One of the most noticeable hiring trends regarding Clinical Research Associates, or CRAs is that they’re looking for more balance. Many CRAs feel overworked and like they aren’t making a real difference. Some are choosing to migrate to smaller companies that offer a variety of career advancement opportunities. CRAs are seeking career-growth opportunities, they’re concerned about work-life balance, and they’re looking to make a difference in the world. Here are some of the trends and reasons why.

Career Growth

CRAs are gravitating toward organizations that offer opportunities for career growth. CRAs often go on to become Clinical Project Managers. This is another remote position, but generally involves much less travel. You might spend only 20% of the time traveling as opposed to the 60-80% you’d spend traveling as a CRA. Some go onto become line managers, where they would be overseeing others. Some will become lead CRAs, which involves mentorship and leadership opportunities. CRAs want to work for companies that will help them reach career milestones.


One reason CRAs experience burnout is that their position includes a fair amount of travel. With any job that involves a large amount of travel, work-life balance is can be challenging. They also have an increasing workload and a larger travel territory with the talent shortage. Another factor is that these positions are almost entirely remote-based. They are distanced from the company culture. They can start to feel disconnected and taken for granted over time. After a while, this can lead to burnout. CRAs are looking for a better work-life balance that some organizations are able to offer.

Stronger Missions

One reason that CRAs are making moves is because they’re looking for organizations that have stronger mission statements and clearer value propositions. CRAs are in the business of saving lives, so a meaningful mission statement is likely to resonate with them more than a mission statement that sounds empty or is too vague. Most CRAs want to improve the lives of others and truly make a difference in the world. With the “right” organization, CRAs can see the difference they’re making more visibly. With some companies, they feel like they’re just a number. Another factor is that CRAs are looking for opportunities to perform more specialized work. Many are moving away from generalized roles, and are looking for organizations that provide opportunities that match their unique skill sets.

CRAs want to feel like a major player of an organization that’s having a positive impact. They want to feel like the work they do matters—that they are improving the lives of others. CRAs are gravitating toward research organizations that offer growth opportunities, work-life balance, and stronger missions.


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