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Life Sciences & Healthcare - Q4 Market Update


Life Sciences & Healthcare

The Life Sciences & Healthcare recruitment market continues to evolve at lightning speed with demand for talent at record levels across all areas. Investor appetite remains high as the leading Venture Capital firms continue to have deep pockets for both Biotech and HealthTech. Whilst much of this activity is still driven from the US, some significant funds have been raised in Europe of late. We already see a steady stream of US companies looking to expand and hire in Europe, so it will be interesting to see how the market reacts once these European investor portfolios begin to grow.

We only have to look at recent events to see how emerging Biotech and HealthTech companies are transforming the way healthcare is delivered globally. The COVID-19 pandemic gave us some well-publicised examples of this:

  • Increase in effective Big Pharma + Biotech collaborations (Pfizer/BioNTech)

  • Emergence of successful, ground-breaking new technologies (mRNA/Moderna)

  • Rapid uptake of new HealthTech innovations in day-to-day life (Teladoc/Livongo $18.5B merger)

We are proud to partner with some hugely exciting and impactful companies across both the US and Europe. We are seeing first-hand how the above trends are directly influencing the recruitment market and where key talent gaps have already started to appear.

In Biotech, we continue to experience strong demand for talent in Business Development and Alliance Management. This is not surprising as collaboration remains crucial for most Biotech companies, from both an R&D and Commercialisation standpoint. Candidates who are strong on both science and business are typically in high demand for these positions. The question of timing for clinical-stage Biotech companies to build out their Commercial organisations remains a critical one, especially as significant financings and IPOs are starting to happen earlier on in their growth journeys. We continue to see strong demand for Commercial executives with prior experience in both Big Pharma and Biotech. More broadly, good strategic marketers with prior launch experience, particularly in specialty and orphan drugs, are always very welcome in my inbox.

Senior Consultant

Biotech R&D

R&D and Clinical are broadly maintaining an accelerated hiring phase. While early-stage companies are often maintaining lean, clinical development teams until proof of concept, those that prove successful through these hurdles are building out rapidly. Candidates with successful track records in IND and clinical phases 1-3 are in high demand. As such, competition is fierce and many high-calibre candidates typically have several opportunities to consider, inflating the compensation packages necessary to secure their employment.

Generally, this year has seen a shift in what VC companies find attractive for investment: AI drug discovery, CRISPR, Omics, computational biology & chemistry and bioinformatics companies seem to be attracting a lot of attention and growing significantly, whether platform or therapeutics based. One area that has historically not attracted much investment has been the CNS space – there is now significant attention on gene therapy and therapeutics companies targeting the CNS. Logistics remains a bottleneck for cell and gene therapy; candidates and solutions to this end are also in high demand.

Senior Consultant

Digital Health

As we start Q4, 2021 has already shattered the funding record of last year, with this year’s investment totalling well beyond $20B, with three months left to go.

Over the last quarter, our US focus has increased significantly, with over 70% of our search projects being US-based, typically with companies around the Series A-D level.

We continue to experience a high demand for strong commercial talent. Many of the clients we partner with have raised significant funding for market expansion, and inevitably are looking to strengthen their Sales, Marketing, Business Development & Strategy Teams.

We see strong demand for Commercial leaders who have significant BD experience and a strong network within either the Payer/Provider, Employer, or Biopharma space. Alongside this, many of the early-stage Digital Health companies we work with are seeking to recruit strong top-tier consulting Talent (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc) for a variety of strategic and commercial positions.


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