Many of the practice areas in the life sciences industry focus heavily on data, research, and analytics. Consequently, companies typically choose to focus on hiring the most technically skilled candidates they can.
In the past when life science companies were assembling their teams, culture often took a back seat to results—if it was addressed at all. In recent times this has changed, with many life sciences companies investing time and money in their company culture.
So why the sudden change?
It Differentiates Them in a Tight Labor Market
The talent shortage facing all companies is complicating talent searches. Record unemployment has positioned candidates in the driver’s seat. Candidates today can pick and choose the positions they want while hiring managers must wheel and deal to secure talent.
Many life sciences companies have begun to build stronger company cultures to attract picky candidates. While the responsibilities and compensation of positions may be very similar between companies, their culture can set them apart.
Many technically skilled professionals have turned away from the life sciences industry in favor of the glamorous, culture-rich tech industry. When the competition is this tight for top talent, any advantage can help. By investing resources into the internal culture of their organization, life sciences companies can reach shrinking talent pools and limited candidates.
Culture Helps Attract More “Human” Candidates
The training that life sciences professionals must go through can also limit the pool of talent available. When it comes to medical schools, students are expected to memorize vast amounts of knowledge and recall it on the spot. Many companies then seek out the top students in these programs as candidates.
By focusing on those top students, hiring managers are creating demand for memorization over critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, with the growth of AI and other technologies, humans simply cannot keep up with the abilities of computers to recall information.
The solution many companies have found is to expand their candidate personas to search for technical skills as well as what they add to culture. When companies want to find more “human” candidates, they need to build a more human environment into their company.
Investments in company culture as well as focusing hiring on culture adds and culture fit allow companies to look past the qualifications on paper and bring more diverse skillsets to their company.
Company Culture Reduces Turnover and Saves Money
The final benefit we’ll focus on isn’t unique to the life sciences industry. Across all verticals, employee turnover is expensive. While some companies focus on a few actions to improve retention, life sciences companies are looking to their culture.
Company culture especially onboarding has an enormous effect on retention. According to studies conducted by the International Data Corporation, one in five employees will leave a position in the first 90 days. Companies with turnover rates above 25% have reported that the number one reason that those employees leave is due to culture.
The cost of turnover is huge with estimates linking 25-30% of labor costs to turnover alone. Investments that life sciences companies are making into their culture are aimed at several issues. In addition to helping find the right talent with the right skills, cultural investments can greatly reduce labor costs.