Despite the amount of investment money that’s pouring into cell and gene therapy startups these days, there is a real shortage of experienced professionals when trying to fill many senior-level positions, like chief technical officer (CTO) and vice president of manufacturing. 
After the first known patient of an experimental gene therapy trial died in 1999, investment and research in gene therapy slowed for about ten years and mid-level professionals were, in effect, prevented from advancing in the field and gaining any further experience.
Gene therapy has recently rebounded, however, to once again be a thriving area in research and investment. In fact, the news organization BioCentury reports that in 2017 alone, gene and cell therapy companies were able to raise $4.5 billion in investment dollars. 
This surge is exacerbating the talent war as new companies and senior-level job openings are popping up at an escalated rate. Senior-level professionals in cell and gene therapy can expect to pull in annual salaries anywhere in the range of $260,000 – $400,000+.  In addition, there can be a significant amount of equity options and performance bonuses being offered to off-set the risk in order woo these supply professionals.
With so few experienced professionals out there, finding the right talent to fill high-level positions in cell and gene therapy will require companies to be patient. The candidate experience will be a key and essential component to attracting top talent away from their current employment. This can result in rather long searches versus the mere weeks that were needed for recruitment a few years ago.
And while searches for permanent hires are underway, cell and gene therapy companies will likely need to rely on many important actors, such as outside consultants, advisors and other employees during this time.
Our CEO, James F. Lynch, PhD, MBA, brings over 25 years of pharmaceutical experience to the Regional Personnel. “At Regional Personnel, we know pharmaceuticals because we came from pharmaceuticals. Our clients benefit from our inside knowledge of pharmaceuticals. We bring this deep knowledge to every recruiting partnership,” said Dr. Lynch.
Start a conversation by emailing us at [email protected].
   Robbins, Rebecca. “Stock, Sky-High Salaries and a $10,000 Watch: Startups Desperately Compete for Top Experts in Gene and Cell Therapy” STAT. 31 Jul. 2018, https://www.statnews.com/2018/07/31/cell-gene-therapy-expert-shortage/
Researchers and social scientists study generations and their behaviors. More specifically, they attempt to uncover what trends shape each generation as well as determine unique characteristics, expectations and preferences.
Here, in the United States, there are five distinct generations that have an active role in the workplace, including generational cohorts bearing labels of Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. However, given the amount of market research placed on Boomers and Millennials, it’s no wonder why Generation X seems to be overlooked in the conversation.
This notion of being “forgettable” has crossover in the workplace. In fact, new data published by DDI suggests that Gen X leaders have been the slowest to advance on a professional basis, and are being overlooked for promotions at higher rates than their counterparts in other generational groups .
Generation X includes anyone born between 1965 to 1981. With an average of twenty years of experience in the workplace, they are currently in the best earning years in their employment cycle. Stuck in between two much larger-sized generational groups, Boomers and Millennials, Generation X shares many important characteristics with both its senior and junior counterparts. 
For example, Generation X is similar to Boomers in that both generations are employer-loyal, virtual team leaders, execution-focused and adept in identifying and developing talent in the workplace.  In addition, Generation X is comparable to Millennials because both are digitally-savvy, eager to lead and are driven by purpose.  Coupled with high effectiveness in demonstrating and leading with empathy, Generation X is typically poised to lead in the workplace.
On average, research shows Generation X leaders had 1.2 promotions in the past 5 years. This is notably lower than both their senior counterparts, averaging 1.4 promotions, and their junior counterparts, who average 1.6 promotions, during the same time period. 
Moreover, Gen X leaders are expected to handle extensive workloads, by comparison, despite this lack of recognition in leadership roles. For example, Gen X have 7 direct reports on average, compared to only 5 direct reports for Millennials. 
Employers will likely find themselves battling retention problems if Generation X leaders continue to be overlooked for opportunities of advancement. Retaining Gen X will require a personalized approach that specifically addresses their needs for professional development.
Given their affinity for external mentoring and development, employers should invest in programs and opportunities that allow Gen X to find mentors. Also, employers should make a conscious effort to buck the trend of assuming Millennials are best qualified for tech-based leadership roles because of their age. Gen X is equally digitally-savvy and will thrive when placed in roles requiring innovation and teamwork. Lastly, employers shouldn’t shy away from incorporating tech-enabled tools when investing in Gen X’s development.
Regional Personnel specializes in recruiting and staffing services for the pharmaceutical industry. Regional helps its clients hire confidently. Need top talent? Email me at [email protected]. Neal, Stephanie. “Are Companies About to Have a Gen X Retention Problem?.” Harvard Business Review. 26 Jul. 2019, https://hbr.org/2019/07/are-companies-about-to-have-a-gen-x-retention-problem    “The Hidden Potential of Generation X.” Development Dimensions International, Inc. 2018, https://www.ddiworld.com/genxreport    Neal, Stephanie & Wellins, Richard. “Generation X – Not Millennials – is Changing the Nature of Work.” CNBC Make It. 11 Apr. 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/generation-x–not-millennials–is-changing-the-nature-of-work.html
Making up approximately 25.9% of the U.S. population, Gen Z is entering the workforce with its unique skills and expectations. They are technologically savvy, creative and can constructively multitask. This next generation also values work differently than previous generations, so pharmaceutical companies need to rethink hiring practices and work environment. Understanding what Gen Z wants in the workplace is, in fact, the first step to successfully recruit and retain Gen Z.
Optimistic about the future, Gen Z is willing to work hard for the right pharmaceutical company. However, Gen Z’s perception of what a “good employer” is differs from that of their Millennial counterparts. So, while pharmaceutical companies may still be focused on offering employment perks that are favorable to Millennials, Gen Z’s needs and requirements in the workplace may be overlooked. Be sure to consider the following:
Recruiting Gen Z requires an understanding of Gen Z’s specific mindset and needs. Regional Personnel specializes in pharmaceutical recruiting. We match top talent to company culture with a personal and customized approach to every placement. Start a conversation by emailing us at [email protected].
 Stahl, Ashley. “Gen Z: What to Expect from the New Workforce.” Forbes. 26 Sep. 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/09/26/gen-z-what-to-expect-from-the-new-work-force/#5d6b1db563e0
 Jenkins, Ryan. “How Generation Z Will Transform the Future Workplace.” Inc. 15 Jan. 2019, https://www.inc.com/ryan-jenkins/the-2019-workplace-7-ways-generation-z-will-shape-it.html
 “Microlearning for Millennials and Generation Z” KnowledgeCity Learning Solutions. 3 Oct. 2018, https://www.knowledgecity.com/blog/microlearning-for-millennials-and-generation-z/
Generations allow us to look at Americans both by their placement in the life cycle (e.g., young adults, middle-aged adults, retirees) and as groups who were born at a similar time and share similar views on life. Demographers and social scientists have assigned characteristics and identified generational groups as Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and, most recently, Gen Z.
Defined as anyone born between 1997 and the early 2010’s, Gen Z makes up approximately 25.9% of the U.S. population, the oldest of which are now graduating college and entering the workforce. With every new generation having a unique set of attitudes and work habits, what specific qualities does Gen Z bring to the workplace? What can employers expect of Gen Z?
A 2014 generational study found that Gen Z self-identifies as loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, responsible and determined.  Gen Z’s expectations are largely shaped around themes of academic and career success, perhaps more so than any other generation. 
Gen Z is also the first generation to have had the Internet around for its entire lifetime. These young workers are comfortable with all forms of technology, whether texting on their devices as a standard form of communication or nimbly searching the Internet to find information. They are accustomed to interacting with their devices and apps via touch or voice technologies. 
They’re highly visual, have strong technical skills and can constructively multi-task. As a result, they rely on tech-based relationships and as a result have not fully developed the “soft” people skills necessary in today’s work environment.  Gen Z also sees blurred lines between work and home, possibly preferring flexible work hours and work from home options. 
To successfully recruit Gen Z and keep them satisfied, it’s important for employers to understand the differences between this new entrant into the workforce and aging Millennial counterparts.
Unlike Millennials who grew up during an economic boom, Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession. As a result, they tend to be more pragmatic, risk-averse and focused on saving money than Millennials. Studies have found that Gen Z wants financial security but is not interested in gaining it through self-employment.  This could mean that Gen Z is more willing to be loyal to a company than Millennials and work their way up in that company.
Recruiting Gen Z requires a highly personalized approach that considers their mindset and needs. Gen Z is comprised of integrators who typically blend work and life. These new workers are digital natives with on-demand expectations. They are always connected and need continual stimulation.
Regional Personnel specializes in recruiting and staffing services in New Jersey. We match top talent to company culture with a personal and customized approach to every placement. Start a conversation by emailing me at [email protected].
 Seemiller, Corey. Generation Z Goes to College. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-1-119-14345-1. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Z
 “Is Gen Z the Most Success-Oriented Generation?” Barna Group. 6 Jun. 2018, https://www.barna.com/research/is-gen-z-the-most-success-oriented-generation/
   He, Emily. “Gearing Up for Gen-Z: What Employers Should Know About Today’s Young Workers.” Forbes. 25 Feb. 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilyhe/2019/02/25/gearing-up-for-gen-z-what-employers-should-know-about-todays-young-workers/
 Lucas, Suzanne. “Gen-Z is Coming to the Workforce. Here’s What to Expect.” Inc. 8 Sep. 2018, https://www.inc.com/suzanne-lucas/gen-z-is-coming-to-workforce-here-is-what-to-expect.html
Biopharma’s increasing investment in technological innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and data science is an important trend to watch for emerging employment opportunities, especially in the drug discovery market.
The exploding practice of using AI to accelerate the drug discovery process is specifically illustrated by both the increasing number of partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and AI startups and the amount of investments pharmaceutical companies are making on internal AI capabilities.
Pharmaceutical companies have collaborated with AI startups to enhance drug discovery programs in many important ways. As a result of these partnerships, for example, AI has been applied to patient diagnosis and treatment, drug repurposing and even to genomics to discover natural peptides with health benefits.  AI is also being leveraged in data mining to find and validate potential cancer drug targets as well as therapeutic targets for neurological diseases. Each are data-rich endeavors with potentially significant medical benefits.
Because massive volumes of data are created when incorporating AI into drug discovery, pharmaceutical companies will need to restructure their organizations and infrastructures to be able to quickly process, store, access and analyze their research. As a result, pharmaceutical companies are equally growing their internal AI capabilities to be prepared for the AI-driven digital transformation and accelerate time to discovery. Global pharmaceutical companies including Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are in the process of undertaking this change.
The technological advancements of AI in biopharma not only impacts how pharmaceutical companies operate but also creates a shift in employment opportunities. Although some experts predict that AI advancements will result in a reduction in the labor force over the next fifteen years, we believe the reduction will be accompanied by an expansion of workforce needs in various other areas.
Both organizations and workers alike will have to adapt to the need for more technological and higher cognitive skills created by the adoption of AI in biopharmaceuticals like drug discovery. For example, pharmaceutical companies will increasingly need data analysts and scientists, AI and machine learning (ML) specialists, big data analysts and more.
Is your organization ready to find and employ new skills needed in this AI revolution? Regional Personnel specializes in recruiting services for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries. We match top talent to company culture with a personal and customized approach to every placement. Start a conversation by emailing us at [email protected].
 Smith, Simon. “31 Pharma Companies Using Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery.” BenchSci. 1 Apr. 2019, www.blog.benchsci.com/pharma-companies-using-artificial-intelligence-in-drug-discovery
Are you looking to enter the life sciences job market? There isn’t a more opportune time to launch your career because the industry is booming. If you’re actively seeking an opportunity in life sciences within the United States, focus your search on these hotbed regions as highlighted by BioSpace for innovation, growth and jobs in the life sciences sector:
The impact at the FDA from the government shut, as well as the potential impact to the public, has been running relatively below the radar. Everyone relies on the FDA for safe medicines, food, and animal products. If the FDA is feeling the effects from shutdown, so could the public. In the wake of this lingering shutdown, FDA has been forced to begin to assess its options in order to focus resources on key consumer protection functions. The longer the government shutdown continues, the greater the potential harm to public health. Here are some points to consider:
Potential far-reaching results:
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The much anticipated October Jobs Report was recently released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). On a seasonally adjusted basis, total nonfarm employment rose by 250,000 in October, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its monthly jobs report. The gain of 250,000 exceeds the median projection of 200,000 jobs from the Bloomberg survey. Temporary help services employment rose by 0.1% from the prior month, adding 3,300 jobs, and the temporary penetration rate remained roughly flat at 2.04%. The national unemployment rate remained at 3.7%.
Background and Analysis- On a year-over-year (y/y) basis (October 2018 over October 2017), total nonfarm employment was up 1.7%, and monthly job gains have averaged approximately 210,000 over the past 12 months. Temporary help employment was up 2.2% y/y, with monthly job gains averaging approximately 5,500 over the past 12 months.
Of the 15 major industry groups, the three that most drove total nonfarm employment growth in October (on a seasonally adjusted basis) include healthcare and social assistance (+46,700), leisure and hospitality (+42,000), and manufacturing (+32,000). Gains were broad across industries, as there was only one decliner, education (-2,500). On a year-over-year basis, natural resources/mining continued to lead all industry groups in terms of percentage growth, with 9.4%, once again followed by construction and transportation/warehousing, with 4.7% and 3.5% growth, respectively. Information was the one decliner on a y/y basis, down 0.5%.
Wages appear to be gaining traction at last, with y/y growth in average hourly earnings accelerating to 3.1% in October.
BLS Revisions- The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +134,000 to +118,000, and the change for August was revised from +270,000 to +286,000. With these revisions, total nonfarm employment gains during the two-month period were unchanged.
The change in temporary help services employment for September was revised from +10,600 to +7,600, and the change for August was revised from +12,400 to +10,800. With these revisions, temporary help employment growth was less than previously reported by 4,600 jobs.
Staffing Industry Analysts’ Perspective- Regarding total nonfarm employment, this was a favorable jobs report. Even if you take the average of the last two months (to account for the recovery from the impact of Hurricane Florence in the prior month), the employment gain is a moderate 184,000. Moreover, wage growth, the one area that had not been as strong for so many years in this expansion period, appears to be gaining traction at last.
Temporary help employment growth, however, has become increasingly mild, with the temporary penetration rate remaining roughly flat throughout most of this year. Temporary staffing may be reaching a plateau, which would be normal if we are approaching the tail end of an expansion in the business cycle.
The national unemployment rate declined to 3.7% from 3.9% in the prior month. However, the U-6, or “underemployment” rate which includes part-time workers who would prefer a full-time position and people who want a job but aren’t actively looking, actually ticked up from 7.4% to 7.5% in September.
See full report at https://lnkd.in/dWWkkeg
With the changing times in our economy and especially the labor force, employers must stay keen to the trends of employee preference and needs. As a new generation emerges into the labor force, of course, there is a new trend surfacing with regards to the conventional work schedule. According to recent studies, Millennials desire to embark on a journey of jobs rather than sit at the same desk from 9-5 for the rest of their lives. They want to be a part of an influential team and make positive changes rather than just get credit for showing up in the morning. This desire needs to be captured by employers and used to their benefit. By hiring temporary work from this up and coming millennial generation it will infuse new and creative ideas that can grow a project rather than keep it stagnant. A fresh young mind can bring in a new perspective and revive old static ways to give your project just the boost it needs. And when it comes to employing an efficient and bright workforce, fluidity and interchangeability are key. Therefore if employers can create a diverse and balanced team full of both full-time and temporary personnel they should generally have a greater level of productivity.