Lack of Professional Development Fuels Chronic Turnover Problem

50% of Survey Respondents Report Actively Looking to Change Jobs Right Now

One of the top reasons clinical trial professionals move from job to job in today’s high-turnover market is a feeling of stagnation in their current role, according to a new survey from SCORR Marketing and Applied Clinical Trials.

With a staggering 50% of respondents reporting they are actively looking to change jobs right now, the survey found nearly 60% of that group saying it was job malaise inspiring them to search for new challenges elsewhere. Interestingly, the career frustration issue topped even compensation, which was cited as a big factor by slightly more than 50% of the group looking for greener pastures.

If the survey, “Clinical Research Industry Salary & Employee Satisfaction Survey Report 2019,” is any indicator, job dissatisfaction is becoming a bigger problem for the clinical trial industry. “In 2017, 38% of those who said they were seeking to change jobs identified ‘insufficient career development options,’ [but these appear to have] become a more important factor” over time, the survey said.

“Many of this year’s survey respondents cited things like career development and on-the-job challenges as being equal to or more influential than financial compensation for overall job satisfaction,” said Krystle Buntemeyer, president at SCORR. “This is actionable information for employers competing to land and retain the best pharmaceutical and biotech employees.”

“Our members are clamoring for training and new ways to do their jobs even better,” said ACRP Executive Director Jim Kremidas. “These findings don’t surprise me a bit. Clinical research professionals are justifiably proud of the work they do contributing to enhancing and prolonging lives. It’s up to us all to work together and raise the collective quality bar.”

“There is [a] significant opportunity to improve the performance of company training programs,” the survey reported. Four of the five education- and training-related categories in the survey garnered ratings of below 3.0 on a 5-point scale. Mentoring, with an average rating of 2.56, “has the most room for improvement,” the survey suggested.

Elsewhere, the survey reported satisfaction levels tend to be higher in North America and for those professionals with more industry experience. Men also tend to have higher salaries, with 32% making at least $150,000 annually, compared to 17% of women.

Size matters less, though. “While our previous salary report, released in December 2017, clearly showed that employees of larger companies had higher salaries, this result was not repeated” in the 2019 version, SCORR said.

Author: Michael Causey