The value of the human cloud for the life sciences talent supply chain

The value of the human cloud for the life sciences talent supply chain

CJ Robison

Demographic shifts, changing regulations, and increased competition from technology companies are all putting pressure on life sciences companies to maximize their operations while remaining agile and containing costs.

To do this, it’s critical to create a workforce strategy that’s aligned with your company’s business strategy. This involves establishing a talent supply chain that provides the required talent and skills while prioritizing quality, speed, compliance, or value according to your operational objectives. And to create an efficient and effective talent supply chain, you have to consider which skills to buy (hire permanently), build (train and develop internally), or borrow (engage externally on demand).

Exactly what this equation will look like depends on your exact needs at any given time. However, when it comes to “borrowing” skills, it’s critical to recognize the rising potential of the human cloud.

Gaining access to critical skills via the human cloud

Freedom of choice is a dominant and growing force in the world of work. Close to one-third of the global workforce is foregoing traditional employment for the flexibility and freedom offered by free agency. During the global recession, many people turned to free agency out of necessity. But increasingly, workers see free agency as a way to make their work lives work for them, allowing them to organize their work around life, rather than their life around work. Powering the movement are online Human Cloud talent platforms, enabling linkage to talent (contractors, consultants, freelancers and subject matter experts) and companies to discrete work arrangements or “work on-demand” arrangements.

Integrating the human cloud into your talent supply chain

There’s a wide range of scenarios where integrating the human cloud into your talent supply chain can be a strategic decision, for example when speed to market becomes a priority but you’re missing a number of critical skill sets in-house or when you need to expand your workforce rapidly to take advantage of a new opportunity.

In one real-life example, a fortune 500 pharmaceutical company needed expertise to standardize and map their global supply chain processing.  By engaging with a human cloud platform that specializes in business consulting talent, they were able to engage an expert in operations and systems improvement with specialization in biotech and pharmaceutical supply chain. The project was completed within 6 months with savings of nearly $300,000 over a Big 4 consulting firm. 

In another example, the approval of a major new drug by a biopharmaceutical company was at risk of being delayed by between four and 13 months due to irregularities in its FDA submission. The company approached a digital platform that facilitates connections between retired industry experts and pharmaceutical companies. In less than three days, the platform was able to put together a team of experts that helped eliminate the irregularities. This resulted in the drug being approved without delay and generating more than $2 billion in annual sales.

While not all digital labor platforms are created equal, those that are well-managed and specialize in specific industries and skills offer scalability, responsiveness, quality, and affordability. That’s why it’s advisable to not only research what the various digital labor platforms have to offer in terms of talent, but also start a conversation in your organization about how best to make use of the human cloud to gain access to free agent talent and support your talent supply chain.   

We are helping organizations in all sectors to explore the potential in accessing the Human Cloud, but to date the life sciences industry has been a strong early adopter, as you can read here in our white paper: “The human cloud: a new way of working in life sciences.”

If you would like to discuss how KellyOCG could help your organization in this space please contact us.