Michael Page Healthcare & Life Sciences

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Japan market update (2013)


Skills in demand

Healthcare and life sciences recruitment in Japan is very much a candidate driven market. For example, if an English-speaking clinical project manager, especially one with overseas work experience, is actively looking for a new role, then we would easily be able to set up 10 first interviews for them.

Generally, the Japanese pharma market is critically short of well-qualified, internationally experienced medical/scientific professionals. Most pharma manufacturers are still aggressively hiring clinical project managers, RA specialists and managers and CMC professionals. CRA and clinical monitor hiring remains buoyant among the Japanese and international CROs.

Growth in healthcare and life sciences in Japan

The demand for medical affairs and HEOR professionals is much stronger than two or three years ago and still seems to be increasing. This is a reflection of changes in the Japanese compliance guidelines for external communication and collaborative studies. Upcoming changes in the Japanese RA submission and reimbursement procedures (HEOR) are also a contributing factor.

How to attract top talent to your organisation

Michael Page has worked with a number of organisations within the world of healthcare and life sciences and as such we understand the recruitment and retention difficulties they encounter. But we have also identified a number of factors to tackle these challenges head on:

  • In the interview, make sure you sell your company and the career path you can provide
  • Provide detailed feedback for the candidate at each stage – people like to know why you feel they have performed well (or badly) in an interview and appreciate this feedback
  • Be open-minded with remuneration packages – even if you can’t outbid a competitor’s offer in terms of base salary, look creatively at your incentive systems and other benefits

What makes a candidate attractive?

Employers within the healthcare and life sciences field in Japan are looking for very specific skill sets. Each job role requires their own qualifications and qualities, but to stand out for any position candidates should do the following, where possible:

  • Study English
  • Try to get involved in overseas projects or projects where you will interact with global/regional teams
  • Take any chance to get involved in the therapeutic areas of on oncology, immunology, and CNS therapies

If you’re looking for new opportunities or need top talent for your organisation, get in touch to find out more about our healthcare and life sciences recruitment in Japan.

Healthcare and life sciences recruitment in Japan – 2013 in review