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Legal Recruitment Trends in the Life Sciences Industry

Posted on December 2020

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Throughout this unprecedented year of 2020, we have seen movements in all industries when it comes to the ever-changing legal recruitment market, especially within the Life Sciences space which in this environment is more important than ever. Our team who exclusively focus on the Legal Life Sciences market have had to adapt, like many others to a new way of working and ensure we continue to support the legal advancements that are effective in the market. We are pleased to report that it has been another record year for the team, growing 221% over the last 3 years. Efficient and fast delivery into essential open positions and the continued growth of our candidate and client network has been our priority.

We wanted to share a short general update on some of the trends we are seeing in the Life Sciences Legal space due to the impacts of COVID-19 from a candidate and client perspective, and also what we are expecting to see as we head into 2021.

COVID-19 in the Workforce

The biggest adjustment in 2020 has been that virtual interviewing and hiring have become the “new norm”. As companies are changing and adapting to the remote work setting, hiring managers are realizing that they still need the same help and headcount that they did before the pandemic, and that they can’t just hit the pause button on hiring now. Because of this, we have also seen a massive upward movement of companies not only hiring remotely, but also allowing current employees to work remotely indefinitely. The impacts of COVID-19 will certainly have companies questioning whether they are able to be profitable in a remote setting, and if they are able to cut some costs on paying for real estate for multiple offices.

Pharmaceutical | Biotechnology | Medical Device

General trends we expect to see in the industry moving into 2021

  • Heavier focus in privacy as technology continues to progress

  • Emphasis on compliance with FDA regulations

  • A need for more securities/SEC attorneys due to the number of IPOs this year

  • Extreme upward movement with remote hires and indefinite remote options for employees at the corporate level  

What can candidates do to differentiate themselves in this competitive market?

  • Choose to take on mentoring responsibilities before having direct reports

  • Cultivate quality relationships with people in your network  

  • Take extra courses and obtain certificates to enhance their knowledge about the space

  • Have general knowledge of multiple areas to be able to take on other responsibilities when necessary

  • Highlight and sell “soft” skills

 What can clients do to make their teams or businesses stand out vs their competitors?

  • ​Improving and making a conscious effort to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace

  • Creating more of an online presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets

  • Offering remote options if possible and flexible working hours

  • Explaining and showing a clear growth trajectory for current and future hires

  • Establishing a memorable culture and creating a more collaborative and positive work environment

Life Sciences In-House Compensation Trends

Something positive we observed this year from a hiring perspective is that salary ranges were not largely affected by the global pandemic. There is still a steady increase in compensation for legal opportunities as most companies continue to compete for top talent in a candidate driven market. We continue to see top-quality attorneys we work with juggle multiple offers and negotiate competitive salaries.

We put together a chart that breaks down the average base salary ranges for attorneys based on location and years of experience, to ensure visibility on the latest compensation trends we are seeing in the market moving into 2021.

We continue to have specialized senior recruitment consultants that persist to adapt and succeed in their concentrated niches, delivering the most efficient and effective Life Sciences Legal talent on the market to our clients. If you would like to discuss the legal market further or have any hiring plans for 2021 that we can help with, please get in touch with our team today.

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