A Prescription to Improve Your Pharmaceutical Employees’ Performance

As a largely people-based industry, the Pharmaceutical industry has gone through, and continues to go through, significant reinvention. This makes for dynamic talent and skills management challenges such as:

Maximum impact of M&A

  • Accelerated education and adoption for new products
  • Consistent best practice marketing and sales behaviors
  • Accelerated onboarding in high-turnover positions
  • Capitalizing on institutional memory
  • Leading edge IT technology development and application

The impact of these challenges manifests not only in the pharmaceutical organization but also in its prescribing channels and consumers. While it may be easy to answer a question such as “How many unit sales did we make?”, “What drug patents are expiring and the revenue impact?” or “How is our sales rep expense budget tracking?”, the same cannot be said when asked of the knowledge, skills or people that underpin those activities.

Take a Measured Dose

Not knowing what “good” looks like for a job is like not knowing whether those blood pressure or cholesterol numbers are within normal range. Establishing a baseline is one of the first things a doctor does before prescribing any corrective action. Doing the same for any job is critical in understanding symptoms and treatment. Defining that healthy range of activity, along with providing tools and techniques for improvement and change can be achieved using the Kenexa Enterprise Talent Framework/Job Competency Library. This over-the-counter solution will link your employees’ baseline competencies to job results and ultimately connect them to your bottom line.


Lack of clarity.  Blurred areas of responsibility.  Inconsistant results.  Inability to link and integrate assessments to workforce planning to recruitment and workforce analytics.


Involve job owners to make sure best practices are applied.  Apply liberally across your people based processes.  Distribute to your employees, managers, and high performers in Sales, Marketing, Finance, IT, Research, Distribution, Supply Chain, etc.

Use now; effects will be felt for years.


Do not try the research and development of this at home.  It will take large amounts of time, significant financial resources, and likely will provide single-source data points. Tell your HR or Organizational Group if you have multiple or conflicting job descriptions.

Active Ingredients

Job-specific competency maps for your whole organization.

Core, Functional,and Technical competencies with Behavioral proficiency descriptions.

Talent Accelerator tools: Interview questions, development goals, coaching tips, learning references.

An Over the Counter Solution

Kenexa’s Enterprise Talent Framework for the Pharmaceutical Industry can help you address questions such as:

  • What institutional knowledge is expiring or needs updating to sustain sales?
  • What institutional knowledge is expiring and needs updating to sustain product development and testing?
  • Based on customer knowledge, what education do we need to deliver to accelerate acceptance and adoption of the latest product?
  • What skills do we need to develop to accelerate sales and deliver huge early bottom line impact?
  • How can we find the best candidates who can replicate quickly, the best of what it is we do?
  • What can we develop internally to achieve more with current resources?


This resource is comprised of job profiles easily applied to your organization through a structure, by level and function. This enables applicants, employees, managers and the organization to understand and define the intellectual capital that drives results. The functional families address jobs and competencies in all areas encompassing shared services like HR, Finance, Marketing, Legal and IT Operations as well as more specifically:

Job Function Functional Description
Pharmaceutical Medical Relations Communications of medical and scientific information on benefits and proper use of company’s product; medical training, drug safety and public health affairs.
Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Operations Manufacturing and day-to-day production of pharmaceutical and healthcare products.
Pharmaceutical Quality Management Implementation, support and management of quality control, assurance and improvement programs Compliance with regulatory environment and company practices. Internal quality audits.
Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Management & Logistics Logistics, procurement, supply, production planning and materials management; distribution, transportation, shipping, receiving and traffic management.
Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing Wholesale and retail sales and marketing of pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Business development, alliance management, product management and pricing.





Business, HR, staff