Uncategorized | October 6, 2014

Diagnosing the Biotech/Pharma Retention Dilemma

Even though job satisfaction in America reached a new high this year, some industries are struggling more than others to engage their employees and retain talented workers. The biotech and pharmaceutical industries are all too familiar with this dilemma. Since their success hinges so much on highly educated technicians, engineers, and researchers, recruiting and retaining top talent is perpetually the number one issue impacting their companies.

The Long Winter

However, that may be easier said than done. According to a new study by Randstad, an astonishing 51% of all biotech and pharma employees surveyed said they were likely to seek out a job in a different company or organization by the end of the year, as in, within the next three months or so. More than half of biotech and pharma employees aren’t satisfied at their jobs, and that’s compared to 38% of all employees polled. That sound you hear is biotech and pharma HR directors around the country collectively banging their heads on their keyboards.

Under the Weather

But let’s not descend into panic just yet. Randstad explored why the biotech/pharma sector feels the turnover pinch more than others, and polled the top reasons why their employees plan to leave:

•  “Inadequate Pay (36%)

•  “Lack of opportunity for advancement (34%)

•  “High stress levels/difficult relationships with managers/co-workers (29%)


When they were asked what their current employers could do better, the results took a not too surprising twist:

•  “Recognize employees for their contributions and achievements (38%)

•  “Be flexible or accommodating in terms of hours or working arrangements (37%)

•  “Offer promotions/bonuses to high-performing employees (36%)


The Best Medicine

Even though inadequate pay topped the dissatisfaction list, all they want is a little recognition, which really drives home the power of a simple “thank you”. Greg Coir, President of Randstad Pharma, offers his advice:

“While fair pay will always be an important factor to employee retention and engagement, professionals in the biotech/pharma sector clearly want to be recognized for their hard work and achievements. Executives must work closely with their HR departments to promote a positive working environment.”

Biotech and pharma HR professionals read this blog twice then call me in the morning.


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