Over the past year, life sciences organizations have played a pivotal role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, driving organizations to sustain immense and sudden growth. These same organizations are now looking for meaningful ways to address the talent shortages and rising attrition impacting their industry to meet market opportunities.

In a recent virtual panel, Peter Greco, Sr. Director of Total Talent Programs at Sanofi and Cielo’s Josh Needle, Managing Director – Life Sciences joined several other TA executives to discuss how leaders can respond to current market challenges and create strategies that position TA functions for long-term success. 

Create a compelling employee value proposition 

Life sciences talent has always come at a premium, and today’s conditions make it even more important for employers to have an employee value proposition (EVP) that resonates with employees and candidates. Individuals pursuing careers in life sciences now place greater importance on finding employers who are purpose-led and people-oriented. 

A strong EVP means crafting authentic messages that tell your brand story – and making those messages clear to candidates at every stage of the hiring process. Here, life sciences organizations have the opportunity to showcase their contributions to the development, production and distribution of life-saving supplies and equipment over the past year, as well as how they have prioritized employee safety and well-being. 

Maintain flexible work options 

Life sciences organizations have traditionally operated primarily in person. However, the pandemic halted some in-person operations and left TA teams with the task of transitioning employees that could to remote work, or adjusting schedules to allow social distancing, and rethinking existing policies and strategies on the fly. 

Some offices and other work sites are now safely reopening, but many employees are eager to keep the flexibility they gained. With demand as high as it is, organizations that can offer these options stand to win a larger share of talent. 

Meanwhile, others are rethinking how they engage with the workforce entirely. Independent contractors, freelancers, SOW staff and other contingent workers make up a significant portion of the talent pool today, and life sciences companies may be able to tap into these sources to fill roles quickly in an environment where business priorities and talent and skills needs can shift quickly and frequently. 

Build talent from within 

With the current labor shortage likely to continue, employers must commit to building the talent they need from within. TA teams can start by engaging and upskilling early talent at the beginning of their careers, and putting the right practices in place for strong internal mobility programs. Offering individuals the chance to advance their careers encourages engagement and can further strengthen your EVP to both existing employees and candidates. 

This approach to talent development can also help bolster diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. With many organizations struggling to recruit external diverse talent for senior-level roles, creating a plan to elevate underrepresented early-stage talent creates a diverse internal talent pipeline TA teams can turn to for future requisitions.  

Elevate the human experience with technology 

Although interest and investment in recruiting technology are rising, the TA process for life sciences talent must remain people-focused. There are key moments where recruiters and hiring managers must make human connections to stand out to in-demand talent and convert passive candidates to active ones. Having the right technology to support TA teams can actually aid in this goal. Tools such as automated sourcing, complex interview scheduling, and programmatic advertising minimize time spent on administrative tasks so recruiters and hiring managers can focus on engaging with candidates. 

When choosing what kind of technologies to invest in, companies must stay future-focused to avoid ending up with a “tech graveyard” of unused, unproven point solutions. Thinking strategically about current needs and priorities down the line can help talent leaders determine which tools will augment, not replace, a people-first TA function. 

Ultimately, life sciences organizations must highly differentiate themselves from competitors to successfully acquire the top talent in the field. Talent leaders can ensure their organizations can do so now and in the future by investing in innovative, people-centric strategies and the right technology.

Cielo, the world’s leading life sciences RPO partner, has a unique, expert-driven approach to deliver business-changing outcomes to organizations.


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