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Case Study: How we helped a client recover from a bad hire

James Inwood our consultant managing the role
James Inwood our consultant managing the role
Posted: 31/10/2019

The situation

Our client, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, approached us for support after going through a particularly disheartening hiring experience. Having decided not to use a recruitment agency in order to cut hiring costs, the business had spent over five months searching for a suitable individual for its Clinical Project Manager role. After yet another month of waiting out the successful candidate’s notice period, the client was finally able to onboard them.

Unfortunately, just a few weeks in, it became apparent that their new employee was ill-suited to the role. The individual soon moved to another employer, and our client was back to square one.

Almost seven months of work was down the drain. Furthermore, the company’s clinical team was really suffering from the lack of a CPM. The duties of the role were being half-fulfilled by employees with insufficient experience, who were understandably disgruntled by the extra work put on their plate. When the new hire didn’t work out, the client realised they needed to change tack – and quickly.

Our actions

At this point, our Clinical Team Manager James, stepped in to help. Like all Hobson Prior consultants, James proactively builds and nurtures a talent pool of high-quality, passive candidates. By keeping in touch with them on a regular basis, he develops a thorough understanding of their skills and aspirations.


As a result, James was able to immediately shortlist and contact several suitable candidates for our client’s CPM job. James discussed the opportunity in detail with his chosen candidates. He interviewed them rigorously about their suitability and interest in the role, ensuring that he only put forward those who would fully commit and succeed within the company.

Since he had long-term relationships with each of the candidates, he already understood their character and background, enabling him to identify and challenge any weaknesses or risks. James submitted three select individuals to the client, and over the next two weeks, he managed these candidates between interviews: answering their questions, gauging their interest and providing reassurance. This enabled the client to conduct a thorough two-stage interview process, without the worry of drop-outs.

The result

Just three weeks after they first approached us, the client hired one of our candidates. James supported the client and candidate throughout onboarding, to ease the process and catch any potential issues before they developed. Once the candidate started her new job, James caught up with her on a weekly basis to ensure she was settling in well. Two years on, she’s still in the role and performing very well.

With fees ranging from 20-35%, using a recruitment consultancy can seem like an expensive option. However, they say time is money – and had our client come to us first, we could have cut the time they spent searching for a CPM by 90%, not to mention finding them the right candidate the first time.

There are a number of ways you can protect yourself against making a bad hire; read about them in our advice blog How bad hires happen.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you fill a current vacancy or prepare for future talent requirements.

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