Case Studies

Finance Director – Shakespeare Pharmaceuticals


Based in Derbyshire, the ‘Shakespeare’ group of companies (Shakespeare Pharma, Ayva Pharma and Ayva Clinical Trials Supply) are major global suppliers of import and export services to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

With a strong and expanding global client base as well as access to over 100 UK-based manufacturing, wholesale and retail pharmaceutical companies, Shakespeare has developed an excellent reputation within this exciting growth industry.


Having successfully recruited a key commercial hire within the group last year, RMG were delighted to be entrusted with the recruitment of their Finance Director – yet another crucial appointment. Shakespeare’s ambition was to recruit a fully qualified (ACCA/CIMA) finance professional with the credibility and gravitas to effectively lead this important department. With their commercial operations flourishing, a strong accounting grip was necessary.

Direct industry experience was not essential, although exposure to foreign currency and intercontinental business practices (particularly Europe) was desirable. Conversely – tangible leadership experience was an essential, non-negotiable competency. Aside from this clear measurable, Shakespeare was open to options - providing the candidate fit the businesses entrepreneurial culture – this, in its own way made the brief more complex.


Shakespeare is privately owned and a truly entrepreneurial organisation. The opportunity to join them was one that would attract and deter in equal measure – it was therefore necessary to research and identify a wide talent pool and make the right first impression.

Having identified over 120 candidates for the position who appeared suitable ‘on paper’ the process of elimination could begin. Naturally, a proportion of this number would be 'closed' to an approach regardless of the opportunity. The remaining pool returned high levels of interest from approximately 30 people. These ratios highlight the importance of ensuring every element of the process is managed properly – especially from an early stage.

Once candidates are engaged, our focus switched from enticement to assessment. Our shortlist of 5 candidates was the culmination of over 20 competency interviews (initial talent pool 120, longlist 30). Having managed the process for almost a month at this stage we were convinced that we had the very best talent in the market.


Following the presentation and acceptance of RMG’s shortlist Shakespeare were able to conduct a swift interview process of their own. Following further consultation with RMG regarding candidate expectations and a final assessment of candidate competency 'v' brief, the act of making an offer was quick and painless.

The candidate in question accepted the offer and commented on RMG’s ‘excellent and professional service’ whilst Shakespeare were impressed with RMG’s ‘impressive understanding of their requirements’ and ‘the dedication shown to deliver high-calibre individuals’


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