PharmiWeb Research: What is Most Important to Life Science Jobseekers in 2022?

Written by: Lucy Walters
Published on: 17 Aug 2022

PharmiWeb PollAs a Life Science recruiter or hiring manager, knowing exactly what your target audience of jobseekers are looking for in their next role is essential in order to attract and engage top talent.

To further understand what is important to jobseekers using PharmiWeb.Jobs, we recently ran a LinkedIn poll asking the question “What is the most important factor when you’re looking for a new job?” Our poll received 374 responses from jobseekers across the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Europe, and produced the following results:

  • Better career opportunities (40%)
  • Increase in salary (36%)
  • More flexible working (19%)
  • Better benefits package (6%)

In this article, we take a closer look at these results and provide practical solutions for you to implement to continue to engage life science talent, whether you’re a big pharma organisation or a small biotech start-up…

Better Career Opportunities

Jobseekers want a company that provides ample opportunity for learning and development and career progression. After the pandemic placed many employees in a ‘career lockdown’, workers are seemingly wanting to make up for lost time, chasing roles with progression opportunities to get their careers back on track.

Providing better career opportunities is more than amping up promotions, pay rises, and relocation opportunities. Providing good career development opportunities can also mean:

  • Encouraging internal mobility in all levels of your organisation as well as cross-functionally
  • Creating more opportunities for upskilling, even if the skills being taught don’t directly relate to the employee’s current role
  • Providing more opportunities for mentoring and shadowing, allowing employees to see the multiple directions their career can move in
  • Prioritising personalised development, and tailoring your learning and development offerings to the individual needs of employees rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach
  • Giving employees autonomy over their career development, allowing them to identify their own training needs

Increase in Salary

As the cost of living continues to rise across the globe, finding a role with a higher salary is becoming increasingly important to jobseekers. Research by Totaljobs has found that in the UK:

  • 30% of workers feel their salary doesn’t cover their basic living costs
  • 47% of workers consider themselves to be living ‘payslip to payslip’
  • 29 out of 40 sectors have fallen behind the rate of inflation in their salary increases over the past year
  • 90% of workers have experienced an increase in work-related costs since the start of 2022, including work-related bills as a result of remote working

For organisations with restricted budgets, going ahead and increasing everyone’s salary isn’t so easy. However, there are other things you can do to support your employees with the rising cost of living:

  • Reduce commuting costs: offer hybrid/remote working to reduce commuting costs, or contribute to these costs by offering subsidised travel, travel cards, cycle to work schemes, or car share schemes.
  • Offer financial advice: provide financial wellbeing advice to all staff, perhaps by creating an online hub of resources they can access 24/7.
  • Provide financial support for remote workers: if you’re hiring remote workers, think about how you can provide support through things such as subsidies for work-related household bills. Also ensure that your organisation makes it as easy as possible to report broken equipment/get replacement equipment to ensure employees aren’t left paying for things like new keyboards and mouses out of their own pocket0
  • Consider rewards and voucher schemes: you could consider partnering with an organisation like perkbox which allows you to reward your team with points that they can turn into vouchers to spend. You could also allow employees to reward each other with points, improving team relationships whilst giving your workers something extra.

For more ideas, take a look at this report by Totaljobs written to help employers navigate the cost of living crisis.

More Flexible Working

Hybrid and remote working in the life science industry is here to stay, and is now something most workers are not only wanting – but also expecting – from their employers. However, workers are also looking for flexibility in how they work as well as where they work. Those with schedule flexibility feel 3.2x better about their work-life balance and 6.6x better about their work-related stress than those who don’t.

As more and more Life Science companies begin to offer more permanent flexible working options, you can’t afford to miss out on top talent through not offering some degree of flexibility where you can. Not only does flexible working help improve work-life balance,e but putting trust in your employees to complete their work following their own schedule will make them feel valued, trusted, and appreciated, and this can help your overall employee satisfaction and retention.  

Better Benefits Packages

Similarly to salary, an excellent benefits package can make all the difference when it comes to a candidate choosing one role over another. Even if you’re a smaller organisation with tight budgets, there are things you can offer your employees that won’t cost you the earth.

If your budget is on the larger side, you could include things such as:

  • Private health insurance
  • Company car
  • Onsite gym/free memberships
  • Company retreats
  • Profit sharing/large bonuses
  • Student loan and tuition assistance

If your budget is on the smaller side, you could still consider benefits such as:

  • Volunteering days
  • Mental health days
  • Early finishes (e.g., on a Friday)
  • Extra holiday (e.g., a day off on your birthday)
  • Learning days
  • Regular company socials
  • Flexible working

Tailor your benefits towards what your workers are actually looking for, using employee feedback to gain an insight into how you can better support them.