Top scientists and managers harder to recruit

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Employment

Recruiting top scientists and managers is proving increasingly difficult, according to leading United States recruitment agency Pharma Logistics.

Although the​ (United States) national unemployment rate is 12 per cent, companies are finding it more difficult to hire the right calibre of leading scientists and managers​,” the company’s president Megan Driscoll told at AAPS in New Orleans.

A recent telephone survey conducted by her company reveals the size of the problem, she said. “When we contacted top industry professionals three years ago, 90 per cent said they would be interested in hearing about new job opportunities. But when we repeated our survey this year, only 65 per cent said they were interested in information about new jobs​.”

Pension benefits

Driscoll attributes the shortage of senior scientists and managers thinking about changing their jobs to economic recession. “People value their jobs much more than ever before. In these uncertain economic times they are reluctant to move and very concerned about keeping their pension benefits​,” she said.

But Driscoll urged senior staff to remain alert to new job opportunities – even if they were happy and thought themselves secure in their current role. Gaining experience in different roles and working in different-sized companies will help people broaden their portfolio of skills and experience.

Also, anyone who has been in the same role for seven to 10 years should begin to look for a new role. “Staying in the same job for more than 10 years can definitely damage your job prospects,”​ said Driscoll. “A lot of people pigeon-hole themselves by working too long in the same job. That can be a career-ender. If you are in danger of becoming pigeon-holed then you should expand your horizons as quickly as possible​.”

Meanwhile, too many people in the pharma industry fail to plan their careers effectively, she continued. “It is important for individuals to realise that they are in direct charge of their own careers​.”

Vice-president’s role

“The first step is to decide what you want to achieve. Is it to continue working in the lab or move towards a vice-president’s role with a $250,000 salary and a corner office​.”

Without a definite career plan, employees tend to be pushed and pulled by their employers in directions that may ultimately leave them dissatisfied, or worse, out of work.

Kristin Taplick, leader of Covance’s Recruiting Group, endorsed Driscoll’s call for employees to take charge of their own careers. “Employees have to realise that they are their own boss. You have to take responsibility for what you want to do in the future​.”

Performing well in your current role is no guarantee of security or promotion – you have to make your own opportunities, she added.

Related topics Markets & Regulations

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more