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Ten years ago, life science recruitment agency Skills Alliance was founded in response to the ever-pressing need for talented pharmaceutical industry professionals. The founders set out to create a bespoke service on a global scale to ensure permanent proximity to the company’s operating markets.
Today, Skills Alliance’s network of recruitment hubs spans across three offices in London, Zurich, and New York. Skills Alliance’s leading position in the market comes from its combined expertise from both industry experts and recruitment professionals, setting an incomparably high calibre of knowledge.
Skills Alliance’s proximity to the market, both geographically and professionally, gives the agency a strong competitive edge, ensuring that it can select the best candidates and foster a culture of close client communication. Two years ago, however, Skills Alliance was ironically hindered by a combination of its success and the ever-expanding, changing nature of the life science industry. Consequently, the company needed a new CRM.
We caught up with Malcolm Silander and Carl Marotta, Co-Directors of Skills Alliance, to discuss the decision-making process behind its CRM search and how Bullhorn has enabled Skills Alliance to continue its seemingly limitless expansion.
The agency needed a tool to manage its internal structure. It had to mirror the full drug development lifecycle that Skills Alliance recruits for, with specialist teams responsible for each vertical area, from the preclinical discovery phase to drug commercialization. Specifically, Skills Alliance wanted a tool that enabled it to develop a “client and candidate list quickly.”
Most importantly, however, the agency wanted a service-focused tool with an international viewpoint so that proximity to the market could be ensured through a seamless global approach. Malcolm wanted his team to be able to work wherever, be it “on the beach or in the office”. Accordingly, the solution must be cloud-based, easy-to-use, and flexible. Bullhorn not only ticked all Skills Alliance’s boxes, but it also “had a lot of developmental potential,” says Malcolm.
This year in particular, Malcolm and Carl have been able to tailor the Bullhorn system to the way they want it. They now have their own custom-made KPI reporting tool, allowing their consultants across the globe to see exactly what their peers are experiencing, from pipelines to client pools. Appropriately, this has enabled Skills Alliance to maintain the transparency and accountability that it prides itself upon. Indeed, sharing knowledge is part of the agency’s everyday work.
Skills Alliance now always has a solid prediction about what is going on in each quarter, giving the agency the ability to provide its consultants with improved direction. Malcolm says that Skills Alliance benefits greatly from this improved visibility: “We can get all the stats we need instantly, with one button”. This is particularly beneficial for Malcolm, who travels on a regular basis. He can now access information seamlessly, which is especially important for client meetings. During these meetings, Malcolm can “run a search on the spot and show [his clients] the result.”
Skills Alliance’s customized tool has made a significant difference to the way the agency operates on a day-to-day basis. The consultants now want to use Bullhorn – they’re not using the system because they have to, but because it has become an “ingrained” part of the company’s processes.
It is admirable that Skills Alliance’s revenue has doubled every year since Bullhorn’s implementation, when you consider that the agency’s number of employees has remained relatively constant. Malcolm states that “Bullhorn has enabled us to grow at the pace we wanted to grow at.” He advocates the use of Bullhorn for start-up companies that plan to grow quickly.
With Bullhorn’s partnership, Skills Alliance is admirably and undeniably on its way to becoming the preferred global recruitment partner for the life sciences industry.
Having signed a long-term contract with Bullhorn, Skills Alliance plans to grow to over 100 users within the next year. With Bullhorn as an integral part of Skills Alliance’s daily processes, the agency plans to become a full service staffing and workforce consulting business, focusing upon pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer health markets located in all major markets across Europe, Asia, Australasia, and the Americas.
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