Deep Focus Is Key to Finding Life Sciences Talent

October 7, 2016 – As the healthcare industry has evolved and expanded, the opportunities for search firms has likewise grown. And in such a sprawling landscape, some executive recruiters have served themselves well by avoiding the trap of trying to be all things to all people.

“This was the impetus to why we built teams to exclusively focus on specific areas within the overall health industry,” says Jesse Klein, a managing partner with Klein Hersh International. For the Horsham, PA-based search group, those focus areas include the life sciences (biotech, pharma), healthcare (managed care, health plans), and industry services (CROs, CMOs, CSOs, software companies, consulting organizations).

“Then we took the business structure within our largest sector, life sciences, one step further to even better serve the intricacies of the industry by creating teams within discovery, clinical, and commercialization,” Jesse told me in a recent interview.

“This industry-customized setup allows for critical relationship development among talent, deep industry knowledge, and strategic insights shared strategically across the organization to better, more efficiently serve clients.”

Shift to Life Sciences

Klein Hersh was founded in 1998. And though its roots were in executive recruitment for the software industry, it wasn’t long before the firm shifted its efforts to the life sciences. It was a move from which Klein Hersh has never looked back, and in truth has only built upon.

Last year, the firm facilitated more than 300 scientific and executive hires in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industries. “Klein Hersh was born out of a mix of good fortune, being at the right place at the right time, and a strategic eye toward the future,” says Jesse.

Making the Most of an Opportunity 

Seventeen years ago, he remembers, the healthcare industry was evolving at a tremendous rate, its potential clearly enormous. “Between an aging population that not only expected to live longer, but live with better quality, combined with a technology revolution leading the way for scientific innovation, there was no doubt that the healthcare industry was here to stay in a big way,” says Jesse.

It was an opportunity that Klein Hersh, and Jesse, was determined to make the most of. Jesse, who started his career in sales and consulting, had been well-regarded for his efforts with IBM and SAVVIS, experience he calls upon even now in his role at Klein Hersh. Today he is the force behind the firm’s successful organizational culture, emphasizing delivery, accountability, and sharing. He also oversees various clinical practices and heads the physician recruitment team.

Butterfly Effect

Jesse has always been passionate about both helping people and creating organizational change. “The search industry gave me the opportunity to couple those together,” he says. “There is an indescribable feeling when you can positively alter the direction of a person’s life. It only gets better when understanding that the individuals we are interacting with on a daily basis will play critical roles in the growth and formation of scientific advancement. The butterfly effect we create is something we think about frequently and serves as a main motivator for our company to continue to evolve, grow, and to create positive change.”

Talent recruitment across the healthcare industries is highly competitive. The sector is complex, with a number of verticals and touch points, Jesse says, but it continues – and will continue – to show tremendous growth. Such ingredients, as any executive recruiter knows, pose their own challenges.

“We frankly see more opportunities than there is talent,” Jesse says. “This was the reason that we built the customized structure within Klein Hersh, featuring functional area specialties that optimizes the extreme demand. Being at the top of our game, sitting side-by-side with key players at every level, and staying on the pulse of real-time market conditions are all critical ingredients to our recipe for mastery of the healthcare executive search industry.”

In the Front Row

For Klein Hersh, the key is to stay proactive by constantly recruiting ahead of client needs. “By tapping real-time intel across the industry and amongst our functional teams, we are able to act as one cohesive organization allowing for greater efficiencies, tighter turnarounds, and, in the end, tremendous sustainable value for our clients,” Jesse says.

“The more we know across an organization, the better we can be at finding the right talent. Within life sciences, the clinical development and the overall life cycle of a drug have significant impact on job opportunities and available talent. Because of this, it is critical that we stay engaged with all areas of these organizations and remain ahead of the curve on industry and regulatory developments.”

Technology has forever changed the world, and the business world in particular. Executive recruiters know this better than anyone. But the repercussions of the ongoing  technological changes in healthcare go even further.

“Technology, coupled with the boundless search for ways to live longer, ultimately in a world without diseases, sets up the healthcare industry, across the board, to truly continue fueling itself,” says Jesse. “The developments within the new world of big data and jaw-dropping advances within scientific technology and platforms, like gene editing or cell therapy, are beyond extraordinary. It’s an industry that keeps us on our toes every minute and we are thrilled to be in the front row. Building leadership teams and better companies that impact lives, plus helping individual leaders meet their future, is what brings me to work everyday.”

Contributed by Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media and Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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