2014 Life Sciences Job Outlook

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Hiring trends we expect to see in the coming year.

December 9, 2013

By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s only natural to wonder what lies ahead. While many agree that the economic future of our nation is uncertain, opinions on what we can expect from that future differ. On one hand are the forecasters who portend disaster courtesy of another government shutdown or recession. On the other are those who anticipate healthier growth &#8212 in gross domestic product, consumer confidence, jobs and earnings &#8212 in 2014. Wherever the chips may ultimately fall, here are four biopharma hiring trends we expect to see in the months to come.

1. Healthcare will play a role in staffing decisions. While the government has delayed the employer-sponsored insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act until 2015 &#8212 including significant financial penalties for those who fail to provide affordable health insurance for their workers &#8212 those who plan to make changes to their workforce based on the new law will begin to do so in 2014. The exact impact this will have on biopharma and life sciences payroll numbers is unknown. However, according to a CNNMoney.com survey, nine out of 14 economists believe companies are already delaying hiring because of healthcare reform.

2. Temporary workers will become an increasingly viable option. There are 17 million freelancers, contractors, and consultants in the U.S. today, and by some calculations, these professionals will outnumber full-time employees within the next six years. When revenues are unpredictable, temporary workers provide biopharma employers with greater flexibility in payroll management. Because they don’t have to pay these professionals benefits, they’re easy on the budget. And because they can be procured from a managed service provider on an as needed or project basis, they are convenient as well.

3. Employers will offer their best contractors permanent positions. When a biotech employer is ready to hire for a permanent position, the temp worker or contractor previously handling the job is a natural choice. Rather than having to rely on a resume, interview and references, the temporary arrangement has allowed them to evaluate the worker’s attitude and abilities firsthand. While managed service providers are the simplest place to find temp-to-perm candidates, some employers in the industry may experiment with this approach on their own.

4. Signing bonuses will regain popularity. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 47 percent of the employers who responded to a recent survey plan to offer signing bonuses to their top picks. Of the industries surveyed, employers in pharmaceutical manufacturing are the most likely to offer bonuses to candidates. Nearly 86 percent responded in the affirmative. In an industry where lack of qualified talent is a common recruiter and hiring manager complaint, signing bonuses are a valuable tool for attracting and landing the best life science applicants.

Whatever your needs &#8212 from permanent scientists to temporary research associates &#8212 we hope you’ll consider BioSpace.com your one stop hiring resource in 2014. With 400,000 unique monthly visitors, we’ll connect you efficiently and affordably with more active and passive life sciences job seekers than any other website. Learn more about available solutions here.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.

Attract the best candidates with Biospace Job Postings. Post a Job in minutes and find top life science candidates.

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