Increasing demand for IT professionals across sectors
When it comes to competing for top talent, healthcare and life sciences companies face myriad challenges, with one being the pressing need for IT and data professionals — this demand is common across all sectors, as demonstrated in ManpowerGroup’s Q2 2023 Employment Outlook Survey.
Healthcare and life science companies are increasingly leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in many applications, such as the development and patenting of new drugs and the improvement of consumer portals that are crucial in telemedicine treatment. The challenge is that competition is fierce, with nearly all businesses in all industries equally eager to hire for AI/ML skills.
Hiring challenges in the healthcare sector
Other challenges are more industry-specific. In healthcare and life sciences today, including pharmaceuticals and medical device makers, divestiture and spinoffs are common. Companies are exploring divestitures of non-core business units, and the creation of new spinoff companies has led to increased focus and job creation.
The challenge, however, is that these jobs need to be filled. The newly created businesses must start from scratch to create a distinctive employer brand that attracts and retains top candidates. And once again, the high-level skills required are likely in demand across all industries and regions.
One point I find myself advising most often to clients and other business leaders: whether you’re looking for your next AI genius or production worker, you’ll need to think outside the industry box. Those AI developers have attractive offers from the finance, automotive and aerospace sectors. And the production candidates? They too know that their skills in manufacturing and packing your masks or drugs are in demand, and you will need a compelling narrative to hire and retain them.
Competition means prospective employees are looking for, and getting, very attractive compensation. One trend in Millennial and Gen Z workers is a greater willingness to change employers for a bump in salary. These professionals whose skills you need so badly will jump ship for a $5,000 raise. You need to know the landscape, have a compelling employer value proposition — and be prepared to compete.
Grow your own talent
During a recent trip to Japan, I got to study their hiring and retention practices, many of which other regions would do well to explore. For instance, Japanese businesses are truly committed to growing their own talent. Companies are constantly scouting universities for employees, intensely battling for students with sought-after skills. Japanese businesses know that hiring workers straight out of university is an excellent way to instil the corporate culture in receptive minds.
Japanese employers also genuinely believe in continuously upskilling and reskilling these employees. I can’t stress enough the wisdom of this approach; it helps address several of the big-picture trends from our World of Work industry outlook:
- Upskilling/reskilling helps current employees fully leverage emerging technologies, a key factor for healthcare and life sciences firms committed to digital transformation.
- As telemedicine continues to grow, upskilling/reskilling offers a growth path for the current workforce, and has the potential to reduce burnout and turnover.
- With the global supply chain under pressure, scaled upskilling/reskilling is needed to ensure newer manufacturing workers are properly trained in Good Manufacturing Practice, safety and regulatory compliance.
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Understanding the values of today’s workforce
As I’ve noted, many of the most sought-after employees for healthcare and life sciences companies are Millennials or Gen Zers. In addition to competitive pay, these workers have a unique set of values and priorities that organisations must cater to if they are to remain competitive.
These generations’ values and priorities are changing the very nature of corporate employment – they value flexibility, managers who are supportive coaches rather than taskmasters, and a team they like and trust. Work life balance and mental wellness, not scaling the corporate ladder, are their watchwords.
These traits are true across geographies and genders, but it’s important to note that women represent 70% of the global healthcare workforce, so businesses must offer a differentiated Employer Value Proposition to attract and retain them.
Today’s workers also seek employers whose values align with their own. They want to feel they’re making a positive impact and working for an organisation they believe is a “force for good.” This is a powerful tool for employers in the healthcare and life sciences industries—which are, by definition, contributing to a better world.
With this, one way to compete is to ensure that your corporate values align with prospective employees in the environmental, social and governance arena. ESG is of growing importance to the people you’re seeking to attract.
With the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries in constant shift, the ability to stay abreast of current trends is critical for companies when competing for a finite pool of talent.
This article is reproduced from an original article by Amanda Stelle, Vice President and General Manager, Global Sales, ManpowerGroup, and contributed by Manpower Singapore.