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Majority of Biotech/Pharma Employees Poised to Job Hunt

ATLANTA, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees in the U.S. biotech and pharma industries express significant interest in accepting or seeking out a new employment offer, according to a new Randstad Pharma Engagement Study released today.

The study reveals that within the next six months one-half (51%) of biotech/pharma workers are likely to seek out a job in a different company or organization, as compared to 38 percent of all employees polled.

Furthermore, should they receive an enticing job offer from another company, 66 percent of biotech/pharma employees are likely to accept, compared to 44 percent of all employees polled.           

What Attracts Employees in the First Place?
As part of their workforce development strategies, biotech and pharma companies must understand what potential employees value most. The Randstad study reveals that job seekers find the following most important when considering a position with a new company:

  • Fair pay:  A good reputation in terms of offering fair compensation (94%)
  • What others say:  A reputation among current employees as a good place to work (92%)
  • Flexibility:  Flexible/telecommuting work arrangements (88%)

In addition, when learning about a company, professionals in this sector underscore the importance of company reputation, saying they are most influenced by word of mouth from current employees (69%). They next rely on input from family and friends (45%), followed by information from the company's website (43%).

"While fair pay will always be an important factor to employee retention and engagement, professionals in the biotech/pharma sector clearly want to be recognized for their hard work and achievements," said Greg Coir, President of Randstad Pharma. "Executives must work closely with their HR departments to promote a positive working environment." 

A flexible work environment is another major topic for employees, especially those within the biotech and pharma companies. According to Randstad Pharma's 2014 Workplace Trends Report, 49 percent of pharma executives said they are now offering home or remote work options, versus 36 percent of executives from other industries. "This is the reality we now live in," stated Coir. "Today's employees want attractive options and being able to offer those flexible arrangements can be a powerful retention tool and offers employers access to a larger talent pool."

Why the Potential Turnover?
To illuminate why this sector is likely to experience higher than average turnover, the Randstad survey reveals the top reasons employees would leave their current organization:

  • Inadequate pay (36%)
  • Lack of opportunity for advancement (34%)
  • High stress levels/difficult relationships with managers/co-workers (29%)
  • Difficult relationships with managers/co-workers (29%)

The biotech/pharma professionals surveyed are very clear on what their employers can do to impact employee engagement and improve retention.

  • Recognition: Recognize employees for their contributions and achievements (38%)
  • Flexibility: Be flexible or accommodating in terms of hours or working arrangements (37%)
  • Reward: Offer promotions/bonuses to high-performing employees (36%)

"Both established and start-up biotech and pharma organizations must retain top talent to continue to drive innovation, quality, and timeliness," said Coir. "With the clear possibility of workforce volatility, companies can take the Randstad survey results and verify them within their own organizations. The study provides a great starting point from which to take action to better engage and retain their best and brightest." 

For more information about workplace trends related specifically to the pharmaceutical industry, view our Workplace Trends Report.

Survey Methodology
The 2014 Randstad Pharma Engagement Study is comprised of findings from biannual waves of research targeting employees and annual surveys of employers. The ninth wave of findings was conducted online between April 1-8, 2014 from a national sample of 2,257 adults aged 18 and older who are currently employed full time from Ipsos' U.S. online panel.  They survey included 142 respondents in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical and sciences, including an oversample of these employees.

Weighting was used to balance demographics and ensure samples reflect the U.S. population of working adults.

Employees and employers were surveyed to compare notable differences in perceptions and attitudes. Multiple waves of research allow for trending and to track changes in perceptions and attitudes over time.  Research into employee attitudes and perceptions will be conducted biannually. Research into employer attitudes and perceptions will be conducted on an annual basis.

About Randstad US
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the U.S., Randstad holds top positions in permanent placement, office and administrative, IT and accounting and finance. From professional services, commercial staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, to managed services and more, Randstad delivers a comprehensive range of temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placement and outsourced placement services. With its 5,324 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of approximately 100,000 people to work in the U.S. each week, through its network of nearly 1,000 branches and client-dedicated locations.

Learn more at and access Randstad's panoramic U.S. thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.

SOURCE Randstad US
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