In a talent shortage, the ability to retain skilled professionals can make the difference between organizations that thrive and organizations that struggle. Life sciences is one area that is helping to bolster the U.S. economy, yet there aren’t enough quality professionals to fill all the vacant pharmaceutical, biotech, and clinical research jobs in the industry. Here are some tips to help improve your organization’s retention.

The Importance of Retaining Talent

Over the past decade, the number of clinical trials has increased exponentially. There are more than 300,000 open clinical trials right now. In spite of this tremendous growth, the industry suffers with low retention and overly complex hiring practices. If companies want to continue to see the clinical trial and life science industries expand, they need to improve retention across organizations. High turnover also hurts productivity and efficiency.

It Starts with the Hiring Process

The first step is to attract better talent, and you will start to see retention increase. The key is to find candidates who are easy to train and a good fit for the company. These candidates are much less likely to leave prematurely. When hiring clinical research coordinators (CRC), look for candidates who have proven organization skills, focus, and interpersonal skills. CRCs need to excel at analyzing data, but they also need to interact well with others. When hiring clinical research associates (CRA) look for candidates who excel at identifying problems and finding creative solutions. CRAs must also be able to think critically, multitask, and work with data.


One way to improve retention is to focus heavily on career advancement and training. Challenge new employees to learn new skill and take on responsibilities they haven’t performed in the past. This will help ensure the employee feels engaged while providing them with the skills they need to thrive in their new role for years to come.


For many professionals in clinical research, what leads to job satisfaction is the feeling that they’re contributing positively to the life sciences. They want to feel like their work has value. As an organization, it helps to provide employees with consistent feedback regarding their performance. This is especially true since many of these positions are remote-based. Constructive feedback is essential. Performance reviews are an opportunity to communicate to employees how their work matters, while providing with the data they need to improve their performance.

As the clinical trial industry continues to grow and the skill gap continues to widen, retaining qualified candidates is important than ever before. To improve retention, focus on hiring better candidates, training and development, and consistent and frequent feedback.


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