Where is the Life Science Talent?

November 30, 2022

The past 24+ months has created many challenges for the global workforce, the most critical being availability of talent.

Almost overnight, life science companies found themselves in a precarious situation unable to recruit and retain talent leaving them with 1 question, “why?”.

The pandemic affects billions of people across the world, both directly and indirectly. One of the biggest indirect effects is shortages in workforce. Many companies have responded to the pandemic by entering the vaccination race, which has created a spike in demand for clinical research professionals, particularly those in laboratory R&D operations and Clinical Studies.

Expansion and Evolvement
Biotech R&D is growing faster than any other sector within life sciences. This has led to the expansion of new start-ups due to advancement of technology platforms such as mRNA and Immunotherapy in the large hubs such as Boston and San Francisco.

Culture and Diversity
Today, life science professionals have become accustomed to certain “luxuries” they did not have prior to 3 years ago. Companies are forced to rethink their culture and what they can offer to candidates outside of a paycheck. Employers who offer the following are fairing better than those who do not:

  • Remote flexibility
  • Work/Life balance: because companies are short-handed, employees and contractors workload demand has increased and is being allocated to those who remain. This then results in burnout for those employees.
  • Career progression: with demand so high, employers are offering more career advancement opportunities and/or restructuring title requirements to attract talent.
  • Benefits: those companies who provide great benefits such as unlimited vacation, stock options, performance-based/sign-on bonuses, and child care do not find themselves affected by “the great resignation” as much as other companies.
  • Diverse employee portfolio: creating a culture that is inviting to the masses.

So, what now?
As with anything, talent acquisition and retention will continue to evolve. There will always be peaks and valleys, pandemics, economic uncertainty, and other variables we cannot control; but being able to adapt and change while staying true to your company’s foundation and values will help you navigate and identify the talent and solutions you need for success.