Case Study: Hanover launch into the Biotech market

ByHanover Team
Posting date: 05 December 2019

Identifying and recruiting a Chief Procurement Officer

Finding the market's top talent isn't easy, especially in competitive markets and niche roles. Here's one example of how Hanover can help:


Our client, a mission-driven biotechnology company based in the Mid-Atlantic region, was seeking an industry leader to helm their procurement department. As a team of six people reporting to the VP of Finance & Operations with no dedicated strategy director, the procurement function was highly transactional and focused almost exclusively on processing purchase orders. Our client had ambitions to develop a world-class procurement capability which would centralize multiple responsibilities (including RFP, vendor selection and contract negotiation), which at the time had been delegated to budget holders. Our client also needed a confident leader who could mentor and nurture the team, improving skills and expertise. Driving the selection of modern tools and technologies to automate certain procurement activities was also a key aspect to the strategy that the successful candidate would design.


As the specific and niche nature of procurement within biotechnology would require someone with significant industry history, our team dedicated two weeks to researching and identifying biotechnology organizations that were of the scale that would require a robust and mature procurement function. From these organizations approximately 75 leaders were identified across the United States. After approaching and vetting selected potential candidates from around the country, eight individuals were shortlisted for the role and presented to our client for consideration. This methodical and quality-driven process produced a cohort of candidates that not only provided a truly diverse range of backgrounds, but also demonstrated track records of innovation, success, and exceptional leadership.


After reviewing and speaking with the shortlisted candidates, our client quickly established their top two selections, both of whom they took through the complete interview process. The selected finalist shared our client’s vision for creating cutting-edge treatments and cures for diseases, and had previously built procurement functions from the ground up at not one but two other biotechnology firms. As the position was the perfect alignment of their experience and passion, the candidate relocated to our client’s headquarter city to assume their new role as Head of Procurement. Almost immediately they developed and implemented a new three-year strategy and roadmap to deliver an evolved, centralized procurement function. The new Head of Procurement restructured the team to include a project manager who oversaw the changes, reengaged our firm to search for additional members of the team, and orchestrated a much more effective and expanded department. 

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