Recruiting and retaining employees is hard enough in normal times.

But these are not normal times in the life science industry.

Demand for talent is at an all-time high; job seekers with unique skill sets, especially in clinical roles, may receive multiple offers should they decide to test the market. Delays in hiring not only impact your team’s morale, they can have negative effects on critical aspects of your clinical program, delay your time to market, and even impact enterprise value.

The ground has shifted rapidly. COVID-19 and the expanded employment opportunities offered by remote work have, to a certain extent, leveled the playing field, opening up access to talent that is no longer geographically limited for certain roles. All of this had led to intense competition among life science companies for a small—and discerning—group of mission-critical employees.

Expand Your Opportunity

Traditionally, title, salary, and benefits (not necessarily in that order) made up the most important components of an offer. But the values of the workplace have shifted, with increasing emphasis on “intangible” factors that can serve as differentiators for hiring managers.  When competing companies can achieve some degree of parity in base salary and benefits, other key considerations include:

All this leads to an important question: besides rewarding an individual for their experience and potential contribution, what else does your organization have to offer? When you can answer this question without hesitation, you’ve already got an advantage over competing offers:  organizational IQ.

Know Thyself…

Your organization isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK. Your company’s unique characteristics not only define your culture, they help you identify optimal candidates. By understanding your culture and using it to help attract candidates of like mind, you create more opportunity for deeper, lasting relationships.

A clinical stage company will never be able to offer the same sense of organizational history or culture of a 50,000 employee, 100-year-old pharmaceutical company with multiple marketed therapies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete. What advantages can you offer over competitors?  Is it access to the dynamic, entrepreneurial leaders in your c-suite? The potential for an acquisition and life-changing liquidity event? Or the first-ever approach to a devastating disease that has the potential to improve and save lives?

By knowing your organization, its strengths, its areas for growth, and its sense of purpose (as well as other factors unique to your company), you can begin to match your hiring process to your culture, making the transition from potential hire to full-time employee with less time, greater efficiency, and longer-term retention.

…And Know Your Hire

Every department is unique, just like every individual. Strategies and professional networks that work in clinical or regulatory hiring approaches might not be applicable to commercial hires. While each potential hire requires a tailored approach, if your organization is unified culturally and strategically, you can craft a powerful hiring narrative that reflects your values while also respecting each candidate’s needs and aspirations.

But while each hire is a unique individual, the greater your sense of shared purpose, the more powerful your approach can be.

Look Under the Hood

Analyzing your hiring process could reveal factors that may be limiting your organization’s ability to close on critical hires. Seemingly simple adjustments, such as standardizing job descriptions, reducing follow-up time, or including more senior contact during the hiring process could make a substantial difference. However, other adjustments may require cross-departmental cooperation that reflect new or changing understanding of your organization’s corporate positioning, pipeline strategy, or mission.

Consistency is crucial. How each person interacting with the hire conducts him or herself, from the lexicon used to describe your organization to your company’s mission, culture, and position in the marketplace, should combine to create a unified, compelling picture of your organization to the potential hire.

How We Can Help

Together with your human resources professionals and hiring managers across departments, we can help you identify areas for improvement in your hiring process using our proprietary methodology, including, but not limited to:

Contact us to learn more about our approach and how we can collaborate together.


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