As the year 2020 draws to a close, we took a few minutes with VIARES’ CEO, Dietmar Eglhofer to get his take on 2021 and on what we have to look forward to.
- Dietmar, you have extensive experience in company leadership with a number of leading enterprises. What inspired you to start VIARES and what’s the company’s purpose?
Throughout my more than 20 years in global enterprises, either in Information Technology companies like IBM and HP, or in clinical research, the key to business success has always been to have the best talent in the industry on board. And the best talent is always in short supply.
Looking at the clinical research industry which we serve, that talent shortage will continue into the coming years and is jeopardizing the growth and development of new medical products. The inspiration for us is to get up every day and help to solve this problem. My vision is to provide an abundance of opportunities to hire new talent to the clinical research industry. We have to provide better, more affordable and faster means to develop new clinical research talents who are accepted by the sponsors and the CROs.
- What do you feel are the biggest challenges healthcare, and specifically clinical research, in our current challenging times?
The biggest problem is the lack of a constant high-quality supply of new talents to the industry. This is now getting worse, as we know hiring needs in the industry are 30-40% higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Firstly, I see that not enough people know about the industry and career opportunities. Secondly, the opportunities to get “trained” for clinical research roles are highly limited. This is due to training being mainly provided by the larger organizations, in-house, at a high cost to them and only accessible to already hired employees. If you consider the fact that there are 150 to 200 applicants for every entry level job, not a lot of those who are interested in joining the clinical research industry actually get a chance to succeed in this.
- What key advice would you give to any graduate considering a career in clinical research?
You have to be proactive. Keep in mind when you apply for an entry level job that the recruiter gets to see 150 to 200 CVs. You have just a few seconds to convince the recruiter that you are worth talking to. So, the better you make yourself stand out from the crowd of applicants, the better your chance at getting an interview. Don’t wait to get trained by your potential future employer, get trained before you apply and show you are engaged, dedicated and you have the competencies already that others may not have.
- How do you see VIARES developing in the coming year 2021, and what will it bring to its members?
We are going to provide additional opportunities for new talents to be trained and competent to start a clinical research career by adding new job-focused training courses such as the “Clinical Study Coordinator”, a role for anyone interested in working at a clinical research site, the “Clinical Contracts Specialist”, an option where no clinical research experience is required at all and some other training for experienced talents looking to expand their knowledge. We will also launch an Assessment Center providing support to help talent orient themselves, eliminate any weak spots and help them to be the strongest and the most researched candidate.
- How will healthcare look for you in 5 years? What’s the future of healthcare in your opinion?
I would think technology will become an even more prominent part of everyone’s work life in clinical research. We have seen this in the current pandemic in the form of more “central and remote” study related activities. The work environment will change from a brick-and-mortar office centric setup to what we see now, but in a more managed way. For anyone who wants to start a career in clinical research, I can only recommend you go for it, I don’t see any reason why the high demand for talents will not grow in the coming years and career opportunities will be great.
VIARES website provides Training & Jobs Opportunities in Clinical Research: https://bit.ly/2JgetZs