While some aspects of biopharma R&D remain evergreen, rapid change in the last few years is hard to ignore. Both internal and external factors threaten clinical trial pipelines. Consider the following:

external threats

  • investor volatility
  • economic uncertainty
  • mergers and acquisitions

internal demands

  • rapid scale-ups
  • transitions to decentralized clinical trials

These factors and more make organizational agility imperative for life science companies. People-powered change management through thoughtful staffing can help your organization weather today’s clinical trial landscape. Here are three ways to get started:

1. diversify talent types

To start, look to diversify your workforce with a mixed talent management approach. John Ebeid, Senior Vice President of Randstad Life Sciences recommends you pull from four models: rent, borrow, buy and build.

“We often find that an organization is focused on just one talent acquisition tactic,” Ebeid says. “Instead, all four channels should be considered when putting together a workforce plan.”


Temporary resources can perform work in a transactional relationship that benefits your project.


A functional service provider has the expertise to help you with day-to-day oversight and support.


Strategic acquisitions can help you land skilled talent from another organization.


Use the broader labor market to create a workforce solution that you can use both now and potentially for future projects.

2. integrate to solve needs

Once you have a more diverse talent team, it’s time to put them to work – together. After all, cohesive teamwork drives the organizational agility you need to keep clinical trials on track in today’s market.

“Look to solve your needs with an eye for integration,” Ebeid shares. “This can break down silos and walls that have held back resourcing decisions in the past.”

Staffing roadblocks will continue to cost you time and talent in a volatile market. Look back at previous resourcing challenges and see how integration can help you create a successful workforce plan going forward.

3. give it time – and its own team

Lastly, give people-powered change management time to work. Like any new process or adjustment to your pipeline, it will take time for this strategy to make an impact. In the meantime, endure uncertainty by creating a dedicated change management team.

Ebeid sees a dedicated team as essential to success. “You don’t want to ask your existing team to take on that role in addition to their day job,” he says. “After all, the wheels on the bus need to keep moving.”

If you ask your clinical trial team to take on too much, a change management strategy can get overlooked and, in turn, underappreciated. In addition, you run the risk that your organization will fail to invest in it altogether.

With time and commitment, people-powered change management can help you weather today’s clinical trial landscape.

The current volatility in life sciences coupled with today’s highly competitive labor market makes a solid workforce plan imperative to your success. To learn more about how to find and keep great talent, explore Randstad’s playbook on 2023 biopharma staffing trends here.