A Recent Case Study: Nightstar Therapeutics

Written By: Mackenzie Skold
Edited By: Melissa Megna

Govig Goes Above and Beyond: A Nightstar Article

Govig & Associates is a national executive recruitment firm with expertise in placing high-quality professionals with companies in the Biopharma industry. We partner with companies from large to small, in a variety of therapeutic fields including neuro-oncology, rare disease pediatrics, and genetics. Recently, Govig began work with a small start-up called Nightstar and they focused on advancing potentially curative, one-time retinal gene therapies for patients suffering from rare inherited retinal diseases. They have developed a promising treatment for choroideremia (CHM), a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive vision loss ultimately leading to blindness. (1) It is in an ongoing Phase 3 registrational clinical trial, which is an exciting prospect as there are no approved treatments currently available.
Nightstar’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs (SVP-RA) identified the need to hire a Regulatory Affairs Chemistry Manufacturing Controls (RA-CMC) expert. Qualified candidates were required to have mid-to-late stage industry knowledge and biological licensing application (BLA) filing experience. Finding RA-CMC candidates with such a specialized background is challenging. Because of Govig’s recent success at recruiting a senior level RA-CMC in the same field and geographic location, the SVP reached out to us.
Govig’s Development and Production team worked closely with the hiring manager. Together, they co-developed the criteria and qualifications for potential candidates. Defining a position accurately helps ensure a company will hire someone that will fit best and help grow the company. This is vital for a startup, because a lean staffing structure means everyone’s contributions are critical to accomplishing the company’s mission. The Govig team identified several solid candidates in the local market place.
However, in the midst of the interviewing process, a large pharmaceutical company purchased the start-up. In the blink of an eye, our client grew from a small emerging company to a large pharmaceutical. The Development and Production team quickly adapted to this new scenario. Through open and honest communication with both the client and potential candidates, the team kept candidates engaged and interested through this transition. Within two-weeks time, the Govig team completed the interviews and presented an offer to an exceptional candidate. The candidate accepted the position over 2 other competitive offers.
Our team takes pride in helping both clients and candidates in unexpected ways. Mergers are tough to negotiate, but Govig played a fundamental role in helping the company navigate this major transition. We not only recruit the best candidates; we go above and beyond.
1. https://www.curechm.org/what-is-choroideremia

What You Need to Know: 2019 Pulse on the Market

Written By: Mackenzie Skold
Edited By: Melissa Megna

Pulse on the Market Place – Tips to success in a candidate-driven market

What factors are influencing the market?

The national unemployment rate is low, dipping to 3.8% this past February. (National Conference of State Legislation (NCSL) With close to full employment, there are fewer job seekers in the market. In addition, an average of 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day and their millennial replacements are not as experienced. Subsequently, companies are facing a shortage of seasoned candidates to take the place of those retiring. These are some of the factors contributing to a candidate-driven market.

What does this mean for companies who want to hire?

Companies will need to attract candidates who are not actively looking but would be open to the right opportunity. Within this pool of candidates, 80% have multiple opportunities, both internally and externally. Internally, they are receiving faster promotions and external offers include additional LTI (long term incentives) on top of competitive base salaries. Keep in mind, that most passive candidates will be motivated to move to another organization if it advances their careers. All of which makes it difficult to attract, hire and retain top talent.

How can you attract top talent?

The best strategies for enticing top talent to your organization include a tight interview process. Be organized, succinct and provide a consistent message to potential hires.

Is your company ready to act quickly to hire that dream candidate?

Meeting candidates face to face as soon as possible is vital. Phone interviews allow companies to screen for the most qualified candidates, but meeting in person is the best way to impress potential employees with your company. The Biopharma recruiting team at Govig does just that. The team works hard to move potential candidates efficiently through the process. By getting quality talent moving through the interview process fast, Govig ensures its clients get their offers out before competing organizations.

If it isn’t a title change, are there additional benefits?

Offering a flexible work schedule or the ability to work from home are desirable benefits for many people. For example, in the biotech industry, it is very rare for employees to work the standard 8 to 5 schedule. Employees are dealing with deadlines, international partners, and are overseeing individuals that are located all over the world. Accommodating these realities instills trust and loyalty in employees. Another common benefit offered by large pharmaceutical organizations is to allow employees to work from home 1 day a week. Other companies, situated in heavily populated areas, may allow for flex hours that allow employees to avoid traffic.

How is value alignment important?

Figuring out if a candidate is a match is not easy to determine from a resume alone. While a resume can highlight education, skills, and experience, it takes an in-person meeting to assess the nuances that make a good fit. This is where culture matters. It is important to look at a “cultural add” over a “cultural fit.” Cultural add is an inclusive term that brings forth the value of an individual whereas cultural fit is based on a feeling. Though that “gut feeling” is important during the interview process, it is important to take a step back and see how the individual’s skill set can add more value to what the company already has. Most candidates are seeking value alignments that allow them on-going opportunities for interesting challenges, growth and professional development. In our experience, it is challenging to lure candidates away from companies that provide such an environment.

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