Hannah is Digital Marketing Manager at Star OUTiCO.
The tail-end of the year is the time for resolutions and plans for the months to come, and if for you this includes a new job, then you may be able to get ahead of the game by exploring this sooner rather than later.
January is one of the busiest recruiting times, so starting your hunt this month could mean lower competition and possibly improve your odds of securing your dream job. Plus, deciding to do this now will give you valuable time to identify any gaps in your skillset ahead of sending applications.
Reassess ahead of 2023
A lot of candidates found their new roles earlier in the year, and, coupled with uncertainties brought about by the cost-of-living crisis, fewer people are moving around. However, there are opportunities out there for the right people, and employers are cottoning on to candidate drivers by offering the necessary to tempt them to make the leap.
Q4 is all about company budgets so employers will be looking to get new starters over the line before 2023, which means competing with others and streamlining processes to make sure they secure the talent they’re after.
Star OUTiCO Pharma Outsourcing Lead, Sarah Whitby, says: “Some larger pharma clients are stretching their bandings as much as possible to get who they believe are the right people for the job: they’re really going above and beyond to try and dangle that golden carrot.”
Recognise your skills gaps
Over the past 12 months demand for both hard and soft skills has increased, from digital engagement capabilities to creative thinking and problems-solving. This means employers are making decisions faster when they find those candidates that tick their boxes. Now is the time to identify any skills gaps you might have and upskill yourself before the market picks up in the new year.
Star OUTiCO MedTech Resourcing Lead, Jon Woodrow, says: “The type of skill sets being prioritised has changed. In medtech we’ve seen marketers put into some rep roles as there’s more focus on digital development, with things like apps and webinars becoming integral to how healthcare companies interact with professionals and patients.
“Also, because the strategic direction has changed because of the NHS changes, our clients have had to be reactive. They therefore want an all-rounder: somebody who’s not set in their ways, who has enough breadth of experience to understand working across the whole health economy, and who is adaptable.”
Sarah echoes this for pharma, saying: “The pharma space is evolving massively. Adaptability is a trait that clients look for – somebody that can promote a product for a set amount of time but understands that it’s not always going to be that one area.
“Clients also need people with strong account management abilities – they must be able to deal with large territories as teams have become smaller in favour of retaining the best individuals who can utilise digital skills and cover a larger area, in line with the NHS and their requirements.”
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Some of our clients prefer to take on candidates with limited industry experience but who excel in other areas, such as digital engagement, and then bring them on with fantastic development programmes.
Jon says: “From a candidate perspective, it’s great to work for a business that is willing to invest in, train, and develop their people. I think that’s quite an attractive prospect for somebody getting into the industry or wanting to be in an organisation where they know they’ll be upskilled, because they then have the best chance of adapting as the healthcare industry evolves.”
Sarah says: “Some clients are taking on candidates with these strengths to address gaps in their teams, and then are pairing them with other employees who can assist them and help with other elements of the role.
“Looking at people I’ve placed recently, it’s those that show an ambition and a drive, and perhaps have gaps in their skill set that clients are looking at to think how they could best develop these individuals, because a lot of our clients do go with their hearts and are looking for, what I like to call, sponges.”
Discover client culture and values
‘Culture-driven’ recruitment is a real focus for hiring managers and highlights the need for candidates who are good in person, not just on paper, and who will embody their employers’ ethos day-to-day.
With the shift to an omnichannel way of working and remote interviewing, there is a skills shortage when it comes to building relationships in a virtual environment.
Sarah says: “Clients want to see how a candidate would embrace their core visions and values, and how passionately they would get across those key messages about them and their products.”
Jon says: “I’d want a candidate to cite an understanding of the client’s agenda from an environmental perspective. Rather than doing what they’ve always done, they need to be nimble and show those applicable skills and behaviours versus what the requirements are.”
Decide if moving is right for you
Rounding things off, Sarah says: “The key message to candidates right now for me, is, if you are a shining star in this industry, you can see what’s out there and theoretically increase your salary by £10k quickly and easily, within a new job that you would love.
“The right opportunities are out there for people, if they feel confident enough to make that move – and that’s where we come in. Our teams are waiting to have those conversations with candidates to see if now is the right time to move on.”
To find out how our award-winning Recruitment team could help you get ahead of the competition and secure your dream role this winter, get in touch today.