Impact of COVID-19 on Global Life Sciences Recruiting

It has been a record-breaking year for biotech IPOs. The IPOs raised $15 billion, almost triple that of 2019. This is a significant boost in healthcare investment, which means companies will now have to adjust their headcounts.

When COVID-19 hit, it introduced several challenges in the life sciences industry. It further proved to be a kick starter for global scientific innovation and collaborations. Pharma and med-tech companies found themselves front and center in the midst of their efforts to supply and scale medical products to support COVID patients in their time of need.

At the same time, they had to work proactively to develop vaccines and new therapeutics to battle the deadly pandemic. The pandemic certainly has propelled the trajectory for innovation and hence, we are seeing an explosion in the life sciences job market.

The Impact of Pandemic on Life Sciences

Life sciences companies have more positions opening than ever before, and the talent market is flourishing. HR departments in these organizations are revamping their centralized and decentralized recruitment strategies and processes to source quality talent and fill the job openings.

For the first time ever, large players in the life science industries have necessarily come together to share research, conduct tests, and develop vaccines under enormous pressure and tight deadlines.

The partnerships that were built as a result challenged their traditional processes. Consequently, new opportunities have been identified to enhance efficiencies and continue innovation in the industry in the post-pandemic world.

COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation and gave birth to trends such as telehealth, sensors, and wearables, all of which allowed healthcare providers to collect more patient data, limit in-person doctor-patient interaction, and drive engagement.

This is assuredly not a short-term shift; new life science trends will continue to drive the industry as patient care is reprioritized.

Challenges in Life Science Recruitment

While the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors are experiencing growth, proper sourcing and recruiting remain a particular challenge. Let’s examine this further:

Organizational Culture Continues to Remain Imperative

Although the job market for life sciences is active, attracting the right talent requires a strong organizational culture. According to one study, company culture is an important deciding factor for 46% of job seekers. Furthermore, 86% of those polled avoid organizations with a bad reputations.

When it comes to millennial job hunting, a company with the right people and culture fit is a top priority. In other words, to retain top talent in life sciences, it is important to promote an inclusive and healthy corporate culture.

Diversity and Inclusion

The pandemic shed light on health disparities that people of color have been struggling with for a long time. Companies in the life sciences and pharma sector have been forced to reassess their perception and focus on DEI (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion).

Cognitive diversity is capable of boosting a 20% increase in innovation and improving problem-solving and decision-making. This is possible because of the high volume of diversity insights a heterogenous workplace has to offer.

It’s often said that the strength of a business’s team is defined by the varied and multi-faceted values, experiences, and thought processes contained within. In other words, hiring managers in the life sciences business will have to support diversity and inclusion to foster innovation and improve business outcomes.

Talent Shortage

Naturally, there is a gap between the demand and supply of talent to fill entry and mid-level positions in the life sciences industry.

Market research, sales, project management, and other technical skills are in demand. The life sciences sector is in constant competition for talent’; it’s incredibly challenging to compete with leading tech companies for the same talent pool. As a result, partnering with a staffing agency invariably proves useful.

For instance, if a Pittsburgh-based business seeks to overcome the skill gap and fill the talent shortage, an experienced staffing agency in Pittsburgh would recommend them to invest in on-job training, retention strategy, and elimination of unnecessary hiring bias.

How to Attract the Right Talent?

Clearly, a lot needs to be done to improve diversity in the life sciences hiring process. Organizations must first start by conducting a workplace investigation to identify and eliminate toxic elements and build a culture that upholds diversity, inclusivity, and equity.

Here are some ways to expand the talent pool:

  • Meet the Talent Where They Live

COVID and remote work culture may have eliminated the geographic barriers, but there are still certain functions that must be performed on-site. Employers might want to rethink where they offer training to the workforce they recruit.

  • Relax the Job Requirements

It’s evident that a degree and years of experience may no longer be a mandatory requirement for all life sciences jobs. Therefore, widening the talent pool might require changing the minimum qualification requirements for a candidate.

  • Build an Organization of Competent Culture

Culture is a powerful source for attracting and retaining top talent. Through unbiased hiring practices and tapping into skills that aren’t found on resumes, it’s possible to find the right talent and build a competent workforce.

Summing Up

The life sciences industry will continue to evolve. Just as a mortgage business would seek help from mortgage recruiters to overcome the challenges and source the right talent, working with life sciences recruiters can make a huge difference to any organization.

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