The Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industries have long faced a looming people crisis, with limited pipelines of emerging talent and skills pools. Companies have grappled with different business models to find which works best for them, but as far as talent strategies are concerned, business performance, organizational agility and acquiring the best possible talent are common goals.

An Industry in Flux

Drawing from our experience delivering recruitment solutions to the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industries, Cielo recommends five strategies that can help combat a talent crisis:

1) Leverage Internal Global Mobility

One of the best ways organizations can confront skills gaps is by looking within. Many employees would be willing, and are even eager, to relocate and take on the challenge of a new setting. Geography should not be the first lens through which companies view a vacancy. It is not a particular office that has an opening, but the organization overall.

This has the added benefit of showing current employees and future candidates that the organization will provide opportunities for mobility. That will enhance the employer brand, which is a key to any good talent strategy.

2) Make Your EVP an MVP

With limited talent pools across the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industries, it is absolutely vital to craft an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that attracts individuals with not just the right technical skills, but also the relevant behavioral traits to lead and manage change.

Focus your EVP message on what makes your organization different, and ask current employees what they believe would help attract top talent. This not only can help strengthen your EVP but will build employee engagement.


3) Keep Your Employer Brand Consistent

Part of that strong EVP will come from having a consistent, respected employer brand. Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences companies often operate on a global scale, and while that does lead to necessary variations for location and cultures, the heart of the brand should still shine through.

Candidates will not think well of an organization that is known for treating its employees well in one area but not another. Each location – and each employee – is essential to the organization’s success.

4) Recruit for Now and the Future

The talent pools and pipelines for your organization need to be strategically aligned to the business and provide sustainable results. For instance, being proactive in mapping your business-critical talent in specific locations and analyzing where potential skill gaps exist can help enable a strategy that would transfer expertise when needed.

Building and maintaining a strong employer brand, which includes a positive candidate experience, also will bring more talent to the table. It is impossible to avoid vacancies, but some proactive work can definitely reduce time-to-fill.

5) Retention, Retention, Retention

Where there is a scramble for talent, there also will be an emphasis on retention. More Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences organizations have made sure to prioritize assessing current employees and succession planning to make sure they have a pipeline of future leadership in place.

They know that giving employees the chance to progress in their careers makes them less of a flight risk. Whether that means relocation opportunities or higher positions, employees should feel confident that career advancement is not only possible but encouraged.

Times may change, but the challenges in making sure your organization has the right talent in the right places will never go away. Using these tried-and-true strategies, your organization can focus on realizing its vision while the people who make it all happen – your employees – will feel fulfilled and make the most of their skills and talent.

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