The Life Sciences Talent Market: What We Wish We Knew Before the Pandemic

Time to Read: 4.7 minutes

Updated: October 10, 2022

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the life sciences sector has played an important role. The pandemic has infected nearly 164 Million people worldwide and crippled various industries including travel, leisure, retail, and more.

In 2021, the already competitive life sciences market is now growing at a hypercompetitive rate by the day. With the new variants of COVID-19 emerging every other day, we need a solution to the problem at hand and fast. We’ve seen significant growth in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sector. In recent times, life sciences recruitment has become very challenging, and it’s about time companies explored new markets for life sciences and Medtech talent.

In this article, we will discuss the four biggest challenges faced by the life sciences industry and how to cope with them.

Organization Culture in the New Normal

In a job market as inviting as life sciences, organizational culture plays a significant role in life sciences recruitment. Good company culture is what makes an applicant join a company and make an employer stay. We can’t deny the importance of a paycheck and other incentives, but your company’s environment and the work you do are vital at the same time.

According to Glassdoor’s Mission & Culture survey, over three-quarters of adults consider the company’s culture when applying for a job. On the other hand, company culture is the reason almost two-thirds of the employees stay at their job. Additionally, the statistics remain almost constant in nearly all countries.

Importance of company culture in the life sciences sector.

Source: Glassdoor

Corporate culture is so important that MIT created a culture 500 index. It’s an interactive tool that ranks leading companies across nine values that are recognized as a critical part of the corporate culture. The nine values include agility, collaboration, customer, diversity, execution, innovation, integrity, performance, and respect.

To invite and retain the best life sciences and Medtech talent, it’s important to promote a healthy and inclusive corporate culture.

Remote Work and Diversity in the Life Sciences Sector

When COVID-19 plunged into the world, a lot of people started working remotely. Remote work comes with its own challenges especially if you’ve never worked remotely before. However, tools and technologies like Zoom, Trello made life easier for everyone. It also had an impact on productivity and company culture.

In the wake of COVID-19, health disparities towards people of color also came to light. Analysis suggests that a disproportionate number of African Americans were hospitalized and died of coronavirus.

COVID-19 hospitalization by race.

Source: Business Insider

That gave rise to the Black Live Matter Movement. The movement gained momentum during the summer of 2020 and made companies in the pharma and life sciences sector reassess their perception and focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion. Analytics support that diversity and inclusion recruiting can lead to more productivity and better outcomes.

Talent Shortage in The Life Sciences Sector

There is a vast gap between the supply and demand of entry-level and mid-level positions in the life sciences sector. Thousands of entry-level life science job positions are unfilled in every region. This shortage of talent gives employees an upper hand.

Leadership talent in general and, more specifically, technical skills such as project management, market research, and sales are also in demand. The problem arises from the fact that the life sciences sector is in constant competition with other industries specifically tech for such talent. Competing with leading tech companies for the same talent pool makes attracting the right talent even more challenging.

Companies can use the following methods to overcome skill gap and deals with talent shortage:

  • Invest in training the employees.
  • Focus on employee retention.
  • Expand your search for talent to the global market.
  • Eliminate all bias and hire talent based on talent alone.

Career Architecture

Compared to other sectors, there’s a relatively high level of dissatisfaction among employees in the life sciences sector. Only 56% of life sciences employees declared that they’re satisfied at work versus 70% for all sectors. The dissatisfaction increases in long-term employees (5 years in an organization or more), which is not a good sign.

The two main reasons why the workers feel unenthusiastic include:

  • Lack of professional growth (37%)
  • Lack of challenge (27%)

According to Deloitte, promotion and job advancement are most effective in keeping employees at their current job. It’s followed by financial incentives, but you can see the large gap between the numbers below. 

Most effective incentives keeping employees with their current employer.

Source: Deloitte

Most companies in the life sciences sector do not have a mature career development program. Such programs make employees feel empowered and appreciated at work, which results in high productivity and employee satisfaction.

How to Acquire the Right Life Sciences and Medtech Talent

The life sciences and pharmaceutical industry is going through a major shift right now. Biopharmaceuticals – the biggest and fastest-growing life sciences sub-sector is moving towards genetic manipulation of living things. That paired with the growing need for AI (artificial intelligence) and PAT (process analytical technology) is changing the landscape of the life sciences and Medtech talent acquisition.

To stay ahead of the game, it’s important for companies to employ various channels to acquire a diverse range of talent. To make talent acquisition even more efficient, you can also hire an RPO firm like Pierpoint. For over 15 years, Pierpoint has been providing RPO services. We specialize in recruiting talent for hard-to-fill positions in niche industries including life sciences and make life easier for our clients.

Did you like what you read? Please share!

Noor-ul-Anam Ruqayya

Noor-ul-Anam Ruqayya is a software engineer that also has a passion for writing well-researched, SEO-optimized, and engaging content for a wide range of industries. She has been writing long-form content for the talent acquisition industry since 2020 and has created multiple top-ranking articles.

Explore More Talent Acquisition Insights

Schedule a consultation with one of our Global RPO Solution experts to connect with the talent you need in the location you want.

Go to Top