Growing opportunities in Singapore’s pharma market

Singapore's medical devices market remains extremely buoyant and we expect to see an increase in the number of job vacancies across all functions over the coming months. Here Chris Mead, General Manager of Hays Life Sciences in Singapore, reveals the current hotspots of demand and hiring activity.

Singapore's active pharmaceutical market is driving an exciting jobs market. We continue to see a huge consolidation in the global pharmaceutical market with no sign of a slowdown in mergers, acquisitions, restructures and spin-offs.

In most demand are commercially focused candidates in response to the rise of diabetes and other associated lifestyle diseases throughout Asia. Regulatory affairs and market access skills continue to be in demand. But a reluctance to cover relocation costs or offer expatriate terms to candidates from established markets such as the US and Europe means overseas candidate attraction is challenging for employers.

In fact, hiring expatriates on expatriate packages is now a rare occurrence across the whole life sciences market, with employers instead offering local packages.

To help overcome skills shortages, employers will instead recruit candidates at a junior level and train them up. They will also utilise recruiters. Given the size of the life science industry in Singapore, employers often know everyone in the local market within certain skill areas. This has obvious draw backs in terms of approaching candidates and confidentiality, which is why more employers are turning to recruiters.

Interestingly, the candidate talent pools are gradually changing with expatriates remaining attracted to relocating to Singapore for growth opportunities and a better quality of life.

When looking for their next role, candidates are focusing on finding a role that offers them stability. Remuneration packages are not as attractive as they once were, but we are seeing positive signs of change.

Our 2012 Hays Salary Guide will be available next month and we'll share our findings with you in upcoming blog posts.

Hays, the world's leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people. Call +65 6223 4535 or email

Hays would be Exhibiting at the 5th annual BioPharma Asia Convention 2012. If you would like to meet with their consultants and BD team to explore partnership opportunities, contact Rebecca Koh at now to arrange a meeting today!

Click here to register your attendance at this conference now.