The Talent Conundrum – Everything You Wish You’d Known Before COVID-19

The Talent Conundrum – Everything You Wish You’d Known Before COVID-19

The Talent Conundrum – Everything You Wish You’d Known Before COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unforeseen challenges to the life sciences sector, necessitating rapid adaptation and innovation. Research into the virus, treatments, and vaccines accelerated, pushing organizations to work at unprecedented speeds. This urgency highlighted critical gaps in talent readiness and management strategies. Looking back, had companies anticipated such a global health crisis, they would have undoubtedly approached talent acquisition and retention differently. Here are some key considerations:

Remote Working Being Essential

The pandemic required life science workers to be effective in their roles while also requiring them to work apart from each other due to social distancing guidelines. Having the infrastructure and a workforce who could work remotely would have been seen as essential in hindsight. Many organizations were already working towards agility and remote working, with the pandemic accelerating the process. It is likely that from now on, remote work will become essential criteria when advertising for life science jobs.

Life Science Talent Shortages

Before the pandemic hit, the life science sector was struggling with talent shortages, and that has not changed. The demand placed on the sector to develop solutions to COVID-19 issues has meant increased pressure is felt throughout the industry. While some people thrive on this pressure, stress may be contributing to the growing number of vacancies. These vacancies range from entry-level all the way up to leadership roles, with large numbers of roles being unfilled long term. Exacerbating the talent shortage are unvaccinated workers. As a growing number of life sciences companies enact vaccine mandates, this has the effect of reducing the workforce by those that will not or cannot get vaccinated.

Organizational Culture is Key

With large numbers of vacancies, the life science industry is very much an employee’s market. Throughout the pandemic, organizations have needed to recruit quickly so that they can continue working at pace. Talented individuals have been able to have their pick of jobs, and this looks likely to continue for some time. Having an organizational culture that makes people want to stay means that recruitment is also likely to be more successful. With an increase in employees sharing their experiences on websites such as Glassdoor, it is important that companies promote a positive workplace culture if they are to recruit and retain.

Career Mapping to Keep Talent

A plus side of the pandemic is that it has made life sciences a more visible industry, and organizations can use this increased awareness to encourage people into life science careers. This approach will take time for people to get into their career, and so it is also important to focus on people who are already working in the industry, who may not feel there is any career progression for them. Many people leave their jobs each year because they are dissatisfied and feel there is a lack of professional growth available to them.