Why Life Science Employers Need to Close the Widening Skills-gap
Over the last few decades, technologies have continued to transform and impact our world beyond one’s wildest dreams. Without the inventions and medical discoveries of the healthcare and life sciences industry, only some of us would have enjoyed the lifespan and the good health we experience today. Today, the fatal impact of many diseases and illnesses have been abolished – and anything that was once severe is now relatively mild.
Despite the remarkable advances technology has made, there is no doubt that the introduction of machine learning, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), is enabling scientists to use data in a previously unimaginable way. By mining millions of documents, we generate new hypotheses linking targets to disease in a matter of hours.
All the industries experience their own set of unique obstacles when it comes to recruiting talents — every business deals with political changes, global trends, and economic challenges. However, Life Sciences and Pharma organizations have the additional pressure of rapid growth, ongoing drug developments, and evolution in humans and updates in technology, which ultimately leads to a serious talent shortage.
And skill shortage is the most significant challenge faced by the life science industry today. A survey suggests that only 1 in 4 companies have made an effort to address the problem within their organization.
Overlooking this increasing trend of skill shortage will not help to solve it. And industries like Life Science that require specialized education or training will be affected the most.
The demand for Engineering and Life Sciences professionals has surged in recent years and the numbers will only increase in the future as now there are fewer candidates available for the roles. It is also expected that over two million more jobs will be available by 2020 in these industries and many job responsibilities will be redefined – demanding digital skills.
There are many speculated reasons for this skill shortage. The most prominent is the negative association of death, diseases, and old age with the Life Science industry. For example, in a 2017 study, when students were asked about their most desirable company to work for, only 3 out of 100 life science companies were preferred.
How Can Employers Mend Skill-Shortage?
1. Workforce Planning
Workforce planning should be prioritized while managing skill shortages. Healthcare organizations, before initiating any business plan, should plan for their future actions and measures to face the fluctuating healthcare talent supply and demand.
Workforce planning will enable employers to understand their present challenges as well as upcoming ones. Planning will also notify the need to modify their strategy to retain and attract new talents with demanding skills.
2. Employer Brand
The solution to the problem is to convince millennials to enter the Life Science industry. Often, when it comes to recruiting talents, only qualified and experienced candidates are preferred, and new talents, i.e., students are overlooked.
Life Science employers need to develop a reliable and robust employer brand to attract fresh talents, for instance, focus on fulfilling the needs of millennial workers. Generation Z needs a dynamic and creative work environment, work/life balance, innovative work environment, supportive and encouraging leaders and leadership opportunities.
3. Data-based Decisions
Industry research plays a vital in identifying the key skill shortages. Yet, 33% of Life Sciences/ Pharma companies said they are not active at utilizing analytics to make informed business decisions.
All the successful talent acquisition strategies use data to identify the flaw and wherein the recruitment process your organization is lacking and losing quality candidates. In most scenarios, the common reasons are the faulty recruitment process or missing business skills that are required in the target marketplace.
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