Updated on 12 June 2013
Mr Matt Kerr, senior manager, Hays Recruiting Worldwide
With rapid growth of life sciences industry in Asia, we have seen many success stories over the last decade. However, any period of extensive growth is often accompanied by growing pains, particularly relating to staffing requirements. Organizations simply cannot get the teams in place fast enough to capitalize on the growth of the market.
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These issues still prevail and the teams working on the situation comprise specialists in human resources (HR). Here, we have outlined five of the key challenges faced by the HR managers in the life sciences sector in Asia today.
Mismatch between supply and demand - There is a fundamental mismatch between supply and demand of labor. While there is an abundance of people looking for work in Asian countries, there is also a fundamental lack in the standard of labor compared to skill requirements of various companies. Also, there are no government or educational initiatives that have been put into place to bridge this gap.
Salaries - Skills shortage puts significant upward pressure on salaries. "In demand" candidates often receive multiple job offers, giving them opportunities to negotiate higher salaries that are not commensurate with their skills and experience. For example, in Malaysia, high demand for Clinical Research Associates (CRA) is driving salaries higher. Many companies are willing to offer candidates 30-35 percent salary increases just to lure them away from a competitor. And, these are not even the best candidates. Such is the demand for a CRA that an average performer with competent skills can garner a steep salary increase through skilled manpower scarcity in the market.