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How 2020 has Impacted the Biotech Industry

As many corporations transitioned their teams to remote work, biotech firms had to debate the merits of virtualization and whether it was feasible to continue research projects and commit to lab work with social distancing and other safety-related mandates in play. 

What quickly became apparent is that the same conditions that threw the industry into a tailspin might also make biotech 2020 the key to a brighter, more prosperous future.

How did 2020 affect the biotech industry?

  1. In 2019, experts value the global technology market at just over $449 billion, with the U.S. and Canada accounting for 40% of that number. 
  2. As of late 2020, the biotech market was expected to achieve an 8.3% compound annual growth rate through the year 2025, resulting in an astronomical valuation of $729 billion. In other words, biotech jobs are still in high demand and will be for years to come. But why is the industry thriving when so many others took a hit?

Much of the growth comes down to simple supply and demand. People are focused on health and wellness, perhaps now more than ever, and biotech potentially holds the key to solving chronic ailments like: 

  • Immune disorders 
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes

There’s also been an increase in research and development; companies are looking to create antibody tests and vaccines but they’re also developing testing that can be conducted by third parties and evaluated virtually in keeping with current recommendations. 

As long as society demands solutions to their healthcare challenges, biotech will thrive.

Can biotech jobs be done remotely?

Many biotech jobs can be done remotely, but it depends on the employee and the nature of their work. Teams that do the majority of their work in a lab obviously require a significant amount of time on-site. But support staff such as analysts, IT experts, quality assurance specialists and management may not need to go into the office regularly, if ever. 

Even lab techs can do the administrative side of research and analysis at home, using digital tools and project management platforms to assign tasks and streamline multi-person collaborations.

The increase in remote biotech jobs has opened up exciting possibilities for recruitment agencies that can now connect with candidates eager for more professional flexibility.

How did biotech companies shift their priorities in the wake of 2020?

As the modern workplace evolved throughout 2020, so did employee expectations. Today’s workers crave different experiences than previous generations. 

They demand respect, including praise when appropriate as well as constructive criticism that allows an opportunity for improvement. Candidates are increasingly picky about prospective employers, looking for companies with similar core values and that have opportunities for professional development and personal fulfillment.

Biotech companies that want to stay competitive are answering the challenge by tailoring their job ads and benefit packages to match the wants and needs of modern employees. 

  • Allowing for remote work when possible is an important first step. 
  • Healthcare plans
  • Vacation time
  • PTO 
  • Mentorship rather than micromanagement also rank high on the list of priorities. 

To help make these changes apparent to applicants, biotech companies turn to staffing agencies that know how to shape an attractive job listing and qualify candidates who will best fit the client’s evolving company culture.

When will the industry return to “normal”?

For many people, this is the new normal. An estimated 25 to 30% of the workforce will be working from home in some capacity by the end of 2021. 

Remote work is not a stopgap but rather a progression that will help augment biotech staffing and give companies more options in regard to how they find new talent and structure their in-house teams. Some biotech workers will eventually transition back to part-time or full-time lab roles, if they haven’t already. But for others, working from home is the kind of flexible arrangement they’ve always wanted, and there’s little reason to switch back.

Interested in turning the events of 2020 into an opportunity? We help your company to transform its messaging, fine-tune its branding and connect with top talent from across the country.


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