Pharmaceutical Recruitment: 2016 Trends and 2017 Outlook

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Caution characterizes the pharmaceutical Industry at the start of 2017. What is our new President going to do? Is he pro pharmaceutical business or con? Even with this wait-and-see approach we expect strong pockets of hiring in 2017. Some of the top trends in 2016 will also carry forward into 2017.

Trends with magnifying glassTop 5 Trends in 2016



1. Growth of biosimilars in emerging countries as well as the US. Not only are biosimilars viewed as a therapeutic novelty, they are also welcomed due to the projected savings they bring for cash-strapped health systems in the US and Europe. These savings could amount to more than €50 billion over the next five years.


2. A rise in the Generic landscape. While generics face competition in the US and Europe, there are opportunities in emerging country markets due to higher insurance coverage and a rising middle class.


3. M&A definitely slowed down in 2016. Mostly because of the change in US Federal Laws, thus making the employment market more competitive.

New Technology and Promotional Techniques

4. Keeping up with new technology platforms and promotional techniques was and is vital when it comes to optimizing marketing efforts.

Specialty Markets

5. Additions to Staff positions were seen in all areas a greater area of staffing growth was in Specialty Markets such as Rare Disease and Oncology. Even with strong demand for candidates pharma companies continued to wait for specific experienced individuals.

woman leaping from 2016 to 2017Top 5 Trends for 2017


End of the ACA?

1. Trumps victory could mean the end of the Affordable Care Act. His victory also propelled biotech and pharma stocks higher as investors put worries of a crackdown on drug pricing under Hillary Clinton behind them.


2. Continued mergers/ acquisitions in the pharma industry create opportunities for candidates willing to relocate.

Drug Pricing

3. New drug pricing and reimbursement approaches. The trend going forward is to see healthcare payers and health technology assessors, “tighten the belt” to guarantee that drugs do not break the bank.

Top Therapeutic Areas

4. Top therapeutic areas according to experts: Immuno-Oncology; Hep C, Rare Disease, Diabetes

Digital Innovation

5. Digital innovation is transforming the customer experience with the evolution of customer and patient engagement strategies involving multiple channels.

We would be happy to discuss any of these trends or your needs for 2017 further. As always, Smith Hanley Associates is happy to be your recruiting resource for Commercial and Clinical opportunities in healthcare.

Nancy Ragonese, Pharmaceutical Commercial Sales, nragonese@smithhanley.com, 203-319-4315

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