It’s little surprise that the Health and Life Science sector has seen rapid evolution throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As I look back, I see much of the digital and human transformation we saw on the horizon has come home to roost, and it looks like it’s here to stay.

Next Stop: Leadership With Purpose

Here in Latin-America, HLS companies have had to rapidly ramp up digital leadership and develop teams with skills in agile processes. The impact has been most acute in the commercial areas, as sales processes have had to adapt, and invest in developing channels that allow doctors and sales representatives to provide continuity of business and reassurance to patients and customers.

Demand has grown for talent in the sector during the pandemic. Human resources teams have had to quickly promote self-service, adapting their processes and adopting digital models to recruit and onboard new hires.

Digital processes are also driving business leaders towards company cultures based on empathy and connection with teams towards a purpose. Shrewd companies in the sector are beginning to value talent for its development potential rather than for its technical abilities.

Latin America is beginning to attract talent from other sectors to the industry, which brings a breath of fresh innovation to the traditional health sector model. Upskilling and re-skilling is also in full swing, as HLS firms are pushed to perform rapid diagnoses and monitoring of the equipment and the competencies that will help them stay competitive and credible.

Striking a Balance

Various major pharmaceutical firms in the region have already adopted permanent hybrid schemes that let employees work between the office and home, on order to reduce risks and overheads, and enhance well-being and balance.

The adoption of artificial intelligence has accelerated in the sector – especially for the attraction and recruitment of candidates. This “de-humanization” has a surprisingly inclusive side: it certainly offers greater efficiency in the processes but it also boosts diversity and inclusion.

Skills are the New Currency

If we can be certain of one thing it’s that we can be certain of nothing. As I look forward to 2021, my recommendation for companies is to hire talent based on candidates’ potential and skills, rather than zooming in on their experience in a role.

There is no way to entirely predict how roles will change over time and HLS companies need leaders who have the ability to embrace different challenges over time and accompany the organizational transformation process.

The most outstanding skills that companies and candidates need go beyond the resumé. Learning agility, empathic leadership, decision-making, resilience, and diversity and inclusion are core competencies that will help HLS leaders survive and thrive in a time where health and wellbeing are the ultimate global goal.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. If you would like to talk about HLS in Latin America, please get in touch with me.

Juliana Acosta

Juliana Acosta
Associate Partner
[email protected]

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