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April 15th, 2021

The Solution: The Taylored Formula – RPO, Search, Talent & Leadership, and tspSTORYTELLER

The Goal:

Our client is an ophthalmology-focused, Japanese company located in the Bay area, in the process of expanding into the United States. They are preparing to launch a new eye treatment, giving them the opportunity to re-establish and reinvent their brand to reflect the development into a US-based, English-speaking market. To best achieve the goals of our client, we blended our various service offerings to customize a solution that optimized what success looked like for them.

The Grind:

Each of our services – Clinical and Commercial Search, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Talent & Leadership Consulting, and tspSTORYTELLER – played a pivotal role in building out the ideal team.

The needs of our client fell into three main buckets to address: specialty skill set, awareness and culture.

The Process

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Specialty Skill Set:

Our client was going places with their pipeline. They required a team that was proactive and cutting edge, and they were seeking leaders that would elevate them to the next level. 

From a Clinical perspective, they were looking to ramp up their Regulatory Affairs team with a new:

  • Director of Regulatory Affairs
  • Sr. Director of Regulatory Affairs
  • VP of Regulatory Affairs

Our Commercial Search team was also brought on to fill a role that was in a new space for our client — Medical Device. Our client had recently acquired their first company and needed a leader with a specific and niche set of skills to lead the team.

  • Site Leader

The challenge our RPO team faced throughout the duration of this project was tackling a large scope of skills from General & Administrative to high-level science-based roles.

  • Project managers
  • QA
  • IT
  • Director of Marketing
  • Medical Director
  • Supply Chain

Our Clinical Search team, Commercial Search team, and RPO team each had dedicated members for these positions. The RPO team, specifically, needed to have a Talent Acquisition Manager that could handle a wide range of these roles.

To address the difficulties that arose regarding specialty skill sets, our Search teams created job profiles to use in the marketplace and held weekly update meetings inclusive of a candidate pipeline report. This allowed for transparency between our client and our team.

Our Commercial team put significant hours into researching talent at various medical device companies and leveraging keywords in our database and LinkedIn searches. We cast a wide net to find candidates with qualifying experience.

In addition to the complexities that arose from the diverse range of specialty skill sets we had to address, there was an added layer of difficulty presented to the Clinical and Commercial Search teams: the positions they were hiring for were highly confidential and sensitive. We had to take precautions in everything we communicated, ensuring the identity of the organization was not disclosed. It was a challenge getting candidates excited about an opportunity within a company they had minimal information about.

We partnered with them to ensure all communications aligned with their needs and set up confidentiality agreements for candidates who reached a stage in the interview process, where the client deemed it appropriate to have more transparency. When we received pushback from candidates, we persuaded them to move to the next steps of the process by providing as much enticing information as we were able. We emphasized that our client’s product was a more minimally invasive and effective procedure than what physicians were used to and explained that they had plans to further invest into the medical device space. We also focused on the opportunities that would arise down the line as our client expanded. Addressing these challenges and concerns from the beginning allowed us to come up with a strategic plan on how to best help our client. The evidence of true partnership and how we worked with our client was valued and appreciated.

Upon finding an ideal group of talent, we supported our client operationally, as well. We conducted video interviews with candidates, and prepared and scheduled phone interviews for them with the hiring manager. Due to the circumstances of COVID-19, candidates were unable to meet in person. Our client’sleader of HR took photos their facility and sent them to the HQ in San Francisco, providing the candidate with a virtual tour slideshow. We then obtained feedback from both the interviewee and the client.


Our RPO team had to find these candidate profiles in a geographical location where the client was not well known. Creating awareness for our client through recruitment marketing efforts was a must in order to attract top-quality talent. 

To accomplish this feat, we brought in our one-of-a-kind service: tspSTORYTELLER. tspSTORYTELLER is the provision of strategy, messaging and the delivering of creatives to our clients by TSP’s Brand & Marketing team.  

We conducted a deep dive into our client’s culture through discovery sessions revolving around their employer value proposition, gaining insight from key stakeholders and employees within the

organization to understand what makes them unique and subsequently produce strategy to utilize it in the candidate market. We then developed a

Recruitment Marketing Playbook to provide our recruiters with a turnkey process to attract talent that aligned, including visuals, copy and best practices to capitalize upon. 

Our RPO team utilized these creatives and innovative recruitment strategies to market our client’s career opportunities. We learned that a short commute time was important to candidates in the Bay area. We then kept our outreach to a hyper-localized zone to leverage this enticing aspect of the role.


To fully understand our client’s culture, we engaged their leadership team to interpret what was important to them. We brought in our T&L team to assess commonalities and differences within the organization with a goal to get everyone on the same page. To achieve cohesion, we had to define what great performance looked like and how to consistently articulate their culture and bright future, especially to candidates. We established four work streams: 

  1. We interviewed executives and facilitated an executive round table discussion to fully understand current cultural norms and definitions of great performance. 
  2. We designed and developed two Success Profiles (e.g., core and common competency profile) for all individual contributors and leaders across their organization, based on information we found from the interviews and facilitation.  
  3. We developed an interview ‘bank’ of questions for each competency within the Success Profile across four levels of jobs (High Level Leader, People Leader, High Level Individual Contributor and Individual Contributor). 
  4. We are currently developing interview training for all managers. We conducted interviews and looked at consistency. We had them state their differences but brought them to a common ground. We were able to look collaboratively, which led to defining the success profile – how they feel and what they think about their organization, the future, the people, what it should look like.  

To best market the company and culture to candidates moving on to the interview stage, we utilized tspSTORYTELLER’s Candidate Engagement Portal. Our Candidate Engagement Portal provides clients with fresh technology, enhanced branding and streamlined communications and steps in the interview process. It is a hub of information exemplifying the culture, expectations and aspects of an opportunity that mean most to candidates. 

Our client wanted to bring their values and integrity to life in a way that made sense for the new opportunities in America. We created new employee testimonials on their behalf by conducting a series of four 30-minute interviews with subjects from a variety of departments and levels within the organization. These interviews brought to light the personal connection that employees felt to the company and their work. 

This portal consisted of details surrounding the values and mission of the company, interview tips and best practices, employer values proposition messaging expressing why candidates should choose this organization, client pipeline information, an inside look at the culture, benefit highlights, and much more. Employees had personal anecdotes displayed throughout the portal, creating a personalized experience for the candidates.

Our RPO team acted as our client’s full-time, internal recruitment resource, embracing their culture and sharing it with candidates. The biggest concern from an RPO perspective was finding the best way to attract candidates and ensure their excitement about the opportunity, and they utilized the portal to support this message. We knew that culture was something we needed to focus on. Our client was building from the ground up which allowed candidates the chance to create something new within the company. This was enticing and drove them to move forward. To reinforce the importance of the brand from the inside out, the RPO team delivered the designed and customized candidate engagement portal link throughout the interview process. 

Since Our Relationship Began

Since beginning this partnership, we have made great strides in serving as an all-encompassing teammate for our client. While this partnership is ongoing, we have helped our client achieve the following:

Apart from the strngth of a high-qulity pipeline, our ABDs were highly complementary of the team – very responsive and great partners. They are getting positive feedback from candidates about them as well (1)

The Outcome:

As we continue to partner with our client across all units of our business, we continue to learn how we can best support them in their efforts to build both their team and awareness of their culture in the marketplace.

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