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The ex-CEO's Job Blog - part 1

Published on 03/09/12 at 12:00am

I have seen a lot in my healthcare career. Been round the block more than twice, as they say.

I have been fired, promoted and downsized (OK, made redundant). I have experienced abject failure and thankfully, some degree of success. I have helped a few on their way up and also ‘encouraged’ one or two to find less demanding roles in other industries.

Now that I have reached the grand old age of three score years - this sounds so much less than the real figure - I hope through this column, to continue to help people consider some of their career issues and perhaps assist the recruiting companies as well, as we all struggle to adapt to a fast changing (well, for this industry) environment.

Mover power, skill sets and problem employees are just a few of the topics that will be covered here. I may be controversial and some of you are bound to disagree with me. That’s fine. Please comment. I will be delighted to hear from you.

My first topic and biggest concern is what I call the talent gap. Perhaps the biggest beef that pharma marketers have is that their communications agency account handlers don’t have enough experience to support them. But do you know what the biggest gripe that agency people have about clients?     It’s that their clients, the marketing people, don’t have enough experience! Sounds like the blind leading the blind, doesn’t it?

So what’s going on here? Well for me, it’s a simple lack of training issue. Due to marketing people moving around so regularly, many have ended up in senior positions without having had the benefit of learning marketing from more experienced colleagues. 

And in the agency world, juniors are too often let loose on direct client servicing when they really should be learning all the nuts and bolts of the job plus the product/brand before being asked to assume too much responsibility. 

Let’s see more training on both sides of the desk, to solve this issue.

David Barratt can be reached by email at:

This article is a sponsored editorial for Austin Lee, resourcing specialists.

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