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Pharmacy Graduate Woes and How We Can Help

In recent years, the pharmacy industry has gone from an excellent job market with a plethora of jobs for upcoming graduates, to an employer driven market. Previously the demand for pharmacists was high with the supply being low enough to cause a shortage of staffing in pharmacies across the nation. This raised the average salary for pharmacists to over 6 figures as community pharmacies began opening with more frequency in supermarkets and drug store chains. Institutions picked up on this trend and saw it as an opportunity to turn a profit. In the past 10 years or so the number of pharmacy schools has increased rather dramatically and have been successful as students have taken notice of the lucrative potential of a career in pharmacy.

The big winner here is the pharmacy schools. Much like the individuals that sold the jeans and shovels during the gold rush, there was an opportunity here to make money off of a positive trend.

In 2007, the pharmacy industry took a big hit (as did every industry) which initiated the change in supply and demand for graduating pharmacists. Prior to this, it was a relatively safe degree to pursue where candidates were sought after more so than employers. Pharmacy technicians at this point are seeing greater opportunity for employment than pharmacists as they are with more frequency taking on roles that pharmacists typically performed. Pharmacies found themselves losing money after 2007 which resulted in many of them closing or shortening hours and ultimately reducing employment. Pharmacy technicians require fewer years of education and have lower salaries than pharmacists which make them more financially suitable for pharmacies. Technological advancements have allowed pharmacies to take advantage of machinery help in the workplace, which also reduces the need for pharmacists. Pharmacy employers are currently in a position where they can select ideal candidates from a large pool. This is not the best place for the industry to be from a Pharm.D grad’s perspective. Don’t stress out just yet. Many current employed pharmacists are from the baby boomer generation and are beginning to move on to retirement which will open up a lot of positions for upcoming pharmacists.

This leads us to the main point of the post: how can a staffing agency help graduates who are having employment difficulties?

Partner yourself with a staffing agency sooner rather than later! Pharmacies often hire exclusively from their temporary staff as they have the opportunity to see if candidates are a good fit without running the risk of hiring a poor performing employee. These companies will also be hiring those with experience over recent grads because of the surplus of candidates; a temporary staffing agency can help you get that experience.

Job hunting alone is a great challenge as networking has become a necessity for finding employment opportunities. Companies have less pressure to reach out for candidates as the sea of graduates continues to increase year after year. Staffing agencies like us have built relationships with many pharmacies across the nation and are usually the first to know about job opportunities. Let CareerStaff Rx help you develop your network and ultimately land you a permanent position in an environment that is satisfactory for you.