According to the annual contract research organization (CRO) Industry Global Compensation and Turnover Survey, conducted by HR+Survey Solutions, LLC, employee turnover in clinical monitoring jobs outside the US increased 40% from 2015 to 2016 – reaching 22.9% last year, compared to 16.4% in 2015.
This spike in turnover outside the US, which occurred despite CRO efforts, was among the report’s most surprising findings, Judy Canavan, managing partner of HR+Survey Solutions told us, who said that low unemployment is one of the trends underlying these changes
Additionally, the number of registered clinical trials increased 11% over the last year. and from 2005, has increased from 24,921 to 256,544 as of October 12, 2017. “This creates significant demand for talent,” Canavan said.
In the US, turnover in clinical monitoring jobs was at 25.8% in 2016, with a 2.7% increase over the previous year’s reported 25.1% in 2015, according to the report. However, Canavan explained there are cases where individual companies are experiencing turnover over 40% in the US and “well over” 70% outside the US.
“Clinical research associates often work from home but most of their week is spent on the road traveling to study sites. Finding a way to engage these employees and gain their loyalty is a challenge,” she said.
“With the year over year industry growth predicted to continue in the CRO industry – attracting and retaining talent is a key factor to a successful business model.”
Canavan explained employee turnover creates a loss of continuity that can lead to delayed timelines, in addition to increasing costs as a result of lower productivity, increased workload on colleagues, and increased onboarding and recruitment costs.
“There is a high level of M&A activity in this industry which may also be a contributing factor to high turnover. Financiers tend to focus on the numbers and not the people,” she added. “But without the people, the deal is unlikely to achieve the success hoped for. It would be wise to incorporate HR into the deal earlier on.”