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Temporary Contractors Are Like Clinical Trials

Prescription_bottleSo, wondering how drugs get on the market is not really how I pass my time. Certainly drawing parallels between the “trials” and, possibly, tribulations they must go through and temporary employment has some scratching their heads at first glimpse. But let me explain.

All new drugs and treatments must be meticulously tested before they are licensed and available for patients to use. For a new drug to journey through these various testing stages it takes time. This process is typically referred to as from the bench to the bedside. First, a new drug is researched in the laboratory. If the drug shows promise, it moves to the next stage where it is carefully studied in people. These studies that include people are called clinical trials. 

Clinical trials are important because they uncover whether a new drug or treatment:

  • Is safe
  • Functions better than existing treatments or drugs on the market
  • Has any side effects
  • Helps patients feel better

Currently, there are 168,616 clinical trials* taking place across all 50 states and in 187 countries. The US alone constitutes the location for about 40% of these trials.

In a way, I think temporary contractors are like clinical trials for organizations. The organization might feel unsure about hiring a full-time employee for a position. Perhaps because they may want to “test” the strength and abilities of top candidates and/or reinforce what qualities the right person must have for the job. So instead they bring in temporary staffing. Temporary workers should demonstrate to the client organization that they can:

  • Function in a specific job to the best of their abilities
  • Reinforce they are the right fit for the job and better than other available talent
  • Get along well with others
  • Help the organization perform better

Just like a clinical trial tests the strengths and efficacy of a drug, a temporary position will assess the quality of the worker’s performance. Many times, a client organization will move the temporary worker to the next stage, as a full-time employee. After all, an organization that just invested time and resources in training and developing any employee, full-time or temporary, doesn’t want to lose that intellectual capital and have to start over again. That would be like the battle Sisyphus waged with that darn rock! It’s best to go-to-market with that proven temporary employee.

Think about some of the top drugs on the market like Lipitor, Humira or Viagra. They are or were rock stars in the drug landscape and have legions of “fans”. Each had their start in the clinical trial circuit. They proved themselves in the testing period and have extended this track record long-term.

So how many potential rock star temporary employees are there? Well U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.96 million temporary and contract workers per week in the first quarter of 2014, up 3.2% from the same period in 2013, according to the American Staffing Association. These individuals reflect years of expertise in their respective industries and skill sets. Many are budding Mick Jaggers and just need the right clinical trial in order to cement their mark in an organization.

Yoh has positions right now for life science positions including clinical trials.


This blog was written by Connie Caldwell. Connie is a Marketing Manger supporting one of the world’s largest companies in the recruiting industry. She lives in the Rittenhouse neighborhood of downtown Philadelphia and is in love with traveling, summer concerts, the Philadelphia Phanatic, dark chocolate, and spending time with her handsome husband and active toddler.

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