News flash for biopharma bosses: More than half your employees want to leave

Biopharma employee looking for a new job? You're not alone. In fact, you're not even in the minority, a new report says.

More than one-half--51%, to be exact--of biotech and pharma workers are looking to jump ship to a new company, according to Randstad's Pharma Engagement Study. That compares with just 38% of employees polled across different industry sectors.

What if they snag an enticing offer from another company? Fully 66% of biopharma employees are likely to make the switch.

Why the lost love for pharma employers? Inadequate pay and lack of opportunity for advancement, often cited by job seekers in general, help account for the higher-than-average turnover. But then there are two not-so-common reasons that pharma workers mentioned: high stress levels, and difficult relationships with managers and coworkers, Randstad found.

Flight-risk employees also provided some clues on how drugmakers can keep them around. Some 38% of biopharma professionals surveyed said they wanted recognition for their contributions and achievements, in addition to the universally coveted bonus and promotion potential.

Randstad Pharma President Greg Coir

"While fair pay will always be an important factor to employee retention and engagement, professionals in the biotech/pharma sector clearly want to be recognized for their hard work and achievements," Greg Coir, Randstad Pharma president, said in a statement. "Executives must work closely with their HR departments to promote a positive working environment."

Flexibility is another perk biopharma employees want: As Randstad Pharma's 2014 Workplace Trends Report found, 49% of pharma execs say they're now offering options to work remotely, versus 36% of other industries' execs.

"Today's employees want attractive options and being able to offer those flexible arrangements can be a powerful retention tool and offers employers access to a larger talent pool," Coir said. "This is the reality we now live in."

- read the release

Special Report: Top 10 pharma companies by employees