Operations Management Search in the Pharma Sector

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Barron Williams were recently asked to conduct a senior Operations Management Search for a new client in the Pharmaceutical Sector. 

We stepped in when their own advertising and existing PSL recruiters had failed to identify the right individual for this specialist high profile Ops role. 


Time was of the essence, the search had hit a brick wall, and we were brought in as a fresh pair of eyes. 

This specialist manufacturer quickly needed to identify candidates with experience and knowledge of a very specific process. They needed an individual who could hit the ground running, and minimise production disruption.

Whilst we hadn’t worked with this organisation before, we do have a longstanding relationship with their recently appointed HR Director, having partnered with them on a number of briefs in their previous roles. 

The pharmaceutical sector is also one we know well, however, this Operations Management Search required a blank canvas, the criteria in the role brief was very specific and the industry sector niche.


We set to work immediately, and our first task was to re-write the comprehensive role brief to better market the role/organisation and, more importantly, clearly define the relevant experience needed.

It was vital that the role brief attracted not only the right fit but also a strong shortlist of new individuals who hadn’t applied before. 

The position was then marketed through our own extensive networks, as well as utilising our powerful brand reputation, strong advertising platform and active social media channels.

Key to success, however, was the rapid, extensive search for relevant candidates and contacts. 

We needed to quickly build in-sector relationships, and establish a network that would enable us to find those who would best match the brief.

We started making contact with those in-sector who weren’t actively on the market, and initial response to our advertising was very positive. 

Contacts were being made, and we were identifying individuals who not only ticked all the boxes, but who hadn’t applied previously or were already known to the client.


Our polite, professional and diligent approach to senior executive recruitment was paying dividends. 

Networking was connecting us to other hard to find candidates who weren’t active, and a short but well-matched shortlist was quickly drawn up.

In these searches building relationships with contacts who can refer and recommend candidates is key. We work hard at that.

Even those not right for this specific role were helping to introduce us to those in their own networks who were a strong potential fit. 

Generating goodwill is critical in this situation. Good people help if approached correctly.

We needed to develop that network of influential executives in order to identify those high calibre referrals that don’t necessarily know the organisation/role or simply aren’t looking for a new role at all.

Short version…

From our high quality shortlist the client was quickly able to identify a perfect match to the brief, and a swift appointment was made.

Resource was applied to the process, a rigorous series of interviews and testing were conducted, but with our support this was done with speed and efficiency, and the standout candidate was quickly in post.

Other points

The hiring HRD has worked with us for a number of years and we have an excellent working relationship. 

They’re a highly skilled HR professional with experience in a number of sectors. One of those individuals who’s skills are transferrable from not only one role to another but also from industry to industry. 

New to this role, their experience in this specific sector was limited, and their new organisation did not know Barron Williams.

This Operations Management Search was our opportunity to make a good first impression. 

Other key decision makers were actively involved, so we needed to develop that relationship too, build trust in our processes. Being accessible and keeping people informed and involved is key

The market segment itself was also new, so that network we’ve now established can be fostered for potential future opportunities. 

Instant credibility in this situation is essential. It is achieved through hard work. No shortcuts. Work fast. Work well. Communicate!

We needed to quickly build confidence on all sides. Quickly develop a strong working relationship with the management team involved in the process. 

At Barron Williams we build for the now but also for future demand. We work hard to establish credibility and trust. 

People respond to polite, relevant approaches. We work with clients and candidates to assess and establish common ground. We’re mature, pragmatic and honest, and when the right candidates are identified we move fast. 

A smooth interview process is critical with this type of Operations Management Search. 

You must keep things moving, give the client and candidate time to make their decisions, then move swiftly to conclusion.

Great opportunities and great candidates have a very short shelf life!

Client Testimonial

“Having worked with Paul and the Barron Williams team for a number of years, I know what they can bring to the table. As a HR professional I also know what is needed to fill these tricky positions, especially at speed. We’d been frustrated in our efforts to date, Barron Williams brand unknown to my new colleagues, but I knew they had the ability and professionalism to quickly build the necessary relationships and identify the right talent. And not just those actively looking but wherever they were to be found.”

If you’re looking for a senior executive for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or Call Us now.

If you’re looking for your next role, then please feel free to Upload Your CV or Call Us for an exploratory conversation. 

Barron Williams

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