Case Studies

Chief People Officer - Ergomed


Ergomed plc is a unique pharmaceutical services organisation based in the UK.

Ergomed’s offer includes clinical development, trial management and pharmacovigilance services to over 200 clients ranging from top 10 pharmaceutical and generics companies to small and mid-sized drug development companies.

Ergomed has also established a portfolio of co-development partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, using a shared risk model.

This profitable, UK headquartered company trade on the London Stock Exchanges AIM marketplace and have been established since 1997. 


Following significant executive change within the organisation in late 2017 Ergomed recognised the need to employ an experienced Chief People Officer to lead the companies HR function. This commission comprised part of a larger recruitment project (See Chief Finance Officer case study) the project commenced in February 2018.

Ergomed’s new Chief People Officer would work closely with their new Chief Executive Officer on a multitude of business critical projects ranging from the assessment and revalidation of executive compensation packages to company integration processes post acquisition. They would also provide structure and rigour to a previously amorphous department and would take the lead on all employment related matters – in the UK and abroad.

Ergomed needed specific skills for their specific business, their new Chief People Officer must:

Given the specificity of the brief as well as the magnitude of the hire RMG were certain that a confidential executive search campaign was the only way to recruit the position properly.


RMG’s candidate identification process for this position was largely black and white (plc experience or not). If candidates didn’t have experience of operating within a public company, the other competencies were immaterial.

Our initial search centred on the major public markets. Following a thorough assessment of the different industries represented on the LSE and NYSE (as well as other, less prominent exchanges) RMG ascertained that industries such as life sciences, software and technology as well as offshore and energy sectors contained a dearth of organisations whose revenue was generated through the provision of services to their market. (This was supported with other, more sporadic successes but the bulk of RMG’s raw candidate material came from these industries).

Once our markets of choice were solidified RMG were able to set about identifying the relevant individuals within these corporations. RMG’s search yielded over 110 names. 

Over the course of approximately three weeks, RMG were able to identify, engage and ascertain interest from scores of candidates representing several sectors across the country and the broader continent. This required a variety of techniques and an intimate understanding of Ergomed’s value proposition as well as the ability to quickly move candidates into (and out of) the process as appropriate (not everyone in a plc fits the brief!). 

A long list of approximately 20 candidates was the end result of our search, identification, approach and early selection work. This list was hugely diverse and presented numerous interesting avenues but never wavered from Ergomed’s core and non-negotiable competencies (as mentioned above). 

A two-day interview schedule in Central London was RMG’s opportunity to solidify (or debunk) early thoughts/perceptions of candidates and form a comprehensive shortlist. During this packed scheduled RMG interviewed more than 10 candidates who were objectively assessed against Ergomed’s competencies and the resulting selection of four candidates was put forth in mid-March (5 weeks from commencement) with quantitative, evidence-based thoughts and comments from RMG.


Ergomed proceeded to interview the selected candidates, narrowing the shortlist of four down to their preferred one candidate. The interview process incorporated the CEO, Chief Business Officer and other, current members of the HR team (whom this person would eventually manage). Ergomed’s favoured candidate was unanimously approved by the interviewing team members and an offer was tabled in early May following the aforementioned process.

Following a comprehensive offer review and several negotiation discussions between the candidate, RMG and Ergomed all parties agreed to proceed in June 2018. The candidate will start with Ergomed on October 12th following a six month notice period.

Similar Case Studies...