Looking ahead to 2024, we see a time of vibrant change for the life sciences sector in Hong Kong SAR. Heading into a transformative year fuelled by the ripple effects of COVID-19, global geopolitical shifts, digital evolution, and substantial government investments, the industry is buzzing with opportunities to advance scientific research and improve overall outcomes.

Navigate the evolving job landscape and secure top talent in 2024 with Randstad Hong Kong's Market and Salary Guide report. Discover key labour trends and employer insights on salaries, bonuses, hiring trends and talent expectations in the technology industry.

Download the full report to gain a competitive edge on your talent attraction and workforce planning strategy in 2024.

biotechnology: focusing on trends & talent

As research and development for COVID-19 vaccines slow down following the conclusion of the global pandemic, companies are redirecting their focus towards healthcare diagnostics, with a specific emphasis on oncology, orthopaedics and communicable diseases.

hong kong's healthcare diagnostic growth
hong kong's healthcare diagnostic growth

Biotechnology research and development are now integrating artificial intelligence (AI) to discover targeted or novel oncology treatments by mapping cell structures, requiring skilled scientists specialising in these innovative areas. Companies are now hiring talent in specific areas like oncology and orthopaedics to drive research aligned with patients’ needs.

Generic biotechnology companies are also leveraging technology to prevent diseases and improve patient outcomes, especially for communicable diseases. Using the right technology for research and development can help these companies shorten speed-to-market and scale while improving product quality.

There is also an emerging trend among second-tier generic drug companies headquartered in Taiwan and mainland China expanding their operations in North Asia. Some of these firms have chosen to set up operations in Hong Kong SAR, significantly contributing to the industry’s overall growth.

the most in-demand life sciences roles in 2024

Medical device companies are leveraging the rapid developments in AI and robotics. With new and improved products on the way, companies are expanding their teams and hiring new headcounts to capitalise on customer growth and demand. 

Here are the top 3 most in-demand jobs in life sciences in 2024:

  • Business analysts specialising in process improvements and customer relationship management (CRM) professionals responsible for maintaining external and internal relations are highly sought-after
  • Field engineers. In addition to driving growth through process optimisation and customer management, companies are hiring field engineers to boost their business-to-business revenue. Robotic devices are growing in demand as hospitals are increasingly adopting new technologies for both invasive and non-invasive surgical procedures
  • Sales and business development talent with a wide network, good strategic foresight and excel in customer and stakeholder management
in-demand life sciences jobs in hong kong
in-demand life sciences jobs in hong kong

2024 life sciences salary trends

Pharmaceutical companies will largely focus on driving sales in 2024 to improve cross-market collaborations and increase market share. Major players in the industry are venturing into emerging countries, with a specific focus on producing generic products for local markets, especially in the realm of rare diseases.

By extension, many companies are establishing more manufacturing companies in mainland China, which will see more demand for senior talent to oversee talent management and regulatory affairs.

When searching for new roles, experienced sales and business development professionals with a wide network, strategic business acumen and excel in customer and stakeholder management are expecting substantial salary increases of 20% to 25% on their base salary when they explore new roles.

Companies are also seen actively hiring replacement headcounts for technical functions. However, the talent demand in the job market for niche specialists far surpasses the talent supply. To effectively attract in-demand talent, organisations will need to offer clear career growth paths, work-life balance benefits and be able to meet a higher salary expectation, often ranging between 25% and 30% increase on their base salaries.

Although existing trends point to a healthy demand for talent with experience in the biotechnology disciplines, candidates are likely to receive a modest 5% salary increment on average when switching employers in the biotechnology sector, reflecting the cautious optimism prevalent in the industry.

In light of the skyrocketing talent demand for field engineers, employers can expect professionals in this space to negotiate for a 25% to 35% salary increment in 2024.

2024 key talent trends in life sciences

Companies in the life sciences industries in Hong Kong SAR are looking to develop their health commerce capabilities as well as expand the pool of healthcare professionals (HCPs).

Health commerce includes businesses requiring health talent for insurance, consultancy firms, and other health-related services. These organisations will be increasing their workforce headcount to build their capabilities and meet higher demand for quality healthcare services.

From general practitioners to surgeons, Hong Kong SAR is currently grappling with a shortage of healthcare professionals. With an ageing population and an increase in chronic diseases, it is critical for hospitals and clinics to always be ready to treat patients. Hence, we expect demand for such healthcare talent to remain strong throughout 2024.

There is a notable trend of healthcare professionals transitioning from the public to the private sector, as it could offer HCPs more competitive salary packages and employee benefits. The demand for healthcare talent in both public and private sectors is expected to increase in 2024, making the job market a vibrant one.

download hong kong SAR’s technology industry 2024 market and salary outlook report.

The 2024 Randstad Hong Kong SAR’s Market and Salary Outlook report looks at talent analyses, key trends and new salary benchmarks in the following industries:

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Randstad is your talent solution partner. Our specialised recruiters work closely with employers and talent for the perfect match with our true-fit methodology to evaluate a talent’s suitability across three dimensions - job fit, boss fit and company fit. Connect with our recruitment consultants for the latest insights on Hong Kong SAR’s job market and your unique talent recruitment needs.

If you’re a job seeker looking for better job opportunities and career growth, start your career journey with us. Explore our latest life sciences jobs or submit your CV to us to take the first step in advancing your career.

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