The ‘Great Resignation’: Combatting Employee Attrition with a Flexible Talent Assignment Model

The ‘Great Resignation’: Combatting Employee Attrition with a Flexible Talent Assignment Model

In April 2021, shortly after COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, economists and labor experts noticed a surprising trend. Americans were leaving their jobs in record numbers, seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Initially, some predicted that things would quickly return to normal. But in the year since the Great Resignation began, the trend has only accelerated.

Many biopharma companies and medical device manufacturers have gone to great lengths to reduce turnover and retain their best employees. Flexible work arrangements are becoming more common, companies are offering higher compensation, and modern benefits packages emphasize work-life balance. Yet even with these changes, the healthcare industry continues losing skilled professionals in droves.

There’s no way to predict where things will end up, but industry experts predict a labor shortage for the foreseeable future. Even so, you don’t have to let market fluctuations keep you from getting things done.

By partnering with a functional service provider (FSP) like Harbor Clinical, you can access the subject matter experts (SMEs) you need, exactly when you need them, and at the precise levels you need (including part-time). In fact, our Talent Assignment model is specifically designed to help you stay on track.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Continuing Effects on the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries 

No industry is immune from the effects of the Great Resignation, but its impacts are especially acute in healthcare. One report found that 30% of nurses have left the profession since the start of the pandemic, while data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that 1.7 million healthcare workers have quit their jobs this year alone. This attrition is also widespread in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

Because talent is so hard to come by, many biotech and pharmaceutical companies have had to pivot, changing the way they do research and development. Instead of relying on in-house employees, a growing number of outfits are turning to part-time and full-time SMEs who freelance.

While giving up some control might seem scary at first –– collaborating with a functional service provider (FSP) makes a lot of sense.

The Many Benefits of an FSP: Cost Effectiveness, Continuous Innovation, and Peace of Mind 

It takes 23 days, on average, to find and hire a new employee, according to research conducted by Glassdoor. That’s assuming the process goes smoothly. If the candidate doesn’t turn out to be a good fit or they quickly move on to something else, you could waste significantly more time and money.

FSPs provide clinical development services a la carte. They work with biotech and pharma companies to provide flexible SMEs –– such as Clinical Monitors, GxP auditors, Data Managers, and other clinical

operations professionals –– at a more affordable rate. You can access part-time or full-time services, and scale them up or down without hiring permanent staff.

This type of arrangement can be especially beneficial for companies with limited personnel or budget restraints. Collaborating with an FSP enables you to outsource specific assignments to highly-trained, hard-working professionals without overburdening your existing team.

Harbor Clinical: A Three-Pronged Approach to FSP Assignments 

Many FSPs offer flexible talent assignment, but at Harbor Clinical, our approach is unique. Specifically, we use a three-pronged process to help our clients identify and select resources that align with their project goals and budget.

Here’s how the three-pronged system works:

Step one: In-house evaluation 

During our initial consultation, we make time to understand the scope of your project, as well as your goals and needs. We take that information and evaluate the bandwidth of our in-house staff. Then, we allocate team members with specific experience and availability to ensure a successful outcome. Our clients are engaged in the assignment process to ensure that all resources assigned are a good fit culturally, functionally, and therapeutically.

Step two: Review of our SME database 

If you need additional assistance, outside of our in-house staff, we review our database of part-time and full-time subject matter experts (SMEs). At Harbor Clinical, we maintain an extensive database in our online Applicant Tracking System (ATS) of experienced and trustworthy resources.

Step three: Standard talent acquisition 

Every project is different. You might need additional hands on deck, depending on the scope of your trial. If that’s the case, we can engage our recruiting department, implementing talent acquisition techniques, to provide the best available experts.

Stop Stressing About Employee Attrition: Ask Us About Our FSP Model: Functional, Flexible, and Fractional 

In the current hiring climate, well-stocked snack rooms and flexible work arrangements won’t necessarily guarantee your best employees stick around. Even companies that have invested heavily in retention are seeing higher-than-average turnover.

The pandemic has drastically changed things and a lot of uncertainty comes with that. Flexible talent assignment provides a solution that you can ramp up or down until you settle on a more permanent solution.

To learn more about our FSP model, get in touch with one of our specialized consultants. Schedule a meeting at or send an email to [email protected] today.

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