Employment Trends

April 16, 2012
Tim Denman

Applied Clinical Trials

Searching for a job is often very frustrating, and can lead to many a sleepless night especially without a solid plan in place. Sarah Goddard, the UK Recruitment Director at Clinical Professionals spoke with Applied Clinical Trials recently about hiring trends in the clinical trial area and how to best prepare for a job search.

What are the current hiring trends in the clinical trial space?

We predominantly work with pharmaceuticals, biotechs, and CROs. January was quite quiet, but February and March have been very busy. We have had a lot of clinical research contract roles come through. We are getting around 10 to 20 vacancies a week across clinical research, regulatory, drug safety, medical information, and biometrics. At the moment most the positions are contracts—a lot of companies have an eye on headcount and are increasingly looking to hire contractors.

Are you noticing any particular positions that are hot at the moment?

Clinical monitors; medical scientific liaisons; health economics and market access; and regulatory affairs, especially for people with emerging market experience.

Where do you see the sector going in three to five years? And how can clinical trial workers prepare for the future?

There will be a big market in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. Also, the emerging markets will play an important role. If someone can get experience working on global studies it would be very helpful.

Also, health economics and market access is a very big growth area at the moment. A lot of our clients are expecting big growth in this area in 2012 and 2013 in terms of hiring.

How can someone get relevant emerging market experience?

It is quite difficult to get that experience; most employers would like you to have some level of experience prior to placement. It is important to target those companies that have those departments. Get your foot the door and try to gain access.

Do you have any advice for people just starting out?

If you have a good life sciences degree the best thing you can do is get into industry and get some experience. Certainly in the United Kingdom experience is very important. Academics is all well in good, but real-word exposure is important. Try to network as a graduate or even while you are still in school. Do some volunteer work if necessary; it is all about getting your foot in the door. A lot of employers are looking for entry-level employees, and it is very competitive.