April 14, 2016

Keeping the Life in Life Sciences
As we proposed in a recent blog, Looking Outside the Box, the growth of the Life Sciences field is critically dependent on meeting our staffing challenges – perhaps by looking more closely at talented individuals that don’t “fit the mold.”
Another way to meet this challenge is by being much more strategic and developing a “talent supply chain” perspective. Squeezed between near-term budget pressures and needs to achieve specific objectives, it can be difficult to think beyond the next batch of hires and the problems of “today.” However, more than most industries, Life Sciences have a natural long-term perspective enforced by development and approval cycles as well as product life cycles once they are in the market. Integrating that view point into your talent quest is a good way to get past the short term.
Why do this? Career paths and talent development occur over time, too. Having some sense of the role or roles individuals might play over time can be helpful in hiring, compensation, and promotion decisions. Consider that a given product requires significantly different skill sets for development and support over its lifetime, how are policies and practices shaping your talent supply to match?
Likewise, this supply chain view needs to embrace the industry landscape as a whole. How are you engaging with new talent coming from colleges and universities? Are you leveraging talent available in allied fields? How about in competition with other Life Science organizations? Having the right scale and balance in talent and skill sets allows for increased capabilities. A good example of this is what is occurring in the Life Sciences industry today. Companies are building out capabilities and their portfolios by acquiring or merging with other companies, arranging for licensing agreements and joint ventures in therapeutic areas that they may not have grown organically on their own.
It can be challenging, but to get ahead of the curve, companies that want the best and most appropriate talent need to scrutinize long-term corporate plans, looking at how the organization will need to respond and grow. They also need to make educated guesses about the talent likely to come into the market, compensation trends and competition from other organization on a growth path.
Sounds daunting, yes, but the pay off of having the right people available at the right time can be tremendous. It is another kind of “out of the box” thinking.

Contributed by:

Lisa Keilty, Global VP of Compliance and Strategic Solutions, AHM

Lisa joined AHM after serving as founder of the Compliance Consulting firm PMC2 and spending over 26 years in the life sciences and meeting management industry. Leading such organizations as Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb and Biogen Idec through numerous international projects, financial transparency and reporting requirements, Lisa’s industry expertise has saved Life Sciences and Meeting Management organizations over 30 million dollars. As a member of the Business Development team, Lisa’s primary focus will be Thought Leadership, Demand Generation and Solution Design.