PBMD, regulatory affairs hiring challenges, solutions

In the ever-evolving landscape of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device (PBMD) industries, one challenge remains constant: filling PBMD jobs and the recruitment of highly skilled regulatory affairs professionals. Regulatory affairs professionals play a vital role in this arena, and companies across the globe are struggling to overcome the obstacles to securing top talent. 

Some of the biggest challenges are the continuously shifting global regulatory environment, a noticeable shortage of qualified candidates, and intensifying global competition for regulatory affairs expertise. These are just three of the challenges that hiring managers face when trying to onboard the talent needed for bringing innovative medicines to market safely and efficiently. 

Increasing complexity of the regulatory landscape
The Regulatory Affairs function is responsible for ensuring that PBMD products are developed, manufactured, marketed, and distributed in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, which have become increasingly complex. Regulatory affairs professionals work closely with agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to ensure that products are safe and effective for patients. Professionals need to have a deep understanding of the latest regulations and be able to apply them to their work. 

Shortage of qualified regulatory affairs professionals
There is a high demand to fill PBMD jobs and regulatory affairs professionals but a limited supply of qualified candidates. This is due to the increased complexity of the industry and that many regulatory affairs professionals are reaching retirement age. In addition, because much of the industry has international reach, PBDM companies are also scanning the globe for the best regulatory affairs professionals. All of this creates a highly competitive environment.

According to a 2021 survey by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society the median level of  experience for pharmaceutical regulatory affairs professionals in the United States is six years, with he most common industries for pharmaceutical regulatory affairs professionals are pharmaceuticals (66 percent), biotechnology (19 percent), and medical devices (12 percent). The number of PBMD jobs in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs in the United States has grown by 18 percent over the past 10 years, much faster than the average for all occupations at 6 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that pharmaceutical regulatory affairs opportunities will continue to grow 18 percent through 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The need to attract and retain top talent
PBMD companies need to offer competitive salaries and benefits in order to attract and retain top regulatory affairs talent. The median annual salary for pharmaceutical regulatory affairs specialists in the United States was $78,910 in May 2021. The highest-paid 25 percent of specialists earned more than $130,060, while the lowest-paid 25 percent earned less than $56,260.

Another challenge impacting the hiring and retention of regulatory affairs professionals is the changing nature of work. More and more regulatory affairs professionals are looking for flexible work arrangements and opportunities to work remotely. PBMD companies need to be adaptable and willing to offer flexible work arrangements in order to attract and retain top talent.

PBMD companies also need to emphasize importance of diversity and inclusion in the recruitment of regulatory affairs professionals, and use additional technologies when recruiting for PBMD jobs.

There are a number of things that PBMD companies can do to overcome the challenges they face when it comes to recruiting regulatory affairs professionals and those seeking PBMD jobs.
– Offer competitive salaries and benefits
– Create a positive work environment and providing opportunities for professional development
– Be adaptable and willing to offer flexible work arrangements
– Partner with universities and colleges to develop and train the next generation of regulatory affairs professionals
– Work with diversity and inclusion initiatives to attract and retain a diverse workforce
– Proactively pipeline talent for key roles within the regulatory affairs department
– Work with a recruiting firm specializing in regulatory affairs recruiting

Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies face a daunting set of challenges in recruiting regulatory affairs professionals: the constantly shifting regulatory landscape, a shortage of qualified candidates, and global competition for top talent. These issues demand proactive solutions, including competitive compensation, flexible work arrangements, partnerships with educational institutions, and a focus on diversity and inclusion. Leveraging technology and collaborating with specialized recruiting firms can help secure the right candidates as they seek PBMD jobs. By addressing these challenges, companies can ensure regulatory excellence in a rapidly evolving industry, ultimately advancing healthcare innovation and patient well-being.

John Ricciardi has 25 years of expertise in talent acquisition. As the Founder and Managing Partner of Afton Consulting Group, he provides executive search for the pharmaceutical & biotech industries, as well as providing advisory services and crafting talent strategies for his clients. Mr. Ricciardi’s career has taken him from executive search to global leadership roles with some of the world’s largest companies. When he’s not solving the world’s recruiting problems, you can probably find him on the ski slopes, trying to keep up with his kids. Visit Afton Consulting Group to learn more.

Photo by Dana Tentis

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