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Talent Pipelining and Internal Mobility — the Keys to Pharma’s Future

The talent market has become more competitive as digital transformation has led to a need for data scientists and analysts across all fields. For pharma to keep up and continue to find new innovative ways to fight disease, it must take a more strategic approach to talent acquisition. 

The pharmaceutical industry is at a crossroads with the rise of Pharma 4.0. Keeping up with demand will require not only new ways of doing business, but also a reassessment of the talent landscape and hiring processes. The successful future of the industry depends on a new collaborative, federated and fully diversified business approach. 

Innovation and new pharmaceutical manufacturing concepts are at the forefront. According to Deloitte research, five key concepts will drive the next 20 years in the industry: 

  • Prevention and early detection
  • Customized treatments
  • Curative therapies
  • Digital therapeutics
  • Precision intervention

Weighing the costs

As CEOs consider this, they wonder if they’ll need worker capabilities not available internally and how to get talent faster to keep products going to market and to avoid incurring higher costs. 

One step big pharma is taking to ensure a talent pipeline in the future is to set high diversity goals. Pfizer, for example, intends to increase its female representation at the vice president level and above by 9% in five years — from 38% in 2020 to 47% in 2025, reports S&P Global. Similarly, the company wants to nearly double minority representation on the VP level and above, from 19% to 32%. 

Will moves like these be enough to truly pipeline talent into the future? Or will they lead to attrition? In a highly competitive marketplace, turnover is not something pharma organizations can afford. 

The true cost of replacing an employee must account for lost productivity and engagement, as well as advertising the position and onboarding and training a replacement. That can amount to 1.5 to two times the annual salary, according to talent analyst Josh Bersin

Addressing challenges

AMS research revealed 68% of organizations rank finding and attracting quality talent as their biggest challenge. That’s partly due to a lack of specific skill sets, market demand exceeding supply and a rise in the need for data scientists across all fields due to digital transformation. 

“As data-first practices have become a necessary strategy to remain competitive in the age of digital transformation, the data analytics and technology fields continue to experience incredible growth,” explains a report by executive recruiting agency Burtch Works.

“A few decades ago, pharma was the place to go if you wanted a tech job,” adds a Pharma Manufacturing article. “Now, of course, the competition in the tech world is fierce. If pharma wants to have the type of talent it’s going to need in the future, it will have to generate excitement about working in the industry once again.”

PwC agrees. “Finding the right people with the requisite skills will not be easy, given the breadth of knowledge the industry requires and the battle for brains now being waged in almost every part of the world. Many companies will therefore have to adopt new talent management strategies, as well as ensuring that the performance measures and incentive systems they use are aligned with the behavior that will be needed to operate effectively in a more integrated environment.”

The key to addressing challenges in the industry, according to AMS, is first finding the right ones to solve. “It starts by analyzing the data they already have.”

How a talent data platform can help

Enter the talent data platform, which centralizes all talent data across the pharma organization to help manage the entire candidate journey across channels. This type of system makes it possible to perform lightning-fast searches that instantly uncover candidates with the skills needed. You can even refine the results by engagement, skill, interests, custom data and more. In this way, you can meet your organization’s diversity goals while simultaneously bolstering the expertise required.

A talent data platform puts your organization in the driver’s seat. It can map hundreds of live data points to each candidate record so you get up-to-date reports that highlight the best-fit talent for any position. You get a single view of all your candidate data, freeing the organization to focus more efforts on existing talent. This enables holistic workforce planning, including pipelining and internal mobility. 

You don’t need to worry about data privacy or being out of compliance. A good talent data platform handles both of those aspects, giving you peace of mind. It can also connect and exchange data between all types of solutions. And, it can check for errors and duplicate information to ensure you have clean, standardized data to streamline your talent acquisition processes.

AstraZeneca adopted a talent data platform. “The opportunity to enhance the employer brand is fantastic, so the candidate has such a positive experience right from the first touch point,” notes Anna Hill, AstraZeneca’s global executive vice president and employer brand manager. 

Serving as a central database, a talent data platform can help optimize resource allocation and empower faster candidate conversions and compliance management.

Learn how Beamery can help pharma organizations strategically plan for the workforce of the future.