What to expect in a Medical Communications Benefits Package
As the medical communications industry expands, talent is increasingly high demand. Brand spanking new agencies are popping up everywhere ready to take on the established old guard. Naturally, companies are looking to do all they can to attract the cream of the crop when it comes to their content and client services teams.
The focal point of any package will always be the base salary but it’s not the be all and end all. What’s important to one candidate could be insignificant to another. It depends on your general circumstances, what point you’re at in your career (and arguably how close you are to retirement) and personal inclinations.
Accordingly, I’ve scoured our meeting notes and company overviews to uncover every contractual or otherwise benefit that I could find. What’s your priority?
• Holidays – of course. Given the close ties of medical communications to the pharmaceutical industry (and the influences of the Swiss working culture) I’ve seen base holiday allowance per year go as high as 6 weeks. There are also agencies that will offer paid leave for your birthday or flexi working
• Pension – We’re all mindful of building up that retirement fund and most places will offer a 3% contributory pension though others may go as high as 10% and above. There are also shares scheme or profit related pensions
• Bonuses – Not that it’s all about the money but the medical communications is an industry rife with bonuses which ranges will vary depending if they are personal performance related or linked to the company’s success as a whole
• Long-time service recognition awards – common additions to benefits packages are life assurance, group income protection
• Home working or flexible working – this is often seen within medical communications. As some medical writers may even have 100% home working contracts. Providing the freedom to come in that little bit earlier or later can be a godsend when it comes to avoiding rush hour or being able to do the school run
• Family benefits – On the subject of children, various medcomms companies’ benefits may include childcare vouchers, enhanced maternity or paternity leave and return to work bonuses. There’s also an agency that offers a gift voucher on the event of your wedding or the birth/adoption of a child
• Health benefits – On the medical side of things there can be: private healthcare, dental cover, free eye tests, healthy living incentives, gym subsidies or even free memberships
• Travel – The personal travel aspects of life can also be well covered with many packages providing travel insurance (personal and company), season ticket loans, cycle to work schemes
• Paid sabbaticals – a clear incentive to remain with the company in question for a longer stint. Depending on the scheme in place, will allow you to take an extended break (paid!) for as much as six months, sometimes a year, after a certain number of years of service have been completed
• Extra tech – As with any industry, with seniority comes perks – often in of technical wizardry form. This can include company mobiles, laptops, car allowances, credit cards and more
• Additional Benefits – Given the amount of time we spend at work, it’s not just about clocking in and out – you become a closely knit team and there are plenty so-called ‘softer’ benefits all revolving around socialising. I’ve seen ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, staff outings and many food or drink themed gatherings (Fish & Chip Fridays, 4pm beers). That’s not even mentioning the various running groups, cake clubs, book groups and even a drama school at one agency in particular
• Food related – Other foody themes can be detected within medical communications with benefits available such as subsidised canteens, lunch vouchers or fruit/sweets/drinks trolleys
• Personal growth and development – This may well be a top priority for you which is why certain companies look to put together bespoke training plans or offer personal training and development budgets so you can pursue classes or courses should you want to
This isn’t an exhaustive list – there’s more information on benefits packages in the medical communications section of our 2016 Salary Survey and you can always call me on 01189 522 792 or email email@example.com to find out how your benefits package compares to other offerings in the sector.