In pharmaceutical companies, medical affairs professionals play a vital yet complex role: acting as a bridge between the medical and commercial groups, and as a conduit of information to and from the market. Such complexity demands a specific skills set, blending the customer-facing behaviours of a salesperson, the strategic thinking of a marketer and a high-level understanding of the clinical, legal and regulatory environments. These often contrasting traits can be a challenge to leadership teams when hiring.
Part of the solution lies in behavioural profiling which can be used to identify candidates’ particular strengths, and areas to probe during interview. Sometimes profiling is combined with other tools, such as role-play or aptitude tests. In medical affairs, such tools can be critical, not only to avoid expensive hiring mistakes in the short term, but to help companies adapt their hiring practices to deal with long-term changes in healthcare.
At The RSA Group, we believe in including the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) in all of our searches – including identifying the best individuals for senior level medical affairs roles. PPA is a useful evidence-based behavioral profiling tool to support the search for executive talent. We use it to help us identify the most suitable candidates for a given role – in an impartial, constructive way. As with every psychometric assessment, the statistics aren’t sufficient on their own for hiring decisions, but need to be combined with a deep knowledge of the industry and personnel. This evidence-based approach also assists the consultancy in adapting to the changing needs of the pharmaceutical industry.
PPA is registered with the British Psychological Society and is based on DISC theory, a widely used method for understanding work-based behavioural preferences. You can read more about it in a recent article that we wrote for the journal of the British Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians.