Emerging Roles in Life Sciences & Biotech: What Recruiters Need to Know in 2024

Home > Resources » Industry News » Emerging Roles in Life Sciences & Biotech: What Recruiters Need to Know in 2024

The global biotech market is expected to surpass $3.44 trillion by 2030.

The life sciences and biotech industries are rapidly evolving, driven by technological advancements and shifting market demands. This article provides an overview of what recruiters need to know, combining global trends with a specific focus on the UK market, offering key insights into the sector.

Market Dynamics and Growth

The global biotech market is on track to exceed $3.44 trillion by 2030. In the UK, the biotech sector, known for its robust academic foundation and leading drug discovery capabilities, remains early-stage and higher-risk compared to the US. Last year, the UK government announced a £1 billion investment in life sciences to boost innovation and commerce.

Companies like Oxford Nanopore Technologies raised significant funds in 2023, securing more than £1 billion. In the US, employment in the life sciences sector hit a record 2.1 million jobs at the start of 2023, with continued growth expected.

Emerging Roles and In-Demand Skills

  • Immunology Expertise: Graduates and scientists with immunology backgrounds are in high demand.
  • Data Analysis and Bioinformatics: Proficiency in managing and analysing large-scale genomic datasets is crucial.
  • AI and Machine Learning: Understanding AI applications in drug discovery, personalised medicine, and bioprocess optimisation is essential.
  • CRISPR and Gene Editing: Practical knowledge of the latest gene editing technologies and their applications is vital.
  • Regulatory Affairs and Compliance: Awareness of evolving regulatory landscapes in biotech and pharmaceuticals is needed.
  • Biomanufacturing and Process Development: Expertise in scalable production methods for biologics and cell therapies is sought after.
  • Cross-disciplinary Communication: Ability to convey complex scientific concepts across different specialties is important.
  • Project Management in R&D: Skills in managing complex, multi-disciplinary research projects are highly valued.
  • Sustainable Biotech Practices: Understanding environmentally sustainable approaches in biotech research and production is becoming increasingly important.

Industry Focus Areas

In 2023, six out of the ten most sought-after roles were in Research & Development (R&D). The industry is increasingly focusing on medical devices, technologies, and biomanufacturing. Clinical laboratory technologists and medical scientists who oversee research and clinical trials are among the most in-demand professionals. The UK continues to excel in early-stage biotech and innovation in drug discovery.

Recruitment Challenges

The biotech sector faces several recruitment challenges:

Talent Pool Saturation: The talent pool is saturated, with career mobility stagnating due to economic pressures.

Reduced Hiring: Job postings in the bioscience field have decreased significantly.

Increased Competition: With fewer development programs due to reduced R&D investment, competition for top positions is intensifying.

Strategies for Agency Recruiters:

Flexibility in Candidate Sourcing: Adapt your sourcing strategies to include non-traditional candidates and passive job seekers. Use a variety of platforms to reach potential candidates who may not be actively looking but possess the necessary skills.

Network Expansion: Develop strong relationships with academic institutions, research centers, and professional organizations. Attending industry conferences and events to connect with emerging talent and thought leaders.

Leverage Industry Expertise: Position your agency as an industry expert by staying updated on the latest technological advancements and trends. Provide clients with insights on market dynamics and emerging skill sets to help them make informed hiring decisions.

Interdisciplinary Approach: Look for candidates with diverse skill sets that can bridge traditional scientific roles with emerging technologies. Highlight the value of interdisciplinary knowledge in addressing complex biotech challenges.

Candidate Engagement: Enhance your candidate engagement strategies by offering career development resources, industry news, and personal communication. Build long-term relationships with candidates to ensure a robust pipeline of talent.

Use Advanced Recruitment Tools: Invest in advanced recruitment tools and platforms that use AI and machine learning to identify and match candidates more efficiently. These tools can help you stay ahead in a competitive market.

Tailored Recruitment Marketing: Develop targeted marketing campaigns to attract niche talent. Use data-driven insights to craft messages that resonate with specific candidate segments within the biotech sector.

By implementing these strategies, recruiters can effectively navigate the challenges in the biotech sector and position themselves as valuable partners in the recruitment process, helping clients secure top talent in a competitive landscape.

Future Outlook

The potential for larger pharma companies to acquire smaller biotechs with strong assets may increase. A skills gap is emerging due to increased remote work, affecting the development of new skills through in-person interactions. The UK biotech sector is expected to continue growing, with significant innovation and investment in life sciences, healthcare, and MedTech sectors in 2024. Personalised medicine is projected to reach a market value of $869.5 billion by 2031.

In conclusion, the life sciences and biotech industries are undergoing significant transformation. Recruiters must stay adaptable, focus on emerging skills, and understand the evolving needs of the industry. Navigating through economic challenges and being prepared for potential rebounds and shifts in demand for specific roles and expertise will be crucial for success in this sector.

If you’re in Life Sciences or Biotech and want to partner with recruitment investment experts able to not only start but help scale your business in these sectors, get in touch and we’ll advise you on your options.