LONDON, August 18, 2016

43% of International Life Science Workers Leave Within Two Years, According to New Research by Specialist Life Science Recruiter Hobson Prior

43% of life science professionals who move overseas for a permanent job stay for just two years or less, according to a report published today by specialist life science recruiter Hobson Prior – suggesting that employers could do more to retain international talent.

The Global Mobility in Life Sciences report draws attention to high levels of international relocation amongst Europe’s life sciences workforce, with as many as 40% of respondents having moved overseas for their career. According to the report, this is down to skills shortages within the sector driving employers to look further for the right talent. However, with 43% of permanent professionals leaving their overseas position within two years, employers are struggling to retain their international hires.

So what’s driving international hires home again? The most common reason is an emotional one, with nearly 70% returning for their friends and family. Furthermore, 62% of professionals who have never moved overseas cited ‘friends and family’ as the main factor putting them off, with many stating they did not want to uproot their children, leave elderly relatives or inconvenience their partner.

To counteract this, says Hobson Prior, organisations should offer generous and tailored relocation support. Jake Thomas, Managing Director at Hobson Prior, cites their recent placement of a statistical head of programming as an example: “Our candidate had a fantastic opportunity to work with a global pharmaceutical company at their headquarters in Frankfurt, but she was nervous about making the move from Milan. We explained her concerns to the employer, which offered six open-dated return flights – this enabled her and her partner to find accommodation and familiarise themselves with the area, before moving there four months later.”

As well as assisting with the move, employers must provide on-going support to help international hires and their families settle in, say Hobson Prior. Assistance with school fees, language courses and their partner’s job search could all help with retention.

Interestingly, an increasing number of contractors in the life sciences industry are choosing to commute internationally rather than relocate altogether. This enables them to benefit from higher salaries and better jobs abroad, without uprooting their family. Nevertheless, the time away from home and frequent travel is a concern for many contractors, and 40% leave their position overseas within a year. Hobson Prior suggests that flexible working arrangements can ease the pressure on contractors in this position. “An increasing number of employers allow international contractors to work from home at least some of the time, making overseas jobs easier and a more viable option for people with children,” says Michael Masoomi, Interim Staffing Specialist at Hobson Prior.

About Hobson Prior

Hobson Prior is a leading specialist life sciences recruiter focused on sourcing and securing outstanding candidates across Europe and Asia Pacific. It has placed over 3,000 candidates into roles across more than 25 countries.