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Procurement and Supply Chain Recruitment Trends in the West Coast Pharma Industry

Posted on December 2020 By Axis Rutledge

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Throughout this unprecedented year of 2020, we have seen movements in all industries when it comes to the ever-changing Procurement and Supply Chain market, especially within the Pharma and Biotech space which has been highly impacted and put to the test by COVID-19. The DSJ Global team has a team dedicated exclusively to supporting clients in this industry with identifying the right talent. Like many others, DSJ Global has adapted to a new way of working, whilst ensuring we continue to support and advise our clients. While many roles were placed on hold in the period from March to May, it seems that most clients have now adapted to a “new normal” and are hiring again with urgency.

In this update, we outlined some of the top trends in Life Sciences Supply Chain and Procurement space due to the impacts of COVID-19 from a candidate and client perspective, and shared what we expect to see in 2021.

COVID-19 in the Workforce

The biggest adjustment in 2020 has been that virtual interviewing and hiring have become the “new norm”. As companies are changing and adapting to the remote work setting, hiring managers are realizing that they still need the same help and headcount that they did before the pandemic, and that they can’t just hit the pause button on hiring now. Because of this, we have also seen a massive upward movement of companies not only hiring remotely, but also allowing current employees to work remotely indefinitely. This allows company to access talent that they have not been able to consider previously from across the United States.

The lasting impacts of COVID-19 will certainly have companies questioning whether they are able to be even more profitable in a remote setting, and if they are able to cut real estate costs. We have seen that in Biotech and small and midsized pharma “in office” is still the expectation when things do return to normal due to the emphasis on culture. This flexibility also allows candidates to start quickly rather than waiting a month or two for relocation. Most client are offering a sign-on bonus for relocation to be paid when it is safe to move.

Biotech | Pharma in 2021

General trends we expect to see in the industry moving into 2021
  • Clinical Supply Chain will continue to be an extremely needed skill set with packaging and labeling experience. There is a shortage of candidates in the West Coast market to meet this demand

  • Significant upward movement with remote hires and indefinite remote options for employees at the corporate level

Top skill sets and noteworthy practice areas in demand
  • Clinical Supply Chain

  • Site Budgets and Vendor Management

  • Biologics Procurement expertise

  • P2P, S2P, Procurement Operations, SOX experience

What can candidates do to differentiate themselves in this competitive market?
  • Choose to take on mentoring responsibilities before having direct reports

  • Cultivate quality relationships with people in your network

  • Take extra courses and obtain certificates to enhance their knowledge about the space

  • Have general knowledge of multiple areas to be able to take on other responsibilities when necessary

  • Highlight and sell “soft” skills

What can clients do to make their teams or businesses stand out vs their competitors?
  • Improving and making a conscious effort to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace

  • Creating more of an online presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets

  • Offering fully remote options or partial if possible and flexible working hours

  • Explaining and showing a clear growth trajectory for current and future hires

  • Establishing a memorable culture and creating a more collaborative and positive work environment

One positive trend observed this year from a hiring perspective is that salary ranges were not largely affected by the global pandemic. There is still a steady increase in compensation for procurement and supply chain opportunities within Biotech and Pharma as most companies continue to compete for top talent in a candidate driven market. This is expected to continue into 2021.

Looking Ahead

DSJ Global’s specialist recruiters continue to expand their market knowledge and deliver the most efficient and effective Life Sciences Procurement and Supply Chain talent on the market to our clients. If you would like to discuss the Life Sciences Supply Chain market further or have any hiring plans for 2021 that we can help with, please get in touch with our team today.

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