The Greater Zurich Area is a real magnet for high performing individuals globally. It has extremely high living standards, many start-ups, HQs, hubs to work in and a favourable tax system. With this in mind, there is a good wealth of local C level candidates and board members that can be attracted by the right opportunity. This combined with the presence of the ETH and other top universities for life sciences, means there is typically a good candidate pool for these core areas for drug development and approval. This includes both biologics and small molecules.
What types of candidates are you most likely to find?
With the high number of Pharma headquarters based in the Greater Zurich Area, there is a very strong pool of business development professionals for both B2B, licensing, M&A and country sales from senior executives to more mid-level positions. Switzerland has also often been used as an international hub for emerging markets. This is both down to location, mix of nationalities living in Switzerland as well as Switzerland’s neutral stance, which helps avoiding political issues.
Supply Chain and Finance
As well as Pharma there is a very strong finance industry across the Greater Zurich Area and all of the big 4 (KPMG, PwC, EY and Deloitte) have a strong presence. Because of this and combined with the Swiss tradition for manufacturing, we always find there is a great mix of talent across finance and supply chains.
Medical, Regulatory, Clinical
As well as commercial operations, there are many R&D hubs in Switzerland. With Pharmaceuticals being Switzerland’s 2nd biggest export, there are countless products being approved and regulated by teams based in Switzerland. With this in mind, it’s not hard finding people who have conducted successful clinical trials, marketing approvals and launches.
Quality Assurance/Quality Control, CMC and Formulation
This one sometimes surprises people, but Switzerland has a formidable manufacturing ability within Pharma. CMOs such as Lonza and Corden have significant operations in Switzerland and there are many manufacturing sites from APIs, solid dose to biologics across the country. Because of this, you will find many skilled people in QA, CMC and formulation. As we all know, if you cannot tackle the issues of manufacturing, then you cannot get your product to market.
About the author
Matt Beedle is the associate director for Swiss pharmaceutical recruitment at NonStop Recruitment. He is also a past chair for life sciences at APSCo, one of the leading regulatory bodies for recruitment in Europe. Matt has a strong track record of helping US Pharma/Biotech companies set-up in Switzerland and has a passion for high level, ethical and pro-active recruitment solutions.