April 24, 2018 – According to Deloitte’s global sector outlook report on life sciences, persistent talent shortages and the need to develop and retain employees with critical business and technology skill-sets will continue to challenge global life sciences companies as they try to navigate a new world of work – one that requires a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent and human resources.
This has led to a wave of expansion for search firms specializing in the sector. The latest: The RSA Group, which is based in London, is increasing its commitment to serving clients in Switzerland. Thomas Schleimer, a partner at the RSA Group with extensive international search and healthcare experience, will now also be working from the firm’s Basel office as the search firm expands its reach in the EMEA region.
“The RSA Group has been operating in Switzerland for over 10 years and during that time, we’ve seen it become one of the world’s life science powerhouses,” said Alex Bennett, CEO. “Our decision to dedicate Thomas’ focus to Switzerland reflects our confidence in the sector and in Thomas’ ability to work closely with life science business leaders in Switzerland in the challenging search for the world’s best talent.”
Life sciences is strongly represented in Switzerland. The region is one of the most important life-sciences centers in Europe with many international companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology sectors having settled there.
“Switzerland is home to a unique life sciences industry including MedTech, BioPharma, BioTechs, CdMOs and diagnostics companies,” said Mr. Schleimer. “Pharmaceutical giants like Novartis and Roche continue to influence a thriving ecosystem of innovative players in MedTech, BioTech and NanoTech,” he said. “In an industry driven by innovation, senior-executive-level talent is often the difference between success and failure and I aim to use my 30 years of experience working in executive search to help our Swiss clients attract and retain the most talented people.”
Mr. Schleimer has primarily focused on the MedTech and BioPharma sectors. Before joining RSA in 2016 he was a managing partner with Euromedica Executive Search.
Evolving Dynamics of Recruiting In Life Sciences
As the life sciences sector evolves, this specialized area of executive recruiting is changing as well. For Adam Bloom, president of the Stevenson Group, his expanding role as talent evaluator has elevated in importance due to shifting market forces.
Life Sciences Recruiters
The RSA Group specializes in the life sciences, advising on the selection, assessment and onboarding of board and senior executive talent. The firm has offices in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Singapore and China.
Last year, the firm continued its growth in the U.S. with the addition of Matt Vossler and Shawn O’Connor as partners. Mr. Vossler’s executive search career spans 15 years. He combines expertise in life sciences with firsthand experience of the North American market. For over 10 years, Mr. O’Connor has led his own firm, Shawn O’Connor Executive Search, working exclusively in the life sciences sector.
Changing Life Sciences Field
Adam Bloom, president of the Stevenson Group, a New Jersey-based executive recruitment firm that specializes in the life sciences, recently spoke with Hunt Scanlon Media about the changing face of the life sciences field and the role recruiters can play in helping leaders find their way through the thickets. “Anticipating upcoming trends, identifying their implications, providing life sciences clients with a detailed landscape of the industry and mapping talent across the industry will help create that much needed competitive advantage,” he said.
Shifting Needs in Life Sciences Attract Non-Traditional Talent
To keep up with the mind-bending changes that are coursing through the life sciences sector, recruiters who specialize in this area are keeping an open mind to new possibilities. As Leslie Loveless, CEO of Slone Partners explains, the life sciences industry has become increasingly consumer-centric, opening …
“A great partnership between a life sciences company and an executive search firm can prove crucial for the way forward,” he said. “It will allow companies to achieve sustainable success in the new health-outcomes-driven ecosystem where managing costs, driving innovative partnerships, hiring the right team to drive customer engagement and hiring multi-dimensional personnel that can wear many hats or have that rare mix of skills that a specialized scientific discipline requires.”
He pointed out that many specialized life science disciplines like gene and cell therapy, microbiome and genome-editing CRISPR-Cas9 therapeutics that were conceptually promising and upcoming just a few years ago have since gone mainstream. “In the earlier days, when drugs, clinical studies and targets were more traditional, hiring executives was easier because the scientific requirements were not extremely targeted and a more ‘generalist’ science executive could have done the job competently,” said Mr. Bloom.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media