The top reasons for candidates leaving Clinical Operations positions in 2017 across the United States

The top reasons for candidates leaving  Clinical Operations positions in 2017 across the United States

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From our placements last year within our Life Sciences client base, we analyzed and compared the reasons for leaving from both Contract Research Organization and Pharma/Biotech companies.


Career ProgressionOnly 11% of people looking for a new role last year, sought to progress in their career, which suggests the fact that the opportunity to develop and grow within CROs is high!

Fresh Challenge/Change of Direction - Only a small portion sought a change of direction or a different type of role or responsibility within the industry.

Location/Relocation/Work From HomeAs the majority of the positions worked within our CRO clients are remote based, location or work from home flex did not play a role in people leaving.

Lay Offs - Over a fifth of the people we placed last year had been laid off from their previous role!

Environment & Culture - A clear majority of the Candidate were looking to work at a smaller sized CRO, with the desire to work in a smaller team with more regional travel, as well as more say in their role, all key drivers. 


Fresh Challenge/Change of Direction - Similar to CROs, the desire to change things up in terms of roles and responsibilities didn’t play a significant role in candidates looking for a new job!

Career ProgressionOnly 11% of the candidates were seeking the opportunity to progress within another company or looking to leave due to a lack of career progression from their current roles. Once again suggesting this isn’t such an issue within the Life Sciences industry as whole.

Environment & Culture - Like the CRO industry, the environment and culture was a clear front runner in the Pharma/Biotech world, with candidates once again fearing being laid off as well as complaining of a lack of work/life balance as key factors in looking elsewhere.

Lay Offs - Whilst the fear of being laid off played a big role in people leaving, only 14% of the people we placed last year were actually looking as a result of it happening.

Location/Relocation/Work From HomeJust under a quarter of the candidates left to get more of an opportunity to work from home part of the week or even become fully remote, which is unsurprising seeing as a lot of companies within this industry expect their candidates to work onsite 5 days a week.

It was extremely interesting to compare the reasons for leaving within the life sciences sector with similarities and differences aplenty. Candidates within both CRO & Pharma environments both had “seeking a better environment/culture/job security” as their main reason for looking, especially within the CRO industry, where candidates were looking to work for smaller companies. 

Lay offs, as in any industry, played a key role for people looking and what was interesting to see was how big a factor location played within the pharma worldwide, compared to CROs where of course remote based working is the norm.

Lastly, it seemed that within the Life Sciences sector as a whole, there isn’t too much worry about progressing in their careers, and not much interest in taking their careers in a different direction too.




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