What motivates Life Sciences professionals to make a career move?

What motivates Life Sciences professionals to make a career move?

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As the Life Sciences sector continues to grow the number of job opportunities increases, driving competition for the industry’s top talent.

So, with a high number of companies competing for the same pool of highly skilled professionals how does an organisation stand out? The key is understanding what motivates these candidates to make a move!  

At Meet we are constantly collecting data from our network about why candidates choose to leave their current roles and seek new opportunities. Here is an overview of the top reasons for movement in the industry over the last 12 months (collected from placement data across our global Life Sciences client base)…


Obviously salaries vary significantly depending on the job title, location, level of experience and much more. However, across the industry salaries are on the rise - with an overall growth rate of 4.4% in 2018 - placing the average salary at $113,654. 

Echoing our own findings, Biospace’s recent salary survey found that 67% of professionals in the Life Sciences sector stated salary increase as their main motivation for looking for a new role.


Increasingly candidates are considering more intangible aspects in their job search such as company culture and reputation. 

Numerous studies and industry examples highlight the relationship between company culture and business success. But our findings show that having a strong company culture doesn’t only engage employees, improve business performance, generate more innovation and increase retention but is also vital in attracting top talent.  


Employees are increasingly demanding more flexible working - from flex-time, part-time or job-sharing to telecommuting and remote working - flexibility is valued higher than any other employee benefit in the Life Sciences industry (aside from base salary of course).

Intrinsically linked with company culture, flexibility creates an atmosphere where there is a level of trust between an employee and company. This kind of culture, based on mutual respect, is crucial in technical industries like Life Sciences which are driven by creativity and innovation. 


Over the last decade, there have been significant changes in the key therapy areas that attract the most investment. Although Oncology is expected to remain the dominant therapy area - reaching $233 billion in global sales by 2024 - we have seen the rise of digital health, personalised medicine and orphan drugs, as companies across the industry diversify into new fields. 

This trend is reflected in our data too. Driven by the desire to work in the most innovative and pioneering areas, 7% of the professionals we placed over the last 12 months were motivated by the role content or therapeutic area.


Career progression is a factor many candidates prioritise when choosing their next career move, whether that’s due to a lack of growth at their current employer or greater opportunity elsewhere, it’s becoming an increasingly important consideration. 

Within the Life Sciences, this is particularly significant for professionals in their ‘mid-career’, looking to fill in gaps in their skill set or gain experience in a new environment. So, clients stand to gain a real advantage by outlining their career development schemes early on in the recruitment process.


Every candidate is unique and prioritises different aspects during a job search. Other factors include healthcare, location, bonus package, company size and travel!

Interested in more information on the current hiring trends in Life Sciences? Or want to know how to attract the top talent to your growing team? Get in touch with us: contact@peoplewithchemistry.com

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