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Post-Pandemic Life Sciences - Medical Device Recruitment in 2021

30 December 2020

By Jay Freeman

Post-Pandemic Life Sciences - Medical Device Recruitment in 2021

The end of 2020 is nigh, but that doesn’t mean the world will revert to normal - in fact, with recruitment in the life sciences, there is no normal. 

After a challenging year full of viruses, elections, Brexit and more, the life sciences industry looks a lot different from this time last year. What does this mean for the year ahead? 

In our final blog of the year, we’re looking at the 2021 recruitment trends for the medical device industry. Let’s jump straight in.

Medical device recruitment trends 2021

The medical device sector is considered the most promising area of MedTech, with the global market forecast to reach $432.6 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 4.1%.

This spells for an exciting year ahead, with the following trends expected to take place:

Employment growth

The medical device connectivity market alone is predicted to reach $4.3 billion by 2025. Why?

Well, increasing healthcare costs, strong government support and initiatives, growing need for data analytics, and the increasing focus on patient care and safety are all contributing to an insatiable demand for media devices. 

Accordingly, we expect to see healthy vacancy growth across 2021, with an increase in medical device positions and contracts. In Massachusetts alone, an additional 12,000 life sciences jobs are predicted by 2024. 

As STEM skill sets become more popular and in-demand, we expect graduate and entry-level roles to see growth, as a fresh set of graduates and school-leavers look to join the medical devices sector.

For example, roles in specialisms such as dermatology to device sales may see a rise as entry-level roles become more readily available in 2021, especially since many may have been deferred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notable Bodies vacancies

Implementation of the EU Medical Device Regulations (EU MDR) is delayed until 26 May 2021.

While medical device companies grapple with compliance and look for talent that can assist, there’s another consequence of the regulations. 

Currently, only 14 out of 54 Notable Bodies (NBs) hold the MDR certificate - meeting stricter requirements to certify the CE marking. While the remaining 40 NBs work hard to meet these requirements, the 14 MDR NBs will experience an increase in demand, necessitating more employees and contractors to cope. 

As a result of the EU MDR implementation, we expect to see roles in regulation and testing rise to combat a potential bottleneck in conformity of devices in line with the impending regulations. Silicon Republic explored how the shift may affect the workflows of medical device manufacturers and users once the new regulations are in place. As such, roles for the likes of test engineers and quality control or assurance officers are sure to see a rise in the next year, as companies review their device portfolios, and renew their policies to be compliant. 

Unique tech skills

The desire for technical skills and aptitude in the medical device industry is nothing new. However, the industry is seeing an increasing demand for unique technical skills, including:

  • Computer vision - a form of AI that deals with how computers can gain a high-level understanding from digital images or videos, such as x-rays.

  • Data storytelling - the ability to convey data and numbers in a compelling narrative that executives, stakeholders and investors can understand and become invested in. 

  • Healthcare technologies - an understanding of medical data, biotechnology and similar areas. 

As these technical skills experience higher demand in 2021, various roles could see an uplift in interest from both client and candidate perspectives. For example, radiographers and further tech-focused roles are likely to increase in demand, as computers and AI advance the capabilities of these medical devices. 

Furthermore, data analysts and consultants may see a higher demand from companies, as they look to further a business-wide understanding of data in order to provide a more holistic view of analytics to better company performance.

Virtual interviews

Finally, 82% of hiring managers will continue interviewing candidates by video - meaning that you need to practice your remote interviewing skills because this recruitment trend isn’t going away. 


There’s been no stopping the medical device sector, and 2021 doesn’t look any different. 

At Panda International, we keep on top of the industry’s trends so we can best support your career. 

If you’d like to discuss your career opportunities in 2021 or anything we’ve covered above, get in touch with our medical device team today

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