Case Studies

Using our local knowledge to help a US business launch in Switzerland

OverviewCompany: US based biotechnology company, looking to expand within European markets Role required: Medical Directors, Executive level Recruitment situation: Our US based client was looking to launch a new site, based in Geneva. They needed a medical director with experience across all stages of clinical development. The role had been open for 12 months, but all their previous candidates were more focused on late phase rather than the who process. The situation We were approached by a US-based biotechnology company that needed a senior director to join their executive team in their new Swiss site. The role was a strategy focused role, where the chosen candidate would be responsible for overseeing the programmes through all stages of clinical development as well as taking a key role in the leadership team. They had been working with recruitment companies, but they were unable to find medical directors with enough experience across the phases of development. As such, the role had been open for 12 months and was limiting the development of their Swiss entity. Based on our global experience aiding companies across the world source candidates on an international level, we were approached to help source potential candidates on this role. As a senior and critical role that had already experienced disappointment for the client, we referred them to our executive search team and began the process of identifying the optimal. Hobson Prior executive solutionThe initial focus was to identify which candidates had already been interviewed and why they were not offered the final role. By understanding the client’s minimum requirements and identifying where unsuccessful candidates had been sourced allowed us to minimise future unsuccessful submissions. As part of this process, we worked closely with the client to identify pre-existing role models within their business and the industry. Utilising our advanced recruitment software, we were then able to isolate candidates in Switzerland with similar education and employment history as they would have the skillset required for the role. Our European team began proactively headhunting our extensive mainland network. By utilising our contacts, we were able to collect referrals of skilled professionals that matched our client’s criteria. We were then able to build a pool of potential candidates and pre-interview each candidate before submission to ensure we only put forward those that would benefit our client. We worked closely with their US team to facilitate the phone interviews and follow-up face-to-face interviews, ensuring that despite the time difference, all parties were aware of the process and maintaining effective communication. The resultFollowing a successful interview period, a candidate from the UK was offered a role within 5 months of the role being with us, a 60% decrease from the previous attempts. Based on the success of this process, we found another candidate who was offered a similar roe in their European team two months after the first placement. By working with our executive team, they were able to expand across Germany and the UK, with the qualified medical directors they needed. We dramatically reduced their time to hire and they have gone on to create and addition third and fourth role to allow more of the candidates we sourced to join their team. To learn more about our recruitment solutions, you can view our employers section or upload a job description to our client services team. Hobson Prior Interim Recruitment  Our interim solutions are customised to ensure we provide you with fast delivery and high-quality candidates. You’ll also benefit from additional services to ensure efficient turnaround.Local candidate pools Same day search International contractor support Pre-assessed submissions Full compliance and support Click here for more information

Case study: Helping a cell & gene therapy start-up 10x their headcount

The situationDuring a candidate check-in, one of our previous candidates informed us he’d joined an upcoming clinical stage cell and gene therapy company that had developed new labs. They were a small team of 5 people and needed to bulk hire GMP technician and production scientist for a bulk project. As a small team in a highly competitive industry, they struggled with the resources and reach to attract top candidates with the required skillsets. Based on our previous relationship with the senior vice president, we arranged a site visit to discuss how Hobson Prior could help them increase their headcount.Hobson Prior solution At the initial meeting, we identified the – Basically, found out as much as we could about the company and the project they were working on, so we could best represent them to the talent in the industry. As well as agree a budget and timescale – from this we tailored a recruitment package to suit them. We utilised our international candidate pools of pre-screened candidates with the required skillsets. Our technical operations recruitment team spoke to these candidates to ensure they were appropriately skilled, available and to ensure they were engaged and excited by the opportunity to join the project. We were quickly able to source a list of 20 candidates that would be suitable for the role. As resources and time were key areas of concern for the company, we suggested using our digital interview system, HireVue, to give them more control over the initial stages of interview review. Each of the 20 submitted candidates completed a video interview that could be quickly and simply reviewed by the company to ensure we maximised their time. From these 20, 10 were taken into a final face-to -face interview.The resultWithin 6 weeks, we had sourced, screened and placed 8 candidates. 9 out of the 10 final interviews were offered jobs and we have been working with this cell and gene therapy company since. Their team has grown from 5 members to over 50, with Hobson Prior responsible for the pre-screen checks, gathering references and on-boarding for half of these new hires. In fact, the last 4 placements made by Hobson Prior were for a team reporting into one of the original 8 we helped place. We are proud to be a trusted part in this innovative company’s rapid growth as the continue to research ground-breaking developments in the life sciences industry. 

Case Study: Sourcing a validation team to meet a tight deadline

The situationOur client, a growing biopharmaceutical company with sites across the UK and Europe were looking to develop one of their site’s manufacturing capabilities due a large increase on sales from the previous year. They were given the task to construct a new facility, install new equipment and develop current MP processes within a 12-month period, giving them extremely limited time to complete projects. The challenges they faced were recruiting Validation individuals who had Marchensi and SEA vision equipment experience, along with general CQV and Serialisation knowledge. As SEA vision is considered niche within this market, they had struggled to find candidates for the roles. Given the tight deadline, getting the validation work started was a priority. Hobson Prior solution Having struggled to source the correct type of candidates themselves, it was key that we understood precisely what they were looking for in validation professionals. We met with the key stakeholders on site to ensure we understood their requirements and company culture, as well as develop an immediate strategy to focus on priority sourcing candidates. Based on this meeting, we completed a 48-hour search and successfully provided 5 validation contractors with direct experience and expertise in Marchensi SEA vision. This allowed the key stakeholders to focus on the new facility while the contractors ensured the priority validation work was covered. We continued to source by identifying companies using this specific equipment, enabling us to utilise our network of validation professionals to headhunt experienced candidates in similar roles. The resultWe successfully recruited 100% of the required positions needed in the 12 months. All the workers completed their contracts and one was even taken on in a permanent capacity. Due to the speed at which the contractors were sourced, the site’s validation teams successfully implemented the validation life cycle and the product sales continued to rise following successful GMP. We continue to work with this biopharmaceutical company in their UK and EU teams as their exclusive recruitment partner.  Hobson Prior Interim Recruitment  Our interim solutions are customised to ensure we provide you with fast delivery and high-quality candidates. You’ll also benefit from additional services to ensure efficient turnaround.Local candidate pools Same day search International contractor support Pre-assessed submissions Full compliance and support Click here for more information

Case Study: Helping our clients set up facilities in Europe to help combat Brexit

The situation One of our global pharmaceutical clients based in the UK contacted us for our support on a specific European project. At the time, they manufactured their products outside of Europe, completed QP release in the UK before distributing throughout Europe. 65% of their products were distributed throughout Europe – In the event of Brexit, all products released in the UK would potentially need to be rereleased when they cross the boarder into the EU. Understanding that this could potentially lead to them losing business to EU based companies, our client wanted to implement a proactive plan to combat future issues that could arise from Brexit. That solution was to open two sites in Europe, one QP office in Belgium to complete European QP release and a distribution centre based in Poland. Our client had specific plans in place with project milestones and headcount for each of those stages, But hadn’t ever hired anyone in Europe previously.  Hobson Prior solution Firstly, we gained a detailed briefing from the client on; the project plans, milestones, locations and why all these decisions had been made – This gave our team a great understanding of the business and project to allow us to sell it to candidates effectively. He then outlined to us more specifically about the hiring plans, he explained to us that this was a project that would run for roughly 2 years and he expected up to 40 new hires of both contract and permanent members of staff including consultancy support for things like validation. He explained the skill sets, level of experience, location, language skills, contract or permanent and what the expected hiring dates would be for each position. After digesting all of this information, our Quality team begun to proactively talent pool in the specific area’s he had mentioned – we initially started speaking with people inside our network that would consider opportunities in Europe. We then began a targeted approach of headhunting local talent to build our network in country, as we understood that this was where the main bulk of permanent hires would come from. We opted to conduct a lot of this work up front, so as each milestone was hit and new hires were required we already had a relevant shortlist of candidates.  The resultBecause of our team’s proactive approach, we were able to support our client fully with the delivery of their project, on time and under budget. We were successful in helping them hire 15 contract and 10 permanent employees across the two sites over the two year project. These positions were; 6 QA Officers, 4 QA Specialists, 2 QA Managers, 4 QPs, 3 RPs, 1 Head of Quality & 5 Senior QA Consultants. The client was impressed with our delivery within Quality in the early stages of this project, that they then worked with other managers in the business to give us access to other areas of the project. We went on to make successful contract and permanent placements within Regulatory, Technical Operations & Production.  To learn more about our recruitment solutions, you can view our employers section or upload a job description to our client services team. Hobson Prior Interim Recruitment  Our interim solutions are customised to ensure we provide you with fast delivery and high-quality candidates. You’ll also benefit from additional services to ensure efficient turnaround.Local candidate pools Same day search International contractor support Pre-assessed submissions Full compliance and support Click here for more information

Case study: Finding a new job after a mis-sold role

The situation It is frustrating when you start a new job, but it doesn’t live up to the vision you were sold throughout the interview process. We were approached by a job seeker who was experiencing exactly this; she’d joined a CRO for a permanent position, but the job she’d accepted wasn’t living up to expectations. Having just undergone an arduous job search, she turned to Hobson Prior to help her find a job that lived up to expectation. Hobson Prior solution The first thing Hobson Prior did was introduce her to a recruiter that specialised within her area of biometrics. This way, she could talk in detail about her niche, knowing the recruiter she was working with not only understood the terminology, but had a network of connections within her sector. After an initial call with our biometrics team, we understood that she was she enjoyed working on varied projects, but wanted to work directly for a pharmaceutical company rather than through a CRO. She was also starting to think about her retirement, but didn’t want this to slow down her working life. We suggested that she think about contracting opportunities as these would give her the diversity she wanted and meant she could continue working with various pharmaceutical companies before her retirement. Having recently been disappointed by her the permanent job she’d just accepted, she was excited about the opportunities contracting may supply her. The result By understanding her requirements and utilising our connections within the industry, we were able to identify opportunities not yet released. Her years of experience and desirable skillset were well received, and we were able to supply her with several roles at pharmaceutical companies that would provide her with the diverse and exciting projects she was looking for. She accepted a 12-month contract at a leading global pharmaceutical company, with a higher pay rate than she’d asked for, where she is still happily working. Download the case study Click here for a printable version of this case study

Case study: Securing a homebased position for more work-life balance

The situation *Names have been changed to provide anonymity We worked with a biometrics job seeker, called Simon*, who was unhappy in his current permanent position at a CRO and wanted a new job that would elevate his career. Based in Swansea, his local opportunities were limited and while many of his colleagues were relocating to Europe for work, he had family commitments in Wales. He spoke with other recruitment agencies, but was feeling frustrated as they continued to present him with overseas roles that didn’t match his career goals. He wanted to progress in his career, but needed to be able to stay in Wales to secure a practical work-life balance. Hobson Prior solution Simon was recommended by his colleague to Michael Masoomi, a principal recruitment consultant at Hobson Prior specialising in the biometrics sector. His colleague has worked with Mike before, who was able to find him a job at a company that other recruiters didn’t have access to. Simon spoke to Mike about his career, experience and personal commitments, allowing Mike to build an accurate idea of the type of positions he would be interested in pursuing. As location was a key aspect of his requirements, Mike suggested Simon explore home-based opportunities. This would open his options to an international level, without the need to relocate. Mike was able to widen the search and include global, leading pharmaceutical companies and CROs to the search, whilst focusing on jobs that allow for a balance between Simon’s work ambitions and family commitments. Having built strong relationships with our clients, Mike was able to go direct to hiring managers and consult his network to identify roles that were yet to be publicly released yet, many of which we had exclusive access to. The result With this knowledge and his connections, Mike was able to offer Simon various home-based positions with reputable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies across the UK and Europe, none of which required relocation. With Mike’s help identifying unreleased roles and his support throughout the interview process, Simon was able to accept a home-based role with a well-known pharmaceutical company. Since then, Simon has returned to Hobson Prior for his last three placements, choosing to work exclusively with our biometrics team thanks to their understanding of his work-life balance. Download the case study Click here for a printable version of this case study

Case study: Helping a job seeker get back into work with gaps in her CV

The situation Gaps in your CV can make looking for your next job feel more daunting. Often, job seekers can feel pressured to take lower salaries or take a step backwards in order to get back on the career ladder. One regulatory affairs specialist approached Hobson Prior having been out of work for three years. She had become the primary carer for her parents and was finding it difficult to secure the work-life balance she needed. She knew she would have to compromise somewhat, but other recruitment agencies were using the gap in her CV against her and were offering her very junior roles with substantially less pay. Hobson Prior solution When she spoke with Hobson Prior, she was connected to our specialist regulatory affairs recruitment team, who spoke to her to better understand her situation and what she was looking for. With over 20 years’ experience and proficiency in pre and post CMC experience, she had a wealth of knowledge that was being overshadowed by her career break. She was looking for a permanent position, but our team advised her not to discount contract opportunities. These would allow her more flexibility to care for her parents and give her the opportunity to work with global leaders within pharmaceuticals to get solid, recent experience on her CV. We spoke to our connections within her commuting radius, utilising our established relationships with our clients. Through our recruitment partnerships, we were able to identify unreleased roles at reputable pharma companies that would benefit from her skillsets. Despite the gap in her employment history, we were able to ensure her CV was seen by hiring managers and that her level of experience was the centre of her applications. The result Through our relationships with our clients, we were able to identify a handful of relevant contract opportunities that were both local and had minimal compromise on her pay rate. She interviewed for two positions that offered flexibility at globally renowned pharmaceutical companies that would help her rebuild her CV, one of which she is now working at. We were able to consult her on the best plan of action to achieve her ultimate goal of moving into a permanent opportunity at a global pharmaceutical company.  We were able to identify roles not available publicly and used our relationships with hiring managers to make sure she was still considered as a credible and desirable candidate for regulatory affairs roles. Download the case study Click here for a printable version of this case study

Case study: Finding a redundant job seeker work before redundancy

The situation We got in touch with a job seeker that had recently been made redundant when his company had decided to close their research and development sites in the Netherlands. As a tenacious and skilled worker, he wanted to get back on the career ladder as soon as possible. Simultaneously, he also wanted to take this opportunity to pursue his and his wife’s dream to move to Switzerland. Unsure where to start and juggling redundancy with an international relocation for his family, he turned to Hobson Prior. Hobson Prior solution The first crucial step was to learn a bit more about what he was looking for from his new job as well as how his career fit into his future plans. He knew he wanted to move to Switzerland and we wanted to be sure we were in touch with companies that would allow him to progress in his career and matched his requirements. With so much on his plate, we helped get his CV in front of leading Swiss pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and used our network of connections to identify opportunities within his sector. With our exclusive recruitment partnerships, we had insight into various positions that had not been released publicly and matched his career profile. Working proactively with him as he was finishing his employment at his previous job, we secured him 4 interviews with a selection of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in Switzerland, all of which matched his ideal job requirements. The result Out of the 4 interviews, he was given two offers and he accepted a position that matched his career goals and allowed him and his wife to pursue their dream. As a result, before he had seen out his redundancy, he had a new job lined up and was already preparing for the relocation. We were able to support him with the relocation process and he and his wife have been living happily in Switzerland since. Download the case study Click here for a printable version of this case study

Case study: Making the move from Barcelona to Basel

The situation Our Spanish candidate was living in Barcelona with his family and working for a small CRO as a clinical trial manager. We received a referral from one of his colleagues and as we were interested in his sought-after skills, we approached him to discuss his next move. Hobson Prior solution We suggested he consider Swiss-based roles and, open to an overseas move, he agreed. After speaking to his family they decided that he should try a six month contract in Switzerland after which, if all went well, they would relocate. We identified a suitable role as an expert clinical manager in a global healthcare leader’s Basel-based headquarters and organised calls with existing contractors who offered him their honest advice and opinions. We then set up a face-to-face interview with the client and recommended that whilst there he should take the opportunity to view apartments. During that visit, he successfully secured the contract and found a place to live. The result After 6 months onsite, commuting weekly from Barcelona to Basel, he was offered a permanent position, which he accepted. He has now been happily living there with his family for two years.

Case study: Moving from Milan to Frankfurt

The situation For over six years, our Italian-born candidate had been working for a small medical sciences organisation based just outside Milan as a statistical head of programming. She wanted to move to a European country with a more stable economy, however with no languages other than English and Italian, her options were limited. Hobson Prior solution We managed to identify a position as a senior principal statistical programmer with a leading global organisation in the pharmaceutical sector based in Frankfurt, Germany, where the successful applicant would be able to work entirely in English. Although extremely interested in the role, our candidate was concerned about moving to an area she knew nothing about. Her partner was due to move with her a few months later and they needed time to get to know the area and find a place to live. The result We explained their concerns and, in response, the organisation offered six open-dated return flights and a salary that outweighed expectations. This was far more than expected and she was delighted. She accepted the role and moved to Germany four months later.

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