With the new EU Medical Device Regulations coming into force, medical device manufacturers are finding themselves needing additional hands to keep on top of the changes. With an estimated talent gap of 12% for regulatory affairs professionals this isn’t always plain sailing…
Why is recruiting (and keeping!) regulatory affairs talent tricky?
The market for RA talent right now is very candidate driven. Demand has spiked and supply can’t keep pace, so the price in the market has gone up. More and more professionals are having their heads turned by higher basic salaries, lucrative contracting roles and fixed-term contracts over permanent ones.
In a period where having regulatory affairs specialists is crucial, companies can’t afford to lose their talent to competitors.
Manufacturers need to think outside the box to retain and attract candidates so that they can deal with the increased workload brought in because of the MDR.
If you’re interested in finding out more about medical device regulation in the UK, download our UK Medical Device Regulation Report 2019 here.
How can companies attract candidates and retain their existing talent?
Companies who are willing to pay high salaries during these periods are likely to attract talent. They do, however, need to be careful. Organisations need to be competitive but remain realistic – this is a boom period that will normalize post-2020. Whilst an ‘at any cost’ approach may work for some, many are tapping into mechanisms outside of the basic salary to secure the people they need.
Similarly, whilst upping their salary might help to stop your current regulatory affairs team from being tempted to move to an organisation offering a higher salary, there are other factors that have just as much of an impact that will cost less!
Brand and reputation
A strong, well-marketed brand is always a pull for talent. People are drawn to working for popular companies with a great reputation and an innovative product portfolio. They are also more likely to stay put at a company with a great brand rather than risking moving to somewhere with a lesser reputation. Never is this more important than when competition for talent is at its highest.
Breadth of exposure
Another way to attract top talent is to give them a large breadth of exposure to different products, and therefore different aspects of the regulations. Many companies are offering a ‘rotation’ through the company and its products, providing an opportunity for professional development and making an attractive proposition.
This is also a great way to retain your existing talent. If your current regulatory affairs specialists have each been focused on one area of the business, now is the perfect time to broaden their remit to other areas. By offering them wider scope in their role this may tempt them away from looking elsewhere to get that broader experience.
Product portfolio technicality
The technicality of a product portfolio is important to regulatory affairs professionals, particularly in times of high demand. If the product portfolio is made up of mainly consumables, the regulatory process is straightforward in comparison to capital equipment. Once approved, often nothing changes if there are no changes to the product itself.
With capital or electro-mechanical equipment (like surgical robots) regulation is more of an ongoing process due to product evolution. Regulatory professionals often prefer this avenue as there are always new attachments that need updated submissions.
Not only is a more technical product portfolio more exciting, but it’s also a way to gain a wider variety of skills which is great for professional development and future employability.
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