What does commercial recruitment in pharma and Medtech look like now?

What does commercial recruitment in pharma and Medtech look like now?

Andy Anderson, Recruitment Director at Evolve, shares his insights into the current commercial marketplace within pharma and Medtech.


As we move through 2021 and towards 2022, the question I am most frequently asked from both client and job seekers is ‘how does the commercial recruitment market look right now?’

From a recruitment perspective, it’s clear that the industry is certainly recovering following the global events of the past months. The Medtech commercial sector has made a relatively rapid recovery in terms of job opportunities, with pharma being more cautious initially. Job numbers across both sectors are now definitely on the rise and there is a lot of positivity across the board. We’ve seen a significant rise of traditional Territory Manager vacancies within Medtech. Pharma is in the process of adapting.

Along with the traditional face to face vacancies, we are now supporting clients in building remote based support teams as well and we have seen a definite increase in ‘hybrid’ skillsets being required. That’s great to see after a turbulent period in 2020 and early 2021. However, things have evolved and there are definite differences in a market and recruitment processes compared to early 2020. The first thing to note is that it is definitely a vacancy driven market many companies in many instances struggling to find large numbers of applicants, whilst at the same time being very selective on the skill sets they now look for in a changed market. Naturally that presents challenges from both perspectives.

The candidate perspective

Let’s start with a candidate perspective. What should job seekers expect when making a career move? It’s important to recognise recruitment processes have evolved and are unlikely to completely return to how they were conducted pre-COVID. Virtual led processes, as well as the use of new technologies, continue to develop. Job seekers need to be prepared for this and Evolve has helped many to do so over the past months. Face to face processes are now returning to some extent, typically at later stages of a recruitment process, however the nature of new vacancies in the industry means that virtual selling skills are now a big part of a ‘modern’ commercial sales role in many instances. Because of this there are many companies who are choosing to adopt a virtual recruitment strategy long-term as there is no better way to assess these virtual skills than through the recruitment process itself. My opinion is that applicants will now be virtually assessed for these competencies more and more moving forward. I expect we will see continuous development of how this is done over the coming months.

Evolve’s own use of technologies and modern recruitment has undergone a rapid development in the past months which puts us in a great position to help job seekers and enhance their search by helping them adjust to these new ways of securing a job. The team here are heavily invested in helping our customers understand and adapt to this.

The employer perspective

On the other side of the fence, when looking at this from a client point of view, it’s equally as important to have this understanding of the market when we are trying to help those organisations secure great talent. It is a vacancy driven market with organisations struggling across many sectors to fill vacancies. We are regularly asked why there seems to be a lack of candidates across the board, not just within our market. That’s a whole topic to discuss by itself. For the purposes of this article, I think the main thing is to address what an organisation can do to make itself as attractive as possible to entice potential applicants. Salary is important to everyone and pay rises are a nice to have but job seekers are looking for much more than this in today’s market. This is the feedback we get from nearly all job seekers we’re working with here at Evolve. Stability, security, and future career development feature far more highly in candidate psyche in the current world.

Evolve have been helping our clients invest in creating enticing recruitment processes which showcase their organisation from start to finish. Those who produce great materials and offer this job security as well as flexibility are the ones who are likely to attract talent who may not necessarily have been active job seekers. A great recruitment process which is engaging, and most importantly quick, will without a doubt help. From our perspective, we’ve invested in our valued clients to help create this and have encouraged them to move quickly. If you don’t in today’s market, chances are you will lose out on that candidate to another company. It’s surprising how often that can happen.

All in all, it’s exciting times within the commercial recruitment market. I think the next few months will see significant growth across the secure and we look forward to being a part of it, helping our customers achieve their personal goals!

For further information, call Evolve on 0113 457 0777.