19, June 2023

Understand and Address the Most Pressing HR Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Written by PeakPharma

The pharmaceutical industry is a key driver of health innovation, playing a vital role in the global economy. However, like all sectors, it faces a range of unique human resources (HR) challenges. HR managers in this sector must address talent scarcity, the cost of talent, the demand for STEM roles, and employee motivation, among other issues. The following are some of the key HR challenges in the pharmaceutical industry, along with potential vacancy management and recruiting solutions to assist with these issues.

Talent Scarcity

Talent scarcity is a significant issue for HR departments in the pharmaceutical industry. Highly specialized roles often require advanced degrees and years of experience, which narrows the pool of suitable candidates.


  • HR teams can consider broadening their reach to a global talent pool, using remote work and flexible work arrangements to attract talent.
  • Partnerships with universities and other educational institutions for a steady stream of new graduates entering the industry.

Cost of Talent

The high level of education and experience required in the pharmaceutical industry often leads to a higher cost of talent. This can place a financial strain on organizations, particularly smaller or newer companies.


  • A long-term investment in talent development, from scholarships to internship programs, can create a pool of home-grown talent.
  • Companies can also leverage technology and artificial intelligence to automate routine tasks, allowing them to make the most of their existing workforce.

Growing Demand for STEM-Related Roles Creating Shortages

STEM-related roles are growing in demand, which can lead to a talent shortage in the pharmaceutical industry. These roles are critical in driving innovation and maintaining competitiveness.


  • Organizations can encourage interest in STEM subjects through educational partnerships, scholarships, and mentorship programs.
  • Companies should consider hiring talent from related fields and investing in training programs to bring them up to speed.

Motivating Employees

Keeping employees motivated is another major HR challenge. With the pressure and high stakes inherent in the pharmaceutical industry, burnout can be a significant issue.


  • Companies should foster a positive work culture that values work-life balance and employee well-being.
  • Providing employees with opportunities for growth and advancement to keep motivation high.

Retaining Top Talent

Once talent is acquired, retaining these individuals is the most important challenge. The competitive nature of the pharmaceutical industry can lead to high turnover rates.


  • Building a strong organizational culture that values and rewards employees can encourage retention.
  • Offering competitive compensation packages and benefits.

Continually Invest in Experienced Talent

Experienced talent is a valuable asset. These individuals often require ongoing investment to stay updated with the latest research and technologies.


  • HR departments should implement ongoing professional development programs.
  • Foster a culture of learning and growth within the organization.

Focus on Internal Professional Development

Building internal talent can be more cost-effective than continually recruiting externally. However, this requires a focus on professional development.


  • Companies can create internal training programs to build the skills and knowledge of their employees.
  • They can also provide opportunities for employees to take on new challenges and expand their roles within the organization.

Look for More Variety in Talent Types to Fill Skill Gaps

A diverse range of talent types can help to fill skill gaps. Getting the right variety with a range of diverse backgrounds and skill sets is the most difficult aspect.


  • HR teams can broaden their recruitment strategies to attract a diverse range of candidates.
  • They can also consider transferable skills when hiring, rather than focusing solely on specific qualifications or experience.

Talent Mobility Should Include a DEI Strategy

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies are increasingly recognized as essential in the business world. However, implementing these strategies in talent mobility can be challenging.


  • Organizations should integrate DEI principles into all aspects of HR management, from recruitment to talent development.
  • They can also set clear diversity and inclusion goals and regularly assess their progress toward these goals.


The last few years have been significantly challenging for HR professionals. Evolving work environments, changing employee preferences, and competing priorities has kept HR departments on their toes. As a partner to pharmaceutical organizations, it is essential that PEAK fully understand this evolving landscape and provide organizations with relevant and timely solutions to assist in optimizing the recruiting and vacancy management strategy.

– Jennifer Meldrum, Co-Founder & Managing Partner PEAK Pharma Solutions Inc.

Partner with PEAK Pharma Solutions for Vacancy Management and Recruiting Solutions

PEAK Pharma Solutions is a leading provider of recruitment and vacancy management solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. We understand the unique challenges faced by this sector and offer tailored solutions to meet these needs. With a team of experienced recruiters and a deep understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, PEAK Pharma Solutions can help you overcome your HR challenges and build a successful, sustainable team. Contact us to learn more and partner with PEAK for better vacancy management and recruiting.

Similar Insights

Mobilizing Digital Marketing for 7 Key Pharma Use Cases

August 9, 2023

This video illustrates 7 key use cases that c...

How AI Can Improve Commercial Operations of Pharma Companies

May 3, 2023

AI applications can have a positive impact on the commercial operations of pharmaceutical companies. By leveraging AI, pharmaceutical companies can improve their ...

Effective Content Strategy Tips for Health Care Professional Engagement (Video)

March 29, 2023

Pharmaceutical sales representatives have an ...

Tips for Improving Pharma Sales Planning

March 1, 2023

Every year brings multiple new opportunities and challenges for pharmaceutical sales teams. With the rapid pace of change in the industry, pharmaceutical sales te...

Factors Driving Successful First-Time Pharma Product Launches

February 8, 2023

The launch of a new pharmaceutical product into the market is a complex and risky endeavor. For a successful launch, the manufacturer must identify the right targ...

Effective Content Strategy Tips for Health Care Professional Engagement

December 1, 2022

There are a variety of tools pharma sales representatives can take advantage of to connect with heal...

What Separates Leading Pharma Contract Sales Organizations from the Rest? (Video)

October 26, 2022

When it comes to expanding your Pharma Sales team, working with a Pharma Contract Sales Organization can be extremely helpful. However, it isn’t always easy to de...

Quiet Quitting: A Workplace Trend That May Not Mean What You Think

October 7, 2022

Quiet quitting is a workplace trend, and it's happening more often than you think. But what does "quiet quitting" mean? It means employees are withdrawing from th...

Securing Sales Solutions in Pharma

August 31, 2022

Contract sales organizations are evolving alongside the companies they serve.

Last year saw a few reports poi...

Insights & Trends About Field Teams & Health Care Professional Interactions: The Continuous Rise of Omnichannel Engagement

August 26, 2022

Given the rapidly evolving state of customer engagement it’s critical to embrace and understand the what, where and how of field teams and healthcare professional...

© Peak Pharma Solutions Inc. 2021