like about the candidates I deal with, however, is that the vast majority are professional, willing and dependable. I present them opportunities in the best way, the situation, benefits, salary, etc., but I always tell them is that the best way to understand if this opportunity is right for them they should put their everything in to getting it. Then it is up to me to sell them to hiring manager. It is a team effort in getting that candidate the role they’ve always dreamed of!
So, professionalism, availability, flexibility, honesty and maturity. If you can demonstrate those, then your skills and knowledge will help me to get you that job that you are looking for.
What have you seen happening in your market in recent years?
I have been in this market for two years, but my job means I have had to research the industry as far back as 20 years ago, to get a good idea of how it is evolving and certainly recruitment companies weren’t as aligned as they are now to the clients and their needs. Now the word ‘partnership’ means so much more. Perhaps that was because of competition, fewer tools and access to candidates via LinkedIn; all have played a massive part in the evolution of the hiring process within every industry and the life sciences sector is no different.
The pharma industry has also seen much development in my time too. I see a lot more investment in Europe and the rest of the world and many countries and companies have invested in pharmaceutical research and development, but there is also a drive for positions to become more specialist, more niche. If you have a particular skill set and you have extensive market knowledge in a very niche area within pharma, then you will definitely go far.
With regards to candidates, they are much more open to talking about changing roles than 10 years ago. The change in the acceptance of positions is certainly something I have seen, especially in the biostatistics field, because nowadays they know the important role a recruiter can play in transforming their lives.
How has it changed and how will it be changing moving forward?
As Mark Wilkins has said in a previous blog, the world is definitely becoming more regulated and we’ve seen plenty of that in the pharmaceutical industry too.
I think also that nowadays recruiters have become more specialised to, as increased competition has had an impact on the life sciences market, but the demands of employers have required us to be more specialised. For example, if you think of us at SEC: we have grown and evolved as a business in to the life sciences sector and our disciplines and the way that we are divided by skills, we have people who are real experts in their field and with accreditation’s and certifications like our IAOCR bronze WQA, we are more qualified and specialised and we can give our candidates and clients peace of mind that they are working with a recruiter that really understands its field.
How will it change moving forward? I think Brexit will produce changes, but there is a lot of uncertainty, so we have to see what will change and how much. I think Brexit indicates a kind of “deal breaker” for some people but for some companies it is not so simple. It is true that pharmaceutical companies with British headquarters may consider whether they will remain in the UK or to move to other countries. But from what we are seeing there is still demand across Europe and with the way we are structured as a company – speaking over 20 languages and with people from all over the world in our London office – we are in a good position to support regardless of what challenges Brexit provides us.
Technology will develop other tools in recruitment that will help us to be more fast and accurate in candidate sourcing, but the recruitment industry has always been very adaptive, so I think that we will as an organisation also evolve and continue to develop as we look to service our candidates and clients’ requirements.