The pharmaceutical sector is one of the principal ones that we serve here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, with many employment experts in this field among our staff.

There’s also no question that the industry is a diverse, complex and potentially highly rewarding one for new recruits, with even starter pharmacologists typically earning between £25,000 and £28,000 a year, according to the National Careers Service.

But what do you need to know if you are to break into the sector for the first time?

First of all, make sure you have the right skills

There is a wide range of skills that will require in order to succeed in the pharmaceutical industry. These include strong IT skills, encompassing data retrieval and analysis, as well as good communication skills for giving presentations and writing papers and reports.

You will also need to be able to solve problems and come up with creative solutions in experiments, work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams and organise yourself and manage your time well. Leadership potential is another key requirement.

What qualifications are necessary?

Although it isn’t unheard-of for school leavers to secure pharmaceutical jobs – according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) – this is not common and further career progress would depend on the possession of higher qualifications.

To stand the best chance of securing your first pharmaceutical role, you are likely to need a degree in pharmacology, although entry may be possible with a degree in another scientific subject such as biochemistry, neuroscience, microbiology or physiology.

For employment at the major pharmaceutical companies that receive an especially high level of interest from candidates, a relevant postgraduate qualification such as a pharmacology MSc or PhD may be essential, or at least highly advantageous.

What is the role of work experience?

Work experience can be invaluable for enabling you to see what life in the pharmaceutical industry is really like, as well as to talk to those already in the sector and start making useful contacts. The presence of work experience on your CV will also show to employers that you have a genuine interest in working in the sector.

Finding a relevant placement can be extremely difficult if you are under 16, but not impossible, with some pharmaceutical firms happy to provide local students with experience in an office.

If you are 16-18, you may be able to secure a one-week or two-week work experience placement during school holidays. However, such opportunities are rarely advertised, so you will almost certainly need to get in touch with companies directly.

When you are considering university courses, it is strongly advisable to choose a course that offers a ‘year in industry’ – also sometimes referred to as a sandwich or industrial placement year. If such a placement year is not possible, it’s a good idea to aim to obtain work experience during the long summer holidays.

How can Hyper Recruitment Solutions help?

When you are looking to secure that all-important first role in pharmacology, the assistance of the right science recruitment agency can be invaluable. Hyper Recruitment Solutions has long been that agency for a wide range of individuals seeking science jobs, with a high level of expertise in relation to the pharmaceutical sector.

Talk to our experts today about how we can serve you with our broad range of services geared towards the needs of candidates. 

  
Today’s candidates for science jobs in such fields as pharmacology, biotechnology and medical devices are generally savvy and understand the need to prepare well for an interview, including by researching their prospective employer.

The latter is vital not just for giving applicants a sense of what kind of company they could soon be working for, but also for helping them to confirm that this is definitely an organisation for which they would like to work.

After all, past research has indicated that 42% of workers are motivated by how well they get on with their colleagues, and 22% by how their manager treats them.

However, with even the most disreputable firms able to make themselves look good these days by having an impressive website designed complete with engaging written copy, the interview may be the first time you come into contact with your potential employer as they truly are.

In that case, what are the things that you need to look out for?

The premises

As you approach the site of your interview, you should consider the surroundings. Is the company’s office located in a decent area? Is the building itself well-maintained and presentable? What about the inside of the premises – are the bathrooms clean and is there somewhere to take a break at lunchtime?

Remember that you may well spend more of your waking hours at work than anywhere else, so it needs to be the kind of place where you can imagine yourself working comfortably for long hours.

The people

As you will need to do this anyway if you secure a role with this firm, it’s a good idea to talk to as many people as possible on the premises before you are called into the interview room, as this will give you a clue of the atmosphere there.

You should ask yourself whether the receptionist seems friendly, for example, or whether they seem overly busy, stressed out and inconvenienced by you being there. Look, too, at how other employees on site are interacting with each other – do these seem like people that you could work alongside for hour after hour?

The interview

How you present yourself at the interview is obviously vital, which is why we have previously blogged on such subjects as what your body language says during an interview. However, you shouldn’t become so focused on this that you fail to evaluate your potential employer.

You can gain a lot of clues about the company’s management culture by observing how the interviewer behaves. Did they turn up on time and seem relaxed, prepared and interested in you and your answers? Or did they leave you waiting and appear to be stressed and overwhelmed when they did finally arrive?

While you might not be working directly with this person if you do get the job, they are likely to be representative of the company’s broader culture, so any warning signs should be noted.

With as many as nine in 10 people expressing regret about rushing their career choice, it really is crucial to take the time at this stage to carefully consider your prospective employer’s merits. The interview may be the only time you directly interact with the company that could be your employer for many years to come, so you should be vigilant in keeping an eye out for good and bad signs alike. 


With almost half (49%) of UK workers having signalled an intention to move jobs in 2016 – according to an Investors in People survey as reported by LondonLovesBusiness.com – it is surely inevitable that even many of those in the most rewarding science jobs will have occasionally considered quitting.

People decide to move on for all manner of reasons – so here are five of the things that you may be doing that could be contributing to your own firm’s staff attrition.

Micromanagement

Whatever science sector your organisation may be involved in – perhaps pharmacology, clinical, medical devices or something entirely different – you won’t make your employees happy by continually micromanaging them.

There’s a good reason why your staff are trained and experienced to such a high level – they need to be if they are to do their jobs, so you should give them the space to fulfil their duties.

A lack of the right tools

For some science roles it may simply be standard office supplies that are required, whereas for others, there may be a need for much more specialised equipment.

Whatever the situation, your staff should have the tools that enable them to do their jobs in the safest and most competent manner possible.

Poor morale

Ultimately, a business is about not just the building in which it is based, but also its people and the morale among its employees. Unfortunately, however, all too many managers are intimidating, communicate poorly and don’t provide their staff with an adequate work/life balance.

Your employees need to feel that they are in an environment in which they will be appreciated and rewarded for their hard work – otherwise, don’t be surprised if they look for other science jobs.

Favouritism

Treating certain staff or departments more favourably than others – whether that means providing greater resources and attention or simply not placing the same demands upon them – is another sure way to breed resentment.

Indeed, those within your team who may be willing to take on more responsibility or work overtime may be effectively punished for this through a lack of managerial support.

Too many meetings

If your staff members are being constantly distracted from their core duties by meetings, how can you expect them to be productive and happy workers? At the very least, any meetings that you do hold should have a definite sense of purpose, with an expectation that real changes or improvements will be made as a result of what was discussed and someone will be held accountable for it.  

But all too often, certain science organisations hold meetings for the sake of holding meetings and nothing changes in how the firm works, other than employee disillusionment.

The discovery earlier this year by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) that UK workers’ job satisfaction was at a two-year low – as reported by The Independent - should make it even more obvious that your staff must be managed well if you are to get the best out of them.   

When you require a reputable science recruitment agency with the ability to provide all manner of tailored recruitment solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions. We are also trusted experts in candidate screening and are fully compliant with current recruitment and employment law, so we really can bring you the complete service.

Continual development and innovation in medical devices is crucial to ensuring quality of life in the UK and across the world. The term ‘medical devices’ is naturally an extremely broad one, encompassing such items as syringes, wheelchairs, pacemakers, X-ray machines, orthopaedic devices, coronary artery stents and many more.

Regardless, there can be little doubt about the field’s great importance in safeguarding the wellbeing of our increasingly health-aware population.

It is thanks to medical devices that diseases can be detected earlier and diagnoses, treatment and patient monitoring relentlessly improved. Breakthroughs and refinements in medical device technology have also been crucial for reducing the costs of healthcare at a time when health services around the world – not least the NHS – seem to be under greater financial pressure than ever.

What is the state of the UK medical device industry today?

A quick glance at the key statistics relating to the UK’s present medical device industry should serve to further underline its importance. According to the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the UK medical technology sector was made up of more than 2,000 companies as of 2009, with four-fifths of those being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Emergo has said that the UK medical device market was valued at $9.9 billion in 2008, making it the third largest in Europe behind Germany and France. About 50,000 people are said to be employed in the sector, which is also trade positive in the UK, exporting more than it imports. It is a key part of a wider life sciences industry that has been hailed as one of the key contributors to the UK economy. 

However, ABHI has also said that “action is needed if the UK is to continue to thrive in this area and patients are to realise the full benefits of medical technology”. Furthermore, it’s clear that with many of the most exciting and lucrative science jobs today being in medical devices, science recruitment agencies like Hyper Recruitment Solutions have a crucial role to play in helping to match the right talent to the right medical device industry vacancies and employers.  

What you need to know if you are interested in a medical devices career

Although medical devices tend to be based on mechanical, electrical and/or materials engineering, which will place those with qualifications in any of these fields at a distinct advantage, prospective entrants to the sector are also expected to have a strong biological and biological sciences background.

The skill-set that you will require to succeed in the medical device sector will depend largely on the specific job in which you are interested. While, for example, a research and development role may place an emphasis on strong engineering skills, if you are to be tasked with the management of a team of people on a project, ‘softer’ skills like communication and team leadership will be crucial.

Meanwhile, ‘people skills’ and a willingness to travel are prerequisites for those working in the sales side of the sector, as is a high level of knowledge in – and enthusiasm for – the devices that they are to be responsible for selling. 

When seeking your next big role in the medical devices industry – whether it will be your first or the latest of many – you shouldn’t hesitate to draw upon our considerable sector-specific expertise here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, including in such sub-areas as quality assurance, quality control, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, validation, clinical trials or any of a wide range of others.  



For both the leading science recruitment agencies and the employers that they serve, relevant work experience isn't a mere 'nice-to-have' on a candidate's CV - it could be the key factor that triggers offers for the most desirable vacancies.

Numerous surveys have served to confirm this down the years, with one such study last year finding that 58% of polled employers rated work experience as "the most popular qualification among those presented." Ranked second was a student's personality, cited by 48% of those quizzed.

But why, for science jobs in fields as wide-ranging as energy, clinical, telecommunications and more, is work experience - and in particular, relevant work experience - so highly valued by employers?

The right experience shows readiness for work

The most compelling reasons to ensure you get plenty of work experience on your CV before sending out your CV for all of those mouth-watering science jobs may also be the most mundane.

The truth is that your studies, as relevant for your specialised intended career as they undoubtedly are, do not - in and of themselves - indicate that you are prepared to walk into an organisation and start making a difference in that prestigious and rewarding role straight away.

You may possess a high level of knowledge in chemistry, immunology or pharmacology, but are you able to be punctual, present yourself well, organise your workday duties and take on a high level of responsibility, including making independent decisions if the circumstances demand it?

You may feel that you can respond with a "yes" to all of these questions, but only a record of past work experience - whether gained on a placement or more informally - will convince many employers that you can do so truthfully.

But work experience isn't just for pleasing an employer...

There's no question that relevant work experience can help to convince an employer that you will be a reliable and productive employee if they do hire you. Candidates with work experience are more likely to be able to work effectively as part of a team, gain a quick grasp of how an employer operates and commit to an employer for a certain period of time - among many other things.

However, you shouldn't merely think of relevant work experience as a way to attract more interviews for science jobs. That's because you should also use such experience to fine-tune your own understanding of the career path that you would like to pursue, as there are certain insights into the day-to-day realities of work in a given science field that only direct experience can bring.

Remember, too, that working in an organisation like that in which you aspire to gain salaried employment in future can be invaluable for building those early contacts that could - directly or indirectly - lead to a job offer. However, such contacts can also be crucial in simply giving you important insights into what truly awaits you if you decide to pursue a given science career path.

For the sake of ensuring that you apply for the right science jobs, as well as better stand out from the competition when you do so, acquiring work experience - the more relevant, the better - will always be strongly recommended by the leading science recruitment agencies like Hyper Recruitment Solutions

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