Why Contractors Can Save The Life Sciences Industry Money

Recruitment is an expensive activity, but whilst everybody knows that retaining their existing workforce is the gold standard, it can be challenging to achieve. Whether because of natural attrition, because staff are lured away by higher paid work or roles that offer a better work-life balance, every firm will need to recruit new staff at some point. Recruitment is typically a lengthy and admin-intensive process. It requires a thorough understanding of the need for the role and the type of individual that is required to fill it in order to add value.
The employment market is in a challenging state of flux, with the life sciences industry, in particular, struggling to offer the competitive salaries that are necessary to attract those with appropriate skills and experience. This economic uncertainty is largely driven by the risks posed by supply chain shortages, rapid technological advances and regulatory changes which can command a significant proportion of the budget, leaving little flex for payroll negotiations.

Options For Hiring

Employers needing to extend their workforce are faced with three options:
1. Work within their limits. This includes not taking on additional work or pursuing new opportunities, even where they could lead to significant growth. Innovative but risky projects would be unlikely to progress based upon a cost/risk assessment.
2. Hire anybody. The temptation when funds are tight, and the necessary talent is not in evidence is to hire anybody that shows an interest and train them. In some industries, this strategy can be effective, but in MedTech, it is simply not appropriate. There is too much riding on the outcome to risk process, health and safety or operational failures having onboarded insufficiently experienced personnel.
3. Hire contractors. Contract staff can provide life sciences organisations with the agility that they need to pursue exciting new opportunities. These staff are typically experts in their field whose specialist skills can be deployed at short notice and for specific projects or durations. Whilst their day rate will be higher than that of the equivalent permanent employee, the fixed term nature of their contract allows for accurate cost control.

Balance Of Skills and Experience

Both contract personnel and permanent employees have a role to play. Permanent employees define the culture of an organisation and are committed to its vision. Where an organisation takes care of its employees and provides them with meaningful work and opportunities for career development, the loyalty that develops results in a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
Contractors achieve job satisfaction by successfully delivering outcomes for different organisations on short term contracts which they can accept or decline as appropriate. They have high levels of flexibility, selecting their work based on their personal preferences and its suitability for their professional development. They often gain exposure to the decision-making process in a range of organisations so can offer strategic guidance and best practice on assignments where this is lacking.
By augmenting your permanent workforce with contractors on an as-required basis, you maintain full budgetary control and have the option to dismiss those staff should a contract end or an outcome not deliver the intended benefit. There is no commitment to provide a contractor with ongoing work nor any financial responsibility towards their tax or NI contributions. This simplifies the performance management and reporting associated with hiring these individuals and allows your permanent staff to focus on delivering within their core responsibilities.
If you want to save money, take on extra work and deliver your objectives without the need for a convoluted or lengthy recruitment process, please get in touch with Circle Life Sciences today. Let’s start a dialogue about the benefits that supplementing your team with contractors can provide.
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