Hiring a Team vs. Individuals… Advantage Goes to the Team

Donna Kerney Correia, PhD Healthcare Industry, Market Access

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Your product is nearing (or has already achieved) FDA-approval. During the pre-launch phase, it is crucial to develop the payer strategy or strategies (as we’ve noted in a previous post). Among other things, you need personnel responsible for market access – you need a team.

There are essentially two options:

  • Build your team with individual hires
  • Hire an existing team

So where do you begin?

First, it may be helpful to answer a few questions, such as:

  • Which market channels am I targeting?
  • How many accounts do I need to cover?
  • How many team members are required?
  • What is my budget?

Answers to those questions will drive discussions around the market access plan and the personnel needed to execute it.

One interview at a time

Depending on how many individuals you think you need, the hiring process can be an arduous undertaking; a potentially lengthy and expensive process. In addition to finding account directors who know managed markets, you also need to diversify the team based on the access plan. Does your account team have the people and the relationships to address national “A” accounts like United and CVS and regional “B” accounts like Highmark and the Blues plans? What about the Medicaid plans or Medicare Part D plans? Can you find the right individuals with these relationships and expertise in these target markets?

Obviously, there are many qualified, experienced market access individuals. But, building a team is more than just hiring individuals to make up a department. That’s the easy part (and, in itself, is not easy). But for a team to function effectively, the individual members need to collaborate, share ideas openly, and feel a sense of responsibility for the overall success of the company. It’s an environment that needs to be established and fostered by management from the outset. But that intangible ‘something’ that only comes from working together over time will still be missing with individual hires.

The existing team is, well, already a team

We talk about collaboration. We talk about communication. We talk about culture. A well-functioning, existing team already knows how to work with each other. They understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They are resources for each other. They have a rapport; a comfortable system within which they interact. A dynamic has been established and fostered over time working together.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal published an article touting the benefits of hiring teams as opposed to individuals. Among other things, the author explained that existing, high-performance teams:

  • Have demonstrated excellence in their field
  • Work well together – right mix of personalities and skills
  • Contribute quickly – reduce time that individual hires need to adapt to team culture
  • Reduce conflict – bring a level of built-in trust and familiarity to resolve differences
  • Bring efficiency to process – more cost effective than building brand new team

This is not to say that hiring individuals doesn’t have its benefits; or that hiring teams doesn’t come with risks. But when funds are tight, time is short, and stakes are high, hiring that knowledgeable, well-functioning, established team may just give your organization an advantage in the marketplace.

And who doesn’t want that?

Viking Healthcare Solutions is the high-performing team you need for market access. Connect with us today to learn more.

Viking Healthcare Solutions has established itself as the premier provider of corporate account services and strategic planning support for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. VHS Insights, our research division, specializing in payer profiling, market research and analytics, can help you find answers to inform your payer strategy. We support traditional and rare/specialty organizations to create, maintain, defend, and protect access to your product throughout its lifecycle. Bank on our experience to help you achieve successful product commercialization. Contact us at http://www.vikinghcs.com/connect.

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