Change Needed To Attract Talent To Pharmaceutical Firms

Compiled By Deborah Austin Pharmaceuticals companies face a unique struggle to attract new talent, yet these companies depend on the products these employees discover and develop, suggests a new study -- The Future of Pharma HR -- from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York. Employee-skills requirements are changing -- typically toward a synthesis of science and information technology -- and scientists have a greater choice of careers than ever before, says PricewaterhouseCoopers. Meanwhile consolidations, alliances, and potential outsourcing are reshaping the industry. Pharmaceuticals companies must balance commercial realities and shareholder expectations with work environments that respect individuals' personal objectives and desires to make a difference, the study says. To keep talented scientists, employers will need to expand reward schemes and give scientists a financial stake in the products they develop. The study anticipates an industry split into two basic organizational models -- superpharma (huge pharmaceuticals companies) and supernets (networked arrangements including strategic alliances, joint ventures, and outsourcing) -- both requiring very different management styles from the current norm.

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