Case Studies

Filling the “unfillable”

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The challenge

GxPeople first made speculative contact with the Global Head of Quality and were offered a challenge: fill a Head of Compliance vacancy in Germany that had remained unfilled for over a year, then they would open up more roles to us. Multiple agencies had attempted to fill this job role and had been unsuccessful.

The results

Knowing that they had met with multiple recruitment agencies, we made sure we fully understood their exact requirements. This meant that we were able to heavily vet each candidate to ensure they met all the job specifications – an important step to take as the interview process was rigorous and intensive, and any shortcomings would be immediately identified.

Through engaging with our widespread network of Quality professionals we had located four candidates within three weeks who were each ready to interview. Three weeks later, they had taken on their chosen candidate through their demanding interview process and made an offer, which was happily accepted. Through a deep understanding of their requirements and ensuring that only the right people were put in front of them we had successfully filled the unfillable.

Since proving our ability to genuinely understand their needs we have placed a large number of their interim and permanent staff across the DACH region into different divisions, teamed up with their HR and procurement departments, and built company-wide reputation.

Their words

"GxPeople has been the best recruitment agency I have used over the last five years. They intelligently filter candidates and then support them through the recruitment process."

Knowing your market pays off

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The challenge

Our client needed several senior candidates with over 10 years of QA experience following a reorganisation. In terms of product experience, it varied from aseptic filling of combination devices to biologics drug substance and drug product. They had struggled mainly because the budget on offer didn't correspond to the levels of experience they were looking for. Most candidates were attracted by the brand but had little or no interest in moving to their location. Their HR team had lacked good profiles while using many recruitment agencies in the past. The job roles would sometimes remain open for over six months, so it was a critical time.

The results

GxPeople flew to see the site and met the business and HR team within one week of taking on the job. We took a thorough brief directly from the line manager and came up with ideas of how we could attract candidates to the job roles on offer. As budgets were tight, we mapped out relevant companies in countries such as Italy, Spain and Serbia. In just three months we filled eight roles. We presented a maximum of three highly qualified CVs per role, and every candidate we presented went through to the second stage of the process.

Their words

"Today when we think Quality roles, we think GxPeople. We consider them our go to partner for quality roles. When I first met Nadia and her team I wasn’t certain they would deliver, however it has been a great success so far"

Changing perceptions

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The challenge

We had heard from multiple candidates on the job market that this company was looking for a head of QC at their site in northern Germany. The site had some issues previously and they were therefore looking for a strong leader to take on the job. It was an urgent position to fill but, as they had been issued with an FDA warning recently, they were not attracting good candidates. The location was also quite remote, so there wasn’t a huge pool of

The results

We flew to the site, presented the business, and were subsequently offered the assignment exclusively. We agreed a date that they needed a candidate on board by, and drew up a strategy to ensure this timeline was met. We introduced three candidates for the role in just five weeks, and within seven weeks the right candidate had signed the contract. Today, we are their global partner on all global senior Quality roles.

Their words

"My company had an urgent need for a Head of QC and our experience of recruiting senior Quality roles in the past had been complicated. GxPeople contacted me to propose their services and, after gaining a strong understanding of our requirements GxPeople subsequently provided us with several interesting candidates, one of whom stood out as having the ideal mix of personality and technical skills. We have now reached the end of the process having selected this candidate. GxPeople impressed me with their knowledge of Quality and their overall level of service. I would not hesitate to use Chris and Nadia again."

Keeping to budget

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The challenge

Our client in Germany was looking for a qualified professional to take on a very challenging QP job. They would be learning new skills in the IMP area and leading a small team of QA staff at an American CMO business in Germany. They needed to be technically skilled and have the right cultural awareness to influence and work closely with a variety of people within the Quality sphere. Two other recruitment agencies had tried and failed to find someone perfect for this Quality role due to the high technical and cultural requirements as well as the tight CMO budget.

The results

We identified their needs: someone with the shortest availability and the right skills for the job at hand. Thanks to our extensive industry knowledge and specialised networks, we identified a suitable candidate who had just resigned at their previous workplace. The candidate was perfect for our client and they moved fast, organising several interviews at short notice with a diverse panel of stakeholders, and an offer was fast coming. Although the candidate had several job offers from other clients, the relationship we had developed with her throughout the process gave us an advantage, and she turned down some notable companies to join our client, where she is progressing extremely well in her job.

Their words

"We were delighted with the service provided by GxPeople. Finding a QP with the right motivation and skills had been extremely difficult but GxPeople provided an excellent candidate who was motivated to join us. We appreciate GxPeople's help with this search."

Mission impossible

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The challenge

We had been working with this company for a while when they hired us for a very interesting search. They required a new site head of Quality for their steriles plant in Buenos Aires, however the candidate needed to have European experience, along with FDA hosting, steriles and lyophilisation. Spanish was also necessary for the job.

The results

Within a period of just a week we had sent five fully qualified candidates, all of whom fulfilled all the job criteria. The reason we were able to respond so quickly was due to our extensive network within the pharmaceutical world. The next part of the process, and the most complicated, was having to arrange numerous telephone and skype interviews with stakeholders in India and the US, many of whom were travelling and changing time-zones. Despite this, the recruitment process ran smoothly, and culminated in the chosen candidate participating in a face to face job interview in Mumbai. The successful candidate was a Chilean who had been working in Switzerland for 20 years, keen to move back closer to his family.

Their words

"What separates Nadia and her colleague Chris (GxPeople) from most recruiters operating in Quality is their deep understanding of the GxP 'space'. They really know what they are talking about and consequently gain the trust of both clients and candidates very quickly. I cannot praise them enough for their dedication to rigorous pre-qualification of candidates, thus eliminating the risk of unqualified applicants wasting the hiring manager's time. In my experience, their success rate comes very close to 100%, which is rare! Since I have started working with them, I have come to trust them to get the job done whenever they commit to an assignment. I'd have no hesitation in recommending Nadia or GxPeople and look forward to our continued successful partnership."

Forming the perfect brief

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The challenge

The need for a regional Quality director came up during a rather complex time for this client. The firm was implementing a new corporate Quality system while the regulations of governments and authorities kept getting tighter in GDP. This led to the challenge of changing parameters and different ideas throughout the recruitment process. We needed to ensure everyone was co-ordinated throughout the recruitment process with clear deadlines and expectations set from the beginning.

The results

We spoke to everyone involved in the process to gain a strong understanding of what was specifically needed and helped them to revise the requirements to fit the new direction of the corporate business. Once this new job brief was finalised, we supplied the client with a selection of perfectly skilled candidates who were all possessing relevant regional management experience. Six weeks after the process commenced we filled the position with a candidate who was able to hit the ground running, helping the organisation to execute their corporate plans.

Their words

"I found GxPeople to be a highly professional and knowledgeable agency, who took time to really understand what our needs were. They advised us on potential issues around our recruitment strategy and provided us with a clear idea of how they would work. I am pleased to say the results were excellent and we now have a great candidate for the role."

South Germany success story

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The challenge

We started working with our client’s manufacturing site in south Germany, and through our success, we were given the opportunity to work with their corporate Quality group based in Switzerland. They had an associate director third party QA role which they had been struggling to fill via their internal teams and established suppliers. The job role would be based in south Germany and by the time we became involved it was urgent to fill the position.

The results

Having travelled to Germany to meet with their head of European QA, we took a detailed brief which involved an extensive wish-list. To qualify for the job, candidates needed to be QP’s with broad product experience, FDA hosting experience, site and corporate QA experience and outstanding communication and influencing skills.

We launched a pan-European recruitment search and identified outstanding candidates from Germany, Serbia and Italy. In total we submitted four candidates for the job, all of whom went to interview stage. The biggest eventual problem for the client was choosing which candidate to select, with all four capable of doing the job to a very high standard. The entire process was wrapped up in under two months, with the chosen candidate starting soon after.

Their words

"I had never worked with GxPeople before but was quickly impressed with their knowledge of quality and their ability to source interesting profiles from across Europe. The most complicated part of the process was choosing which candidate to hire, which makes a nice change. I found GXPeople highly professional and organised with a strong network of candidates, and I look forward to working with them again in the future."

At the double

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The challenge

This client was in the process of replacing its head of Quality for a large parenterals site in Germany, in what is a difficult location to recruit, when we began speaking with them. They were aware the job search would be difficult, and the urgency was compounded when a QP also resigned around the same time.

The results

We flew out to meet the current head of Quality and HR head, and they were both impressed with our knowledge of Quality and pharma compared to other agencies that they had used. We took on both roles, each requiring QP status, but with differing levels of experience required. The head of Quality role was prioritised at their request, as they desired a handover period if possible, and we were able to present three strong candidates for the role within a period of two weeks. Our attention then turned to the QP role. We presented two candidates and following that we quickly arranged interviews, and one was selected for the job. In total, the entire process for both roles took under three months from start to finish. We have developed an excellent relationship with the site, filling another QP role since, and we are now the only agency they will call in relation to recruiting Quality roles.

Their words

"I recommend highly GxPeople if you would like an agency that listens to your needs and delivers what they say. We will use GxPeople for our next vacancy in quality."

43rd time's a charm

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The challenge

We contacted the managing director of our client’s medical device site in Austria and they had been searching for a head of Quality for nearly a year. In that period, they had made a job offer to one candidate, which had been turned down due to the candidate not wanting to relocate. They had interviewed close to 40 people in that period, taking up an enormous amount of their time.

The results

We contacted the head of Corporate HR and flew to Switzerland to meet her along with the global head of Quality where we gained a detailed understanding of the role, and the kind of personality they needed. The main issue they were facing was location, while the profiles they were receiving also did not have enough devices experience. We launched a search across Austria and Germany, and within two weeks had provided three excellent profiles for the job, two of which were already known to us. All three candidates went to initial interviews with two invited for face to faces in Austria, before one candidate was put through to a final interview round in Switzerland. The result was a huge success, with the candidate declaring it was the ‘best interview experience he’d ever had’. The feeling was mutual, and the client is delighted with the progress of the site since his start. The entire process from initial conversation to signature of contract took just seven weeks.

Their words

"We were initially cautious about using a UK recruitment agency due to bad experiences in the past, however GxPeople came to meet us, and we trusted them to get the job done. We were not disappointed!"

Making it look easy

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The challenge

We had been in contact with the director GCP Quality at our client in Switzerland for some time, discussing his upcoming needs for new auditors. He had always had problems with recruiting before, mainly due to agencies not understanding what he needed to fill the jobs on offer. He explained to us that he often received GMP CV’s instead of GCP.

The results

We signed an exclusive contract with HR for both job roles, one at AD level and the other at senior auditor level, and began a pan-European search, due to their desire for more cultural diversity within the group. Candidates were presented from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and the UK with every candidate going to telephone interview stage. From this batch of seven candidates, four were selected for face-to-face interviews. This involved a great deal of coordination, helping to organise all travel arrangements to ensure a smooth process. These interviews were followed by further telephone interviews with key stakeholders in the US for the two selected candidates. Following the successful completion of the project, we were praised by the client for the level of support we provided and the overall efficiency of the recruitment process.

Their words

"Great experience working with GxPeople, well organised, professional, but above all great candidates!"

Quality is not an act. It is a habit
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