2020 was an extremely challenging year for many American companies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but many medical device companies actually prospered in response to the heightened demand for critical supplies and equipment. While sales declined in Q1 and Q2, they bounced back substantially during the second half of the year as the economy began to stabilize.
And 2021 looks even better. A new report from Master Control posits that “If 2020 was the year of disruption, 2021 will be a year of mastering change.” Those companies that were able to pivot quickly, embrace digitization, and adapt to fluctuating customer expectations, the report says, will be those that will continue to thrive.
The flow of capital into the industry will also continue, according to Bloomberg News, because “Medical-device makers have drawn interest from investors who are looking for exposure to health care and want to avoid the risks involved with drug development and potential changes in federal health policies. With shares trading near recent highs, Wall Street sees an increase in deals activity on the horizon after a lull in 2020 as companies look to deploy cash.”
As the industry bounces back from 2020, medical device recruiters are working with their client partners to ensure that the flow of top talent keeps pace. Top-level executives are at a premium in this market, with companies and Boards of Directors clearly understanding the need to seek out and secure the very best leaders in order to grow their business.
Such intense competition for C-suite leaders increases the challenge for medical device recruiters who are seeking to identify executives with the engineering and biomedical expertise, management experience, and strategic vision necessary to move their companies forward at a time of tremendous uncertainty and opportunity.
Medical device recruiters like Slone Partners work closely with their client partners to identify a diverse and robust slate of C-suite candidates for open positions. Each position requires a unique set of skills, but Slone Partners also places a strong emphasis on ensuring that prospective candidates are a solid fit for the culture of the company in which they are to be placed. Accomplished leaders are attracted to companies with healthy, inclusive, vibrant cultures that inspire innovation and collaboration, and cultivate the best from their workforce.
Many medical device companies understand the value of workplace culture for attracting and retaining top-level talent, and medical device recruiters, including Slone Partners, can support those efforts throughout the executive recruitment process.
“Creating an extraordinary company culture needs to be a strategic business initiative for companies, much like other business goals. Companies must have a clearly articulated culture that attracts the most talented people who share the same values and goals,” said Slone Partners CEO Leslie Loveless in a 2020 interview with Silicon Republic. “This leads to a deeper commitment from employees to the company, their peers, and the mission. Cultures need to be defined, measured, and alive in organizations in order to serve as true differentiators.”
One very positive trend we are seeing currently is a move toward more impactful female leadership in the medical devices field. A recent report cited the outstanding contributions of 25 top female leaders, including Ashley McEvoy at Johnson & Johnson, who are making significant contributions to their organizations and the sector. Medical device recruiters are paying close attention to this development as they seek out top talent to fill open positions at companies that want innovative and visionary leaders to move them forward in a competitive marketplace.
Ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is becoming more and more important for medical device recruiters and their client partners as they work together to create an industry that celebrates difference and truly reflects the marketplace. As Loveless wrote in a 2020 commentary in the Boston Business Journal, “Long-term change will only occur when companies successfully inculcate equity and inclusion ideals into the company culture and every member of the team has equal access to professional pathways, networks, and development opportunities.”
Slone Partners now offers its client partners a full range of DEI services customized for their particular needs, a valuable product that is rare among medical device recruiters. The company’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is Candace Nortey, a highly respected and accomplished strategic planner and executive trainer, who is passionate about advancing DEI in the healthcare industry.
While there are many challenges facing medical device recruiters in 2021, Slone Partners is responding by working closely with its client partners to ensure that candidate pools are rich and diverse, virtual screening and interview tools are optimized, and new executive hires are fully supported throughout the onboarding process to maximize their chances for success.
As a service to its client partners throughout the U.S., Slone Partners has partnered with Fortify Leadership Group to offer transition coaching to each of its newly-placed executive leaders, an extremely valuable service that many other medical device recruiters do not offer.