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Future of Work | 6 minute read

How to create strong talent pipelines in the biotech industry

April 12, 2023

Talent shortages are impacting almost every industry but are especially prevalent in biotech. Technical skills in the biotech sector are at a premium and companies that can’t find candidates who possess these skills will struggle to innovate and deliver new products that keep them competitive in the market. 

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

The rate of innovation in the biotech industry is accelerating growth. There are hundreds (if not, thousands) of cell and gene therapies in development right now, with many at the clinical trial stage, and technology is also advancing daily.  

Biotech talent is only going to become more in demand. Biotech companies should rethink their approach to talent acquisition if they want to stay competitive and build workforces that allow them to thrive – both now and in the long term. In this blog post, we’ve outlined five tips that can help you thwart the talent challenges in biotech. 

Case study: Find out how strategic sourcing helped this biotech company scale at speed

5 tips to help tackle the talent shortages in biotech  

1. Offer clear career paths.

Compensation will always be a key driver, but when candidates possess highly sought-after specialty skills, such as those required for many biotech jobs, 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 10 years?” 

By showcasing a positive career track and opportunities for career progression, you can help to show candidates that money is only part of the equation when it comes to landing a new role.  

2. Be flexible.

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

By being flexible, you’re not only widening your biotech talent pipeline, but also showing candidates that you’re a modern workplace willing to adapt. Remote or hybrid work is the new normal. You might even discover skilled candidates in your area that you missed before because they were only looking for remote positions. 

3. Build a robust internship program.

Internship programs are critical in the biotech industry. They can help you to develop a bench of talent that you can regularly pull from. A robust internship program allows you to recruit and develop biotech talent years before that talent is officially on the market.  

Blog post: Customizing the candidate experience for interns 

4. Offer educational opportunities.

The biotech industry has always struggled with talent gaps.  And one of the main reasons for this is because the number of accessible educational programs doesn’t match the number needed to deliver a robust and diverse talent pool. If you provide ways for people to earn degrees or certifications online, you can help increase your biotech talent pool. 

5. Create an unforgettable candidate experience.

Biotech 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 your candidate experience is the best it can be. 

Lean on talent acquisition technology to make the application process as easy as possible. Make sure your talent acquisition team prioritizes communication with candidates. This goes for those who get the job and those who don’t. If a candidate isn’t right for one role, it doesn’t mean they won’t be suitable for another role in the near future, so add them to your talent community.  

The bottom line is that if you want to beat the competition when it comes to hiring biotech talent, you need to build a brand that prospective employees want to see. Spend resources on employee referral programs and diversity programs. Leverage your current talent by asking them to share their career stories in their own words. 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 talent acquisition efforts in the long run.

Learn how to overcome talent acquisition challenges in the biotech sector
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About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent talent solutions and talent consulting. TALENT.™ It’s more than a solution, it’s who we are.