The Great Resignation: Regulatory Career Motivations in 2021

As the post-pandemic job market continues to boom, much of the conversation dominating 2021 is around what experts are calling, “The Great Resignation”. This phrase was coined by associate management professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University during a recent Bloomberg Businessweek interview; “’When there’s uncertainty, people tend to stay put, so there are pent-up resignations that didn’t happen over the past year.’ The numbers are multiplied, he says, by the many pandemic-related epiphanies—about family time, remote work, commuting, passion projects, life and death, and what it all means—that can make people turn their back on the 9-to-5 office grind”.

In order to understand whether “The Great Resignation” is also impacting Regulatory professionals, we conducted a survey of over 400 biotech, pharmaceutical and diagnostic Regulatory professionals during the week of June 17-24, 2021. The survey consisted of two questions as follows:

  1. Are you considering changing jobs this year? The results showed that while 55% of regulatory affairs professionals are not considering a job change, over 45% of respondents do plan to make a change in 2021.

For those professionals considering a job move, we asked:

2. If yes, what would motivate you to switch? (select all that apply)

Overwhelmingly, nearly 75% of Regulatory employees considering a change would be motivated to do so by gaining the ability to work remotely, with just under 13% being motivated to accept a position that required them to return in person. Over half of respondents stated that compensation, benefits, the challenge of the work, and the people they are working alongside outrank the prospect of opportunities for career advancement.

Several respondents typed in their own answers, many of which reflected a desire to work less hours.

“Meaningful work that can be done within a normal work day and not dragged into the evening and weekends”

“Ability to reduce hours”

“Part-time and not crazy hours.”

To better understand what companies are doing right to retain Regulatory employees who plan to stay in their current position this year, we asked:

3. If no, what keeps you in your current position? (select all that apply)

More than half of regulatory professionals plan to stay in their current roles this year because of the ability to work remotely and because of their compensation and benefits. Just under half of respondents are staying put because of the people they work with and the challenge of their work remain strong motivators. Opportunities for advancement, or an in-person working model have the least excitement with under 22% and under 12% respectively.

Several respondents typed in their own answers, such as:

“Unsure where life goes with the pandemic ongoing – makes it difficult to plan career moves even though I want to”

 “Immigration status”

“Like my manager and appropriate level of work life balance”

Retaining and hiring excellent Regulatory talent is crucial to the success of any organization. Dennis Partners knows how to identify and attract world-class Regulatory professionals beyond what you see on paper, diving deep into a prospective candidate’s motivations and aspirations, with an innovative approach that focuses on the ideal fit and long-term success of both our clients and candidates.

Whether you are seeking a change or finalizing your Regulatory hiring plans for the remainder of 2021, know that Dennis Partners can create strategic and customized solutions to your needs. As the leader in Regulatory Affairs recruiting, we are a partner in all aspects with the ability to share invaluable insight into the market. Whether you are seeking your next regulatory leadership position or looking to build a top-tier regulatory team, contact us today to see how we can help you meet your goals for 2021.

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One thought on “The Great Resignation: Regulatory Career Motivations in 2021

  • Great insight. Worth noting that these priorities look very different when the survey is done among Black, African American and LatinX employees. I was involved in a similar exercise and members of these two groups and the results and priorities are different. Goes to show that one shoe does not fit all . And it would be great if companies would actually actively engage these groups to understand what matters the most to them.

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