What is the state of the MedTech job market?

Clients ask as a means of understanding what the potential talent pool looks like and what they may need to do to attract and retain talent.  Candidates ask as means of learning how attractive they may be to potential employers and opportunities to advance both in role and compensation.

Thus far in 2015, we have seen a vigorous job market with employers looking for talent across marketing, sales, regulatory, clinical, engineering and general management.  This activity is being driven by many factors.  Some of those are due to baby boomers moving into retirement, economic expansion and new start-ups in the MedTech space.  Perhaps one of the more interesting trends is the growth of digital healthcare innovations.

We at Finnesse are excited by the array of technology companies developing new solutions to better monitor our health and improve our lives as well as developing solutions to better predict potentially life threatening scenarios such as sudden cardiac arrest.  Imagine a world where your Fitbit or iWatch could monitor your blood sugar or predict when you might have a heart attack.

What’s really interesting is that this activity is spread from start-ups in incubators such as Treehouse Health all the way to tech giants such as Google and Apple.

In our view, this has increased demand for those with demonstrated MedTech skills across all functions.  The uniqueness of our industry and the need for these non-traditional competitors to understand a wide array of regulations, laws, medical terminology, healthcare reimbursement, and a host of other MedTech business issues is driving this heightened demand.

So in short, we anticipate that 2015 is going to be an exciting year in the MedTech employment market with a particular need for top talent that understands the intersection of digital technology and the potential to improve and extend human lives.

Beautiful Business

St. Louis Park entrepreneur Janie Finn has transformed her industrial office
space into a welcoming oasis.


TAKE A LOOK AT THE PHYSICAL SPACE AROUND YOU—maybe your living room, an office or a coffee shop. Does the space feel utilitarian or like a work of art? One St. Louis Park businesswoman believes form and function should meet in harmony in the spaces where we work and play. Janie Finn, an executive recruiter for the medical device industry, transformed a building’s empty shell—truly a blank slate—into a gorgeous and functional office space for her company, Finnesse Partners.

For many years, Finn worked for a large recruiting organization with offices in downtown Minneapolis. When the firm closed its doors in 2012, Finn opened her own business—now Finnesse Partners—in Minnetonka. Though leaving her previous company was bittersweet, Finn calls it “a wonderful parting,” adding the firm helped provide startup costs and furniture for her new office. “They wanted me to have the business that I built,” she says.

“We outgrew the [office] in Minnetonka within six months,” says Finn. Her realtor eventually led her to a familiar building on West 36th Street, right around the corner from Finn’s St. Louis Park home. “The moment I walked in, I knew this was the place,” she recalls. Finn signed the lease in April 2013 and started a whirlwind of remodeling, taking a totally gutted industrial space and turning it into her dream office. “We did flooring, carpet, wallpaper, ceilings, doors, windows … It was unbelievable. It’s a beautiful space.”


Finn wanted to maintain some of the building’s industrial vibe. “The ceilings were exposed, so all of the ductwork and the electrical conduits were visible. That was a good start,” interior designer Cher Harris says. “I know Janie is a little edgy and was going to look outside of the box a little bit.”

Above all, Finn wanted her clients and her employees to feel at home. “I want everyone to feel like we will take care of them,” says Finn. “I didn’t want a stuffy atmosphere, the feeling of being buttoned up.” Finn and Harris started with the brand colors of Finnesse Partners as their inspiration. “Orange and gray was a really good color scheme for us,” says Finn.

Harris adds, “Warm colors are very inviting and resonated with [Finn]. All the colors on the walls are very warm and bold oranges, contrasting with the coolness of charcoal gray.” Harris used brown, gray and yellow-striped carpet tiles in the front part of the office, which help achieve a mod look. “I did a user-friendly pattern,” says Harris. “Every so often I’d do a solid orange tile for a pop.”

Not only did the space need to be people-friendly, Finn wanted it to be earth-friendly, too. One of her favorite elements is the wallpaper in her office, which is made out of cork with shimmering orange flecks. And in areas without carpet, Finn and Harris installed non-toxic flooring. “It’s beautiful,” says Finn. “It looks like industrial wood or concrete, but it’s vinyl.”

Other personal touches make the space feel like home. “I’m very into local art,” says Finn, who has added pieces from Twin Cities galleries and art fairs to the office. “And my sister, who is very talented in woodworking, whittled me a sign that says Finnesse Partners,” she adds with a smile.

Is it hard to choose a favorite design element of her gorgeous new office? Oh yes, says Finn. “Cher found a fabulous wallpaper that looks like orange people on a white background, and I love it. It’s very modern,” she says.

Another favorite spot is the office’s cool “bonus room.” “It’s a family room, a meeting room,” explains Harris. “There’s a coffee table that pops up to conference-table height. It’s multipurpose.” Like most parts of Finnesse Partners’ office, the bonus room is functional, beautiful and—most of all—totally welcoming. Although it was never Finn’s dream to start her own company, she calls herself an “accidental” entrepreneur. For her, the office represents a true milestone in her impressive career. “I walk in every day and I could cry. It’s so beautiful here.”

Minnetonka search firm launched with ex-employer’s aid

Janie Finn continues the specialized recruiting she did for her former employer at Finnesse Partners, her new medical-industry search and consulting firm.

Photo: Richard Sennott, Star Tribune


Janie Finn, a veteran executive recruiter, started Finnesse Partners in September after her former employer, the U.S. division of Hudson Global, decided to leave Minnesota. “I never wanted to have my own business. When Hudson said they were closing but would like to help me start my own thing, all of a sudden it felt right,” she said.

Veteran executive recruiter Janie Finn didn’t have to leave her corporate job to start Finnesse Partners, her Minnetonka-based boutique search and consulting firm specializing in the medical-device industry.

Finn instead launched her company with the blessing and support of her former employer, the U.S. division of Hudson Global, a billion-dollar, publicly traded, recruiting firm.

The offer came in May, Finn said, as Hudson announced it was leaving Minnesota. The move was part of a larger effort by Hudson to cut costs in the United States and refocus on information technology and legal recruiting, she said.

By then, Finn had been with Hudson and its predecessors here for 26 years. She had developed a successful search and consulting practice that had recruited hundreds of candidates to marketing positions at medical-device companies in the Twin Cities and nationally, from start-ups to industry leaders. The extensively connected and networked Finn also had built a reputation as the local go-to recruiter in her niche.

“I never wanted to have my own business,” said Finn, who had worked in beverage marketing in her native New York before moving to Minnesota and getting her start in recruiting. “When Hudson said they were closing but would like to help me start my own thing, all of a sudden it felt right.”

Finn quickly accepted Hudson’s generous severance terms, which allowed her to take over the medical-device recruiting business and continue operating it under her own banner. The company released her and two employees working with her from non-compete agreements and let Finn keep her encyclopedic database. The company forwarded her calls and replied to e-mails with her new address.

With office supplies, equipment and furnishings and even microwave and toaster ovens from Hudson, Finn only had to buy computers and a small desk to get started.

Finnesse Partners launched Sept. 1. The company, which gets paid for its services by employers, is projecting $1 million in revenue this year.

“I wouldn’t have a company without them,” Finn said, tearing up as she recounts the transition Hudson made possible. “It’s truly remarkable because you don’t ever hear of something like that. A lot of people just think ‘Big business — they don’t care about the little guy.’ There are companies that do care, and this was a company that made it a point to do the right thing.”

Finnesse Partners is profitable and growing, Finn said, thanks to Hudson’s benevolent handoff, repeat business and referrals from longtime customers. An expanded search scope also is contributing, with Finn now seeking candidates for almost every function within a company, from engineering to finance and regulatory compliance. More than half the firm’s business comes from searches conducted on retainer, rather than on contingency, a change that reflects its recent growth.

Looking ahead, Finn is exploring adding a side business that offers career counseling and other services, perhaps focusing on women returning to work after raising children.

Candidates Finn has placed over the years include Blair Allen, vice president of sales and marketing at Eden Prairie-based Acist Medical Systems, which develops contrast-imaging systems for use in cardiology and radiology. Allen, in turn, has had Finn conduct a number of searches for the company.

“I think she’s an absolute expert in medical-device marketing,” Allen said. “Her reputation is one of the highest. She knows everything that’s going on, she’s very in tune with the market. If there’s a major marketing opening, she’s usually involved.”

Bill Little, vice president of product marketing at a Twin Cities-based medical-device company, also has worked with Finn as both a candidate and a client.

“She has the DNA, she’s in the right role, and she’s exceptionally good at [recruiting],” Little said. “There are a lot of good recruiters in this town, but I do think she’s the best that I’ve worked with. She genuinely goes out of her way to find the right fit, the best skill set for the job that we’re trying to fill.”