By Sarah Pozek
Millennials: The largest workforce in the U.S.
Employers and employees are becoming increasingly aware of the traits, tendencies, and expectations millennials have in the workplace. This generation represents anyone born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. They have been described as tech-savvy, innovative, and entrepreneurial, while others may criticize them for being entitled, selfish, and quick to leave jobs. Regardless of your perspective, millennials have become a huge portion of the workforce supporting the life sciences industry. This can be attributed to their fondness for cutting-edge technology, growing markets, and wide range of job opportunities.
Continued job growth is expected in this industry through 2024, which means we will continue to experience an uptick in the hiring of millennials. That’s great news especially since Pew Research reports that the millennial generation officially overtook baby boomers in 2016 to become the biggest generation in the U.S
The first step in hiring and retaining a millennial employee in life sciences is understanding their priorities and characteristics. The following is a list of traits that are common among life sciences millennial employees:
Versatile Skill Set
In conversation with Josh Elvert, business development manager for ClinCapture, an electronic data capture software company, focusing on streamlining data capture processes in clinical trials, he describes millennials as having great networking and social media presence, the flexibility to “wear many hats” in a job, all while being able to focus on the big picture and the rewards of having a career with a purpose. According to Josh, “Millennials get excited about being able to see the science behind new clinical development, but at the same time, they like playing a part at distributing targeted medicines that ultimately help patients. They want to feel that their job is of value to society.”
Knowing the characteristics of millennials in life sciences is essential, but it is also important to know how to interview, hire, and retain the Millennial worker. Here’s what you need to know:
Keep the interview process short and simple. You’ll lose a Millennial’s attention and interest if it takes too long. Additionally, millennials’ time and availability are in high demand, so act quick.
Millennials have a different general outlook on work and what they want out of a job than past generations.
With the widely accepted stereotype of millennials being job-hoppers with a short attention span, here are some ways to help keep them happy at your company:
As more millennials continue to make an impact in the life sciences workforce, it is important to be able to adapt to their characteristics and expectations. Learning how to utilize and encourage the strengths of this influential generation will not only make your company more attractive to them, but will also help you retain them for years to come.
Sarah Pozek is the director of DRI’s Life Sciences practice area. Her specialty areas include biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, eclinical software & services, clinical data management, clinical operations, clinical informatics, quality & regulatory, electronic data capture, precision medicine, medical device, and related functions. She can be reached at email@example.com.