Are you omnichannel ready? Required skills for pharma candidates

Paid partnership with CHASE

Judy Phillips discusses why it’s crucial for pharma candidates to be omnichannel ready in 2020.

COVID-19 and its devastating global impact immediately put the UK healthcare industry into the spotlight. At the same time, the world shifted from its typical hustle and bustle, to one of isolation and lockdown. Yet the healthcare system was the exception. For the first time in history, we witnessed the collaboration between the international healthcare community and industry, the NHS, the private healthcare sector, academics, and governments which was unparalleled in the fight against the first wave of the disease.

Offices, where possible, within a matter of weeks and in some cases, days, transferred their teams to working from home. Across the UK, there was silence; roads which had been filled with traffic and commuters were free from noise – like a scene from a movie. Yet life as we know it continued from home. And at the core of the pandemic was our NHS.

CHASE has seen an increased demand for new candidates to be omnichannel capable, whereby each representative can flex effectively between face-to-face engagement, phone, video calls and emails. It is sometimes referred to as multichannel promotion for this ability to engage with customers over multiple devices and platforms. For our clients, where it might have been built into a 5-year plan to become more omnichannel capable, it had to take place with immediate effect.

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How has the traditional ‘representative to client’ relationship changed?

We are aware that many pharmaceutical companies are looking for ways to upskill their existing field-based teams, so that they are more confident and competent in engaging with healthcare professionals remotely.

With recruitment and people solutions at the heart of CHASE, there are opportunities for every level of seniority of candidate; from entry level who tend to be used to more flexible ways of working and are tech savvy, to traditional sales reps, who have those existing relationships to lead with. For the latter, training will be key to successful transitions. 

What about recruiting new people?

CHASE has seen during lockdown that while some companies have put recruitment and back-filling of roles on hold, other clients have embraced technology and have been recruiting actively through remote interviewing and Remote Assessment Centres very successfully.

We have definitely seen a demand for candidates that can flex across channels and be at ease face to face, whilst also rising to the challenge of remote working.

CHASE has worked closely with its clients to support the training of both teams to optimise remote working; also upskilling first line managers who are having to work in a very different way to normal.

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What should candidates consider in the future?

  • Prepare for change

This takes time, planning and realistic expectations. Anyone currently interviewing or starting the process may be frustrated by the current changes taking place, but stay positive and upbeat.

  • Be flexible

Those that will succeed in the wake of this pandemic are those that show they can naturally adapt to dynamic environments. By reacting positively to change in these uncertain times, you willhighlight your dedication to the employer. Additionally, you may be asked to cover a different area remotely if your area goes into lockdown.

  • Be tech savvy

If you aren’t naturally tech savvy, then getting to know the technology that is being increasingly used for interviews is important (eg MS Teams or Zoom).

Also, equip yourself with the right resources. Download the platforms to your phone or laptop, watch online tutorials and trial them all out so you are up to speed before you kick-off any remote interview.

  • Have an action plan

Fail to plan, plan to fail for any interview, but make sure you’re right on top of the devices you own or have access to and the applications listed above.

  • Don’t lose confidence

Remain confident in your abilities and don’t get flustered by technology. Everyone is adapting to change so will be understanding, including employers.

  • Role play

Uninformed optimism at the start of your journey can be quickly replaced by the reality of the challenge. Work with your recruitment consultant to role play and test equipment knowledge.

  • Communication is key

Regular communication is key to moving forwards. Getting into the habit of communicating regularly with your recruitment consultant will ready you for regular contact with your team and managers when you secure your new role.

  • Seek help from experts

Get there more quickly and smoothly with our support. CHASE has a wide selection of roles that we are currently recruiting for.

Visit or call CHASE on 0131 553 6644 to find out more.

This article was previously published in Pf Magazine.