Meet the New Health and Life Sciences Executives

Few of us will ever forget this year. As I re-read the Remote Leadership trend from our Eight Executive Trends for 2020, and ring the changes I’ve seen in the Health and Life Sciences sector, it’s clear that much of what was foreseen at the beginning of the year has come to pass… and more.

In many ways, the HLS sector has always been in a league of its own when it comes to international hiring. Ours is a dynamic sector, and one in which our clients lean towards a diverse workforce, and recruit internationally, organizing by country cluster. It’s also a sector in which leaders are accustomed to relocating in order to pursue the most rewarding career opportunities.

Supply And Demand

If we take a glance at Europe, Belgium and Switzerland are thriving hubs for the pharmaceutical industry, and companies often look beyond their own borders to recruit the volume of well-experienced executives they need.

In these two countries, it is common to recruit internationally, so you will find strong expat communities in the Headquarters of International Groups there.

In France and in Germany, we are seeing an increase in interest for international profiles to fill Pharmaceutical roles. This brings in fresh perspectives, especially in executive roles.


A Renewed Sense Of Purpose

Like every other sector, HLS has experienced a major recalibration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health and Life Science companies have had to adapt to an ever-changing reality. They’re finding themselves at the heart of prevention and treatment and under the world’s microscope as we work towards a COVID-free future. With this comes an enormous sense of purpose and a pressure to constantly evolve and adapt.

While pharma professionals are accustomed to working and recruiting digitally, there are still major changes to navigate. Recruitment has become a much longer process. It’s not uncommon in our industry for leadership candidates to have 7 or 8 interviews, and in the final stages, regardless of location, a face-to face meeting traditionally sealed the deal. Now, candidates and companies are having to find ways to express themselves digitally rather than make that all important final handshake.


“You're Not Alone”

In a time of great uncertainty, pharma has a vital role to play in putting minds at rest. This starts within a company. Leaders are being challenged – like never before – to communicate supportively and sincerely with their teams. It is also a crucial time to reassure clients. Hospitals and healthcare providers are stretched beyond belief and it’s up to business leaders to show clients that despite the imposed distance, they are not alone. Creating proximity transcends masks and screens, and create a sense of community. We must never forget our closeness, while we fight the virus that has brought with it a reality few of us could have imagined.



I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. If you’d like to talk about hiring trends in HLS, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.


Pierre-Yves Grangier

Pierre-Yves Grangier
Senior Partner, France
[email protected]


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