Assisting Global Pharma Growth in Europe

A global pharmaceutical company was looking to further expand its presence in Europe by opening commercial affiliates in France, Italy and Spain. NonStop was selected for this search as we had been previously successful in hiring a Head of Europe and a Head of Germany for this company. In addition, they knew we had well-established teams covering France, Italy and Spain.

The challenge: The company was looking for general country managers for each of these locations, as well as a range of other roles to get sales moving. The pressure was on to recruit these people as fast as possible because the company had not been seeing much growth in Europe and had a clear plan to change that with its expansion into these new countries.

How did we do this?

Given the challenge of time, to gain more efficiencies in our process and get those people to interview as fast as possible, we started collecting candidate references relatively early in the process and gathering interview times well ahead of when that information would typically be needed.

While having the general managers on board was critical, additional staff were really needed to make an impact in these countries. We were additionally tasked with hiring sales reps, regulatory, quality, and other functions to get sales moving. This resulted in another 15 placements.

In addition to the time challenge, the client was also facing some challenges due to past interactions in these countries. They had tried to access these European markets ten years earlier and it had not worked out for them. Because this previous venture had not worked out, candidates were a bit sceptical that this would be a good career move. We worked with the client to develop and particular communications plan covering how to respond to such scepticism.

Our success here was based on the fact we had local expertise in Italy, France and Spain. Our teams already knew the markets and the relevant candidates.


Ultimately, the outcome of this project was that we filled all three general manager roles within two months including searching, interviews, reference checks and offer. Within three years all countries were able to break even and today they are critical operations for helping the company grow and serve millions of patients in these countries ensuring they get the medicines that they need at a fair price.