October 30, 2017

Conference recap: Biocom Life Science HR

Biocom's Life Science – HR conference this month was a great experience for learning and networking. I was impressed by the representation of numerous different companies in the industry that offer a variety of perspectives. I was impressed most of all by the warm reception I felt while getting to know attendees and mulling over the different presentations.

The focus for the conference – Grow the Talent You Have Into the Talent You Need – hints at some of the greatest challenges of the life science industry today. It's essential that companies hire the right people for the job and help them adapt to our ever-changing industry. Here are four takeaways:


1. Data helps you focus your HR strategies on what matters most.

We often have more data at our fingertips than we know what to do with. That's okay. Use your business's overall strategy as a starting point, then start exploring the data for the biggest hurdles.

Maybe that's the average time to accept, the cost per hire, the number of declines, or the turnover rate. You can perform predictive analytics to figure out what will happen in the future if current practices don't change, and then perform prescriptive analytics to figure out what to do next.


2. Data also helps you sell solutions to executives.

It's a myth that calculating a return on investment is impossible in HR. One great example is demonstrating the impact of attrition or absenteeism on your hardworking employees. You may already have a gut feeling that turnover is creating malaise around the office, but if you can reflect that with data, you can convince higher-ups to make it a priority. And whatever solutions you determine are best for your company – whether that's addressing problems with your own employees or looking for an outside partner to help – they're easier to sell to bosses if you show them the numbers.


3. It's time to figure out the tech gap.

Despite constant technology updates our organizations and policies aren't adapting quickly – and it leads to a huge productivity gap. According to Deloitte's presentation, 90 percent of organizations expect digital models to disrupt their businesses, but only 30 percent believe they currently have the right leadership or skills to execute.

It's not an easy problem to solve, but it starts with rewriting the rules to allow shifts in mindset and behavior. You may need to build new management systems, foster a new culture that encourages adaptability, or even redesign your organization. The companies that will succeed in the future are ones that don't fear this change.


4. The best human resources teams know how to focus on the human.

Over and over I was impressed by stories that show the human side of human resources – approaching sensitive topics affecting your employees with grace and care. That personal focus can make all the difference for employees. As much as we focus on data and technology, we can never lose sight of the people we work with and how they shape our companies.



This conference was a fantastic opportunity for HR professionals. I look forward to continuing the conversation and I welcome discussion from anyone with ideas about how we can keep our profession moving into the future.

Tags: conferences

Angela Edwards

Based in San Francisco, Angela Edwards is a member of the business development team at TSP. She brings 16+ years of experience in the life science industry, designing talent acquisition solutions for leading healthcare and life science focused organizations. Before joining TSP, Angela held a variety of roles including account management, strategic sales, national sales, and director of business development. An expert networker, Angela takes great pride in her partnerships with clients in the biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, skiing, and music and theater (her 13-year-old performs year-round!). During baseball season, you can find Angela catching a San Francisco Giants game at AT&T park.

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