Contractors in Pharma and Biotech: What I’ve Learned After Becoming One

by: Kenneth Charest

In the ever-evolving world of contracting in pharmaceutical and biotech, project teams play a pivotal role in bringing groundbreaking innovations to life. The perception around contractors is often marred by misconceptions. However, after recently stepping into the role of a contractor myself, I gained a fresh perspective on the subject. This blog will dive deeper into the benefits of hiring contractors, dispel misconceptions, and highlight their positive advantages. 

Dispelling Misconceptions 

When I first entered the contracting world, I carried with me the common misconception that contractors were viewed as outsiders and often struggled to integrate fully into the teams they were leading. I thought that being a contractor meant feeling like a perpetual guest at a company’s table rather than an integral part of the team. However, my experiences have revealed a different reality. 

Adaptability and Specialized Expertise 

My time as a contractor at Verista has taught me that contractors bring adaptability and specialized expertise that can be a game-changer for project teams. At Verista, there is a deep wealth of knowledge and experience that is openly shared among employees. When you bring on a Verista resource, you tap into the collective wisdom of the entire organization. This not only benefits the contractor, but also enriches the project team’s capabilities. 

A Fresh Set of Eyes 

Contractors offer a fresh perspective and a treasure trove of new ideas to project teams within the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. When you step into a project as a contractor, you can maintain laser-like focus on delivery and meeting timelines, without the additional responsibilities and commitments that internal resources often have. This allows you to avoid the influences generated by internal leadership dynamics and stay unwaveringly focused on meeting the project stakeholders’ requirements. This fresh perspective can be a catalyst for innovation and efficiency. 

Cost-Efficiency and Flexibility 

Another significant advantage I noticed is the cost-efficiency and flexibility that contractors bring to the table when leading project teams. By being responsible for the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals outlined for a project, contractors help eliminate distractions that can impede the progress of internal resources. Additionally, contractors often come with experience directly related to the project’s requirements, thus bypassing the learning curve that internal employees might face. This not only saves time, but can also lead to cost savings in the long run. 

Data-Driven Benefits of Contractors 

Now, let’s explore some data-driven benefits of hiring contractors within the pharmaceutical and biotech industries: 

  • Cost Savings: According to a survey by PwC, 87% of companies hire contractors to reduce labor costs, and 72% use contractors to access specialized skills without long-term commitments. 
  • Agility: The pharmaceutical and biotech sectors are known for their fast-paced environments. Hiring contractors allows companies to scale their workforce up or down quickly, responding effectively to changing market demands. 
  • Reduced Onboarding Time: Data from McKinsey & Company shows that contractors typically require shorter onboarding periods, allowing them to start contributing to projects more swiftly. 
  • Innovation Boost: A study by Deloitte found that contractors often bring fresh perspectives, with 50% of organizations stating that contractors drive innovation within their teams. 


My journey into the contracting world has not only shattered my initial misconceptions but has also enlightened me about the invaluable role contractors play within pharmaceutical and biotech project teams. They bring adaptability, specialized expertise, fresh perspectives, cost-efficiency, and a streamlined focus that can accelerate project success. Contractors are not outsiders; they are dynamic contributors who help drive innovation and efficiency, ultimately shaping the future of these industries. It is high time we recognize and celebrate their indispensable role in our journey toward progress and discovery.