Despite continuing economic uncertainty, one thing is sure: hiring in-demand digital talent will continue to be a challenge. Pharma and life sciences companies in particular will face difficulty as they seek in-demand tech skills, as well as customer service and sales roles, to continue driving product innovation and focus on delivering personalized health and wellness experiences.
Life sciences and pharma companies are not only competing for these professionals among their own sector, but across other industries, such as tech and financial services as well. Other challenges include overcoming unique industry nuances, like specific education or certification requirements.
In this reality, what does it take to find and hire top candidates with the skills your business needs the most? Randstad Sourceright’s 2022 Global In-demand Skills research uncovers five strategies to help you engage the right people throughout 2023 and beyond.
1) attract people with your purpose.
The life sciences and pharma sector simply doesn’t have large talent pools from which to draw candidates, especially for technological skills like big data or AI, as compared to non-tech roles. With employers in the tech and finance industries luring digital talent away with incentives like high compensation and cutting-edge projects, life sciences employers can better attract candidates by highlighting the personal satisfaction they’ll gain when working on exciting projects, as well as life-changing and life-saving innovations.
2) engage emerging talent earlier.
One reason for the smaller talent pool is that many roles require industry-specific experience, education and/or certifications. In the U.S. alone, the top five fields of study for non-tech talent in the industry include business administration, nursing, psychology, healthcare administration and biology. Building stronger connections with universities through internship programs, for instance, can help establish relationships with emerging talent and show the successful careers they can have with your organization.
3) leverage other markets to fill gaps.
The Asia-Pacific region tends to have a larger supply of non-tech talent, such as customer service, sales and finance individuals — each among the 10 most in-demand skills. Hiring people in this region can help overcome the talent scarcity found in North American and European markets. Meanwhile, given the larger supply of tech talent in North America, businesses in the Asia-Pacific and European regions may have success seeking talent in this market for their tech roles.
4) keep driving gender diversity with inclusive workplaces.
While there is still room for improvement, the life sciences and pharma sector is ahead of others when it comes to advancing workplace gender diversity. Women represent 54% of the non-tech workforce across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. Although women represent 35% of the tech roles, there are some notable exceptions, such as cybersecurity, where women make up 50% of the workforce. Promoting careers in the industry as a great way for diverse talent to learn and grow can be a significant differentiator when competing for talent.
5) truly embrace long-term flexible working.
While employers in the North America region offer the most remote work opportunities among life sciences and pharma companies — especially for the fields of cloud computing (36%), big data (35%), and UI/UX (30%) — and employers in Europe offer a fair amount, the Asia-Pacific region is least likely to offer remote options. If your company wants to effectively compete for digital and customer service skills, it needs to embrace remote and flexible working long-term, especially as the life sciences and pharma industries are 10% behind average, with these arrangements more common in other industries.