The Resilience of Life Sciences: How Life Sciences Companies Can Win The War For Talent

6-7 Minutes

Our last article in this series, The War For Talent, highlighted the current trends in the g...

By Emily Davies

Senior Content Writer

Our last article in this series, The War For Talent, highlighted the current trends in the global Life Sciences job market. So as businesses battle it out for talented professionals, in this piece, we ruminate on what you can do to beat the competition…

The Great Resignation, or The Great Reshuffle, has flipped the working world on its head. For the Life Sciences industry specifically, the supply and demand of entry-level and mid-level positions have grown significantly, with roles unfilled in every region.

As we mentioned before, that means employees are now in the driver’s seat, and they’re looking for more than just a juicy paycheque. In fact, according to Glassdoor’s Mission and Culture Survey, 77% of employees across the US, the UK, France, and Germany consider company culture before even submitting an application for a job role.

Speaking of company culture, research also shows that 65% of American millennials and 66% of UK-based millennials say they care more about a company’s culture than they do about the salary. So, with job opportunities far outweighing the number of talented professionals available, organisations need to do more than up their wages to secure the best employees in the business.

According to BioSpace’s Ideal Employer Report, the secret sauce to being the one everyone wants to work for is conducting ‘interesting and meaningful’ work. Only for those in Life Sciences who spend their working hours developing life-saving or life-changing treatments for patients, you would expect your work to be highly meaningful, so from Meet’s perspective, it doesn’t just stop there.

As competition for talent intensifies between businesses, and talent are more resolute on what they want and need, employers must think of ever-more creative and compelling ways to attract new talent and retain their current workforce.

Of course, we weren’t going to leave you there pondering what that entails. Instead, we’ve compiled our top five tips for securing and hanging on to top-tier Life Sciences talent in this dog-eat-dog world…

1.     Offer Flexible Working

The pandemic has no doubt shaped the future of the working world. Since our homes became our offices, employees have proven they are adaptable and capable of completing work outside a typical office environment.

Of course, for those who work in laboratories, lab work can’t be completed remotely, but many other Life Sciences roles can, so companies must determine the work environment best suited to their individual needs. Overall, the trends seem to show that the future for most is veering towards hybrid.

In fact, according to Deloitte, almost half of employees and the majority of millennials report that they would give up some of their current work benefits for a more flexible working space.

Companies listening to employee desires, who are empowering them to work from a location that suits them best, are better promoting work-life balance and the importance of employee wellbeing – traits that only help attain and retain talent.

What’s more, Deloitte found that productivity and engagement are at their highest among workers who spend 60-80% of their time working remotely!

Germany, one of the most stable, prominent, and fastest-growing Life Sciences markets, is one step ahead. The European country is currently creating the legal right to work from home. This means that all employees will be granted the right to work remotely so long as their presence isn’t required in a working facility.

2.     Ditch Old-Fashioned Systems

As younger generations enter the workforce and millennials step into more senior positions, they’re completely revolutionising their working models to ones that are flatter, more democratic, and ultimately make the most sense for their peers.

Over in Basel, Switzerland, Roche Pharmaceuticals (the world’s largest BioTech) has decided to ditch its traditional hierarchy in place of more self-governing, self-organising teams with the notion of putting their people and patients first.

The new model at Roche allows teams to request the necessary funds to fulfil their objectives and solve any problems they might encounter. It’s said that this level of trust and team approach is proving to be more efficient because workers are taking more accountability for their teams and are delivering on their objectives.

CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals, Bill Anderson, commented on the change, “we only ask that they, one, drive medical advances, two, thrill customers and patients, and three, make best use of company resources”.

Is Roche Pharmaceuticals ahead of the curve?

Well, the age-old tradition of hierarchies was initially designed by the military before being embraced by the corporate world. Of course, it’s been effective in many ways, but in today’s interconnected and collaborative society, it’s said to stall creativity, stump communication and be too slow to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. In fact, research from the Oxford Academic reports that the demise of hierarchies has increased job satisfaction, boosted productivity, and reduced turnover.

3.     Invest In Training, Learning and Development

The Life Sciences industry has always and will always have to contend with high regulations, so training and development are vital in ensuring the success of a business. What’s more, an excellent L&D program can help address multiple industry challenges such as cyber risks, regulatory adherence, data compliance, and patient safety.

In today’s climate, training your employees could also help close the skills gap we’re currently seeing due to The Great Resignation (also known as The Great Reshuffle). By investing in current workers, you fulfil their need for growth and set them up for long-term success.

Of course, as mentioned in The War For Talent, working in revolutionary fields means finding people with desired skillsets can be incredibly difficult. Retraining existing employees who already have the necessary scientific background will not only help your company progress but will also help to retain talent as their motivation piques as they face new challenges and gain more significant rewards. After all, no matter what industry you’re in, everyone wants to feel like their progressing and moving towards their long-term goals!

Claire MacLeod, Head of Learning and Development here at Meet, comments, “there’s nothing better than seeing your people develop, grow and succeed, but a company’s L&D function is integral to that process. The training you do will change as your business grows, but regardless, every employee’s journey should be continuous, ensuring they’re facing the right sort of challenges and receiving the right sort of support to succeed.”

4.     Create A Company Culture Everyone’s Itching To Be Part Of

Did you know that three-quarters of people consider company culture when applying for a job, and it’s the reason almost two-thirds have chosen to stay in their current role?

In fact, company culture completely shapes our working experience. It is a critical element of continued job satisfaction, a stimulating environment, collaboration, and innovation among employees. On the flip side, an adverse culture can often result in high turnover rates, burnout, a less productive organisation, and unsatisfied employees - no one wants that!

So, how do you know whether you have a good company culture?

Well, it’s best to split it up into these nine key attributes:

1.   Employee longevity
2.  A well-defined mission
3.  Values that are embodied by leadership and the rest of the team
4.  Transparency from the top down
5.  Diversity in hiring practices, thought and approach
6.  A visible and accessible senior management team
7.   Opportunities for professional development
8.  Comfortable workspaces
9.  An environment that celebrates personal and team wins

Once all these elements line up, you should have no issue holding on to your current talent or attracting new people and ideas – even in this competitive landscape!

5.     Expand Your Search To The Global Market

As we touched on above, much of the work within Life Sciences can now be done remotely – a working ideal that appeals to a large percentage of people. Now that the landscape is so competitive, widening your pursuit of talent to other geographic locations will only multiply the level of talent available who meet your job requirements.

What’s more, scaling your search to a global level will also give you access to a more diverse pool of talent with unique perspectives, which will ultimately enrich your organisation. Plus, once you have one international candidate on your payroll, your brand will be able to reach and attract more global talent!

If you’re struggling to fill your open job roles, why not get in touch with us? Our team of experts is in contact with the best Life Sciences talent all across the globe!

Want to know more about the Resilience of Life Sciences? Check out parts one, two, and three of this series!

Book in a call with one of the team about your hiring needs.

Meet Recruitment 2022. Meet Recruitment Ltd., Meet Recruitment Inc. and Meet Personalberatung GmbH are all subsidiaries of Meet Group (No. 13556131) a company registered in England and Wales at Irongate House, 22-30 Dukes Place, London, EC3A 7LP.
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