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For life science companies, today’s market presents several talent acquisition challenges. There’s the initial task of identifying talent, then once you’ve found the talent, your company needs to demonstrate why joining your team is more appealing than your competitors so you can compete for todays life science talent. Even after you’ve cleared those two easier-said-than-done hurdles, your company needs to prepare for the negotiating process.

Negotiating is always a tricky endeavor, but during a talent shortage, it’s even tougher. To help your company prepare for what to expect when negotiating with talent, here are the top perks that they’ll be looking to receive from the negotiating process.

1. Money Talks

Talent holds the leverage in today’s labor market, and they know it. The best life science talent is negotiating high compensation packages to reflect their market value. Life science companies hiring in today’s market will need to forecast and budget accordingly if they want to compete.

How high is compensation getting?

It depends on the sector of life science and the role, but we’ve seen salary increases ranging from 5-20% in today’s talent-thin market.

2. Signing Bonuses

Many employers utilize annual performance bonuses to augment compensation, but sometimes that won’t be enough. More and more, life science professionals are securing signing bonuses as a part of their compensation package.

Most signing bonuses are between 5-10% of annual compensation and are tied to term-length agreements.  Signing bonuses are more common in scenarios when talent is relocating to offset moving costs and the various strains that relocating entails.

3. Relocation Package

Today’s talent is far less likely to relocate than the talent of the past. According to a recent Challenger, Gray, and Christmas study, annual relocation rates between 2007-2017 were only 11.3%. When you contrast that with 18.8% between 1996-2006, and 30.5% between 1986-1995, the drop is quite stark.

What’s causing the decrease in relocation rate? Most likely it’s some combination of variant housing prices, technology enabling companies to grow faster, and a general aversion to change. Candidates considering relocation will bear average real estate fees and closing costs of ~10% of the selling price of their homes—not to mention the fees that they will incur in buying a home in your company’s area.  Companies that significantly lighten or remove this burden completely have a much higher probability of landing their candidates of choice.

4. Remote Flexibility (Especially in the Bay Area)

Piggybacking off the previous two perks is the growing desire for life science talent to have the ability to work remotely. This is a perk that is especially common for companies in the Bay Area, where housing prices continue to skyrocket.

Remote flexibility can have a different meaning for different candidates. Some will work entirely remotely; others will fly in and work Monday-Thursday, then fly home. Then there’s the more traditional sense of remote flexibility, where workers can create a work schedule that works best for their commute or living arrangement.

Most employees that have the capability to do their work off-site will negotiate for the ability to do so when they join your company.

Marcus & Associates Life Science Recruitment

Before you stress about the lack of leverage your company has in the negotiating process, you first must identify and attract talent. That’s where we come in. Learn more about our Client Benefits and how our approach to life science recruiting can deliver the talent your company needs.