2023 Talent Trends research reveals 86% of life sciences and pharma organizations are more focused on the talent experience than ever before — up from 77% in 2022
ATLANTA, May 31, 2023 — Randstad Enterprise’s 2023 Life Sciences and Pharma Talent Trends report highlights the hiring and talent management challenges and opportunities currently facing the sector, providing crucial insights at a time when 88% of life sciences and pharma leaders say their talent strategies are more about total value creation than cost savings — up from 40% last year.
The focus on total value creation means Life Sciences and Pharma companies are intent on building and developing their workforces. Currently the sector faces a number of challenges including ever-increasing skills gaps, talent scarcity, growing competition and an evolving array of skills required in the sector. While Life Sciences and Pharma has largely avoided considerable downsizing, economic concerns still weigh heavily on sector leaders, with 76% saying uncertainty about the economy, inflation and labor costs will impact their hiring strategies — 10 points higher than the global average.
“Against a backdrop of high job volatility in other sectors, Life Sciences and Pharma companies have had comparatively less layoffs and in some places more sustained recruiting efforts. Talent scarcity continues to challenge the industry, and more emphasis is being placed on talent by the sector to create, develop and bring their life-enhancing and life-saving solutions to market,” said Tania de Decker, chief customer officer of Randstad Enterprise. “There is fierce competition for talent now as the industry seeks to meet demand for its solutions and products. To attract much needed talent and to create business value, human capital leaders must take innovative approaches to find promising new candidates and retain their existing top performers. That starts with addressing the entire talent life cycle and adopting the tools that can enhance it at every stage of a person’s talent journey.”
In light of these challenges, the report highlights the actions life sciences and pharma leaders can take to build an effective enterprise talent blueprint. For example, facing persistent talent scarcity, companies can secure the skills they need by creating a better end-to-end talent experience. Increasing investments in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies, as well as talent communities and engagement platforms (e.g., tools to facilitate learning and development, peer recognition and collaboration) are some actionable steps. Highlighting the social impact of the work they do is also a powerful way to attract and retain people.
Another way for companies to improve talent attraction and engagement is by using people analytics. Overall, 84% of life sciences and pharma leaders report using this technology for this purpose. As the digital skills gap persists, knowing where to source or identifying the most effective job boards is critical. Developing robust internal mobility plans and identifying internal candidates to fill critical vacancies can also reduce the time and cost to hire, while improving the talent experience and retention.
Prioritizing wellness is another example of how companies can attract and retain talent. From offering more flexibility in how, when, and where they work, to promoting programs to help their physical, mental and financial health can help. In fact, 63% of leaders are already spending more on well-being and safety programs, the highest of any sector.
“Whether discovering new ways to identify talent externally and internally, using analytics to guide their talent decisions or doing more to support employee well-being, these initiatives can have a tremendous impact on workforce effectiveness,” said Louisa Wilson, chief growth officer, Randstad Enterprise. “With 86% of life sciences and pharma leaders saying they are more focused on the talent experience than ever before, it’s clear they understand the pressures facing the industry and are taking the steps to build and improve their teams.”
randstad enterprise 2023 talent trends:
life sciences & pharma report key findings
- 86% of life sciences and pharma leaders say their organizations are more focused on the talent experience than ever before — up from 77% last year.
- 76% say uncertainty about the economy, inflation and labor costs will impact their hiring strategies; that’s 10 points higher than the global average of 66%.
- 88% say their talent strategies are more about total value creation than cost savings this year — up from just 40% (an all-time low) in 2022.
- 75% of life sciences and pharma companies are investing in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to enhance the talent experience during the talent acquisition process.
- 63% are earmarking more funds for predictive analytics and external market intelligence — up from 40% last year — while others are investing in tools like artificial intelligence (71%, up from 50% in 2022) and analytics dashboards (63%, up from 47%).
- 78% are placing greater emphasis on skilling and career engagement, while 59% expect to increase spending on internal talent mobility platforms.
- 63% report that they are spending more on well-being and safety programs this year, marking the highest number of any sector in the Talent Trends research, and nearly 10 points above the global average of 54%.