Fraser Dove International partnered with an established biotechnology organisation looking to modernise their Quality Assurance function and maintain its excellence under new leadership. Operating worldwide, the organisation specialises in developing pioneering cell and gene therapies to protect against illness and disease.
Committed to becoming the world’s leading pharmaceutical healthcare organisation, our client required a Head of Quality Assurance to take ownership of its Quality function. With customer satisfaction at the core of this organisation’s remit, the role would require the successful hire to ensure a seamless operation of their Contract Manufacturing facility, leaving quality uncompromised. Modernising this site would require a high-calibre and flexible leader capable of managing a diverse team and being the primary communicator with regulatory bodies and key internal stakeholders.
Due to the niche skills and extensive Quality Assurance experience required, the organisation’s in-house recruitment team was unable to identify and secure the talent they desired. With increasing urgency to make this business-critical hire, Fraser Dove was approached to expand the search globally.
Solution: Primary Search
Our Primary Search solution is an exclusive retained search for specialist and niche senior hires. It combines traditional executive search and recruitment techniques – headhunting, networking and talent mapping – with next-generation search tools, targeted advertising campaigns and expertise in social media networking to supplement our extensive network of Quality & Regulatory Affairs talent.
Our executive search and recruitment workflow consists of three distinct phases:
1) Discovery Briefing:
Before we undertake any search, we need a comprehensive understanding of our client’s need. Why are they hiring? What does success look like on search completion, and three, six and twelve months after their new hire is in post? What is their vision, mission, values? The discovery briefing ensures we have established the candidate persona(s) and fully understand our client’s employee value proposition (EVP), allowing us to take their employer brand to market.
The output of the discovery briefing – the Search Matrix – is a document outlining the skills, experience and competencies essential for success in the role. Signed off by key hiring stakeholders prior to search commencement, it is used in conjunction with the performance job description to qualify candidates for cultural and technical fit.
The requirements of the Head of Quality Assurance are as follows:
- Extensive background in Quality Assurance and site leadership.
- First-rate stakeholder engagement and management skills.
- Ability to balance speed of execution whilst maintaining high standards.
2) Talent Mapping:
Fraser Dove’s in-house Research Function engaged in a talent mapping exercise to develop a robust talent pool of life science professionals with expertise in Quality Assurance within the biotech industry. The search was international in scope, and concentrated on four countries: Australia, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA.
Talent mapping reduces lead times, providing an initial ‘focus’ for the search while ensuring its geographic scope is sufficient to headhunt high-impact talent. During this process, we engage prospective talent, gauging their appetite for the opportunity without the risk of revealing our client’s identity. This enables our Global Executive Research Managers to not only hone their pitch but feedback to the client about any reservations candidates might have about the opportunity.
3) Qualify & Influence
The Assignment Lead – Jason Cachia – worked closely with the Head Researcher – Peter Vedde – to conduct a competency and technical based qualification assessment to match candidates against the criteria outlined in the Search Matrix. Due to the nature of the role, an extensive, rolling shortlist of candidate profiles with the desired experience, skills and competencies were delivered within a three-week window.
Fraser Dove managed the entire candidate’s journey on the client’s behalf, from scheduling interviews to post-interview feedback and offer negotiation. The search for talent across international borders meant that careful consideration was required when communicating with candidates across three different time zones.
Identifying candidates outside of Asia who had not previously been contacted by our clients internal Talent Acquisition (TA) team in relation to the role proved challenging. Additionally, the team had to entice candidates to relocate to Singapore on a local contract once they expressed an interest in the opportunity.
The assignment lead – Jason Cachia – provided constant guidance to candidates and hiring stakeholders throughout the hiring process. He was praised by both the candidate and client on his responsiveness and around-the-clock availability. As a result, one candidate from the rolling shortlist accepted the role within nine weeks from the commencement of the search. Jason successfully persuaded this remarkable individual to relocate from Switzerland to Singapore.
The successful candidate’s previous experience managing and scaling a large Contract Manufacturing site from a Quality Assurance standpoint was the key differentiator. That, and the candidate’s motivation for opportunities in the Asia market and the great rapport built with the Hiring Manager.
The appointment of the Head of Quality Assurance will enable our client to implement strategies in the Quality Assurance function that will modernise and establish business growth. This will help our client on their mission to become the world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology organisation.