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RPO case study: bridging a critical staffing gap.

RPO case study: bridging a critical staffing gap.

Global pharmaceutical company fills nearly 700 roles in seven months with recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) while ramping up its internal recruiting team


A global, private pharmaceutical company needed to seamlessly bridge a staffing gap, especially for hard-to-fill positions, while transitioning to a fully functioning in-house staffing program.

The organization partnered with Randstad Sourceright on a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solution to help it find talent during this interim period.

key results

  • The organization successfully filled 692 roles in seven months, eliminating business disruption during its transition.
  • Time-to-fill rates averaged at 22 days for high volume and 72 days average across all types of positions.
  • The process resulted in a 93% offer acceptance rate.
  • 1,200 interviews were scheduled and 466 phone screens were completed by the recruiting coordination team to supplement recruiter activity.

bridging a gap to source niche pharma talent

As the largest global privately-owned pharmaceutical company, this company relies on a wide range of professionals, from sales and supply chain personnel to highly specialized medicine, regulatory affairs and research and development talent to deliver its break-through products. Ensuring long-lasting success and competitiveness, the company regularly hires new talent for its open positions.

Although the company had a prior 10-year relationship with a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider, after carefully reassessing long-term goals, it decided to bring the recruiting function in-house. While ramping up the internal team, the company needed to bridge a 6 to 12-month staffing gap with niche-level talent to minimize disruption for internal business partners.

To fill this gap, the organization looked for a temporary solution to handle recruitment. They sought a partner that understood the unique challenges of recruiting pharmaceutical talent, such as strong offer negotiations to secure these in-demand individuals. The organization also wanted to benefit from the expertise of a highly experienced internal recruiting team that would provide the option to convert qualified interim recruiting staff to permanent employees to create long-term value for the organization.

staffing up quickly with niche talent

The company selected Randstad Sourceright’s recruiter on demand RPO solution to address its interim staffing needs. As the company transitioned to moving its recruitment in-house, the RPO program covered many crucial positions. 

This included some of the organization’s most challenging-to-fill roles, such as clinical data scientists; statistical programmers; disease-specific medical professionals; and specialists in oncology, cardiology, medicinal chemistry and computational biology. The program also included business-essential positions in sales, finance, manufacturing, IT, facilities and health, safety and environmental.

When several company product launches placed heavier need on manufacturing and field sales roles than originally planned, the recruiter on demand program scaled quickly to add recruiters, talent advisors, sourcers and recruiting coordinators, to ensure hiring demands were met.

Given the intense competition when sourcing for talent in the pharma industry, the recruiting teams put a great deal of effort into talking with candidates and understanding their unique needs. Minimizing time to interview and time to hire is critical in securing highly in-demand pharma talent, due to the short shelf-life of pharma candidates. As such, the RPO acted quickly to gather requirements, source candidates and complete interviews. This was instrumental in keeping highly sought after candidates engaged throughout the process, as well as converting top candidates to employees.

As the process progressed, the RPO identified core selling points that resonated most with candidates and refined the messaging and recruiting strategy accordingly. With frequent client briefings and feedback sessions, a well-defined plan with tight timelines, and direct, transparent communication, the short-term recruiting project was highly efficient while also arming the company with strategies, best practices and tools it needed to support a sustainable in-house recruiting function long term.

hundreds of roles filled with high-quality, diverse talent

By adopting the recruiter on demand RPO, the pharmaceutical leader eliminated business disruption and met business partner needs while it transitioned to a well-developed, in-house recruiting model.

In just seven months, the RPO successfully managed more than 15,000 applications, pre-screened more than 4,500 candidates and filled more than 692 roles with niche pharma talent. Roles were filled in 22 days on average for pipeline roles and 72 days overall.

Due to a strong focus on candidate experience throughout the entire process, the organization achieves a 93% offer acceptance rate through the RPO. What’s more, 64% of candidates represent diverse populations at a time when just 46% of life sciences and pharma organizations say their hiring practices support their diversity goals.

As a result of continued demand, the company extended the program an additional six months, giving its in-house team additional recruitment support for niche roles in manufacturing, research and medicine.

Going through such a transformation could have seriously impeded the company’s ability to hire right-fit talent. Adopting a recruiter on demand program, however, empowered the company to continue hiring for even the most niche and challenging roles during a time of great transition.

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