Spotlight on Life Sciences: 2024 Global Talent Trends 

The life sciences industry is undergoing significant transformations driven by globalization, technological advancements and evolving customer preferences.

Organizations must adapt their strategies in this dynamic arena to attract and retain top talent, foster innovation and ensure sustainable growth. Mercer's latest report, Global Talent Trends (GTT) 2024 which includes insights from the life sciences industry, sheds light on the trends and hurdles confronting employers in this domain while offering actionable strategies to navigate this changing landscape.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • The changing nature of business

    Leading industry employers are building brands that deliver on sustainability to attract and retain talent. Our research identified that 100% of employees expect their employer to uphold sustainability standards, including establishing and communicating plans for delivering a greener future, obtaining external recognition for progress on sustainability goals and offering sustainable investment options in retirement plans.

    Organizations are embedding sustainability metrics throughout their operations and translating strategic objectives into individual responsibilities. By integrating sustainability into their business agenda, organizations can build trust, attract top talent and contribute to a more sustainable future.

  • Evolving company culture

    Life sciences organizations are traditionally conservative, parochial businesses with centralized decision-making. 60% of HR leaders say their organizations are governed by centralized decision making with 53% driving mandates from the top down. However, they also exhibit a healthy (63% respondents reported this), high-trust (60% of respondents reported this) work culture where employees feel cared for, learn by experimentation and from failure as part of a multidirectional feedback system.

    Life sciences organizations are learning to be agile while investing for the future. Human resources and employees agree that job security, fair pay, a positive work culture and a flexible working policy are among the top reasons employees stay with their employer.

    Building a culture rooted in trust and equity improves retention and provides employees with the support they need to thrive. Initiatives around workplace flexibility and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can be improved by creating an inclusive and supportive environment where employees feel valued and empowered to bring their whole selves to work. This would lead to increased engagement, motivation and innovation. Nearly one in two life sciences employees believe their workplace has a diverse and inclusive culture where different opinions are valued.

  • Addressing well-being holistically
    Since 81% of employees report being at risk of burnout within the next 12 months, holistically addressing employee well-being has become a top priority for employers in this sector. The GTT shows employees expressed many concerns, including the rising cost of living, job uncertainty, work-life balance and mental health. Organizations are investing in well-being initiatives, such as flexible working policies, employee physical and mental health programs as well as fostering a culture of trust and equity to combat this. Organizations can enhance engagement, productivity and retention by prioritizing employee well-being and mental health.
  • Blending the human and digital
    The rapid pace of technological advancements, including artificial intelligence (AI), is reshaping the life sciences industry. Executives recognize that AI can unlock value and drive profitable growth. The GTT identified that the C-suite believes AI can augment workforce efficiency (45%), amplify human intelligence (29%) and automate tasks to reduce costs (22%). Companies are transforming their established business models with integrated technology to drive innovation and create new customer experiences focused on convenience, value and efficiency.

    Organizations must embrace digital transformation and create a digital-first culture to stay competitive. This involves investing in AI tools and adoption, rolling out new HR technology and optimizing existing platforms. By blending the human and digital, life sciences organizations can drive innovation, improve efficiency and create a more agile workforce.
The life sciences industry is undergoing significant transformations and organizations must adapt to remain competitive. This requires successfully navigating the changing landscape by addressing employee well-being holistically, blending the human and digital and prioritizing sustainability. The insights from Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2024 provide valuable guidance for employers in the life sciences industry. Embracing these trends and implementing strategic initiatives will support organizations in attracting and retaining top talent, fostering innovation and driving sustainable growth.
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