Faced with rising R&D costs, risks and uncertainty addressing scientific breakthroughs – not to mention record-breaking unemployment rates in the US – business leaders are searching for new and innovative ways to attract, recruit and retain top biosciences talent.¹
The biosciences (biotech and biopharma) industry accounted for more than $1.3 trillion in economic output and over 800,000 people who work in the U.S. across a broad range of occupations, including scientific research, technical support and manufacturing. The industry supports more than 4.7 million jobs across the United States (both directly and indirectly) and requires a highly skilled and educated workforce that ranges from administrative to manufacturing and Ph.D. scientists to bioinformatics and data scientists.²
Retention of your top talent must be a primary focus as the costs to replace specialized positions has reached epic proportions. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimated in 2016 that the average cost-per-hire to be $ 4,129. We believe that number to be even higher today, especially in the biosciences specialty areas mentioned above. This is one of the reasons why companies need to leverage thought leaders within their organization to share stories about their career journey, become mentors and influencers, and share lessons learned throughout their various tours of duty, all while focusing on learning and development opportunities and working to better understand motivators and triggers around the reasons employees join and stay.
Below is a biosciences blueprint to engage with thought leaders to help attract and retain top talent:
- Identify thought leaders and influencers within your company, especially specialty and hard-to-fill talent areas
- Build a rapport with these key employees and schedule time to learn about their motivators on why they joined and stay at the company
- Create a talent journey map for each one of the influencers and connect their major milestones, awards and tours of duties.
- Broadcast this information in snackable bites of information, preferably using video as a communication vehicle and social media and streaming services as the channels. The videos could be housed on the company’s YouTube channel for easy access
- Develop a strategic plan to amplify the thought leadership point of view to help with retention of employees and candidate attraction
- Target and engage with competitor R&D leaders to tell your company’s thought leadership perspectives
- Build a mentorship program that involves your key leaders
- Explore whether your thought leadership is open to speaking opportunities, both internally and with external audiences
- Review and update learning and development opportunities and career paths for all employees, especially those in specialty and hard-to-fill roles
Attracting qualified candidates AND retaining top talent is less complicated when company thought leaders and influencers are engaged in the process.
1. Deloitte UK Centre for Health Solutions, “Measuring the Return from Pharmaceutical Innovation 2013 – Weathering the Storm?”