Can Benefits Help Life Sciences Companies Win the Race for Talent?

Can Benefits Help Life Sciences Companies Win the Race for Talent?


By Mike Berich Vice President & Global Client Lead, KellyOCG

It’s more important than ever for Life Sciences organizations to create benefits packages that stand out from the crowd. 

 Life Sciences professionals are working in one of the most important industries on the planet. With many researching and developing life-saving drugs, medical devices, and treatments. This means having the right skills in the right roles is more than business-critical for Life Sciences organizations, it could be world-changing. How then, do Life Sciences employers ensure they always have access to the people they need? And, in a time of historic low unemployment, how do they attract and retain sought-after talent?

 For many, the answer lies in benefits. I take a closer look at talent strategy and benefits in Life Sciences, below.

Life Sciences is Leading the Way on Comprehensive Benefits Packages

 The specialist skills required in Life Sciences combined with fierce competition in shallow talent pools mean that organizations around the globe are upping their benefits game. From healthcare to retirement planning and onsite perks, it’s a candidate-driven market right now and this is fuelling a race to the top for benefits offerings. A recent survey of Life Sciences organizations in California, from Marsh and McLennan, found that 70% offered a flexible work schedule, 25% offered unlimited paid time off, and 90% offered a retirement plan. Life Sciences organizations also offered a greater range of non-traditional benefits compared to other industries, including onsite gym memberships, childcare options, stocked kitchens, company sports teams, and laundry services.

Benefits Go Beyond Attraction

 Benefits are often talked about in the same breath as talent attraction, but it’s not just about getting talent through the door for Life Sciences organizations. A considered, well-rounded benefits package can boost retention rates and help to solidify long-term relationships with highly skilled talent. This means that benefits packages must go beyond boosting salary expectations – although that’s part of the equation – they must consider the wider lifestyle expectations of the candidates being targeted. From parental leave and remote work arrangements, to access to onsite health facilities and the option to dress down every day, industry-leading benefits packages should make candidates and employees feel part of a caring and supportive Life Sciences community.

What About Contingent Benefits?

 As the industry becomes ever more reliant on contingent talent, it’s important to start talking about benefits offerings for contingent workers. The industry is often divided into two distinct camps on the question of contingent access to benefits like onsite gyms, free food, and staff training. Those who take a highly risk-averse position focused on limiting the potential for co-employment and those who see contingent talent as a vital sector of their workforce that must be nurtured. To win an unfair share of Life Sciences talent, organizations must balance risk appetite with the real and growing need for access to the contingent community. Building lasting relationships that may see contingent workers go on to be valued members of the permanent workforce. It’s no longer enough to leave contingent talent on the fringes of your business, you have to find a way to make this vital talent pool part of your team.

 For Life Sciences organizations everywhere, benefits are only going to become more important as competition for skills increases. It’s vital to understand both the candidates you are targeting and the people working within your organizations to discover what benefits matter most to them. This analysis could help you to build targeted benefits packages and become a most-wanted Life Sciences employer.