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It has been great to see more of our teams taking the opportunity to travel and attend industry events across the globe. At CSG Talent, we know how valuable in-person events can be for our consultants to increase their industry knowledge, learn more about the latest market insights and meet with both clients and candidates in person.
Last month, our Head of Life Sciences Vicky Kerrigan, alongside Lexie Stratford and Taahir Patel travelled to Boston, America to attend the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer 2022 (SITC)
There is only so much you can learn through researching company websites, social media channels, press releases, and online conversations. There is great value in meeting people face to face, seeing their environment, and viewing product demonstrations in person. It really helps to understand a business in more detail, and how it differentiates itself from competitors in its field.
The SITC event was the first major event within the immunotherapy industry since the pandemic, and certainly the most significant event the Life Sciences Recruitment team at CSG Talent has attended in several years. The event involved deep-level insights around advancements in technology and science, demonstrations, and presentations from leaders and innovators within the industry alongside the launch of new software developments leading the way with new treatments.
Vicky Kerrigan, Head of Life Sciences Recruitment highlighted how beneficial it was to attend the conference in Boston: “Attending SITC was a great opportunity for us as a team, our presence was well received by both exhibitors and attendees. Surprisingly, we were one of the very few recruiters to attend the event so this added to the great reception. Many industry experts were keen to hear our insights and were impressed with our investment to not only attend the event but to spend time building our knowledge and building relationships with both clients and candidates in the network space.”
Working across a global market, recruiting for specialist roles across Life Sciences, including Diagnostics and Immunotherapy, increases the need to build knowledge and relationships worldwide. This allows us to be successful at forming strong partnerships with clients and candidates, effectively supporting clients with their hiring strategy on a short- and long-term basis, as well as guiding candidates throughout their journey at a senior and leadership level.
The SITC event is an opportunity for industry-leading organisations and innovators within cell and immunotherapy to demonstrate and highlight significant developments and advances with technology and steps forward in combatting certain conditions and diseases.
Lexie Stratford shares how innovation is making a huge impact across the industry: “Hearing from industry leaders who are driving innovation across immunotherapy is incredibly exciting. Some of these organisations are changing the shape of how we treat cancer, creating ground-breaking ways to diagnose and treat a wide range of cancers. It’s exciting to hear from our clients the work they are doing, but the insights we gain are also great conversations to have with our candidates looking for new opportunities. We can give them true accounts of businesses, their vision, the work they do and it enables candidates to connect and be a part of this innovation.”
Some of the key developments noted by the Life Sciences Recruitment team were:
Personalis Inc shared data and insights from their NeXT Platform®, highlighting the rapidly advancing features, research and development and next generation sequencing in immuno-oncology. Immunome, Inc. announced developments with certain cancers including lung, breast, and prostate cancers where testing has indicated improved response to immunotherapy. With many other innovative organisations presenting successful research and clinical trial data, and poster presentations with new and exciting developments in treatments for various cancers; the SITC highlighted huge positive steps forward in the fight against the disease.
Attending SITC opened the Life Sciences recruitment team’s eyes to the scope of advancements across the industry and the potential treatments that could be available over the next five years highlighting how far we’ve come from a research and scientific advancements perspective. The biggest challenge faced by these innovators is health insurance companies across the US. Insurers are keen to see evidence that proves the value and success of new discoveries and advances in treatment, to understand the impact on reducing hospitalisations and duration of stays, increased survival rate, and better results. On top of funding and research alone, insurance companies create a barrier to taking new therapies to market. With all new therapies, there is also a need for human involvement in clinical trials, some of which where the uptake can be low, or limited due to complex and rare cases with only a small pool of patients suitable for trials.
“Boston is a big hub for scientific research and developments within the Life Sciences space, not only was the event beneficial to us a team of recruiters to expand our knowledge and form new relationships, but being in the area allowed us to meet up with clients and candidates, many of which we have placed in jobs in Boston in recent years.” Taahir Patel, Principal Consultant.
The last 18 months organisations have experienced ongoing challenges attracting and retaining talent, due to skills shortages, a shift in candidate motivations and the impact of inflation and salary increases. As a result, businesses are having to pay increased salaries to secure the talent they wish to recruit, due to the highly competitive candidate market we still find ourselves in.
With the increased funding and investment across research, development, and clinical trials, we are seeing a huge number of new roles and demand for talent across these areas. With talent shortages already prevalent across the industry, this is putting increased pressure on rapidly growing organisations to attract the right talent to drive advancements in immunotherapy and business growth.
Technology is rapidly advancing across the industry and will continue to evolve in the coming years. With the latest developments, there are newly created roles that allow businesses the opportunity to utilise and analyse the data and get the optimum value from new technology. The industry needs to attract a new wave of talent with differing skill sets from more traditional roles. Historically, many of the commercial roles have been professionals moving from scientific or lab-based roles, however, there is a growing need to attract digital and more tech-savvy individuals to drive innovation and new technological advances. Businesses are having to adapt their approach to hiring and their talent strategy to successfully attract the right talent required.
Throughout SITC and meetings with candidates, while the life sciences recruitment experts visited Boston, they heard more about candidate motivations and driving factors for new opportunities. The team heard more insights from candidates and why they choose to do the job they do, what it means to them and the most important factors for choosing a new career opportunity at a mid to senior level. Due to the nature of work within the industry and the life-saving impact organisations can have in combatting cancer, one of the most important factors for candidates is to join a business that really makes a difference and one that allows the candidate to play a role in significant developments. Candidates are keen to know what organisations are trying to achieve, the impact they will have and what their values and vision are. Knowing all this information helps candidates align to company values and picture themselves being a part of the journey and this is crucial for businesses to be aware of when attracting talent.
Vicky heads up the Life Sciences team at CSG Talent, having worked in executive search for nearly two decades. Early on in her career, Vicky studied a degree in Medical Genetics while working in a research laboratory position, this gave Vicky great insights into the practical roles within her field from her scientific academic background and work experience.
Lexie specialises exclusively in precision medicine within the life sciences recruitment team at CSG Talent, her focus areas include; genomics, proteomics, multiomics, molecular diagnostics and cell and gene therapy.
Taahir operates within the biotech and diagnostics sector, an interest he developed when studying Sports Exercise and Nutritional Sciences throughout his university studies. Taahir has strong experience placing commercial leaders and technical roles within the Diagnostics industry.
Explore the specialist areas of Life Sciences we support clients with recruitment and candidates with career growth here and meet the wider Life Sciences recruitment team who work alongside Vicky, Lexie and Taahir: Personalised Medicine, Biotech & Pharma, Diagnostics.
At CSG Talent our Life Sciences recruitment team partners with leading businesses across the globe to support their hiring strategy and talent attraction, offering tailored recruitment solutions to support each individual client. For the team to attend events like SITC and build knowledge of specific areas within Life Sciences enables our recruitment experts to effectively support clients with their recruitment needs and hiring both in the short- and longer-term resource planning. Explore our executive search services, or our talent strategy services for more information on how we can support your business with hiring needs or insights into the market.