A significant number of mergers and acquisitions have resulted in a volatile environment across some of the life sciences industry, with restructures and redundancies taking place. But many organisations are growing, creating new departments and therefore new vacancies.
Due to a continued focus on personalized care we have seen an increase in the demand for Medical Affairs positions in particular Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), as well as a continued demand for specialist Sales Representatives with technical and commercial abilities. The requirement for more technical patient-centric roles is forcing employers to consider overseas candidates, as local supply does not currently meet demand. As Medical Affairs teams grow we foresee a shortage of candidates with proven leadership capabilities to take on the management of such teams.
In terms of skills in demand for the April – June 2015 quarter, we’re seeing an ongoing high demand for Clinical Research Associates (CRAs). The opportunities are mostly with contract research organisations (CROs) who require candidates with a minimum of six months independent monitoring experience in Australia or New Zealand. They are therefore unable to consider CRAs from a study coordinators background or offer entry level CRA positions to people from overseas, and so there is a small finite pool of experienced CRAs in the region for each position. Applicants at SCRA and CPM level are often seeking opportunities for career progression which is relatively limited in Australia, so we are seeing more candidates relocate internationally in order develop their careers.
We have seen CRA salaries increase over the past few months as companies compete for talent. Employers are having to reconsider previous packages and attraction methods to persuade candidates to move, and counter offers are becoming more common as companies try and retain current employees.