The Solution to Talent Shortages Facing Life Sciences Companies

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Apr 6, 2018 3:22:00 PM right

A recent study highlights a pervasive challenge facing the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, and that is a lack of talent. The study found that 51 percent of CEOs of life sciences and pharma companies admit to greater difficulties attracting and retaining the right people, more than any other industry in the study.


In fact, one of the greatest challenges on the horizon for pharmaceutical and life science companies is filling vacant positions and decreasing the time-to-fill for those positions. On average, pharma hiring decision-makers report they are currently 14 percent understaffed and have roughly 212 open positions at this time. Additionally, they report that it takes an average of 105 days, essentially 3 ½ months, to recruit and hire non-executive positions.


These lengthy vacancies are quickly eating away at corporate profits. In fact, companies lose $500 a day for every job that stays vacant. Given the average time-to-fill among pharma decision-makers is 105 days, and that amounts to $52,000 per vacancy.


Lack of Right Skills and Culture Fit Key Contributors

For many pharma decision-makers, sourcing good candidates is hard and finding qualified applicants can be even harder. Yet, finding the best-fit talent both in culture and skill-set can be downright excruciating. Consider that 76 percent of Pharma HR-decision makers agree, “when positions become available at my organization, we struggle to find people whose skills match the job requirements,” and 70 percent say, “we struggle to find people who are a good cultural fit.”


Pharmaceutical and life sciences leaders will need to increasingly leverage data and analytics to bring greater accuracy, efficiency and predictability to the hiring process. As pharma companies continue to struggle with turnover, open positions and costly vacancies, they simply can’t take a chance on anyone who doesn’t measure up.


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Topics: Succession Planning, Performance Management, Recruitment

Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Company Case Study: Assessment-Based Succession Plan Improves Turnover in Key Scientist Role

Posted by KGL on Feb 16, 2018 11:37:20 AM right

The Challenge    

High turnover in a key scientist role was plaguing this Fortune 500 multinational pharmaceutical company, greatly hindering productivity and advancements in this critical function.


The Preparation

 In order to address this problem, XBInsight identified the need for a robust succession plan that included:

  • Creating a benchmark for the next level position to measure the readiness of these scientists to be promoted to this role.
  • Developing a customized assessment to not only reflect the skills, critical thinking and overall fit needed for the current position, but also identify a clear picture of what success looks like in the next level job.
  • Designing a comprehensive leadership development program to prepare high potential employees for next level positions


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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Increase Innovative Thinking in Your Executive Team Today

Posted by KGL on Jan 23, 2018 11:00:00 AM right

Innovation is critical in a knowledge economy — driving growth, new products, and new methods of delivering value to customers. According to PwC’s 2015 study on Global Innovation, U.S. companies spend $145 billion dollars in-country on R&D each year. And yet, despite its importance, innovation is a difficult quality to cultivate both in leaders and in organizations. In Conference Board’s 2015 CEO Challenge study, 943 CEOs ranked “human capital” and “innovation” as their top two long-term challenges to driving business growth. This is a key talent challenge for most organizations, and a talent gap that needs to be closed, starting at the top – with the role of the CEO.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

The Four Fundamental Aspects to Measure When Assessing Talent

Posted by KGL on Jul 18, 2017 9:05:00 AM right

Imagine the consequences of not assessing someone seeking to join the police force, or someone aiming to join an airline as a pilot. Seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? While the impact of hiring the wrong person in those roles can be dire, the consequences of not assessing job candidates and employees in less complex jobs are also significant. The outcomes for businesses hiring or promoting the wrong person can range from poor performance, high turnover, lackluster customer service, to even lost business.



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Topics: Succession Planning, onboarding, Coaching and Training, Performance Management, Recruitment

5 Reasons Executive Development Programs Fail

Posted by KGL on Jun 21, 2017 9:05:00 AM right

Executive and leadership development has risen to the top of most companies’ priority list over the past decade, with the realization that in the fast-changing, innovation-led business landscape organizations must have exceptional leaders to navigate it. In fact, when upward of 500 executives were asked to rank their top three human capital priorities, leadership development was included as both a current and future priority, and almost two-thirds identified leadership development as their number one concern.1 This explains why U.S. companies alone spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development.2

However, for many organizations, the outcomes of their leadership development are lackluster and fail to meet the ideal return-on-investment for such programs. The failure to meet expectations of executive development programs can be attributed, in part, to four common mistakes that derail their efforts.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Developing Talent at the Bottom of the Corporate Ladder

Posted by KGL on Jun 14, 2017 9:05:00 AM right

It’s easy to understand why most companies place greater value, consciously or unconsciously, on higher-level positions, executive management and the C-suite. However, the reality is a company’s success depends primarily on the quality of work of those who perform the majority of the work – those employees who hold lower-level positions, typically found in customer service, administration, IT, and operations. Yet, few employers structure their career development program to optimize the skills and competencies of employees at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

What is the value of using assessments for developmental purposes?

Posted by KGL on May 11, 2017 12:02:50 PM right

Research has shown that feedback is an effective way for individuals to gain insight into their need to change or develop. It permits participants to understand themselves more fully and to see the impact of their style and behavior on others and on goal attainment. The development process allows the manager or internal coach to help individuals take a more objective perspective. Using an assessment during this process results in a credible and more accurate self awareness. Raising self awareness is critical for employees to take ownership for changing behaviors (Riggio, 2008). For example, development assessments uncover blind spots: areas of weakness that were unknown to the participant. Participants are likely to learn about hidden strengths: skills or competencies that can be further leveraged or adapted for future roles.


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Topics: Performance Management

3 Tips for Communicating with Your Company's Top Performers

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Mar 23, 2017 2:11:39 PM right


High-maintenance high-performers: Working with a high-performer can be either exhilarating or exasperating. It all depends on how you react to the challenges that come with it. Most likely, this high-performer can be also high-maintenance – which has its benefits along with its drawbacks.

Usually high performers are inspiring, charismatic, focused, direct and driving. Yet with their high-maintenance flaws like being confrontational, demanding, and impatient, it’s often hard to align goals and strategies with such roadblocks between the lines of communication.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Subtle Cues That Can Help You Close More Sales

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 18, 2017 3:33:09 PM right

People-reading Skills For Salespeople – Subtle Cues That Can Help You Close More Sales


Salespeople constantly hear that they must know our prospects and sell to them in the way in which they want to be sold. However, within the short time span of an initial meeting or lunch, many salespeople don’t have much time to observe, much less make qualified decisions about the communication methods of those we meet. The DISC Behavioral Profile can offer some much needed assistance in making quick assessments. Using the cues below, you can easily gather some basic information to help you tailor your sales approach “on the fly” and potentially close more sales.


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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

6 Areas for Managers to Develop in 2017

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 11, 2017 10:19:37 AM right

It's that time of year again, the time when everything seems new and we all begin to dream of ways to plan (and accomplish) what we’ve let “slide” during the old year. For managers, New Year’s resolutions can be extremely valuable. However, many simply make broad plans to close more sales, get more done during the day or have better working relationships without considering how to accomplish those goals. Here are some basic skills you and your team can improve upon in 2017 that will have a profound, positive effect on everything else you do.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

The Building Blocks of a Balanced Team

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Dec 29, 2016 2:18:51 PM right

Have you ever wondered why some teams achieve their goals practically every time while others seem doomed to repeated failure? One explanation could be the makeup of the team. All teams are created from a variety of people and thus a variety of personality and work styles. When these styles work in harmony, a synergy is present that inevitably leads to success. When the styles are in conflict so is the team. That leaves the question, “What can I do to ensure the creation of balanced teams?” Generally speaking, there are four team-player styles. While each style has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, some work in accord with each other and some do not. In order to ensure you create balanced teams, look to these building blocks for help with laying a sound foundation.

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Topics: Performance Management, Recruitment

5 Tips for Working under a High-Maintenance High-Performer Boss

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Dec 7, 2016 10:54:50 AM right

Working for a high-performer boss can be the most exhilarating experience of your life or it can be the most exasperating. It all depends on how ready you are to meet the challenge. You may have heard them described them this way: “This is the best boss I’ve ever had, but also the most demanding, the most difficult.” If you’ve experienced this scenario, chances are your boss is a high-maintenance high-performer. Here are five tips that will help you in working with your high-maintenance high-performer boss. Get down to business when communicating with your high-maintenance high-performer boss.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Missed your sales quota this year? How to turn it around in 2017!

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Nov 16, 2016 10:00:00 AM right

As 2016 winds down and a new year quickly approaches, many sales leaders are coming to grips with the realization they won’t make their annual quotas. In fact, a recent article in Fortune Magazine reported little more than half (54.6%) of the nation’s sales reps hit their marks each year. Now, with 2017 nearing, sales leaders are busy examining their talent bench and trying to improve their selection of high performing salespeople to deliver results in 2017.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Change is in the Air: 3 Core Components of a Change Strategy

Posted by KGL on Nov 2, 2016 12:02:20 PM right

During this time of year, the leaves aren't the only things that are changing. As we prepare for the end of year and the changes that often take place during Q1, it is important to remember that a change strategy plan is a critical component of any change effort.

Clear roles need to be assigned to minimize redundancy, and to ensure that all responsibilities are covered.  However, all too often, roles are assigned based on availability rather than who is the most competent and best positioned. This may result in a poor fit for the role, and a less than-successful outcome. Below are a few leadership and team roles you’ll want to include during your planning stage.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Performance Management

Why only 2 out of 10 Companies Say Their Succession Planning is Effective

Posted by KGL on Sep 28, 2016 12:03:07 PM right

With all the attention on succession planning over the past few years, one would expect to see progress in both quantity and quality of organization’s succession plans. However, in our 2016 Succession Planning Survey, the majority of companies believe their succession plans are ineffective – that is, if they even have one in place. In fact, 26 percent of respondents report, “it’s better than nothing,” or “not doing it all.”

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Topics: Succession Planning, Performance Management