Orion Group: A perfect marriage of
recruitment expertise and technology

Founded in 1987, Orion Group is Scotland’s largest independent recruitment company, and a global leader in the field. Clients include leading blue chip companies operating in the most regulated industries in the world, and is responsible for placing over £3bn worth of workforce solutions to the energy sector alone in the past 30 years across 50-plus offices strategically dotted across the globe.

Orion Group implicitly understands the importance to clients of matching project delivery with exact niche skills, recognising that these elements constantly fluctuate as projects develop.

Exciting and rewarding careers in Ireland's life sciences

Orion Group Sciences partner with some of the largest and innovative companies in the world to find professionals of all disciplines and experience. We work across Ireland, UK and mainland Europe to provide our candidates with the most exciting opportunities in the sector.

“We’re always looking to meet qualified professionals at all stages of their career, from new graduates to senior level” explains Leeanne Kearney, one of Orion’s Recruitment Business Managers. “When searching for your next career move, a good recruitment agency with fully trained and certified recruitment consultants can give candidates a huge advantage with key advice on upcoming opportunities, salary benchmarking, CV formatting and interview preparation”

Our recruitment teams with backgrounds in HR, Science and Engineering are ideally placed to introduce you to your next career opportunity.

The industry directly employs over 50,000 people, excluding a significant roster of contract and consultancy staff, making the Irish life sciences sector an extremely attractive place to work.

“Ireland’s life sciences industry is at the peak of health, and there are abundant opportunities within several pharma, medtech and biotech clusters, all of which have increased their capacity through considerable recent investment.”

A small proportion of the current jobs market includes: 50 new jobs at Mallinckrodt as part of a €45m investment, 150 new positions at Shire’s Dublin office, and 40 new posts at IMR’s research facility.

In addition, WuXi Biologics has just announced a €325m investment, creating 400 new jobs; Edward Lifesciences is doubling its 2018 investments of €80m leading to 600 new jobs; and 150 new jobs at Eurofins in DevOps and virtualisation.

“If you’re looking into life sciences career opportunities, it’s worth remembering that Ireland offers a mature life sciences culture and a lively, constantly developing jobs market, with many established businesses running high-profile, innovative projects across a wide range of areas. This makes it a gateway to global markets and a world leader in key innovative sectors.”

High wages and enviable lifestyle

At Orion Life Sciences, the focus is on the recruitment and selection of professionals for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, clinical research, engineering, sales and supply chain sectors.

Ireland offers a stable, low-tax, low-bureaucracy environment for start-up businesses, with a solid track record in supporting entrepreneurs with funding, knowledge and networking, plus access to a skilled workforce and affordable business properties. “As a business and family-friendly place to live it is unbeatable, enabling residents to enjoy the advantages of high-paid work with recognised international companies, surrounded by a unique natural environment.”

Cork: Continued growth for Orion Group

Orion Group continues to record further growth through its Life Sciences division, following continued success with clients across the UK, Ireland and Holland.

It has grown its team in Ireland considerably, doubling employee numbers since June 2018, and relocating to modern offices close to Cork city centre.

“I’m pleased with the growth we have achieved in such a short time,” says Stephen O’ Connell, Divisional Director, Orion Group Life Sciences. “We have a very experienced team in Orion Life Sciences who are passionate about the quality service we deliver to our clients. This experience, coupled with the Orion Group’s footprint across 6 continents allows unique access to the global workforce. Our Corporate functions across HR, Tax and Finance are very strong and always in contact with Government departments regarding changes to relevant legislation. In our ever evolving recruitment industry this is another service we can offer our clients, positioning Orion Group as an ideal partner.”

Orion Group’s Life Sciences has a specific focus on the recruitment and selection of professionals for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and clinical research disciplines. Life Sciences Jobs include: R&D - Clinical & Non Clinical; Engineering, Manufacturing & Facilities; Quality, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs; Procurement and Supply Chain; Project Management; Finance; Sales & Account Management; IT; Administration; Human Resources; and Health Economic.

Life Science Facts

Over 50,000 people are employed directly by the Life Sciences industry in Ireland.

Ireland offers a stable, low-tax, low-bureaucracy environment for start-up businesses, with a solid track record in supporting entrepreneurs with funding, knowledge and networking, plus access to a skilled workforce and affordable business properties. “As a business and family-friendly place to live it is unbeatable, enabling residents to enjoy the advantages of high-paid work with recognised international companies, surrounded by a unique natural environment.”

Ireland is the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the European Union, worth €45 billion.

All top 10 pharmaceutical companies have substantial manufacturing facilities in Ireland, and includes six of the top seven diagnostics companies.

Global life science players based in Ireland include: Allergan, Abbott, Bayer, Becton Dickinson, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Guidant, Medtronic and Stryker.

Career opportunities expanding with advances in tech

Life sciences is an industry in permanent flux with new technologies, regulatory requirements and products being released on a constant basis. Start-up companies and pharma giants alike need to continue adapting and innovating to stay competitive.

“It is an exciting time for anybody working within the market, with technological breakthroughs and innovation creating new career opportunities,” says Dean Reilly.

The life sciences industry has benefited hugely from the latest technology, especially AI.

“Though only 15% of companies are using AI today, another 31% are expected to invest in it over the next 12 months - and for good reason: AI can analyse various data sources to create actionable insights for scientists, and find trends it would have taken years to uncover by hand.”

AI’s deep learning capabilities will automate mundane tasks, freeing up researchers and scientists to concentrate on more complex and rewarding work. “The advent of health-boosting apps and use of AI will increase further into the future, creating a soaring demand for software engineers and technologically-savvy clinical project managers in coming years.”

Research breakthroughs creating new IT careers

Breakthroughs in technology have made it possible for scientists to push the boundaries of science further than ever before. One of the newest developments on the market is CAR-T therapy, an oncology treatment that harnesses and adapts T-cells from cancer patients to help them fight tumours with the patient’s own immune system.

“Pharma companies the world over are battling to be among the first to release new treatments onto the market, making it a highly competitive – and rapidly growing - field. It’s not just CAR-T that’s revolutionising the market: the death of the ‘one size fits all’ care model in favour of personalised medicine is a change that has also been a long time coming.”

Today, research teams can use machine learning to analyse data from electronic records, personal devices and even diagnostic information to create treatments that are tailored specifically to the patient. The need for forward thinking, technologically-savvy research technicians and specialists in biotechnology to help combine the latest technology with established medical treatments is likely to skyrocket.

“There’s no more exciting time to get involved: whether you work in oncology or want to make the switch to the future of personalised medical treatments, there is likely to be an opportunity for you.”

The changing market

Clinical Research Organisations are rapidly expanding to service the needs of a new marketplace. The worldwide CRO market is estimated to reach $51.3bn by 2024, as the enthusiasm of ‘big pharma’ for cutting costs and outsourcing has led to a glut of work for these companies - and a subsequent demand for talented staff.

“The rise of CROs may actually have some unintended benefits for people who want to embrace their own training and development over the prestige of working for a pharmaceutical company. Clinical research organisations have a great reputation for enabling career progression, and clinical research associates wanting to gain experience of the industry will thrive in the complex and ever-changing task of managing projects and trials across several different research disciplines.”

Ireland benefitting from 'Brexodous'

The impact of Brexit is of significant concern both to those within the pharma/life sciences industries and the wider economies of the UK and Europe.

With the current exit scenario resulting in uncertainty across a number of sectors, Ireland has emerged as a premier re-location preference for UK companies, including major banks such as Barclays and Merrill Lynch, intent on retaining access to the EU’s single market.

Almost one in three British businesses, large and small, are planning re-location strategies to meet the demands of a potential hard Brexit, with Ireland becoming the top European destination for job seekers, pointing to a clear trend for both business and candidates.

“Orion has been an international leader in the provision of personnel to the life sciences sector for years, and Brexit will not change this,” says Stephen O’Connell, Divisional Director, Orion Group Life Sciences.

“Our Cork office was established partly as a response to Brexit, and ensures we can serve our life sciences candidates and clients regardless of the outcome. Ireland is one of the leading life sciences markets in Europe, with all 10 top pharmaceutical companies based here. Our Cork has a specific focus on the recruitment and selection of professionals for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and clinical research disciplines.”

Life sciences regulation: A landscape of career opportunity

As the life sciences industry advances at pace, so too does the regulatory environment in which it operates. Orion Group’s Life Sciences division places candidates in regulatory affairs roles, among others, all over the UK and Ireland.

“We are always looking ahead to ensure our clients and candidates are on top of industry trends, and in recent years we’ve seen an increasingly complex landscape of regulation in life sciences, with changes in science and technology creating opportunities as well as challenges when it comes to working in the industry,” explains Dean Reilly, Orion’s Marketing and Communications Manager.

Regulation in the industry aims to not only ensure the safety and efficacy of products, but also the speedy passage of innovative therapies through investigative and regulatory processes.

“All of this rapid development and change means the regulatory landscape must acquire new skills and talent in order to meet market demand and stay ahead of the curve. This is great news for life sciences candidates who are prepared to upskill and adapt to changes in the market.”

Ramping up cybersecurity and robotics

2019 has seen a continued evolution in medical device cyber security following on from the combination of malware attacks and the arrival of GDPR. Organisations across all industries are paying closer attention to data protection and privacy to ensure security is maintained as technology moves forward.

Regulation will become more cohesive across the board by 2025, with collaborative approaches such as self-regulation and international-coordination bringing alignment on a national and international level, with agreements on rapid data sharing, databases that talk to each other and improved signal detection around the world.

Robotics, already well established within the life sciences industry, will accelerate with next-generation technologies introduced to enable automated processes and improved regulatory oversight.

Cloud technology, AI, machine learning and blockchain will have a much bigger impact on life sciences in the coming years, which will present new regulatory challenges for the industry.

Record growth in life sciences

Change has been a constant factor across the life sciences industry as advances in technology continue to push the boundaries of science further than ever for a revolution in how we look at medicine.

One of the biggest impacts has been the rise of ’personalised medicine’, with of Artificial Intelligence now being used to analyse huge amounts of data in seconds, allied to smart medical devices and apps capable of monitoring glucose, fitness levels and even predicting epileptic fits.

“Today, scientists can use the vast amounts of data that they’ve gathered on each patient, combined with deep learning about specific conditions, to come up with a personalised solution for each patient,” explains Orion’s Dean Reilly.

“We have even seen the introduction of ‘smart pills’ such as the Proteus pill, which contains a tiny sensor which sends an update to a connected mobile device when it has been ingested. With 3D Internet of Things printing capable of creating personalised medical devices like prosthetics in a fraction of the time it previously took, it points to a future where everybody can benefit from instant medical care that is tailored to them.”

More power to CRO's

Traditionally seen as offshoots from big pharmaceutical companies, Clinical Research Organisations have experienced an unprecedented upswing in popularity over the past few years thanks to pharma companies cutting costs and outsourcing their work. The result? The market for CROs is set to grow by 12% every year until 2021.

“By investing in top-of-the-range technology, and hiring talented young professionals, CROs are making their mark on the industry and are starting to take the lead in conducting R&D and advanced medical trials. The CRO has become a vital part of the drug discovery lifecycle, with a huge chunk of their work focussing on drug discovery.”

With the rise of orphan drugs and generics - and with pharma still keen to outsource their work - CROs will take on an ever-more central role in the development of new medical products in the future.

Smarter regulations

Recent regulatory upheaval in global life sciences markets have seen regulators examining ways to modify their policies to deal with the increasing number of smart and connected devices within the market.

With cybersecurity becoming a real problem as the Internet of Things takes off, regulatory bodies across the world have been making a concerted effort to encourage companies to monitor and upgrade older medical devices alongside the increased GDPR security that is now a reality. Life sciences want to speed up regulatory processes and many companies are taking steps to introduce ‘self-regulatory’ software, providing data on their internal processes and trial results which can be monitored remotely.

Take the next step with Orion Group

Looking for a life sciences job? With a footprint of 12 offices throughout the UK and Ireland, Orion Group are ideally placed to provide our award-winning service to our clients. Browse our latest life sciences jobs or send your CV and our recruitment consultants will be in touch.