Lithuania

Pharmadrome is the only truly international specialist recruitment agency operating in Lithuania with exclusive focus on Life Sciences sectors. We have been present in the Lithuanian market since the company’s inception in 2012 and have vast experience working with the major international pharmaceutical and medical devices companies in the country.

Pharmadrome in Lithuania

As an employment agency, Pharmadrome has been operating in Lithuania since 2012, while our local consultant Andrius Dauksa has been covering the Lithuanian Life Science market since 2007. By combining our resources with his skills and local expertise, we were able to help life science professionals reach their career goals and deliver recruitment solutions for the companies with the most challenging assignments.

In Lithuania, Pharmadrome deals with both permanent and contract recruitment across the main job functions within the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. We have placed a number of physicians, pharmacists and molecular biologists into Medical Affairs, Clinical Research, Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance roles. We also have an excellent track record with commercial roles at different levels of seniority and therapeutic expertise, including Market Access, Sales and Marketing.

Life Sciences in Lithuania

Lithuania’s pharmaceutical industry is dominated by foreign multinationals, which are already consolidated in this market. The vast majority of them have established offices in Vilnius, with only a handful located in Kaunas. Lithuania may be one of the smallest pharmaceutical markets in the EU, but it is the largest one in the Baltic States. Thus, a larger population makes the labour market more favourable and it is not surprising that most international pharma companies have chosen Lithuania for their Baltic head office.

Based on our recent research, we estimate that Lithuania’s pharmaceutical market directly employs over 2,000 people. As of November 2017, official statistics gathered from the companies’ register show that the vast majority of them are employed by subsidiaries of international organisations. Over 650 employees work for innovative pharmaceutical companies, approximately 670 work for generic pharma companies, another 100 for international licensed marketing companies and about 340 are employed at contract research organisations.

Lithuania’s biotechnology industry has been developing rapidly over the past few decades and is now regarded as one of the most sophisticated in Central and Eastern Europe. Back in 2016, Pharmadrome has attended Life Sciences Baltics conference, the largest of its kind in the Baltic countries, which highlighted country’s potential not only in the region but also globally. Lithuania has several manufacturers specialised mainly in the production of pharmaceutical substances, components for molecular diagnostics and other sophisticated biotech products. The sector has been growing by 22% annually over the past 5 years and estimated to be worth around 210 million euros. Two major players in this market are Thermo Fisher Scientific and Biotechpharma which together employ about 830 people.

Recruitment in Lithuania

Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, recruiting and staffing market in Lithuania is dominated by domestic employment agencies. In recent surveys by Staffing Industry Analysts, Lithuania even appeared among five most attractive countries for temporary employment. This sounds good if you want to work or hire for, let’s say a shared services centre, as most reputable generalist recruitment agencies should be able to meet your expectations. But what options do you have if you want to speak to someone with deep understanding of your industry (talent pool, career paths, salary levels, skill-sets required, etc.)?

We cannot speak for other sectors, but when it comes to Life Sciences, your choice is very limited. In Lithuania, Pharmadrome is competing with four other domestic recruitment firms. One of them is also specialised in the pharmaceutical industry and is the main and long established provider of staffing services for pharma companies in Lithuania. Some of our clients are using their insourcing service to overcome headcount approval challenges, so quite often we do the search and selection part and they do the contracting.

Most of Pharmadrome’s searches in Lithuania are done for permanent placements, as contracting is not so common amongst pharma companies in the Baltics. There are a few exceptions in certain areas like clinical research, but otherwise part-time supporting functions (e.g. regulatory affairs, pharmacoeconomics, medical translations, etc.) are typically outsourced to consulting companies. So if you are looking to expand your team, we can offer our expert advice and a full range of permanent placement options ranging from contingency to retained search, as well as contract and temporary staffing services.

Employment in Lithuania

On 14 September 2016, Lithuanian Parliament adopted a new Labour Code, which liberalises labour relations between the employers and employees. Initially, it should have entered into force from 1 January 2017, but has been postponed by the new parliament for six months, so the new legislation took effect in July 2017.

The newly enforced labour code has shortened the fixed-term contracts to a maximum length of up to 2 years (previously 5 years) and has put a 20% threshold on the total number of fixed-term employment contracts allowed in a company. In addition, new labour code introduced several other employment types (e.g. apprenticeship, various forms of temporary engagement, etc.).

Previously, employers were obliged to give at least 2 months’ notice before terminating the contract and pay 1-6 months’ severance pay. Employees had to give at least 14 working days’ notice in advance. Under mutual agreement, parties could have terminated the contract in 7 calendar days. In the new labour code, the employer’s notice period is reduced to 2 weeks within the first 12 months of employment and 1 month thereafter. For employees, it remains practically the same, 20 calendar days with their initiative or 5 working days mutually agreed. The probationary period also has been reduced to a maximum length of 3 months. A standard annual leave entitlement has switched from 28 calendar days to 20 working days.