Scientific recruitment in biotechnology bucks the trend
Scientific recruitment in biotechnology bucks the trend for 2010
A recent survey of over 550 scientific organisations shows a UK wide positive outlook for 2010 recruitment.
Although the UK science labour market had a tough 2009, shedding both permanent and contract staff, the biotechnology sector has been resilient to the consumer downturn and saw an increase in the requirement for skilled scientists. This sector also bucks the trend by predicting a significant increase in the recruitment of contract staff in the coming 12 months too. However, the majority of respondents in this sector found it much harder to recruit staff in 2009 than 2008.
From all the sectors in the survey, biotechnology were second only to Oil/Gas/Petrochemicals in hiring the most permanent staff compared to the previous year, however they are now near the top in terms of numbers of permanent staff they are planning to hire. This positive trend continues for contract scientific staff hire, although the level looks to remain stable rather than increase during 2010. This differs when the question is asked in terms of general use of contract staff across all disciplines including admin, finance etc. as this has seen a decrease throughout 2009.
Ena Vieira, biotechnology industry specialist for SRG says: With the unstable economic situation over the last 12 months, biotech companies have become even more focused on the commercial returns of their products. This has led to a trend emerging, showing that they are now seeking to recruit more commercially focused staff whilst still requiring them to have suitable scientific skills. The results of our latest survey clearly show that the outlook for 2010 is looking positive as, from all the sectors surveyed, biotechnology are predicting the second highest increased permanent staff recruitment during 2010.
Now in its fourth year, the 2009-2010 survey was completed by 554 UK employers of scientists, including biotechnology, food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil, petrochemical and healthcare companies, research institutes and government departments. All were involved in recruitment and were mostly working in an HR or senior technical/scientific role. The results show both regional and sector specific trends.