CROs have a retention problem. Nearly 1 in 5 research sites have a turnover rate above 30%, and it has become increasingly difficult for many facilities and site management organizations to build a robust roster of specialized and proven professionals (1). While the potential for financial gain is a consideration for clinical research professionals when evaluating which CRO to work for, it will take more than that to retain talent across the lifecycle of drug development programs. The new CRO — one equipped to lead the future with reimagined Phase I research —will succeed in attracting and retaining the best talent by investing in people, one of the four pillars of Dr. Vince Clinical Research (DVCR).
When sites and CROs invest in their staff — whether through benefits, resources or company culture — the staff is more likely to invest in them in return, generating trusted, long-term teams of empowered experts with a history of success. This response, this true investment, demands three things: the best environment for the job, an uplifting culture with competitive benefits and an inclusive space that makes room for every voice.
The Best Environment for the Job
As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.” At DVCR, we believe that truly exceptional research can only occur in truly exceptional environments, such as those outfitted with first-class equipment, informed by intentional design and empowered by complete technological integration. Phase I research is an involved and exhaustive process, which means there are myriad opportunities for the right working environment to have a real impact on both researchers and results. One such optimal environment is the DVCR Clinical Pharmacology Unit, a product of iterative development and practical insight, including nuanced considerations like more accommodating table heights, anti-fatigue mats and painstakingly sized and selected peripherals.
Even the spaces outside of the unit have been developed expressly for facilitating world-class Phase I research. The open floor design is ideal for collaboration, the meeting rooms are ergonomically friendly and sized for every purpose and each corner of the facility provides easy access to a fully connected computer. Furthermore, this facility is supported by an onsite GMP pharmacy equipped with wireless monitoring and touchless biometric access.
All this stands in direct opposition to the status quo, which often utilizes retrofitted buildings and outdated technology. It should come as no surprise that the best researchers want to work with the best resources, and it should be equally unsurprising that the facilities with these resources will become hubs for the best talent in the industry. As a result, the new CRO prioritizes creating the best environment for the best candidates. This requires more than good enough. This requires a facility with cutting-edge equipment, purposefully designed space and technology that is fully integrated and fitted for the future.
Competitive Benefits, Uplifting Culture
Of course, research facilities and their tangible resources represent just one piece of the staff retention puzzle. CROs have become increasingly competitive in acquiring new talent, and the most sought-after Phase I specialists of the 21st-century demand work-life balance, exceptional benefits and an uplifting culture that finds inspiration in results. Most CROs respond by simply increasing pay. This is an excellent first step, and DVCR offers impressive compensation packages. That said, the new CRO understands that the current industry demands more to stay competitive — to keep working with the best. As such, DVCR completes this piece of the puzzle with guaranteed bonuses and generous 401k matching.
The alternative is “brain drain,” losing more and more of your best specialists until the quality of your staff is no longer an asset, but a liability. Studies of the CRO industry have revealed gaps in clinical competency, and very few research sites have complete synergy and mutual understanding when it comes to good clinical practices (GCPs) (2). DVCR confronts these shortcomings and pushes the industry forward by cultivating a workplace that not only attracts the best talent but also retains that talent with a culture of learning and first-rate benefits.
Room for Every Voice
Once you’ve created the optimal environment for research and filled it with the best talent the industry has to offer, you should create an empowering workplace with room for each unique voice. Exceptional Phase I research is born from a culture that is not only uplifting but also actively inclusive in how it communicates with staff members and responds to their feedback. What’s more, the DVCR leadership team comprises a diverse cross-section of the entire workflow, and this unique team directs regular forums to welcome outside input, suggestions and discussions from all. These intentional planning decisions and purposeful platforms represent how the new CRO finds room for every voice.
Reimagine Your Phase I Research
The DVCR Center offers not only an unmatched clinical experience for Phase I research but also expert insight and support for early-phase trials. How is this possible? Simply put, DVCR is a better place to work. We offer the best environment for the job. We fill our facility with industry-leading professionals by providing highly competitive benefits and an uplifting working culture. We provide a voice for everyone, with active communication platforms and a leadership team that includes some of the most diverse and dynamic innovators.
We are the new CRO, continuously reimagining the standards of Phase I research. In doing so, we deliver smarter, faster data®.
1 Miessler, J. Critical Challenges Persist for Sites in Staffing, Enrollment and Protocol Complexity. CenterWatch. Published 2021 Nov. 15.
2 Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competence. Core Competencies in Clinical Research: Real-World Applications, Convergence and Evolution of a Framework. The MRCT Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard. Published 2016 Oct. 19.