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16 Sep 2015

Technical knowledge alone is not enough for pharmaceutical professionals

Pharmaceutical professionals must develop wider commercial and business skills if they want to continue to secure the top jobs, according to NonStop Recruitment.

The specialist pharmaceutical recruitment firm warned that as firms across the world are making significant cuts, professionals must go out of their way to develop wider skill sets or face falling behind their rivals in the job market. This follows on from reports that Merck has made over 36,000 professionals — around half of its workforce — redundant over the past 5 years and plans to reduce its headcount even further.

Abid Kanji, Associate Director at NonStop Recruitment commented: “The sector has faced numerous challenges over the past few years and some firms have, and continue to be, forced into making cuts in order to remain afloat. What this means for professionals is that they have to develop much wider skill sets to secure the top jobs, of which there are now far fewer. It’s not enough just to have the technical knowledge anymore — firms will expect that as a prerequisite — now they’re looking for that understanding combined with more developed commercial and general business skills.”

“This isn’t just limited to the pharmaceutical sector; it’s a trend that can be seen across the entire business arena. Organisations now want professionals who are much more rounded than in the past and are able to identify potential commercial opportunities even if this isn’t necessarily in their remit. The spread of M&A activity has also meant firms are interested in professionals with skills in managing external partnerships and regulatory affairs. Those who fail to build at least some of these qualities and only look to develop their direct market knowledge are likely to struggle when it comes to looking for a new role as they may find the market has left them behind.”

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