Client Case Study

Case Study: Our networking abilities prove invaluable for global biotech

The situation Hobson Prior was contacted by the director of clinical operations at a global biopharmaceutical company based in Zurich. In urgent need of an experienced quality assurance consultant to assist with an imminent FDA inspection, he had exhausted his local network and local agencies had been unable to help. Our actions With the inspection two months away, the pressure was on; a negative FDA inspection can result in the suspension of an organisation’s manufacturing license. Immediately, our consultants began to contact their network of Switzerland-based candidates as well as Swiss candidates working elsewhere in Europe and candidates wiling to consider a move to Zurich. Whilst networking, we were given details of an individual with highly sought-after skills who was coming to the end of his contract. We spoke to him immediately, presented the opportunity and managed to secure his services at a rate that fell within budget. He was offered the position after a first interview and joined the client soon after. The result Over the following two months our candidate was instrumental in ensuring the FDA inspection had a positive outcome. Following the inspection he remained in post to implement the actions proposed by the FDA. So invaluable were his contributions he was offered a permanent position, which he accepted.

Case Study: Tailored interim solutions for international CRO organisation

The situation In 2013, one of the largest contract research organisations in the world won a major bid with a leading pharmaceutical company who wished to outsource a number of high profile projects. As a result, the head of statistical programming found himself with an urgent requirement for statistical programmers. An industry-wide shortage meant he was uncertain of how to source the headcount required. Although the client’s intention was to recruit permanent staff we contacted him advising to consider contractors. Together, we looked into the financial impact involved in contract staff; projected costs, as well as the impact of not having sufficient resources in place by project commencement. . Our actions With the client’s approval, we contacted relevant contractors within our extensive network with the ideal skillset and experience, ascertaining the interest and commitment from each. Our focus on relationship building meant that we already had a pool of strong candidates who’d expressed an interest in working with the company should a suitable opportunity arise. We were therefore able to submit a list of candidates, together with profiles, within three working days. The result The exact match in candidate skills allowed interviewing to start immediately and within two weeks, three candidates were hired and working. We managed the entire process, from interviews to offer. This contractor recruitment drive meant we approached our client’s with the right balance of permanent head-count and professional contractors. They had the correct resources in place to cope with the peaks in workload and outperformed many of their competitors. As a result we were highly recommended to their German office where we’ve filled every contract assignment we’ve been given. We are proud to have made a small but significant contribution to their strategy and success.

Case Study: Our headhunting skills secured rare candidates for an early-stage company

The situation As part of the expansion of its UK operation, our client required a Head of RA and a Head of QA for its central London site. The client specialises in advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP). This area is highly competitive in the UK, as it has few high-calibre individuals compared with mainstream pharmaceutical industries. As such, a highly targeted approach was needed to secure the right talent for our client. Our actions We started by creating a shortlist of companies that focus within the ATMP area. Our consultants then identified individuals within those companies that matched our client’s role brief. We approached these professionals directly, generating phone-based engagement. Our consultants conducted detailed phone interviews to assess the suitability and commitment of each candidate, before submitting the top individuals for review by the client. Following this, we provided high-level support throughout the interview and offer process. The result As an early-stage company, our client was not a well-known brand in its market. As such, many candidates had not heard of the business before. However, we saw this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, as we were in a position to shape people’s perceptions. Using our specialist knowledge of the sector, we educated candidates about the company and its exciting prospects. We successfully filled both top-level positions, with an average time-to-fill of eight weeks from role brief to accepted offer.

Case Study: How we secured a candidate with rare ATMP experience

The situation Our client, a small company focusing on Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), needed to bring a new Regulatory Affairs Manager into their team. The ATMP arena is highly competitive in the UK, with few experienced candidates compared to mainstream pharmaceutical industries. In fact, our client had already tried recruiting for the position through in-house advertising and other recruitment agencies, but had struggled to find individuals with the relevant gene / cell therapy experience. Our actions We worked closely with our client to identify key skills needed for the position, and helped them develop a suitable offer by providing data on current market salaries. We then formulated a comprehensive recruitment strategy, designed to attract high-quality candidates within a relatively short timeframe. One of our Regulatory Staffing Specialists conducted thorough research of similar ATMP companies, and identified potential candidates working within them. He also consulted individuals within his extensive network in the biologics arena, who were able to recommend professionals suitable for the role. Finally, he used industry publications such as Regulatory Rapporteur to identify successful people within the ATMP field. Using the detailed specification that we developed with our client, our consultant drew up a shortlist of 15 individuals, who he then contacted at work. He was able to gain interest from several of the shortlisted people, and submitted them for interviews with the client. The result Using our headhunting skills and extensive network of industry contacts, we were able to source a number of suitable candidates well within the given timeframe. One of these individuals was offered the role, which they happily accepted. We received excellent feedback from the client, who was very impressed with our diligent and thoughtful approach.

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

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 waiting out the successful candidate’s notice period, the client was finally able to on-board 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 on-boarding, 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 the 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 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.

Case Study: The ideal regulatory specialist for a global pharma company

The situation When an international pharmaceutical company required an interim Senior Regulatory Consultant to work on an RIM project, the hiring manager was referred to Hobson Prior by a colleague who had previously worked with us. Our actions The hiring manager had been searching for the right candidate for over a month, but with no success. Indeed, the requirements of the role were challenging – the candidate needed experience in a very specific document management system and project management tool. Yet, within a week, we successfully tracked down a UK-based Associate Director of Regulatory with two years’ experience in both. We were able to achieve this thanks to our extensive networks; our Regulatory Affairs consultant had conferred with a number of industry contacts to gain leads, resulting in a referral to our candidate. Furthermore, thanks to our long-standing relationship with the referee, we knew we could rely on their recommendation. We contacted the candidate to discuss the role in detail, and conducted a thorough screening over the phone to ensure that he not only had the right experience, but was also the right cultural fit for our client. Once we were satisfied that the individual would impress, we submitted his details and arranged a phone interview with the hiring manager. The result The client was delighted with our candidate, and thanks to our thorough screening, they were confident enough to offer him the job after just a 45-minute call. Our support didn’t stop there though: we provided the successful candidate with advice on starting the role and commuting, hired a management company to ensure tax compliance, and touched base with both candidate and client frequently to ensure a smooth transition. Having impressed the client with our resourcefulness and efficiency, we’ve gone on to place five more interim regulatory consultants with them in the same year.

Case Study: Using video interviews to fill six challenging technician roles

A client with unusual requirements A biotechnology company had six vacancies with an unusual requirement: it needed GMP technicians who could help develop a brand new manufacturing facility, before assuming standard technician responsibilities once the facility had been audited. On top of this, the vacancies presented several other challenges:  -  Candidates were required to have both ATMP and asceptic technique qualification experience, both of which can be hard to find  -  Candidates would need to be comfortable working in a class C cleanroom (which involves strict measures to prevent contamination, such as wearing protective garments)  -  Due to the time-sensitive nature of the development project, the technicians needed to be working within three months The strategy behind video interviewing We sent two senior consultants from our engineering and production team for an on-site meeting with the client. Here, we learnt more about the company’s direction and how the GMP technicians would fit into it. We then provided expert advice on process, job description and salary, using our market knowledge to create a robust strategy that would overcome the above challenges. Part of this strategy was to make use of our video interviewing capabilities via HireVue (a leading platform used by top brands such as Vodafone, Nike and Random House). We knew that HireVue would be four times as fast as phone interviews, helping us meet our client’s deadline without compromising on quality or quantity of candidates. Furthermore, being able to see body language would help us determine enthusiasm and drive, which were of great importance to our client. Twenty interviews in under seven hours Having defined the roles in detail, we provided the client with a comprehensive proposal outlining our search and screening methods. We also involved the client in designing the HireVue interview; on their request, we recorded custom questions with our in-house filming equipment. We started the search within our existing talent pools, which our recruitment consultants proactively develop and nurture. This enabled us to quickly shortlist several suitable candidates and generate referrals. We then identified leads within similar ATMP companies, using our advanced headhunting skills to reach these individuals by phone. By effectively communicating the unique selling points of the role – including the chance to gain rare, valuable experience of setting up a new facility – we were able to source five out of the six successful candidates via headhunting. In just over two weeks, we found twenty suitable candidates and got them to complete the HireVue interview. The client was able to watch and evaluate all twenty interviews in less than seven hours. In other words, we saved them 15 hours of work by using HireVue instead of phone interviews. Having received the client’s feedback via HireVue, we immediately produced a visual analysis of the scores to aid them in creating a shortlist. We then arranged face-to-face interviews for the nine shortlisted candidates. The on-site interviews took surprisingly little time. The client found they didn’t need a whole hour, since candidates had already answered their custom questions via HireVue. As such, the client was able to give each person a site tour; this was a huge benefit for both parties and really helped ensure a good cultural fit. Delivering excellent results The client was delighted with the quality of our candidates, and we were able to fill all six vacancies on schedule. But our support didn’t stop there: we obtained professional references and advised on on-boarding to ensure a smooth transition. Impressed with our ability to deliver results, the client immediately asked Hobson Prior to work on another role, this time for a QC Microbiologist. Once again, our recruitment consultants delivered an excellent service, submitting three candidates to interview and successfully filling the vacancy. You can learn more about our video interviews here. Alternatively, get in touch to discuss your recruitment needs with one of our specialists.

Case Study: Going above and beyond to fill an urgent contract position in 4 days

The situation Our client approached us with a unique and challenging project. They had less than a month to source complete quality control team to oversee field testing aboard a boat that had been converted into a lab. Their internal recruitment team were struggling to find 2 Senior QC Chemists, 1 Lead Technician and 2 Lab Technicians that were qualified and willing to undertake this exciting, but demanding project. The job required the team to live and work on the boat on a 2-week-on, 2-week-off shift pattern, working 12 hours for 14 consecutive days. Also, the continuation of the project was dependent on the test results, meaning the company could only offer 3-month rolling contracts. Hobson Prior solution With timing key, we immediately conducted searches across our international database to identify available candidates with required experience. Our recruiters proactively headhunt and contact our contractors daily to keep our database updated so we were quickly able to highlight relevant candidates. Within 24 hours, we were able to supply a list of available, appropriately skilled and pre-vetted candidates for this position, which our client was able to go through and select those they wanted to interview. Working over the weekend, we provided soft references, confirmed compliance and prepared the successful candidates that made it to the video interview stage. The role was given to us late on a Thursday and by Monday, the client was ready to offer a contract position to an excited and qualified candidate. Our role wasn’t finished there, we helped facilitate the onboarding, background checks and get the contracts in place and the new starter began their first day just  10-days after we were given the position to fill. The result With the swift hire of our contract candidate, the team was able to submit their project on time, with both client and candidate thrilled with the experience. Our client was so impressed with our dedication to meet their deadline and go above and beyond to deliver, they have signed exclusivity with Hobson Prior for their future life sciences roles. Click here for a printable version of this case study

Case Study: How we sourced for a job that had been open for 9-months in 48 hours

The situation A biometrics hiring manager who had previously used Hobson Prior to build his team recommended us to the director of a newly acquired company. They had a niche biostatistician position that had been open for 9 months. None of the candidates sent by their internal talent acquisition team or other recruiters had been suitable so he approached based on our track record as specialists within life sciences recruitment. Hobson Prior solution After talking with the new director and identifying his ideal candidate, we searched our database for skilled, local candidates with the niche experience required for this position. Our recruiters add to this database on a daily basis. They are trained to proactively headhunt both active and passive job seekers to get a strong understanding of their skillsets and motivations.  We were able to source and submit a list of candidates that we had already screened for required skills, availability and compliance from our international talent searches. It is important to us that we only put forward relevant candidates. Within 48 hours, we delivered our list of submissions for this niche position. One of the potential candidates was had previously expressed to us that he was looking for an opportunity at this specific company as part of his career plans. The result Having previously struggled to source candidates with the relevant experience, the director had a choice of available contractors that had the specific skillsets required for the role. He invited two of the candidates to the final face-to-face interview stage. Our recruiters briefed and prepared the candidates for their interviews and, the job was offered to the candidate that had approached Hobson Prior, specifically looking for opportunities at their company. After 9 months of failing to fill the role, the director was thrilled to have such a rapid solution. We are proud to have been able to connect a job seeker with his ideal employer and deliver a reliable service on what must have been a stressful initial process for our client. Click here for a printable version of this case study

Case Study: Sourcing candidates for a rapid expansion in a remote location

The situation Due to the commercial success of one of our clients, their production output almost tripled. They needed to expand their team of 6 biologics downstream process scientists to 11 scientists within two months. Downstream process scientists are in high demand and our client was concerned that their site’s location was not as desirable as some of the other opportunities in this field. The company was struggling to source the best talent and attract them to relocate for their project. Hobson Prior solution The client was a global pharmaceutical company that had worked with us on other projects before. We already had an established database of downstream process scientists our recruiters had proactively been building over the years. As well as this database, our consultants actively headhunted downstream process scientists, including recommendations from our existing network. Exceptional people know exceptional people and our candidates trust our recruiters’ reputation so are willing to introduce us to experienced and desirable professionals we may not have in our international database. Through a mixture of targeted headhunting and referrals, we were able to engage 50 relevant scientists within 3 days. With much competition for their skillsets, the next challenge was to convince them to relocate to a new city, which the company had found to be off-putting during their internal recruitment. The result Hobson Prior was able to place 4 out of the 5 roles, with 9 CVs submitted within one week of posting the position. All 4 were offered a position after the first interview. A large part of the success of this recruitment solution was due to the skill and ability of Hobson Prior’s consultants to effectively and passionately promote the company and their expanding projects. Hobson Prior recruiters work closely with our clients to ensure we can best represent your visions and culture as brand ambassadors. Impressed with our ability to promote and fill positions for such a competitive market, the client has since called upon Hobson Prior to aid with their second round of expansion and continues to use us as part of their ongoing aggressive growth plans. Lorem ipsum dolor, sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Saepe excepturi officiis nemo impedit aut laborum, aperiam culpa voluptate tempore soluta facere ipsam cum. Totam, nobis voluptas unde nihil dolor minus?

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