Report: CRO turnover creates loss of continuity

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

CRO turnover increased from 20.1% in 2015 to 22% last year. (Image: iStock/PhotoProdra)
CRO turnover increased from 20.1% in 2015 to 22% last year. (Image: iStock/PhotoProdra)
Contract research organizations (CROs) continue to see high instances of turnover, which can lead to delayed timelines and sponsor scrutiny, according to a recent survey.

Turnover in the US for clinical monitoring jobs at CROs remained high in 2016 at 25% – with little change from 2015 at which time turnover was reported at 25.1%, according to the survey conducted by HR+Survey Solutions.

However, for countries outside the US, turnover in clinical monitoring increased to 22% in 2016, up from 16.4% the previous year. Additionally, in some instances individual companies are experiencing turnover that is over 50%.

For all positions at CROs the average turnover rate in the US increased to 22% in 2016 from 20.1% in 2015, the survey found.

As per industry implications, Judy Canavan, managing partner at HR+Survey Solutions, told us turnover creates a loss of continuity that can lead to delayed timelines.

Increasing costs as a result of lower productivity, increased workload on colleagues, onboarding costs, loss of knowledge, recruitment costs​,” are some of the challenges Canavan described.

Additionally, turnover affects business development “as sponsors scrutinize turnover in their vetting process​,” she said.

But why does turnover remain high?

Employees have figured out that changing jobs is the key to maximizing their compensation and rounding out their CV, companies need to create internal career opportunities​,” Canavan explained.

They typically work from their home, so it is easy to switch jobs and they do not always build the strong internal relationships and alliances that might keep them with their current company​.”

How to attract and retain

Previously, the company conducted a survey to gain a better understanding of what CROs are doing to attract and retain talent.

As reported at the time​, money is the most common solution for retaining talent. Specifically, off cycle raises were found to be the most common approach to retain talent, with 85% use in the US and 78% used outside the US,

Additionally, 80% of US and 89% of companies outside the US are offering above market salaries at least some of the time.

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