If you're looking to hire a medical writer for your life sciences organization, you're far from alone. According to labor market analysis provider Burning Glass, there were more than 2,000 job postings in the last year — and that number's expected to climb in the coming year. This statistic isn't shocking, considering the increase in demand is being fueled by the surge of sophisticated products entering the market and the need to keep up with increasingly complex medical information gathered during clinical research. And as product complexity rises, regulatory bodies have also called for greater transparency and data disclosures.
Medical writers play crucial roles in bridging these gaps, since their expertise lies in their ability to effectively communicate a high volume of dense technical information to both medical professionals and the general public — making it critical that employers fill this position effectively and quickly.
How can you strengthen your recruitment process to ensure you attract the best medical writers out there? Follow this checklist to ensure a top-notch hire:1. ensure your hiring process is efficient 2. know what a competitive salary is for medical writers 3. determine the must-have skills candidates should have 4. write an appealing and effective job description 5. understand industry- and position-specific hiring trends 6. identify the best recruiting method for sourcing talent
Ready to jump in and learn more? Let's get started.
1. speed up your hiring process
Medical writers are a necessity for any biopharmaceutical company looking to submit new products to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. So having skilled medical writers on hand — professionals who understand both the drugs and devices themselves, as well as comprehensive knowledge of the end-to-end approval process — can be the difference between success and failure. You can jeopardize your company's ability to bring new products to market if you don't have this position adequately filled, so you don't want to lose top candidates to competitors with a swifter hiring speed.
And while you don't want to be hasty when recruiting for such a vital role, you do want to maximize efficiency. Take a look at this diagram to determine where you can make your hiring process more time-effective.
2. develop a competitive compensation package
A competitive salary is the foundation of a strong job offer, especially in the age of salary transparency and employer review sites. Having up-to-date knowledge and insights into salary trends and what's driving them puts you in the best possible position to determine what makes for a strong compensation package in today's market.
If you're new to this, Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide is a great place to start your research, as it provides insights into the latest hiring and salary trends within the life sciences industry. Use our salary calculator to ensure you have the most accurate data you need for your decision-making.
3. identify the top skills for medical writers
In order to write a compelling job description, you need to know what to look for in a candidate. What skills are necessary to get the job done effectively? What experience will best position this medical writer for success at our company? Meet with the hiring manager and other team leaders to discuss the skills top candidates will need to possess.
Then, break down that list of skills into two different categories: your "must-haves" — those that every medical writer needs to excel, like clinical research experience and knowledge of regulatory documents — and your "nice-to-haves" — skills that would definitely be a bonus but aren't necessarily essential or can be developed on the job, like proficiency in statistical analysis.
Below are the skills that are most requested of medical writers, based on 2,000 job postings:
4. write an eye-catching job description
A strong job description can immediately grab a candidate's attention and excite them to be a part of your company. So keep these three points top of mind when crafting your next alluring description:
use your job description to answer questions candidates will have before applying.
For even more tips and insights, read our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.
5. brush up on the latest industry trends
Understanding the latest trends in the life science industry will not only impact the quality and quantity of your hires, it will also strengthen your recruitment strategy, since you'll be in a position to proactively determine the factors that will drive your future hiring needs.
Here are a few of the trends to make note of:
In 2019, for the first time ever, there were more job openings in the life sciences industry than there were job seekers.
Innovation across the sector is driving this rapid growth, and while competition for top talent will remain high for all roles, highly specialized life sciences talent will continue to be increasingly scarce.
The five states with the most opportunities for medical writers are California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois — so employers in these markets are going to have to be extra competitive when it comes to recruiting talent.
To get a deeper look, read through our 2019 guide to hiring trends in life sciences.
in 2019, job openings in the life sciences industry outnumbered the number of job seekers.
6. choose your channels to find candidates
There are many different avenues in which an employer can source talent for open positions; job boards, employee referrals, LinkedIn searches. But not all ways of hiring are equal, so you need to think about where your potential candidates are — and then meet them there. And because of the impact a medical writer has on your organization, it's critical to fill this role with the best person available.
To find top candidates, it can be especially beneficial to work with a professional staffing firm. Partnering with a staffing firm will give you access to candidates from their talent network who have been prescreened and vetted. Plus, their team of staffing experts have deep knowledge of the industry, and can help guide your hiring strategy and decision-making in both the short and long terms.
If that sounds like the right direction for you, reach out to Randstad's life sciences experts today to discuss your medical writer needs today. Or, if you'd like to browse our pool of top candidates on your own first, head on over to our Find Employees portal.