How Candidate Relationship Management Resulted in 25% More Hires….

25% of New Hires came from those who said "No" the first time

Our client, a mid-size pharmaceutical company, was entering into an entirely new field of medication and needed to build a new Sales and Marketing department.  The space they were entering targeted a small but critical market.

Only candidates with specific medical expertise, profound sales ability, and a substantial network of both hospitals and doctors, could quickly bring the drug to market and help the company reach their aggressive goals.

All due diligence demonstrated approximately 2,400 candidates with the right qualifications and geographic locations existed.  We needed to hire 200 within 5 months.  We knew engagement would be key.  Because most candidates were working, and although many seemed somewhat interested, most were not willing to gamble their current position on a new endeavor. 

Before we began recruiting, People Science worked closely with our client to determine the “employee value proposition” or the EVP.  The EVP included the company attributes, the value of the drug, and the value to its patients.   

Using HireGate, the People Science CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) tool, our team captured data around all candidates and applicants and created campaigns designed to attract the attention of this small and close-knit group of sales talent.   

Combining the People Science team’s engagement abilities, HireGate, and using the EVP as a guide, we were able to meet the required headcount on time.  Of the hires made, 25% came from those who said “No” the first time.  

Without a conscious effort to strategically engage and convince candidates the value of our client as an employer and the value of the drug itself, People Science would not have been able to capture the market share as quickly as needed.  


  • Create a highly effective sales team with extensive experience and networks of prospective customers.
  • Create a full functioning recruiting department designed to meet the needs of the company’s growth.
  • Reduce cost per hire and dependency on outside agencies.

The Challenges:

  • With no strong internal recruitment function, hiring managers became dependent on contingency recruiters.  This led to no internal candidate pipelines of their own along with a contingency spend of 3MM.
  • No awareness of employer brand in market.
  • Not accustomed to high-volume hiring, there was no process in place to recruit, interview, and process candidates.
  • The referral process was not managed well – referrals not truly vetted by employees.

The Solution:

  • Designed and execute a fully functioning Talent Acquisition department.
  • The Right Talent in Place – People Science assigned a dedicated team of recruiters specialized in the niche pharma market. 
  • Sourcing Engine – ignited a sourcing engine to build the candidate pipeline across all North American markets.
  • Introduced Candidate Relationship Marketing. Created a tailored marketing campaign to court passive candidates and create future hires for upcoming hiring initiatives.
  • Streamlined the Interview Process – Due to the volume of hiring within a short timeline, process was detrimental to the success of this initiative.
    • Created a Key Element interview guide based on the targeted candidate qualifications and commonalities. Recruiters and hiring managers used these tailored interview guides to provide a consistent candidate evaluation method.
    • Introduced Interview Session days to encourage hiring manager participation in meeting face to face with candidates during assigned weeks.
    • Effectively managed candidate travel and reduced travel cost by assigning a dedicated processing team to handle the heavy lifting traditionally done by hiring managers.

The Results

  • Met or surpassed new hire expectations
  • Reduced time to fill, turnover, and overall cost of hire
  • Increased quality of hire
  • Employer brand awareness expanded across all markets
  • created a proprietary candidate database
  • Reduced contingent spend by 2.5MM