Global Hiring Activity – Trends and Strategies for 2022

Global Hiring Activity – Trends and Strategies for 2022

Following the pandemic disruptions of the last two years, there have been a few developments in the jobs market for Medical and Pharma – not least as a result of new investments in vaccines and testing, but also as a result of changing work practices, virtual working and emphasis on well-being and balance. 

This is our brief overview of some of the key trends that are now affecting the medical and pharma sector, along with a few notable ways in which they are bucking trends.

Total jobs available

There was a noticeable dip in all job postings towards the end of Q4 2021, with Q1 2022 showing a general uptick once more.  Total Active Jobs increased by 9% in Q1 2022 as compared to the previous quarter, while improving 52% Year-on-Year.

The United States led the way, with a sequential growth rate of 6% and the most Active Jobs, with Canada and Germany not far behind.

Globally, the Pharma sector posted most jobs, alongside Technology, with areas such as digitalization showing the most significant job postings and industry themes such as HealthTech becoming one of key focus for Technology companies.

Healthcare is also seeing a strong resurgence into quarter 1 of 2022, with the United States leading the field, closely followed by India and the more robust European countries such as Germany, the UK and France.  Companies like Virta Health Group and Riverside Community Care are showing strong growth in recruitment around smart hospitals, HealthTech and electronic medical record systems. 

Trends in work models

The way people wanted to work changed quickly and dramatically during the Covid 19 pandemic. People were compelled or made the choice to explore different ways of working, using digital technology to work remotely, work from home and blend attendance with virtual when appropriate.

This trend will be unlikely to revert completely. Remote and hybrid work models, as well as working from home, have now gone mainstream. That said, people are now gradually returning to office-based work.

In healthcare there has been a strong uptake in remote working or hybrid working where possible – with the numbers of posted jobs that mention these benefits almost doubling. Although, for roles such as R&D and medical development, pharmaceutical and healthcare roles still represent one of the less adaptable areas, alongside medical equipment.

Environmental, Social and Governance

Another key factor is Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) which has shown own a marked increase, perhaps dropping off a little in 2022, but certainly moving a long way from where it was in 2020. Many companies are focussing on issues around sustainability initiatives and are posting and closing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) roles quickly. Investors are increasingly applying these non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities. These posts are now carrying more weight.

Sign-on Bonuses

There has been something of an emerging trend for additional incentives at hiring stages in many sectors. As people return to typical working practices and the various sectors revive, some companies have sought to incentivise the specific talent and skills they need, which may have been attracted into other sectors during the pandemic. However, unlike sectors that were more directly affected by the lockdown – travel, hospitality and retail for instance – the medical and pharma industries have seen far less of this sort of thing. Partly due to its continued strength and growth, and partly due to the less fluid transferable skill sets.  

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions have remained buoyant into 2022 with medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies such as Novavartis and Horizon posting more jobs related to merger and acquisitions in quarter 1 of 2022.

Trends in Active Jobs

Pharmaceuticals and technology had the most active jobs in 2022, with all aspects of medical employment reaching something of a peak as we come into the first quarter. Sanofi and Icon Plc lead the way with active roles right across the spectrum – particularly in areas such as precision and personalised medicine, virtual care, immuno-oncology and real world evidence.

Growth areas and new roles

In general, there has been an upswing in the use of digital technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), as well as big data. In pharmaceuticals, the big growth was in big data artificial intelligence are the digital media, remote and wearable technologies. Companies are posting new roles and creating new teams as a part of strategic initiatives.

For example:

Astra Zeneca  - Director Global Epidemiology, Pharmacovigilance

A newly created role in the Oncology Business Unit in AstraZeneca and a scientifically driven vital position within the Oncology Global Medical Evidence Generation team - accountable for driving scientific and operational aspects of Global Pharmacovigilance studies for AZ products across the Oncology Business Unit...studies include Post Authorisation Patient Safety Studies (PASS) and Post Marketing Commitments (PMCs) utilising real work evidence (RWE) in oncology.

Glaxo-Smith-Klein - Global Strategic Market Intelligence Director

A newly created role, designed to support the delivery of business and market intelligence through understanding of consumer behaviour to complement market knowledge, understand and anticipate our competitors and generate insights that inform and shape strategy, creating powerful narratives that drive investor confidence.

Moderna - Senior Manager, CMO Operations Fill & Finish

A newly created role in the international Fill and Finish operations department, supporting Moderna’s Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) activities in Italy. Responsible for technical support of Moderna cGMP manufacturing activities, tech transfer, process validation activities and life cycle CMC activities, including protocol generation, oversight of CMO execution and summary report generation.


To conclude

Overall, the medical and pharmaceutical industries have shown solid growth, maybe without the dynamic range of sectors more directly affected by lockdown. The pandemic has accelerated many important areas – digital and personal technologies, AI and big data, as well as remote monitoring and wearable tech.

The whole sector is robust with new roles emerging, but often also demanding additional skill sets – especially in the areas where digital and personal engagement is key.




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