Life Sciences

Creating new formulas for organizational success

Life sciences businesses have long been the tip of the spear when it comes to scientific advances and technological breakthroughs. But these advancements haven’t rendered the industry immune to disruption on several fronts. Pharma businesses are facing significant pressure from payer and regulatory agencies, an evolving patient-centric model and rising competition from new players around the globe. And the industry as a whole has been affected by the rise of digitization. Blockchain and big data are revolutionizing how clinical trials are run, while artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming how businesses make decisions. And, as part of a purpose-driven industry with a mission to solve the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges and improve lives, life sciences organizations also have been profoundly affected by recent social movements.

Only the nimblest life sciences organizations with swift, empowered decision-making will survive these volatile times. Leading life sciences companies cannot adhere to the ways that things have always been done or they risk stifling innovation and falling behind. To survive in this turbulent environment, leaders must be strategic, forward thinking, and able to manage through complexity.

Our life sciences consultants build talent solutions and strategies that help organizations meet the unique challenges of the life sciences industry. Our comprehensive offerings include organizational design, rewards and benefits, leadership development, assessment and succession and talent acquisition. We create solutions that fit within the regulatory environment and dovetail with corporate strategy. We also help organizations identify, attract and retain smart leaders who understand industry constraints, drive results today and are ready and prepared to capitalize on the opportunities of tomorrow.

What we do in life sciences

We help life sciences companies create talent profiles that match the forward-looking skills they need.

  • Biotechnology

    Top biotech companies need thought leaders ready to move ahead confidently through disruptive change. We help biotechnology companies build a pipeline of future leaders with the traits and competencies that enable them to recognize and seize opportunities.

  • Medical devices & diagnostics

    Medical device and diagnostic testing companies must keep pace with advances in technology, digitization and automation. We work with organizations to accelerate transformation by building agile, inclusive cultures, organizational structures and talent strategies.

  • Pharmaceuticals

    To stay competitive, pharmaceutical companies need cutting-edge talent with new skills, mindsets and behaviors—and a talent acquisition strategy to match. We help pharma organizations rethink how they identify, attract, develop and engage their people.

Where we can help

Your performance and results are what matters. We partner with you to continually evolve and optimize to reflect the changing needs of your business. We have helped our life sciences clients address challenges like these.

Developing internal talent to meet new entrepreneurial challenges

The days of finding new talent by identifying people who “fit the mold” are over. Traditional talent searches won’t uncover qualified life sciences professionals, as new skills are needed to survive in the rapidly changing market. Companies need to rethink entire structures of employee recruiting, development and retention as they embrace the new professionals needed to carry them into the future.

We help life sciences companies create talent profiles that match the forward-looking skills they need. Not only do these organizations need scientists and engineers, but they also need innovators and collaborators. We help our clients assess their high-potential talent against a broad leadership profile, so they measure not only whether their talent has been successful in the past but also whether they have the leadership capabilities and emotional intelligence needed to excel in the future. Additionally, we help them create new career pathways and employee recognition and reward models that encourage loyalty in leaders and high potentials.

Embracing the digital transformation

The rapid advancement of technology is forcing life sciences companies to accelerate their digitization efforts. For example, companies are incorporating IT and automation in drug, vaccine and device development as well as in personalized medicine. To compete, life sciences companies must grow more agile, innovative, collaborative and customer-centric. All of these changes require new digital tools and technologies that enable new ways of working and meeting customers’ needs.

The rising demand for digital across the industry means that life sciences businesses must upskill and reskill their existing talent base. Korn Ferry offers innovative solutions for these pressing talent-management issues. We help organizations inventory their current workforce’s skills and identify the new digital skills that will be needed to support future work. We then engage in a strategic workforce planning effort, using advanced simulation tools to understand your legacy workforce, identify skills gaps and create learning and development plans to close those gaps.

Reconsidering organizational structures

Rising competition is forcing life sciences companies to accelerate the delivery of new products and solutions. To streamline operations and develop specific sets of skills and competencies, some life sciences organizations have started outsourcing certain disciplines, such as research and development, production, supply chain and HR management.

We advise life sciences companies on whether the current workforce matches their strategic imperatives and future workload. We evaluate the structure of strategic resources, determining what work should be done in house, what can be done by contractors and what can be restructured. Our life sciences consultants help our clients determine the right size for headcount and cost strategy, so companies can adapt their size and structure to match the business market and adjust as needed to avoid falling behind the competition.

Let us be part of your success story. Contact us for help creating the right formula for your organization’s success.

Let us be part of your success story

Contact us and see how our industry expertise can help you achieve your business goals.


Our experts

Our experts are the best at what they do. We work with your team as an honest and inclusive partner to achieve and exceed your business goals, and we have the knowledge, expertise and experience to help you achieve greatness.