The USA Today recently ran an article entitled, “Temporary Jobs Becoming a Permanent Fixture” with the following astounding figures:
- About 12% of all U.S. workers have temporary/contract/freelance jobs
- The number of temp workers jumped 50% since the recession ended four years ago
- 75% of economists the Associated Press surveyed said the rise in temp jobs is a longstanding trend
It can be assumed that the market uncertainty felt by many companies has led them to shy away from longer term permanent employee commitments and turn to contractors, who can fill a specific need for a specific period of time. The pharmaceutical industry has not been untouched by the market’s recent uncertainty, as evidenced by recent across the board cost cutting mandates. For companies that have not embraced outsourcing for their market research functions now may be the time to adopt the practice.
Pharmaceutical hiring managers may want to consider hiring a pharmaceutical market research contractor in the following circumstances:
- Pre-clinical to phase III commercial drug development is often the most intense period for market research engagement. This is also one of the most uncertain of times when approval of the product is in question and fund spend is highly monitored. This presents the ideal opportunity for hiring a market research contractor. The company gains a highly experienced individual, yet mitigates its risk by either turning the contractor into a full-time employee when the product is approved or ending the individual’s contract when the product is not approved.
- It can take months to fill a permanent market research position. These are typically months where you have budgeted funds for that position and at the same time have work to be fulfilled by the open post. A contractor is a much quicker hire and can assist with getting that work completed until you on-board the permanent post.
- High intensity / short term projects are also ideal events that can warrant a contractor. Unforeseen market events are a common occurrence within pharmaceutical markets. Events such as product recalls, competitive market changes, and government policy changes may require a highly skilled individual with a certain expertise, such as a forecaster, for a short period of time.
- Contractor assignments on lower intensity / longer term projects such as ongoing market report creation and distribution is a way to free up your more experienced permanent staff to work on the business critical tasks and at the same time increasing their employee morale.
There are many examples I have not mentioned here and you probably have a few thoughts of your own. You may want to look ahead to the future and think of your future endeavors where a contractor would be of valuable assistance. In particular, think of contracting as an option during the budgeting process when a permanent employee may not be a possibility.