• Sector: Pharmaceuticals
  • Function: Engineering & Technical Services
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Fraser Dove International was approached by innovative biopharmaceutical organisation looking to develop and implement reliability engineering across their facility in Germany. This global organisation addresses life-threatening illnesses and chronic conditions through their advanced therapies.

Our client required a Senior Process Engineer to implement reliability engineering to improve the performance and uptime of the facility’s equipment. This high-calibre individual would develop efficient processes that analyse maintenance and repairs to reduce the likelihood of failure. This particular discipline in engineering warranted an experienced, Senior Engineering Manager and problem solver to optimise existing site maintenance across the facility.

The requirements of the role and the shortage of engineering talent fluent in German was a significant challenge for our client. While Europe is a global hub for the life science industry, securing high-impact, German-speaking engineering talent experienced in engineering can be like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack.

The client’s in-house recruitment team had been searching for the right candidate for a considerable time. With no immediate success on the horizon, they turned to Fraser Dove for help.

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 engineering 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 needs. 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.

On that note, the prerequisites for the Senior Process Manager were:

  • Strong communicator who’s fluent in German.
  • Solid experience in GMP manufacturing, process optimisation and analysing data.
  • Confident decision-maker and innovative thinker.
2) Talent Mapping:

Fraser Dove’s in-house Research Function engaged in a Europe-focused talent mapping exercise to develop a robust talent pool of life science professionals with experience in process engineering and maintenance. Since fluency in german was a ‘must-have’, the search focused on German-speaking countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

3) Qualify & Influence:

The Assignment Lead – Brett Lofthouse – then conducted a competency and technical based qualification assessment to match candidates against the criteria outlined in the Search Matrix. Such criteria included a vast combination of technical skills, language abilities and personal values. The client had a tough internal selection process, including the need for the candidate to be a sound cultural fit. The small talent pool were assessed by Brett based on their technical experience and values. Only those candidates who passed these rigorous assessments were shortlisted and presented to the client for feedback.

Fraser Dove managed the entire candidate journey on our client’s behalf from scheduling interviews to post-interview feedback and offer negotiation. Brett prepped candidates ahead of the interview, arranged their travel and disseminated post-interview feedback. This ensured that both candidate and client received exemplary service and were satisfied throughout at every stage of the search process.


The search was executed in just nine weeks from briefing to offer acceptance. The successful candidate had the right combination of engineering experience, values that aligned with the clients’ and fluency in German. Despite the talent shortage of German-speaking, engineering talent, our client was so satisfied with the shortlist delivered that they ended up creating an additional opening. This resulted in two offers being made to high-calibre, engineering talent put forward by Brett.

Brett Lofthouse was praised for his tenacity and responsiveness to keep both client and candidate informed throughout the search, interview and offer process. This search was the first time that Fraser Dove had worked with the client in this particular location and Brett was able to build a robust relationship with key hiring stakeholders. In fact, they were so impressed with the talent pool shortlist that Fraser Dove is now their go-to exclusive partner for all engineering and technical services at this site.

The appointment of the Senior Process Engineer will enable our client to develop Reliability Engineering to continuously improve the performance and reliability of their equipment. With these improvements in place, this will help our client to continue their advancements in developing difficult-to-cure diseases.


How we work

To find, qualify and shortlist the very best life science talent - high-achievers with the right mix of skills, experience, qualifications and competencies to not just excel in the role but ensure a good cultural fit - we must first understand our client’s business, their mission, values and culture.

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For more information about our search success stories, please complete the form below or call us on +44 (0)203 355 7050.