Providing leadership for the life sciences industry

Singapore is a top destination for biomedical sciences careers

Posted on 31/12/2013

Latest survey by RSA Singapore reveals Singapore is a top destination within the region for a biomedical sciences career.

RSA Singapore has revealed results from two surveys (one international and the other regional) conducted amongst the biomedical sciences industry. These findings show that the biomedical sciences industry sees talent management as a top priority for the coming year. In addition, amongst the region, Singapore is viewed as the top destination for providing the best biomedical science career opportunities. Over 420 professionals within the biomedical sciences industry replied to these two surveys.

RSA Singapore serves not only the local market, but also regional countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, India, Korea and Australia.

Regional survey

The regional survey revealed that Singapore was the number one destination of choice for biomedical sciences professionals in the region. This was largely due to its strong biomedical sciences industry, good standards of living, associated safety/security and favourable tax regime. The second destination of choice was China, with many biomedical sciences executives indicating interest in pursuing a career at this location. The third top destination was Australia.

Other interesting highlights of the regional survey include:

  • Respondents were positive about the outlook for the biomedical sciences industry for 2010, with all expecting salary increments. Half of those surveyed expected significant salary increments of 30-50%. This compares well to 2008-2009, where biomedical companies in Asia saw salary and headcount freezes.
  • The most important factors for determining whether an employee would join another company were 1) Career Opportunities, 2) Salary, and 3) Work-life balance.
  • If required to relocate for a job, the most important factors that make the new host country attractive were: 1) A growing biomedical sciences industry, 2) Good standards of living and environment, 3) Security and safety. As Singapore ranked well on all three factors, this naturally made it the top destination of choice.

International survey

The respondents of the international survey were mainly from the U.K., with some having offices across Europe and the U.S.A. Given the significant levels of organisational restructuring that has occurred over the past 18 months, over 90% of respondents indicated that talent management is a top strategic priority for the organisation. During this period, 60% of organisations experienced restructuring or a review, in order to improve efficiencies and in many cases downsizing was part of the review. Those employees negatively affected by the review were selected based on: 1) feedback from managers and performance reviews; 2) lack of fit within the organisations; and 3) formal talent assessment exercise.

However, despite realising that talent management is critical, only 26% had an active strategy in place for retaining talent. Another interesting trend revealed by the survey showed that while 60% of the organisations stated that the time taken to recruit middle to senior management required up to 6 months and incurred significant costs to the company, 68% stated their organisation had no clear leadership succession plans. This is a potential risk for organisations, which could be negatively affected, should senior management leave the company.

To help the biomedical sciences industry be more competitive, RSA Singapore strategically manages talent and leadership. RSA’s research indicates that there are four key areas where HR and line managers will need to focus on, in order to remain competitive; Leadership development, High potential employee identification and assessment, Performance management and Succession planning.

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