First published in Strategic CFO 360
By John Hodge, Managing Partner, Americas
Digital technology offers increased analytic capabilities that are transforming medical technology products and the industry that designs and manufactures them. As companies look to digitally enhance their already successful MedTech and develop the next generation of devices, regulators and delivery systems, they will need to tap into more diverse skillsets across their innovation teams. Encouraging this investment in new ideas, new projects and new candidates who bring fresh perspectives and capabilities will depend on a C-Suite advocate in the CFO who emphasizes the essential benefits for business profitability and sustainability.
When it comes to the choices companies make about what new products they are investing in and the calculated bets they make on entering a new market via a new product or expanding an existing market by enhancing a product through digitization, the CFO is directly involved in these investment decisions. They have the opportunity in this changing landscape to factor a powerful industry trend into the business case they make to the CEO and/or Board, which means they need to better understand the trend toward digital transformation and its impact on their industry in order for the company to be successful.
MedTech is on the cusp of revolutionizing patient care through this next phase of digital advancement, but doing it well is about addressing the potential skill deficits within the company’s team and knowing where to look for those candidates to make it happen. And this is the perfect time to hire new innovators as so many employees have been looking to move forward from their current companies due to the pandemic stagnating development across a number of industries. People are eager to hear about growth opportunities and it is much easier now, using video conferencing technology, for candidates to take interviews not only where they live, but for out-of-state and potentially international positions as well.
Whereas in the past medical technology companies have largely viewed candidate networks as closed, limiting hiring to those with the right background in bioengineering, medicine and related fields, these coming digital changes to the MedTech industry will also force executives to update their expectations for new personnel. Companies looking to secure their position as a market leader can’t ignore the impact that advancing technology is having in the field, which means they can’t ignore the innovators who will be the driving force behind the next generation of devices. They will need to identify the specific deficits they can fill through recruitment, strengthening their own team rather than taking a more general and reactive approach that mirrors market leaders. Effective planning is critical to creating an innovative R&D team that can build on and modernize earlier successes.
Though the development process for medical technology itself can often be lengthy, hiring top-tier talent to drive a successful digital transformation will require a forward-thinking approach and quick decision-making. With competitors across the industry targeting many of the same candidates, there is no time to hesitate in hiring decisions. Assessing both the company’s direct team needs and future development goals can help ensure that short lists include potential hires who can contribute right away as well as into the long-term. But CFOs, and the entirety of the C-Suite, need to be ready to compete for talent and act quickly in hiring to assemble the team necessary to create their next generation of products.
Similar scenarios are applying to companies in industries across the innovation spectrum as digitization has become the latest arms race. This is especially the case with a number of technological advancements that were on the cusp of taking hold prior to the pandemic and are now seeing accelerated adoption due to changing needs and new opportunities. Neither the CFO nor the MedTech industry can afford to approach a competitive advantage in the hiring landscape and their market share with a limited focus.
As digitization advances in medical technology, successfully bringing non-traditional skillsets to the innovation team will depend on thorough planning and quick action. CFOs can lead the way in this transformation by modernizing their approach to the company’s investments in new people and products as essential to success in this digital age. With a diverse team and forward-thinking goals, MedTech companies can pursue their best path toward profitability and sustainability into the future.