why high employee turnover at CROs should matter to you

  • workforce insights
  • October 25, 2017

When considering a CRO for a new clinical trial, most sponsors take into account the usual factors like cost, time, reputation and expertise. But there’s one key variable affecting clinical monitoring that sponsors rarely investigate: employee turnover. Unfortunately, turnover can impact each of the factors listed above — and that can mean the success or failure of a clinical trial.

the hidden cost of high turnover.

As of 2015, the overall turnover rate at CROs was over 25 percent. And it’s easy to see why: at many CROs, especially those using a centralized or non-regional approach to clinical monitoring, CRAs may spend up up 75 percent of their time traveling back and forth to monitoring sites around the country. It doesn’t leave much time for doing actual work — and that adds to the stress of balancing the needs of a high number of clients.

For sponsors, high employee turnover at a CRO can increase costs and prolong studies, especially when a new CRA has to get up to speed on a trial already in progress. And when a seasoned CRA is backfilled by a less experienced associate, it can impact the overall quality of the organization’s work. High turnover at a CRO can also have the knock-on effect of increasing burnout and further turnover among the CRO’s own staff.

why stability is key.

On the other hand, a sponsor can reap significant benefits from working with an outsourcing solution that employs a highly stable staff of CRAs. To find one, start by looking for a partner that uses a regional approach to staffing CRAs. Regionally-based CRAs not only have much lower burnout and turnover rates, they also offer sponsors the opportunity to work with the same CRA on multiple studies. The sponsor will benefit from a CRA who has a deep understanding of their needs and the confidence of their staff. And, when risks are identified at one of their study sites, a regional CRA can react quickly and address the issue in a timely fashion.

For the CRAs themselves, working with a stable, low-turnover employer can improve work/life balance, decrease tiring travel time and offer the ability to work with a manageable number of clients.

the best CRO may not be a CRO at all.

To find the best outsourced research solution, sponsors may need to look beyond the world of CROs. Solutions like those offered by Randstad Life Sciences can give study sponsors the same quality expertise and execution as traditional CROs — without the risk of underperformance due to CRA turnover. The majority of our regional monitors have more than 10 years of experience and have provided guidance on more than 500 clinical studies. Our clients frequently request to work with their CRAs again and again, and we’re happy to make that possible.

Contact us today to learn more about how Randstad can assist in all of your life sciences staffing and business needs.