University of Illinois at Chicago Selective Disease in Alport Syndrome Case Study

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Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-Covid Environment How the pandemic is creating new hiring challenges and opportunities for Life Sciences — and what you should do about it. The unique dynamic of the recruitment market post-COVID No doubt, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed — and continue to change — the workforce. In a “K”-shaped recovery, several industries have thrived while others have not. With therapies and vaccines brought to market in near-record time, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are flying high. As such, many of these companies are ready to increase hiring in 2021. But are professionals ready to take on new roles? In the “State of the Recruitment Market: Winter 2021” survey completed by BioSpace, 54% of candidates said they were likely to look for a new job in 2021, down from 78% in 2020. Such a massive drop in a year’s time means there is a changing dynamic: professionals who may have been looking for new positions before the pandemic are reluctant to do so now. And those who are searching for new work are looking for specific perks and benefits that derive from their working experience during the pandemic. For human resource (HR) professionals, that means being open to new tools and resources, working with third-party staffing agencies and expanding job postings through multiple channels. It also means negotiating on flexibility and support, benefits that matter to professionals in a post-COVID environment. This white paper will cover the biopharma recruitment market on the tail end of the pandemic and what insights can be gleaned from employers and candidates who shared their answers in a quantitative survey. The paper conveys what is working and what recruiters need to do to succeed at what they do best: filling top positions with the right people. 2 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment “ “Companies are planning to increase their hiring in 2021, while fewer candidates are going to be looking for a new job. That’s going to create a very challenging dynamic and will require companies to go the extra mile to compete for a limited talent pool. Based on the research, it means that recruiters will have to go to where the professionals are and be able to tell a compelling story as to why they should join your organization.” “ Joshua Goodwin CEO | BioSpace 3 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment I. Who wants a new biopharma job in 2021? Not as many as you think It’s fair to say that most everyone was happy to say goodbye to 2020. As vaccines start to get into more people’s arms and society starts to reopen, we see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in sight. Clearly, the pandemic has left strong short and long-term effects on the economy. Economists call the current recovery a “K-shape recovery.” Some industries suffered mighty losses, while others grew at record rates. A Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that the scientific research and development services industry was one of the top 25 industries to gain in 2020. Small companies (1-499 employees) grew 3.5% in November 2020, relative to February 2020 and the start of the pandemic. For many biopharma companies, business is booming, particularly with those who have been involved in COVID-19 therapies and vaccines. Thus, life sciences companies haven’t changed their hiring expectations. According to the survey, 65% of HR/ talent acquisition specialists surveyed said they still expect an increase in open roles, compared to 68% in 2020. But with top talent, the hiring process has changed. Professionals who were eager to step into new positions before the pandemic are staying put. According to those surveyed, 54% of professionals are likely to look for work. That’s down from 78% in 2020. Nearly 46% of professionals will not be actively looking for new work in 2021. That’s a game-changer. Life science professionals likely to look for work 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 4 78% 54% in 2020 in 2021 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment For those candidates open to pursuing new opportunities, they want options. “ Benefits and company reputation are seen as the top considerations for those looking at a new job opportunity. Aside from those, professionals noted they want remote work opportunities — 15% said they would only consider jobs that were permanently remote. In addition, candidates looking for another opportunity cited these as sought-after benefits: 15% said they would only consider jobs that were permanently remote. • Free flu vaccinations for employees and family members • Mandatory COVID-19 PVR tests at work • Digital support for homeschooling • Online trivia and other team building events • Profit sharing and equity options • Retention bonus • Scrubs to wear to work • Profit sharing • Meeting-free weeks It’s clear that the pandemic has shaped the needs and wants of employees. So, how are companies and recruiters responding? In 2021, will you start offering any new job perks in order to attract and retain talent? 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 67% 37% 30% 23% 21% 14% 12% flexible permanent home extra paid work remote office time off online health counseling wellness spending services schedule work stipends or fitness accounts classes 5 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment II. The impact of COVID-19 on hiring More than 60% of recruiters surveyed said a perceived talent shortage and attracting qualified talent are their top recruiting challenges. To be sure, recruiters often cite a talent shortage as their top challenge, pandemic notwithstanding. In a growing field like biotechnology, there will never be enough talent to fill every position. What is changing in 2021, however, is the reasoning behind the reluctance. And that reluctance is clearly related to COVID. Why professionals aren’t open to new opportunities… 37% 21% surveyed said they are concerned about the stability of the company are concerned about a remote interview process 17% 15% feel it’s too overwhelming to consider a new position now, given all the struggles and challenges of the pandemic are only open to new opportunities if they are permanently remote And those who worked from home prefer to keep it that way. Half of those surveyed said they would prefer to work from home, while only 29% said they would prefer to go back into the office or laboratory. 6 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment III. Negotiating flexibility with candidates As one can imagine, it’s difficult to recruit someone who doesn’t necessarily want to be recruited. Based on the survey, it’s requiring a broadening of efforts and a desire to try new techniques. Recruiters and HR specialists surveyed are showing a shift in recruitment strategy, as 46% said they are exploring new tools and resources. That can mean a variety of things based on the company and the needs. Employer branding, a popular strategy for HR and talent acquisition, remains a key consideration. According to the survey, 37% are utilizing employer branding strategies as a way to stand out in a competitive recruitment environment. Recruiters say these are the recruitment strategies in which they will increase activity for 2021: 34% 32% plan to increase activity in 2021 with third-party recruiters and staffing agencies plan to increase activity with employee referral programs 28% 25% expect to increase their use of public relations strategies for recruitment expect to increase their postings on niche industry websites Virtual Interviewing Virtual interviewing and onboarding for a new position aren’t going away. And nearly a year into the pandemic, it’s still a work in progress for both employers and candidates. Of those surveyed, 55% of candidates said being unable to physically visit the workplace was the biggest challenge to interviewing. As for work culture, 42% of candidates and 46% of employers said assessing cultural fit was a challenge, while technology was split evenly between candidates and employers. Employers wish that candidates were more prepared for virtual interviews. That includes ensuring there’s a good internet connection, the sound is working and the like. Nevertheless, the majority of respondents view virtual interviews as a positive experience. And what is negotiable in recruitment? Salary remains the main component to negotiate in a job offer. After that, a post-COVID negotiation may include different things that may not have been discussed before. A new reality for negotiation is working remotely: 39% of those surveyed said they will offer more remote opportunities as part of their recruitment strategy. Consequently, 37% will offer remote working opportunities and 30% plan to include a home office stipend as part of their hiring incentive package. 7 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment “ Which of the following are negotiable in your job offer process? 100% 90% 90% 91% 80% 70% 60% 50% 49% 40% 38% 30% 38% 36% 36% 34% 29% 20% 25% 20% 17% 10% N/A 0% Salary Flexible Schedule Remote Work Equity Bonuses Time Off 9% Benefits 3% 2% Other Color Key 2020 | 2021 In addition, employers are now offering increased support. Of those surveyed, 29% are providing financial and health counseling services, while 24% are offering health and wellness courses. These elements previously seen as tangential are now becoming standard benefits for potential employees. 8 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment IV. Strategies for the best hiring in a new normal The research and insights show that recruiters and candidates are in a new realm. With clear communication and understanding of the needs and wants of candidates, it’s a new normal that can be a positive hiring experience for the recruiter and the candidates. As HR and talent acquisition teams continue to pivot on recruitment strategies, here are additional factors to consider: Transparency about your COVID plans is essential. It’s understandable that uncertainty is still the guiding principle on decisions regarding re-opening the office or laboratory. Nearly half of current employees (44%) said they aren’t certain if their employer will continue offering remote work opportunities after the pandemic. That means transparency is more important than ever, as candidates will look to a company’s recruitment marketing as a way to weigh taking a position within the company. Candidates will seek guidance on these issues: • How does your company take care of employees during the pandemic? • How do you communicate with them and in what ways? • What changes were made to safety protocols? Have they adjusted with more research? • What is your sick leave policy if an employee or family member gets COVID-19? • Do you have a virtual work program and flexible work policy? 9 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment Take the opportunity to think outside the recruiting box. To quote politician and former mayor of Chicago Rahm Emmanuel, “never let a crisis go to waste.” For talent specialists, that may mean tapping into new talent acquisition tools, developing new procedures and processes and learning new ways to market to professionals. Colleen Garrett, SHRM-CP and a recruiter at Clipboard Health said in a recent SHRM article that she saw the pandemic as a way to “think outside the box.” “It was a time to take a step back, audit processes, figure out what had been working in the past, what hadn’t been working and how the future was going to change,” Garrett said. As you expand your hiring reach, keep the focus on the story. Looking for top talent will require casting a wider net than before. It’s important to focus on the brand and story and what the company offers potential employees. Only 3% of HR professionals surveyed said they would go outside the biopharma industry to look to fill positions. That means there’s even more of a challenge in differentiating what the company is bringing to the table. Tools like employer branding strategies can help. Take the time now to create or refine your story to differentiate your brand. 10 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment Conclusion COVID-19 has changed the office and laboratory and how the workforce will evolve into the future. There has been a significant drop in the desire to pursue new jobs. Professionals are increasingly reluctant to relinquish career stability, likely until the economy has become more settled. Recruiting employers will need to work hard to provide incentives like new perks and benefits. Even more importantly, they will need to clearly communicate the positives of taking a new position as well as their own recommendations as an employer to overcome people’s hesitations. Recruiting and hiring will be a substantial undertaking that requires new tools and more so, different approaches. But in the end, the work will pay off — for the company and the professional. 11 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment BioSpace champions the life sciences industry as a digital hub for news and careers. Since 1985, we have provided essential insights, opportunities and tools to connect the innovative organizations and talented professionals who advance health and quality of life across the globe. For more information visit 12 Recruiting and Hiring in a Post-COVID Environment



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