Job Skills Report: What Pharma Employers Want from Managerial Candidates

This article was originally published here


February 25, 2016
By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com

Every year the writers at Bloomberg survey recruiters across a number of industries as part of their process for ranking the nation’s best business schools. They recently released their latest survey results—including the attributes employers most value in managerial candidates—within The Bloomberg Job Skills Report 2016.

When recruiters were asked what skills they consider most important in candidates applying for managerial positions such as director of clinical operations, associate director of regulatory affairs, product manager, account manager and validation manager, those employers ranked communication as the top skill. Collaboration, strategic thinking, leadership and analytical thinking rounded out the top five.

Skills Recruiters Consider Most Important in Candidates Applying for Managerial Positions

SKILL
MOST IMPORTANT
Communication
73.9 %
Work Collaboratively
71.7 %
Strategic Thinking
58.7 %
Leadership
54.3 %
Analytical Thinking
50.0 %
Creative Problem Solving
45.7 %
Motivation/Drive
28.3 %
Quantitative Skills
23.9 %
Adaptability
19.6 %
Decision-Making
17.4 %
Risk Taking
17.4 %
Work Experience
15.2 %
Global Mindset
13.0 %
Entrepreneurship
4.0 %



However, when recruiters were asked to rank the same list of skills according to the difficulty they have finding them in pharma candidates, the results were quite different. This time around, work experience came out on top, followed by leadership, adaptability, communication and creative problem solving. Collaboration and analytical thinking, which both ranked highly in importance, are apparently more common among candidates. Only communication and leadership ranked near the top in the results for both questions.

Skills Recruiters Have Difficulty Finding in Pharma Candidates


SKILL
HARDEST TO FIND
Work Experience
54.3 %
Leadership
52.2 %
Adaptability
45.7 %
Communication
41.3 %
Creative Problem Solving
39.1 %
Strategic Thinking
34.8 %
Work Collaboratively
28.3 %
Decision-Making
23.9 %
Entrepreneurship
21.7 %
Risk Taking
19.6 %
Analytical Thinking
17.4 %
Global Mindset
17.4 %
Motivation/Drive
17.4 %
Quantitative Skills
13.0 %



What does this mean for you as a pharma professional searching for a managerial position? In addition to combing the job postings for potential keywords you can work into your cover letter and resume—and ensuring you can meet the employer’s credential and experience requirements—you may benefit from highlighting a few of the highest-ranked skills in each of these lists in your application materials. Once you’ve made it to the interview stage, you’ll have an even greater opportunity to demonstrate that you possess these traits. Make sure you’re prepared to tell stories that illustrate your mastery of these skills.

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