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RPO case study: pharmaceutical company builds new global tech team from the ground up.

recruitment process outsourcing case study - gender diversity - IT talent

Company overcomes talent scarcity and other challenges, creates talent hub in Poland to drive digital evolution

global pharmaceutical company

To support its digital transformation and overcome talent scarcity, the company planned to create a new digital hub in Warsaw, Poland staffed with the region’s best IT professionals.

A recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) program was implemented to manage the end-to-end recruitment process, including the creation of targeted branding and robust campaigns to attract top talent and improve diversity.

key results
Through the RPO, the company hired more than 200 highly qualified IT professionals, while achieving a gender diversity rate of 34% female hires and reducing time to hire from three months to just 33 days.

hiring talent to drive digital transformation

Creating a robust hub of IT talent in Warsaw, Poland from scratch was never going to be easy. Yet, that was the task facing hiring managers for this leading global pharmaceutical company.

While it long relied on outsourcing tech roles to contractors in the U.S., the company sought to hire such talent closer to its European headquarters. By populating the hub with local talent, it could have a centralized location to serve tech needs across the organization globally and drive its ongoing digital transformation.

Acquiring the talent to fill this hub proved to be a major challenge. Individuals with the most in-demand tech skills are increasingly harder to find, and the company wasn’t looking for just anyone. It sought specialized professionals with between eight to 15 years of experience for very niche roles. It also wanted to improve workforce diversity by hiring more female talent. This was another tough task given the typical lack of gender diversity in the IT space, with women making up just 15% of the IT population in Poland — one of the lowest ratios in all of Europe.

The company’s hiring goals were even more challenging due to a lack of employer brand awareness in the Polish market about the company and its positions. And, while many local professionals prefer contract assignments (due to lower tax obligations), the company could only offer full-time employment, further limiting the talent pool.

With the digital hub essential to the company’s near- and long-term goals, it needed a way to overcome those hurdles and find the talent that would drive the future of its digital operations.

break through the noise to attract niche IT talent

To support the creation and staffing of this digital hub, the company implemented a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) program with Randstad Sourceright. The RPO manages key recruitment activities, from sourcing and attracting talent to improving the candidate experience and delivering governance and consistency.

The program involves hiring for the digital hub, including 200 specialized roles in pharmaceuticals, consumer health, cybersecurity, data science, software engineering, product management, machine learning and more.

To acquire talent with the skills required for these roles, the company leverages best practices, such as offering salaries higher than the market rate. The program also includes the creation of a new employee value proposition (EVP) — one targeted to IT candidates that highlights the interesting projects they’d be working on, the teams they’d be working with and the countries they’d be supporting.

To ensure the jobs are seen by the right candidates, the RPO targets media campaigns through specific job boards to reach qualified niche talent. Hiring managers are also encouraged to share job postings on social media to spread the excitement and support a more viral strategy to attract candidates. Additionally, they attend events like career fairs to further raise awareness and connect with qualified talent.

Throughout the program, the company’s hiring teams and key stakeholders maintain a high level of collaboration and regular communication with the RPO team. This was crucial in the face of two significant world events: the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in nearby Ukraine. The company was able to maintain relationships with talent and reconnect with them to ensure a steady hiring process.

a successful launch from the ground up

Tasked with the enormous challenge of building out a robust talent network of IT professionals from the ground up to meet its growing digital needs, the company’s decision to adopt an RPO helped it meet a major business objective. Starting completely from scratch and overcoming two life-changing events along the way, the company successfully sourced and hired more than 200 specialized IT professionals. By filling the niche roles it previously struggled to staff, the company now has the teams in place to support its digital transformation today and into the future.

In hiring these individuals, the company also met and exceeded several of its key targets. This includes achieving 34% gender diversity despite the relative scarcity of female tech talent. Meanwhile, the company enhanced its international diversity, hiring people representing more than 30 countries, and met its goal of hiring at least 5% of candidates with PhDs.

The company also improved time to hire significantly, reducing it from a period of three to four months per hire to an average of just 33 days. Its more efficient hiring process has been crucial in ensuring the company doesn’t lose candidates to competitors. Additionally, it achieved a 33% interview-to-hire rate, and an acceptance rate goal of 68%, indicating the high quality of candidates and hires attracted through the RPO.

Overall, the company’s hiring managers are highly satisfied with the program, giving it a net promoter score of 4.5 out of 5. This further highlights the success in finding tech talent despite an incredibly challenging landscape.

Learn how recruitment process outsourcing can help your business compete for high-demand tech skills. Download the RPO Playbook.