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Recruit and Retain Life Sciences Talent with an Employee-Focused Strategy

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The future is bright in the growing life sciences industry — global health care spending continues to increase dramatically and is projected to reach $10 trillion by 2022. However, to capture their share of the market, companies need to compete for top talent in the tightest hiring market in decades.

Pharmaceutical, clinical and medical employers need to build a strategic plan to recruit and retain the workers they need, according to Aerotek Strategic Account Executive Justin Dragoo. And to be most successful, they should ensure that their employees are at the center of their culture.

Cultures centered on the people are founded on these ideals:

  • Every employee has an important role to play
  • A strong belief in people shapes the organizational culture
  • Happy people working together perform at higher levels

The thinking is that employees who feel valued will provide excellent products and service, which will result in the achievement of organizational goals.

Attract specialized talent with a solid EVP

Competing for talent in the life sciences industry means being able to articulate an employee value proposition (EVP) that resonates with job seekers. “Many people choose this line of work because they want to have a positive impact on the world,” Dragoo says. “They want to know what they’re doing matters.”

Life sciences companies have an innate advantage here, as so much of the work is focused on developing, testing and deploying products and systems that improve quality of life, manage symptoms, reduce risk and even cure diseases and health conditions. Still, organizations need to ensure their EVP aligns with their brand and truly represents their company.

“Candidates may have preferences for working in different environments. A larger company might pay more, whereas a smaller company might have a more hands-on atmosphere where workers get to have more responsibility,” Dragoo notes. “Make sure you know what advantages you have and incorporate them into your EVP.

“And if your company doesn’t work on any big-name drugs,” he adds, “you might need to do a little more legwork to get job candidates to know about and want to join your workplace.”

Culture of engagement leads to increased talent retention

Retaining your employees necessitates having an individualized career path setup to achieve their goals or achieve success.

“Employees usually feel more engaged when they believe that their employer is concerned about their growth and provides avenues to reach individual career goals while fulfilling the company's mission,” according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “A career development path provides employees with an ongoing mechanism to enhance their skills and knowledge that can lead to mastery of their current jobs, promotions and transfers to new or different positions.”

Dragoo agrees. “Employees want the opportunity to develop and progress in their careers, and that involves creating value for their employer,” Dragoo says. “They want to know that the skills and dedication they bring to the table are benefiting the business.”

Truly invested workers, he says, want to be challenged to continuously improve and meet their stretch goals. “They know that’s the way to be successful.”

Create value for the employee long-term

People-centered work environments are increasingly associated with higher retention and revenue. Research from the Hay Group finds that “highly engaged employees are, on average, 50 percent more likely to exceed expectations than the least-engaged workers. And companies with highly engaged people outperform firms with the most disengaged folks — by 54 percent in employee retention, by 89 percent in customer satisfaction, and by fourfold in revenue growth.”

Dragoo says that a workplace with highly engaged employees can be achieved by providing them with the tools they need to get their jobs done, investing in learning and development and giving them opportunities to train cross-functionally.

Attracting and retaining a talented workforce is no easy task in 2019. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to maximize your efforts.

Want to learn more about recruitment and retention? Contact Aerotek now.