Even as Ohio bled jobs over the last decade, employment in its bioscience industry grew 20 percent.
Now, with a new analysis showing the state ranked an impressive fourth (seriously?) in the nation in job creation over the last year, hiring for biotechnology and medical jobs seems likely to pick up even more.
Marc Wolbert, a recruiter in the Cleveland area with Kelly Scientific Resources, said he’s noticed an uptick in hiring recently. (Kelly markets itself as the world’s largest scientific staffing firm and helps scientific professionals from entry level to senior directors with career development.)
“I’m seeing a trend of companies tiptoeing back in to the growth side of things,” Wolbert said. “But for job seekers, there’s a longer wait time to get through the interview process to the job-offer stage. That shows employers are still being cautious, but the good news is there’s been a number of companies looking to grow and go in new directions.”
Wolbert shared what he sees as the top five most in-demand biotechnology and healthcare job categories and job skills in Northeast Ohio right now (in no particular order).
- High-performance liquid chromatography: HPLC is a technique used to identify and quantify individual components of a compound. Demand comes from pharma startups and clinical research organizations (CROs) in areas like research and development, product validation and quality control. “HPLC is the chemist’s best friend when it comes to finding a new position,” Wolbert said.
- Molecular biology: Expertise in this field is in demand from academic research centers and laboratory services. Techniques to know include Polymerase Chain Reaction, Western Blotting and ELISA.
- Protein biochemistry: This field utilizes techniques to study the complex chemistry of living organisms. Demand comes from academic researchers, drug development startups and CROs.
- Polymer science: Medical device companies and any healthcare equipment manufacturers that make products with plastic are looking for product development and validations people with backgrounds in polymer science.
- Wet chemistry: An admittedly broad term that applies to any chemistry done in the liquid phase, this job skill is useful to workers looking for entry level chemistry jobs. Demand comes from drug developers, CROs and researchers.
A couple other tips from Wolbert:
- Companies place a high priority on candidates who show a strong personality fit with their particular culture, have solid documentation skills and are self-driven.
- “A LinkedIn account that has additional details beyond the resume is a very strong added plus,” Wolbert said. Recommendations from previous employers and co-workers that are accessible online make at-a-glance reference checks easy and complement the resume.