Unemployment in STEM driving employers to partner with scientific staffing agencies.

Science is the future. You only have to look as far as the unemployment in the STEM job market to get a sense of where our current workforce is headed. For the past ten years, unemployment rates have been dropping at an increasing pace—this from already low unemployment rates in the STEM sector.  

This is great news for STEM workers as they’ve never been in higher demand. But it’s not great news for employers in scientific industries like pharmaceuticals, biotech, and chemical engineering that rely heavily on STEM talent. 

We’ve heard from several employers lately who are tired of going it alone. They’re looking to partner with a scientific staffing agency that can provide the talent they need. As we’re working with more businesses, we’ve been hearing they share some of the same struggles that finally made them consider working with a scientific staffing agency. 

Diversity And Inclusion in STEM 

The STEM workforce has never been more diverse. But employers are still nowhere close to achieving their goals for workplace diversity. And the talent pipeline from higher education suggests employers, especially those in computing and engineering, will be facing even more of a struggle to reach their goals for diversity.  

As recently as 2021, studies conducted by the PEW Research Center indicated Black and Hispanic workers still remain underrepresented in STEM fields. And while women have made strides in health-related jobs, women continue to remain underrepresented in other fields such as the physical, computing, and engineering sciences. 

What this means for employers is that not only are companies going to become more competitive for diverse workers, but the pool of future job seekers could be even less diverse, despite the efforts and needs of scientific employers. 

Education in Scientific Fields Is Not Getting Any Cheaper 

Compounding the lack of diversity in STEM fields and the lack of diversity in traditional educational paths to a career in STEM, is the increased cost for education beyond high school.  

Private colleges and universities have historically cost significantly more than local or state schools. And even with the introduction of satellite campuses and online learning programs, there are still some college degree programs that cost $200,000 or more. 

Many young students bound for careers in STEM are opting to pass on the hefty price tags for a traditional college degree. Instead, they’re increasingly heading to trade schools that can get them the education and the on-the-job training they’re looking for at a fraction of the cost.  

Employers, especially those with strict requirements for a bachelor’s degree or higher, are facing a problem: either update their job requirements to include graduates from trade schools and other institutions, or face exacerbating their problems finding and hiring the talent they desperately need.  

Scientific Employers Have a Retention Problem 

The day-to-day experience of being a scientist, especially in the early years of a scientific career, can be grueling and unrewarding. Often, low-level research jobs are a grind involving long hours doing tedious, thankless work that can also be stressful, especially when so much of their future career is riding on their research or quality assurance.  

Additionally, young workers in scientific fields face a lack of flexibility from demanding jobs that don’t pay as well. The notorious difficulties young scientists face in the early years of their careers disproportionately affect women — especially women planning to have families — and is one of the primary contributing factors to gender inequalities in research and STEM fields.  

The solution to making jobs pay better, less demanding, and not such a monotonous grind is complex. One of the simplest solutions is the best: working with a scientific staffing agency. 

More Employers Are Working With RHM, a Scientific Staffing Agency 

At some point, employers in STEM fields are reconciling the high costs, wasted time, and exceptionally low unemployment of job seekers in STEM fields. They are turning to scientific staffing agencies like RHM.  

RHM is a scientific staffing agency who can not only provide the talent employers are looking for, but also create unique connections between job seekers and employers to ensure the right fit for both parties. If you’re one of the many employers in STEM fields, contact RHM today