Pharma contractors hiring fastest in sector

Who's hiring in the drug business? Pharma services and outsourcing firms are hiring. And as Big Pharma shrinks workforces around the world, it's increasingly turning to contractors to handle some jobs previously performed by employees.

At least that's the story told by the latest Global Life Sciences Hiring Index from ZRG Partners. That survey found that services and outsourcing companies are hiring at the fastest rate of any companies in the pharma sector--five times as fast as drug companies themselves.

Makes sense, considering drugmakers can get flexible staffing from contractors--loading up and scaling back when necessary, without hiring or laying off regular employees. Plus, contractors can be cheaper alternatives to full employees, who command all the company's worker benefits and, often, a higher pay rate.

- read the Portfolio piece