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Nick PokolukWhile the talent shortage is impacting nearly every industry, it’s hitting especially hard in certain arenas — specifically, industries like biotech. Technical skills in this industry are at a premium, and companies that can’t find people who possess these skills will struggle to innovate and deliver new products that keep them competitive in the market.

What’s more, this talent shortage doesn’t look like it will end any time soon, at least when it comes to biotech. The industry has had a compound annual growth rate of 2.6% a year over the past five years and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% between now and 2030.

In other words, talent in this industry is only going to become more in demand. Biotech companies need to begin to rethink how they recruit if they want to stay competitive and build the workforce necessary to thrive both now and in the long run.

5 Strategies to Help Tackle the Biotech Talent Shortage Head-On

1. Offer clear career paths.

Compensation will always be a factor, but in areas like biotech recruiting, where candidates possess highly sought-after specialty skills, the question of career growth is arguably just as important. It’s crucial, then, to be able to satisfactorily answer the question, “What will I be doing at this company in three, five, even ten years?”

By showcasing the positive career track candidates can expect to be on if they come to work for you, you can drum up excitement for your organization in ways that a simple dollar amount can’t compete with.

2. Be flexible.

Geography can be a significant barrier when it comes to recruitment. Whether you’re struggling to attract talent in a highly competitive, expensive area or having trouble finding someone who fits the bill in a more remote area, ask yourself whether the geographical limitations you’ve imposed are truly necessary. Does the position you’re hiring for really need to be on-site? If not, consider expanding your search to those willing to work remotely.

By being flexible in this way, you’re not only opening yourself up to more options geographically, but also signaling that you’re a modern workplace willing to adapt to what, for many, has become the post-pandemic normal of remote or hybrid work. You might even find talented people in your area who you missed before because they were only looking for remote positions.

3. Build a robust internship program.

At Personify, we’ve found that our most successful biotech clients are the ones with high-performing intern programs. This is because these programs help build up a bench of talent from which organizations can regularly pull. A strong internship program allows you to recruit and develop talent years before that talent is officially on the market. I’ve even seen this in action at Personify — some of our longest-tenured and most successful team members started as interns.

4. Offer educational opportunities.

Even before the current talent shortage, the biotech industry struggled with a talent gap. A major reason for this is the fact that the number of accessible educational programs doesn’t match the number needed to deliver a robust and diverse talent pool. By offering ways for people to earn degrees or certifications online, you can help increase that pool while creating another hiring pipeline geared specifically toward your biotech needs.

5. Create an unforgettable candidate experience.

Candidates know there’s a talent shortage, which means they’ll be comparing your company with your competitors every step of the way. Make sure, then, that every aspect of the candidate experience is the best it can be. Without an excellent experience, a talented candidate won’t be interested in joining your organization.

Lean on technology to make the application process simple and easy. Make sure your talent acquisition team is hyper-aware of the importance of communication with candidates. This goes for those who get the job and those who don’t — that way, you won’t burn any bridges you might want to cross later.

The bottom line is that if you want to beat the competition when it comes to biotech recruiting, you need to put in the effort to build a brand that prospective employees want to see. Spend resources on employee referral programs and diversity programs. Leverage your current talent to capture more. This hard work will pay off not only for industries with labor shortages in 2023, such as biotech, but also for any that want to improve their recruitment efforts in the long term.

If you lack the resources or the time to put this work in yourself, however, there are recruitment process outsourcing companies you can turn to. How does recruitment process outsourcing work? A team of highly qualified talent acquisition professionals will help you deliver the quality recruitment strategy you need without requiring you to build everything in-house. To learn more about how recruitment process outsourcing could work for you, contact us today.

Nick Pokoluk is the director of service delivery at Personify, a WilsonHCG company, and an award-winning globally recognized recruitment process outsourcing firm. Nick has been with Personify for over 19 years, during which he’s built the biotech practice from the ground up and led multiple RPO projects in North America and Europe, with direct experience in sourcing, program management, and team leadership. Currently, Nick leads a team covering direct sourcing and recruitment, process and program management, e-recruitment, and client services on exclusive projects in 13 countries.

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