The past few years has been tough on all employers, but life sciences companies have been particularly challenged. They face the same roadblocks as most employers: hybrid work environments, “quiet quitting”, and a slow economy.
However, due to their requirement for specialized skill sets and certifications, the industry has been hit hard by the general talent shortage. Here are some of the top challenges facing the industry today:
Demand for the right, skilled talent
The life science industry employs a more highly skilled, STEM-intensive workforce compared to almost all other industries. As a leading advanced manufacturing industry, Life Science companies rely heavily on the skilled technician workforce (engineering as well as scientific) and production workers to meet the growing demands for its products and services.
However, the talent market for candidates remains competitive and has been exacerbated by demographic changes, burnout, and shifting family responsibilities. Life, physical and social science occupations had the second-lowest unemployment rate of all U.S. occupations in April 2022 at 0.6%.
Lack of employee value proposition
Ignoring your employee value proposition (EVP) means that you run the risk of missing out on top candidates or losing existing employees. A strong EVP makes you attractive to candidates and distinguishes your company from the competition. An authentic and successful EVP, whether in a job description or on the website, must be up to date and in line with the reality of current benefits, work-life balance, advancement opportunities, and culture.
The EVP must resonate with job seekers. Many people choose the life science industry because they want to have a positive impact. Fortunately, life sciences companies have a distinctive advantage, as so much of the work is focused on developing, testing and deploying products that improve quality of life, reduce risk and even cure diseases. Still, organizations need to ensure their EVP aligns with their brand and truly represents their company.
Just offering a robust benefits package is not enough anymore. Individuals are less inclined to accept a job offer that doesn’t align with their personal values when they can work remotely and therefore be hired anywhere. As a result, the need for companies to offer pragmatic incentives to their new hires has never been greater.
To enhance retention rates, it is essential to demonstrate to employees that they are valued. One effective strategy involves offering customized approaches such as personalized coaching, mentorship programs, and career development opportunities. Additionally, other companies have achieved success by providing tailored concierge services to their employees, including running errands, shopping, organizing, conducting research, planning events, and more. For life science employees, concierge services represent an attractive employee benefit that enables them to outsource time-consuming tasks, freeing up more time for themselves. These services can help alleviate stress, promote a better work-life balance, and enhance overall well-being.