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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Chase

Patients First: Rethinking Life Sciences Recruitment

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

It's All About Patients: in the new era of leadership, integrating this philosophy into executive recruitment is key.

Life sciences revolve around patients. The ambition of becoming genuinely patient-centric is at the forefront for the vast majority of life sciences companies. When the focus is so deeply entrenched in patient outcomes, how can executive recruitment and talent acquisition play their part? How can they identify and select candidates who embody this ethos?

At Chase Partners LLC, we argue that senior-level recruitment is integral to this mission. To this end, we have introduced an assessment tool designed explicitly to evaluate potential executives on their aptitude to be truly patient-centric leaders. Empathetic and patient-centric leadership is not just a preference but a necessity within life sciences companies. The leadership's vision establishes the cultural tone, and we've observed that successful companies utilize five primary strategies to craft cultures that prioritize patient needs. These strategies are:

  • Empathy and Collaboration

  • Effective Communication and Vision

  • Investing in Education and Innovation

  • Measuring Success Through Patient Outcomes

  • Adaptability and Authenticity

While setting a vision is crucial, its real-world execution depends on the prowess of competent managers. Companies specializing in rare diseases often excel in this regard, their smaller size providing them direct access to well-defined patient communities. This closeness facilitates the seamless translation of a CEO's vision to actionable strategies on the ground. However, as these companies expand and start dealing with broader therapeutic domains, challenges inevitably emerge.

Implementing a patient-centric strategy often proves more challenging than merely conceptualizing it. The frontline executives need to demonstrate their ability to engage in genuine, sometimes challenging, dialogues with patients enduring conditions that might not see a cure for years. Leaders in life science patient advocacy seamlessly combine hard skills with indispensable soft skills. This blend allows them to channel the patient voice into research and strategy, aiming for quality outcomes in treatments and services. So life sciences companies make treatments and services that patients want rather than what drug developers think they need.

Identifying and recruiting such visionary leaders, who not only set but also implement strategies addressing patient concerns, is invaluable. That's the driving force behind our creation of the Patient Engagement Advocacy Index (PEAi). This pragmatic tool zeroes in on and aligns the essential skills needed to foster a sustainable patient-centric culture. Modeled after the Boston Matrix, the PEAi comprises 34 questions. These are split across two dimensions: the x-axis focuses on culture and leadership skills/process, while the y-axis gauges the extent of patient engagement.

The evolving dynamics of the life sciences sector emphasize the strategic importance of patient-centricity. As companies grow, retaining and adapting this focus can be challenging. Chase Partners LLC understands the central role executive recruitment occupies in this evolving narrative. The right leaders — visionaries who have both the foresight and the fortitude to turn vision into reality — are crucial. Our Patient Engagement Advocacy Index (PEAi) © is a testament to this belief, offering a tangible, data-driven framework to pinpoint and nurture the skills vital for a robust patient-centric culture.

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