In the fourth quarter of 2015, we brought on board a brand new preclinical CRO specialist. They had just acquired a big laboratory site in Italy from GlaxoSmithKline and were looking for a number of project managers to support the development of the site and the growth of their CRO.
We knew there were only 3 companies in Europe who specialised in preclinical CRO. This meant finding project managers with the right skill base, who wanted to relocate to Verona, was going to be a challenge. Especially because the client wanted native Italian speakers for the best cultural fit, even through the work was in English.
We decided to take a bespoke approach to this assignment:
We mapped out the other organisations who specialised in preclinical CRO, and found a number of companies with their own in-house departments.
We identified Italian ex-pats within then, seeking to find those who wanted to return home.
We approached, vetted and interviewed candidates, which was a complex process to manage as the company was growing fast and HR processes were struggling to keep up.
To keep hold of our candidates, we carefully managed our offers in the face of the inevitable counter-offers, even maintaining contact through the Christmas holiday.
The first project manager started this week and we have had offers accepted for two more. In three months, SEC has gone from a single assignment to the recruitment partner of choice and has been granted exclusivity on all future hires.