Ireland is one of Europe’s largest Medtech hubs, and as a globally recognised centre of excellence, is home to more than 350 companies, employing 25,000 people. Thirteen of the world's top fifteen companies have operations here. Ireland also employs the highest number of Medtech personnel per capita in Europe. Research and development funding has continued to grow, a sign of confidence in the market.
In light of the growth and development in the sector, top talent at all levels is in big demand.
Katie Moloney- Business Unit Lead for our Engineering Unit works with clients in the MedTech sector seeking top talent for multinational companies nationwide. Katie began her recruitment career with Fastnet in 2014 and now leads a growing team of specialist Engineering consultants. Their primary focus is on sourcing and attracting Engineering professionals for clients in the Pharma, BioPharma, Medical Device and Agri/Food sectors and supporting candidates and clients alike. Katie specialises in sourcing Senior Engineering professionals up to Director level across Quality, Validation, Projects, Manufacturing, R&D and Maintenance for the Life Science Sector.
As part of MedTech Week we spoke to Katie on working in the growing industry, attracting top talent and asking her advice on how an engineering professional can develop and progress their career in the innovative and exciting sector.
Why, in your opinion is the MedTech sector so successful in Ireland?
Ireland is seen as one of the key hubs for the MedTech sector this success in attracting Multi Nationals in my opinion is due to a variety of factors such as our highly skilled work force, according to IDA Ireland in 2016 220,000 people enrolled in third level courses here, 30% of which were in STEM subjects. As a nation we are in the top ten countries globally when it comes to the quality of our education system.(IDA Website, 2018)
We are also well positioned to allow for accessibility to the European market, with Europe being the second largest market in the world for MedTech a base in Ireland provides organisations with the opportunity to access both the market and talent pools in Europe.
We also offer great opportunities for companies to collaborate with Universities and Research centres such as the Tyndall institute here in Cork which collaborates with a variety of industry partners. We also have a great support service through the IDA who attract, support and assist new organisations exploring the market in Ireland.
Ireland is also very competitive when it comes to our Tax rates with 12.5% corporate tax rates and 25% R&D Tax credit provided. (IDA WEbsite, 2018)
How do you find top talent for the growing industry?
Securing candidates is definitely challenging, there is a real war for talent at present in the market. At Fastnet we partner closely with both clients and candidates to ensure that we are finding the right people for the right role and consider both technical and cultural fit as being of equal importance. We are working with our clients to challenge the traditional outlook on the best fit candidate being an individual from a direct competitor and have seen an increase in clients being more flexible towards candidates coming from other highly regulated industries such as the automotive and food industries.
It is our belief that “growing your own talent” is the way forward and we are currently working closely with several key clients on a STEM initiative whereby our clients have committed to take on candidates from outside the sector for several key positions.
What specific roles do you work on in the sector?
At Fastnet we recruit Engineers at all levels from junior engineers and technicians up to Director level roles nationwide. This year to date we have successful placed candidates in roles in MedTech such as Manufacturing Engineers, Validation Site Lead, Senior Quality Engineer and R&D Engineer to name a few.
What advice would you give to engineering professionals hoping to break into the sector?
For those interested in developing a career in the MedTech sector I would advise following the below steps:
Assess your transferrable skills- critically examine your CV and relevant job specifications and compare and contrast the two, consider what skillsets you have and what additional qualifications or experience could add to your chances of securing a role in MedTech. Courses such as Lean Six Sigma and Project Management qualifications are highly sort after and can make the difference in a job application.
Use your contacts- Consider who you know working in the sector, often those working in organisations are in a position to refer candidates for upcoming roles and will also be able to provide in-depth knowledge about the day to day of working in their company.
Reach out to a specialist agency- Partner with a specialist agency who focuses on the Lifesciences sector, they will be able to assist you in CV prep, Interview prep and act as a voice behind your CV ensuring you have the best opportunity to secure a meeting with the Hiring Manager.
Conduct your research- it is important to stay abreast of industry trends, company news and developments in technology in order to impress at interview and show your keen interest and passion for the sector.
Network- Ensure your CV is being seen by the right people, attending networking events and job fairs is a great way to get face to face with leading MedTech companies in Ireland, events are often attended by HR and Hiring Managers who are there for the purpose of recruiting and attracting candidates to their company.