Sébastien Stoitzner, CEO. © Gensearch

Talents: HR Flash

The European Biotech market is extremely dynamic, acknowledged as being number two in the world of market rankings. This is a cause for celebration!

A number of European governments have invested a significant amount of public resources, including public funding, to create de­dicated clusters that have been instrumental in developing a strong biotech eco­system.

In addition to public investment, venture capitalists have been quite active as well. They have contributed greatly to the structuring and professionalisation of the European Biotech market.
As human resources professionals, we have observed that those companies invest almost all their energy into two specific areas for their business: raising money and making science move forward. It makes sense, does it not?

Yes, it does!
However, we are convinced that a third area should be addressed with the same energy and the same professional approach: talent acquisition and talent development. At the end of the day, when you want to be successful at raising money or at making science move forward, people are the key, are they not?
When you think:

  • about how competitive the market is,
  • that the skills you need are rare,
  • that the time lines are short,
  • that more than 75% of biotechs are headed by first-time CEOs, with a scientific background and no business experience,
  • and that most of those companies do not have an HR Manager,

you should think “Wait a minute, maybe we need to address the talent issues first?”

Then, some questions arise:

  • For VCs: during your due diligence on top of science and the potential market, do you assess people systematically with specific tools and solid processes?
  • For clusters: do you provide your members with the support and solutions they need in terms of talent?
  • For biotech companies: do you have a plan to attract the international talent you need, do you assess these people, and then how do you develop and retain them?
  • For CEOs: would coaching be relevant to enable you to attain your milestones earlier?

Business failures are due primarily to the human factor. There are solutions to anticipate and address these issues. One merely needs to go and look for them.