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Life Sciences

April - June 2014



Quality Assurance / Quality Control – We have seen a slight increase in Quality roles in the market. Employers continue to promote from within their teams and across departments when suitable, however when recruiting new staff they seek candidates with broad skill sets.


Validation Engineers – The validation space is stable but there remains a shortage of strong Validation Engineers in Australia. Some companies are looking overseas for candidates who are suitable for senior positions.


CRAs and SCRAs - Demand continues for good quality CRA and SCRA professionals with a minimum of two years multi-site independent monitoring experience within pharma or CRO environments.  CROs are still willing to sponsor excellent candidates in such job functions.  Contract opportunities still drive the clinical landscape within pharma at all levels with permanent opportunities available within the CRO space.


Medical Affairs Associates, Senior Associates and Medical Science Liaisons - There is continued demand in the medical space for Medical Affairs Associates and Senior Associates as well as Medical Science Liaisons.


Regulatory Affairs Associates and Senior Regulatory Associates - Within the regulatory affairs space there is still consistent demand for associates and senior associates both in pharma and medical devices.  In particular demand but limited supply are people with experience registering new prescription medicines with innovator companies. 


Mid level Sales – As companies shed reporting lines and take time to realign their business for growth this year, we are seeing new mid level sales roles created.  There is a lot of activity in the market in this space but a shortage of degree qualified, credible candidates who match the specifics of the role description from a technical product and channel perspective as hiring managers are becoming more demanding in these areas.


Territory ManagersWe continue to see demand for territory managers, particularly for candidates with nursing or clinical qualifications coupled with sales experience. We are also noting higher demand for TMs who have strong technical backgrounds.




The life sciences industry as a whole has remained stable over the last quarter, with a recent feeling that employment confidence is rising, especially within smaller companies. 


Trends indicate that local Australian companies are looking to employ additional staff, with sales and marketing most likely to benefit due to growth opportunities. 


Senior sales and marketing professionals are loyal to their current roles, and those positions that do occasionally become available at this level receive an enormous amount of applicants with wide ranging skills and experience. This leads to a lengthy recruitment process. As a result, good senior individuals are often reluctant to apply, and prefer to find out more about the role through a third party before submitting an application. This is a key factor when it comes to capturing the appropriate talent in this tight senior community.


Both large global and smaller Australian owned CROs continue to grow as more businesses outsource and the pharma workforce shrinks. With this comes newly created and more specialist job functions within business development, feasibility and Study-Start Up. 


The challenge is that pharma companies that for a long time were the training ground for entry-level candidates now only hire experienced candidates for contract roles. In addition, given demand from sponsors on quality and cost CROs are also only hiring experienced CRAs. This is leading to the shortage of CRAs with around two years of experience.   


Contract opportunities still drive the pharma landscape at all levels, with permanent opportunities existing within the CRO space.


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