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Market Insight Series: Data & Bioinformatics

Compass Life Sciences are pleased to announce our latest Market Insight Series which focusses on reviewing the Life Sciences markets for job seekers and clients, based on our observations over the past six months. To begin, the Data & Bioinformatics team have provided valuable insight into the UK, European and US markets based on trends and interactions during this timescale.

A tale of two halves

Big Pharma companies have seen two contrasting experiences when it comes to hiring Data and Bioinformatics experts – depending ultimately on location. The UK and European Big Pharma businesses have been very quick to react to candidates submitted to the various therapeutic areas hiring. The Compass Life Sciences team are seeing turnarounds in anywhere between 4 days to 2 hours, from candidate submission to interview request – and in some cases less than 24 hours from interview to offer stage.

In contrast State-side, US pharmaceutical organisations have been slow to react to a very candidate-driven market: Feedback has been 4 weeks (and longer) before requesting interviews on submitted candidates, often seeing them lose out on talented data analysts and biostatisticians where faster reacting CRO / CDMO, Biotech or Medical Device businesses snap-up the top talent. These competitors are achieving this primarily through streamlining processes, providing real-time interview feedback, and accelerated interview stages – all to ensure they retain this highly sought-after profile.

Green shoots

It is positive to see clients so receptive to a consultancy-driven service from the Compass Life Sciences team: there have been multiple instances where clients have asked us what they should be doing to ensure they secure candidates they know will add value to their organisations; then acting on our guidance, amending the traditional interview processes and providing instantaneous feedback.

As a result, the candidate experience is much better: Momentum is maintained; offers are swift and placements are made in record time. Those who have asked for guidance in the hiring process have seen better returns – the expression “time kills all deals” in recruitment has never been more pertinent, and clients who are removing the “void” of radio silence between interview and feedback have yielded the best results.

Riding the COVID-19 wave

The most attractive therapeutic areas seeing significant movement are Oncology, in particular Immuno-Oncology, Rare Diseases and Vaccines – with COVID-19 a key influence for obvious reasons. Candidates have transitioned from Research into CRO businesses, then into Pharmaceutical organisations – having learned their trade onsite, in-house.

The interview processes are typically two stages at most. With in excess of 95% of all vacancies the Compass Life Sciences team are advising on being 100% remote working, albeit with the expectation that there might be a day or so per month which might require an on-site meeting. This increasing shift towards home working is opening up the market to those who may never have considered certain geographical regions, therefore providing clients with new profiles they may not be familiar with.

In terms of financials, the data and bioinformatics market is seeing between 10-15% increase in salary on offers extended to candidates. One key observation is that both in the UK and the US, sign-on bonuses are becoming increasingly “normal” – both to recompense any financial losses candidates might be incurring from leaving, but also to offer an attractive golden handshake to ensure candidates join. These range from 5 – 20% of the overall basic salary offered.

The typical requirements for candidates within the clinical focused biostatistics and programming environment remain consistent: strong knowledge of CDISC standards; MSc. Or PhD in a relevant statistical field; SAS (essential) and R (advantageous) – all within a Regulated environment.  Equally, we are seeing an increased demand from clients for talent within Bioinformatics, who bring strong genomics experience and NGS, coupled with a range of advanced programming and computational biology languages.

Latest opportunities

The team currently have a wealth of openings across multiple geographical territories; therapeutic areas; Life Sciences sub-sectors on both a permanent and contract basis – to view a select variety, please visit here.

For any information regarding the insight, please contact Slater Lawrance, Consultant – Data & Bioinformatics Practice at Compass Life Sciences.

Read more news, insight and case studies by Compass Life Sciences here.