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John Ebeid is Vice President, Outsourcing and Operations, Randstad Life Sciences
John Ebeid, Senior VP of Randstad Life Sciences writes that though International Clinical Trials Day is a time to celebrate the medical researchers who work to make new discoveries for the good of public health - retaining these employees remains a challenge for the entire industry, especially for today's CROs.
May 20th is International Clinical Trials Day, a time to recognize and celebrate the medical researchers who work day in and day out to make new discoveries for the good of public health. Unfortunately, retaining these employees remain a challenge for the entire life sciences industry as a whole, and especially for today's Contract Research Organizations (CROs), where turnover rates have been at or above 20 percent for a majority of the past decade.
The best way to improve retention is by showing your appreciation and investing in the needs of your most-skilled workers - and here are three of the biggest reasons why you should make it a priority today.
Technology innovations are contributing to the increasing demand for talent
Skilled life sciences talent is already hard to find, but new trends in the industry have created an additional skills gap to overcome, most recently around the need for understanding new tech innovations. As organizations improve their digital capabilities and increase their reliance on technology to fuel innovation, they now must compete with even more industries in order to acquire the top tech talent they need to grow.
With rapid growth, aggressive acquisitions and ongoing disruption continue to impact the industry, the number of skilled candidates that life sciences companies can attract will be a key differentiator in determining whether or not they come out on top and achieve stability. But with so many organizations all vying for the same pool of elite candidates, it's more important than ever to make sure that you can hold on to your top performers or risk losing them to the competition.
Upskilling existing talent creates an innovative atmosphere
While an increased focus on technology is creating the need for more tech talent in life sciences, existing research staff shouldn't be forgotten. In fact, upskilling existing team members and helping them embrace new digital tools can improve organizations on two fronts. For starters, upskilling brings the entire workforce up to speed on the latest developments, which can drive efficiency across daily tasks. Second, it's a great way to improve your employee retention levels, as workers feel a sense of accomplishment and progress after gaining new and valuable skills.
What's more, workplace technologies are paving the way for better connectivity, improved communication and enhanced collaboration across teams at life sciences organizations. As the pressure to innovate continues to mount, organizations that can bring their workforces up to date the fastest and accelerate project completion will be in a better position to succeed.
Compensation and benefits are key to attracting and retaining talent
Aside from upskilling, the best way to ensure that you're both attracting and retaining the talent you need is by providing competitive pay and benefits. Falling short in this area can result in high turnover and even bring a halt to operations altogether, so it's important to stay on top of the latest pay rate fluctuations and trends in workers' expectations to make sure your offerings are competitive.
In fact, forty-two percent of employee respondents to a recent Randstad US survey said they were considering leaving their jobs due to inadequate benefits, and 55 percent said they'd already left a job in the past because of subpar offerings.
So what, then, do today's employees want? Our research revealed a few options to consider based on the worker responses we received, like:
With the life sciences hiring market as tight as it is today, you can't afford to offer just the bare minimum when it comes to benefits and compensation. Keep an eye on your competitors and make sure to align your offerings with the rest of the market to stay in the game for highly sought-after candidates.
A recognized employee is more likely to stay long-term
On this International Clinical Trials Day, take a moment to recognize your organization's most valuable asset: its people. However, retaining those people has never been so difficult - and so necessary - as it is today. By prioritizing these retention strategies and a few other incentives top-of-mind, you'll create an environment where your talent can truly thrive and lay the foundation for a culture primed to attract and retain the skilled candidates you need to drive innovation.
John Ebeid is the Senior Vice President of Randstad Life Sciences.