Placement Archive

Big pharma finds perfect-match Procurement Associate Director despite damaged employer brand

The Client

A global big pharma multinational was looking for an Associate Director of Procurement. This role would be mainly focused on contract manufacturing (CMO).

The Challenge

The company was struggling to fill many of their open positions due to a severely damaged employer brand. Over the past few months they had given their vacancies to any agency that was able to drum up a shortlist – an approach that had left the impression in the market that they were an organization that had too many open roles, a broken hiring process and was lacking a clear message.

There was also a mismatch between the client’s expectations and the talent available in the market (esp. regarding seniority, diversity) as well as a significant gap between the expectations the US HQ and the local team had regarding the position. This had made any progress within the hiring process almost impossible.

Last but not least, the role was very niche so that the talent pool was extremely limited.

Our Solution

Initially, the client was hesitant to retain us for the search since they hadn’t seen success with other agencies. After showing them examples of their damaged reputation in the market via anonymous candidate comments, the client was open to rethink their hiring approach and assigned us this role exclusively.

We began mapping the market and identifying qualified candidates – a difficult task due the small number of candidates that had the background and experience that the client was looking for.

In parallel, we also consulted with the client on how to improve a hiring process that had been negatively impacted by the gap in expectations between the different stakeholders – there was considerable distance in alignment between the local HR and the hiring manager in the US. The client agreed to reverse the order of interviews and start the process with the hiring manager in the US.

From a shortlist of four they selected a well-experienced industry veteran who had been working for 20+ years as a procurement and contract manufacturing (CMO) specialist for a Pharmaceutical company that fulfilled all criteria to a tee. Both the candidate and client were very happy about the match. In addition, the client expressed surprise that we were able to reach and engage a passive individual working for a domestic company like her and said that they would be redesigning their go-to-market strategy following the positive experience and outcome they had with BMES.

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