Strengthening our Life Sciences Workforce for Future Success

Apr 17, 2019

Guest blog by Karla Talanian, Manager of Labor Market Research, MassBioEd

Life sciences companies in Massachusetts are hiring like never before. Technological and scientific progress is changing the nature of work in this field – turning impossible ideas into mainstream tasks and challenging everyone to rethink how to best leverage their available talent and recruit for new, complementary abilities.

Welcome to MassBioEd’s Life Sciences Workforce Conference, an annual event to catalyze conversations about the best practices to train- and retain– talent for roles that companies are now defining.

  • Industry executives and scientists will have the opportunity to speak candidly about what their companies seek in hiring,
  • Recruiters can learn about which specific skills are in the highest demand,
  • Educators can gain targeted suggestions for new directions in training.

We invite you to attend and contribute your thoughts to these important conversations:

Trends in Hiring:  Supply < Demand! How to Bridge the Talent Gap

A distinguished panel of human resource professionals will discuss current best practices in hiring at all stages of a company’s growth and for a range of levels, along with proven strategies for retention of top talent. Specific topics to be covered include: The use of temp to perm hiring; Inflation of degree requirements / titles / salaries; The latest technological tools used for recruiting.

How Immigration Laws Impact the Life Sciences Workforce

Talented individuals from across the globe are contributing their skills to the local life sciences ecosystem. What can your organization do to attract and retain these individuals? How can HR be proactive in ensuring your foreign-born contributors are secure in their status? Hear from a panel of expert immigration attorneys and specialists on the best practices for dealing with these issues.

Careers in Bioinformatics

Demand for experts who can merge biochemical knowledge with mathematical insights and programming expertise is growing.  What do colleges and universities need to know in order to improve curricula to educate this new class of scientists? How can we alert students to the idea of merging these two fields of study into an exciting and valuable career? How should hiring managers and recruiters weigh a candidate’s relative experience and interests in these different, but complementary, fields?

Careers in Next Generation Biomanufacturing

This session will highlight the skills & training needed for a variety of positions, from technicians through senior engineers, compliance and quality, and externally facing professionals. The speakers will represent a very diverse range of biomanufacturing, such as: antibody-based therapies, viral vectors, RNAi, and autologous cell products.  This panel discussion will focus on the opportunities for advancement and the training required to move into one of these new specialties.

Innovative Ideas for Building a Mid-Skilled Workforce in Life Sciences

Talent is a terrible thing to waste.  Many capable and trainable adults in our communities are eager to find a path into a meaningful and sustainable job but lack the traditional keys to entry.  Also, increasing the diversity of our talent pool is a critical area of improvement for this industry.  Hear from several experts, moderated by Rosalyn Acosta, Secretary of Labor, about innovative programs to provide and accelerate training for scientific support jobs.

Hiring Managers’ Perspectives on Skills Needed at AS/BS Levels

Are you an educational administrator looking to upgrade lab facilities and equipment? Are you a recruiter seeking a deeper understanding of what to look for in potential candidates? Then be sure to join this conversation. Hiring managers from various life sciences companies will engage with educators to discuss specific technical skills to include in college curricula to enhance students’ job readiness upon graduation.

“Soft Skills” – Let’s Get Specific!

The importance of personal skills in hiring is always mentioned but rarely defined.  Building on recent interviews with over 50 life science professionals, two sets of panelists will engage in robust and rigorous discussions of the non-technical attributes necessary for success – and which are commonly found lacking.  To dive deeper into specific skill sets, one panel will focus on which skills are essential for senior leadership, the other on which skills to look for and develop in individual contributors.

Enhancing Career Readiness for Advanced Degree Candidates

Enhancing awareness of the various opportunities in this industry will encourage more people to find the best role for their skills and motivations. Several colleges and universities are designing innovative tools to increase their students’ awareness of opportunities in the life sciences industry, enabling them to better prepare for their future.  Connect with faculty from a range of programs – serving community college students through post-doctoral scientists – on best practices to streamline the road from academia to industry.

Register for the conference today! 

See all MassBio News