Hess Associates

Use of Contract Workers in the Biopharmaceutical Industry

What are contract and temporary workers? Temp workers are short term employees often used to fill short term staffing needs – e.g. holidays, sickness, whereas contract workers are often strategically required specialists, often running special projects or assignments. Recently due to skill shortages and the desire to attract key staff, the use of especially contract staff has increased and is increasing.

In Q1 2013 US companies hired close to 3 million such workers per day. 1

The use of temp or contract workers is increasing within the biopharmaceutical industry – certainly in Canada. 2
This has partly been ascribed to more women entering this industry over the past few years – thus companies are dealing with maternity leaves where contract replacements are common. Additionally biopharmaceutical companies have feast or famine years, wherein it is better to reduce fixed costs – hiring contract specialists obviates the necessity of high employee overhead commitments.

From the worker’s perspective,this form of insecure employment can offer an opportunity to enter the biopharmaceutical industry, to learn or hone specific skills, to grow a network, to evaluate a type of position or career, without a major commitment.

Companies are hiring contract sales, upstream or downstream contract manufacturing, legal, paralegal, accounting, quality, regulatory, scientific, clinical research, and other specialists as required in an effort to hire quickly and cut operating costs.

[Please contact Hess Associates to discuss/ evaluate your contracting requirements.]

1 http://www.americanstaffing.net/statistics/employment.cfm
2 http://www.pharmaceutique.ca/conseils-emploi/travailler-dans-le-secteur-de-la-pharmacie/travail-temporaire-dans-les-metiers-pharmaceutique-1/

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