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6 Ways to Overcome the Clinical Research Talent Gap

Certainly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is facing a talent gap—and few areas are feeling the squeeze more acutely than clinical research. More than 70% of life sciences CEOs say they are concerned about key skill shortages, and more than two-thirds report challenges recruiting talent with the skills they need. Add a tight labor market with fierce competition for talent, and you have quite the challenge on your hands.

But amid challenges arise great opportunities. At TotalMed, we recognize healthcare is a complex industry and are dedicated to being nimble and creative when partnering with our clients to source talent so they can focus on taking care of patients.  Based on our recent experiences, here are 5 ways to jumpstart your recruitment strategy to overcome the clinical research talent gap.

  1. Be accurate yet open with job descriptions. It goes without saying that we always want the most skilled, highly educated workers. Who wouldn’t! Yet, the reality is that finding the ideal candidate can easily take several months, and most of us don’t have that kind of time. That’s why it’s necessary to be accurate yet open with job descriptions. By all means, list the skill set and experience needed for an employee to succeed in and excel at a position, but remember to be flexible enough to encourage a wide range of applicants. This is one of the easiest ways to speed up your recruiting efforts.

  2. Take advantage of the contingent workforce. Many managers reflexively assume every open role needs to be filled with a full-time hire, but that isn’t always the case. Being open to contract workers can speed up the hiring process, provide access to a more skilled labor pool, and help you quickly ramp up staff in response to demand. And, given the new hybrid work model we’re all operating in, be flexible in allowing contract workers, if feasible, to work from home.

  3. Sell your organization and its people. In this ultra-competitive talent market, it is crucial for organizations to distinguish themselves beyond the job description. Even employees in a highly regarded, worthy profession like healthcare simply want to enjoy going to work every day, whether that’s in-person, virtual, or some hybrid. Think of ways you can showcase your organization and its greatest asset, its people, as a desirable place to work. It’s OK to brag a little! Feature employee testimonials prominently on the “Careers” or “Jobs” section of your website and share the testimonials via social media channels.

  4. Move fast. Of course, you don’t want to rush the hiring process and sacrifice quality for speed. Yet be mindful that candidates, especially in this market, will likely get offers once they put themselves out there. So, while following your organization’s processes, do what you can to move quickly. Schedule interviews as soon as people are available; gain insight from all necessary stakeholders and make a decision. Remember, you won’t be able to get back time spent on unnecessary bureaucratic logjams.

  5. Make recruitment an ongoing effort. While job markets, much like the economy, certainly are subject to fluctuations, the need for talented workers is sure to continue unabated. That’s why it’s important to make recruitment an ongoing effort. Remain on the lookout for skilled workers and be willing to interview them even if you do not have an immediate opening.

  6. Partner with a specialized staffing firm in your industry. For as much as you can achieve on your own, sometimes outsourcing the hiring burden can be the most efficient way to jumpstart your recruitment strategy. Partnering with a specialized clinical research staffing firm means gaining access to a robust network of proven talent and the hardened expertise of recruiting professionals who source talent day in and day out. Outsourcing your recruiting grants you access to better, more reliable talent and breathing room to focus more on what you do best: growing your business. 

Contact Us – We’re Here to Help

At TotalMed, we’re committed to placing clinical and non-clinical professionals in the positions they thrive in and to recognizing that each individual role is a critical part of a hospital or health plan’s intricate, interdependent system.

Contact us today–we’re here to help!