We recently published an essential Playbook for businesses operating in life sciences. The eBook covers our summary of sector trends – including recruitment and retention. This blog is based on the topic summary, plus some bonus content to help you weather the talent storm.

Okay, most of us don’t love being caught in a storm, but the growth of our industry is causing some pretty turbulent conditions right now making the right survival kit vital.

The competition to attract talent is fierce. We’re seeing companies grow at unprecedented rates, resulting in high demand for talent and creating an increasingly competitive space where your employer brand must attract the right people with the right skills. 

Meeting global demand is tough right now with M&A activity, facility expansions, and diversification into new markets fuelling the need for talent. It is not uncommon for companies to be investing in product supply that will see them need between 40 and 100 new recruits.

Talent acquisition is a huge challenge for everyone – including ramarketing! 

Our business has an amazing culture built on strong values, but we’re also fast-growing and ambitious, so we need people who are willing to work with us to achieve our goals. We recognize our sector is changing post-pandemic and that the life science industry is starting to think and behave differently – the space is becoming more human. For us, and other companies, it means we need to adapt and change our thinking to align with the fast pace of change. Like others, we’re feeling the pinch, and as a result, we’re having to navigate recruitment by exploring more flexible talent acquisition options and working harder than ever on our own employer brand to ensure we attract top talent.

The recruitment market is more challenging than ever for those hiring, with fierce competition clashing because of the increased need to recruit across the sector. (For those lucky enough to be on the candidate side and looking to be hired it’s a buyers’ market where people with experience and skills can capitalize on the breadth of opportunities available across the globe).

It is becoming commonplace to see CDMOs and CROs recruiting hundreds of roles, particularly in the US. While investment in skills is increasing, the gap between the skills needed and the volume of available candidates is widening. And don’t forget retention. It’s the age-old adage: it’s easier (and cheaper) to retain than it is to acquire.

To attract the finest talent, companies need to review their culture and assess how their employer brand compares to others in the marketplace. With candidates enjoying a strong market position, organizations must stand out for the right reasons to ensure they can recruit and retain the right people.

Our advice.

Don’t shy away from the storm – instead, make sure you have the right tools to protect you from the elements: 

Nurture your employer brand

Monitor industry and competitor recruitment (including other sectors)

Cultivate an attractive culture

Champion equality, diversity & inclusion

Invest in benefits & training/development

Define clear progression paths

Recognize and reward talent

Demonstrate the value of the work your recruits will be doing from the outset (reports suggest that 27% of people choose their new job based primarily on the opportunity to do more meaningful work).

Pay people what they are worth – a whopping 25% of people are reported to leave their job for a higher-paying role. Keep your staff happy and appropriately rewarded and it will save you from having to venture out into the storm so often.

Top tips.

Invest in future talent to ensure you have a pipeline of skilled people to work in all areas of your business from the lab and research department, through to sales and business development, production, and engineering, and across the professional services and support roles.

Strengthen your employer brand by supporting people, championing equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and recognizing talent from grassroots right through to the c-suite. This will send an important message to people at every level of your organization in addition to external audiences and stakeholders – enabling you to develop a consistent brand. Your internal employer brand should be no different from the brand your external buyers see!

Continue to improve your understanding of who you are trying to reach by developing employee personas. To attract and retain the right people with the right skills and fit you need to audit your current employees so you can attract similar talent and develop the personas you seek to increase.

For more sector advice and useful tips download a copy of our 2022 Playbook – 10 Marketing Trends for Life Science Businesses.