Staffing giant Randstad's U.S. subsidiary announced this week that it is changing the name of its Randstad Pharma business to Randstad Life Sciences to reflect a growing client base in clinical research, medical devices, biotechnology and other related sectors.
Staffing demand in the life sciences has grown beyond pharmaceuticals, and the company realized that many of its pharmaceutical candidates could be placed in similar jobs in other sectors of the life sciences industry without having to undergo significant retraining, said Traci Fiatte, group president for Randstad U.S.
“Demand is so high,” Fiatte said. “Demand is higher than supply and because of that we're finding customers are much more willing to cross over when a candidate has applicable and transferable skills.”
Randstad is currently seeing significant demand for clinical research associates and managers, as well as clinical trial managers. Because a single study may not require full-time commitment, companies often look to staffing firms for more efficient, temporary labor. Companies like Randstad can find efficiency by assigning workers to multiple studies at different companies.
Drugmakers often need to increase staff, such as researchers, as they go through different phases of a clinical trial. Fiatte also said Randstad has seen growing demand for regulatory professionals who have experience with combination therapies, or therapies that use more than one medication or modality.
Recruiting life sciences professionals is often difficult, so the ability to move talent across sectors is important, said David Gilman, managing director of Huron Consulting Group's life sciences practice. The change in staffing reflects a broader shift in the pharmaceutical industry, Gilman said, as technology has changed how drugs are delivered and medical treatment has expanded beyond drugs to include cell therapy, protein therapy and other ancillary approaches.
“There's this really exciting technological proliferation and overlap, and the shift from a pharma practice to a life science practice is just a frank recognition of that,” Gilman said.