To secure critical STEM talent, RPO adopts a new approach to recruiting its recruiters
Challenges in finding niche recruiting talent
For this top biopharmaceutical company, hiring experienced recruiters to ensure a robust talent strategy was a priority – but also a growing challenge given the competitive and expensive labor market in the San Francisco Bay Area. To ensure full alignment with company goals, it needed recruiting talent that had years of corporate experience, but also niche scientific experience in areas such as medical affairs and pharmacovigilance.
The company also wanted recruiters that fit in with the company culture and could provide a consultative approach, coming to hiring managers with market intelligence to help them make the most informed decisions.
Finding this niche recruiting talent was challenging for a number of reasons. In addition to high competition in the Bay Area, onsite requirements limited talent pools and working with multiple staffing vendors created complexity.
As the company rebooted its recruiting and sourcing strategies, it sought a new recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider that could deliver the talent it needed, while serving as a true strategic partner.
RPO delivers a data-focused approach
After working with Randstad Sourceright on a Recruiter on Demand project, the biopharmaceutical company expanded its relationship to include comprehensive RPO capabilities. The new RPO solution supports U.S. operations, as well as operations in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. With a new RPO program in place, the company adopted a new approach for acquiring additional experienced pharmaceutical industry recruiters to support the organization.
Recognizing the challenges faced, the RPO used data and market analysis to demonstrate why it was necessary to open the search beyond the Bay area. Talent availability and pay rate intelligence clearly showed how this adjustment would help the organization find qualified candidates and within budget. As a result, the company was able to welcome remote talent — even before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted working arrangements — who work during headquarters’ local business hours to stay aligned.
The company also benefits from two executive-level recruiters, a market research specialist and a diversity and inclusion strategist, all identified through the RPO. With a dedicated diversity and inclusion specialist in place, the company has a robust strategy to attract diverse talent for its high-level positions, ensuring it benefits from leaders that represent a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Most importantly, the company now has a streamlined hiring process, enhanced by Randstad Sourceright’s extensive network of recruiting professionals. Through internal sourcing, the RPO program delivers greater recruiting speed and quality of scientific candidates. And because the company trusts the candidates sourced through Randstad Sourceright’s expertise, the interview process is also more efficient.
A successful strategy to recruit the recruiters
As a result of this new, data-focused approach to hiring recruiting talent, the company has already seen enormous success in the first year of its program. One hundred percent (100%) of the reqs for recruiters and sourcers received at implementation were filled through a mix of internally sourced and referred candidates.
Now, with a single vendor managing RPO, the company also benefits from a simplified and streamlined process. This has led to a significant reduction in time to fill, from 54 days for R&D recruiters to less than 30 days. At the same time, Sales & General Administration recruiter hiring went from 20 days to just 15. All while, the organization has maintained a low turnover rate of less than 5% one year into the program.
These improvements occurred during the height of the pandemic, showing just how crucial an RPO program can be. The organization was able to hire specialized, hard to fill roles with data at a time when nearly every aspect of the business has been made more challenging.