Executive Summary of Initial Results: LifeSciHub Independent Workforce Annual Survey

LifeSciHub News

In October 2018, LifeSciHub launched the First Life Sciences Workforce Annual Survey targeting hiring managers, HR professionals, and independent consultants operating in the life sciences research and development space. We have taken a snapshot of initial results to begin analyzing and learning from the respondent feedback.

Independent Consultants

Initial results from the survey show that consultants like the flexibility associated with independent consulting gigs.

  • 82% prefer part-time work
  • 73% prefer short term projects
  • 91% prefer working from home/remotely
  • 48% dislike business development
  • 73% dislike the administrative aspects of consulting
  • 50% dislike peaks and valleys of workflow

100% of Independent consultants surveyed like the compensation of consulting, the flexibility/control over their own time, and doing more interesting projects. 98% like staying relevant and keeping skills fresh. These numbers suggest that the variety of projects they work on help consultants stay current.
The majority of consultants prefer being part of a team (73%) but don’t necessarily want to supervise anyone (64%).

Hiring Managers

When looking at speed, cost and quality of talent acquisition, 71% of hiring managers chose quality as biggest impact on corporate goals. (Speed was listed first by 29% of respondents.)

  • 75% of hiring managers think the availability/scarcity of talent is quite challenging or needs improvement.
  • 82% find ensuring the most effective talent expertise/quality is quite challenging or needs improvement
  • 82% also see speed of talent acquisition as quite challenging/needing improvement.
  • 100% of hiring managers consider skilled consultants difficult to find
  • Only 4% of hiring managers report using an online marketplace to find resources
  • Anecdotally, numerous respondents noted that they see geographic talent scarcities as well as scarcities for specialized skill sets.

78% of hiring managers are satisfied with the quality of talent/expertise of independent consultants. Similarly, 78% are satisfied with engagement flexibility when using independent consultants. All respondents considered skilled consultants difficult to find (100%).


Independent consultants like working on their own and having the flexibility that the gig economy offers but they don’t like selling or administrative tasks of running their own business. They also want to be part of a team. These results suggest that there is a market need for community which can be made available to consultants through an online resource marketplace.

Hiring manager perceive a talent shortage. They all (100%) assume good consultants are hard to find. They see many aspects of talent acquisition as challenging. They are also fairly satisfied with consultants they do use. Quality of the resource remains key to all hiring decisions. These results suggest that hiring managers could use help connecting to quality candidates and that independent consultants are an untapped resource pool that could address some portion of the perceived scarcity.

This data suggests that there is a pool of skilled independent resources (supply) who are not connected to the hiring teams (demand) in the life sciences space. The current use of online marketplaces in life sciences is negligible.

As we have seen in other industries, online resource marketplaces are disruptive talent strategies and can bring supply and demand together, while simultaneously addressing many of the challenges of acquisition (speed, cost and quality). There is also a significant opportunity to replicate resources and “community support” for independent consultants as seen in other industries.

This story will continue to evolve. LifeSciHub is committed to connecting and supporting all stakeholders as we bring the industry’s first online resource marketplace to fruition. This innovative talent acquisition strategy has seen great success in other trades. We look forward to applying lessons learned from other industries and supporting the growing gig economy and all its participants in the life sciences industry.