In 2013, UCB was planning a large expansion of its China operations over the next three years. Following the success of the two-year partnership with Hudson RPO in Europe and the United States, UCB asked Hudson RPO China to recruit 250 sales and 60 non-sales positions by June 2014.
Given that the UCB HR team in China had previously been doing all of its recruiting through agencies, a recruitment solution provided by a single provider made sense from a cost and efficiency perspective. And, knowing Hudson’s work from Europe and the United States, the HR team was confident that Hudson RPO China could do the job.
Journey to success
The project began with a team of four recruiters, two researchers and two support staff members. The work started small with 15 positions in the first month and then 25 in each of the following five months. The team then up-scaled to five recruiters, three researchers and three team coordinators.
Hudson RPO worked with the UCB HR team in planning the expansion project, providing advice on timing, locations and processes for recruiting for such a large volume of positions. Sourcing strategies, which included major China job boards and LinkedIn, were put in place by Hudson RPO, and an employee referral campaign was refreshed, all of which resulted in a strong candidate flow.
Based on the success of the work in China, Hudson RPO rolled out the solution into India as well starting in September 2013. A team of three is in place and is consulting with the senior management team in UCB India.
Behind the scenes
UCB doesn’t have the brand recognition of other large pharmaceutical companies in China, so recruiting was expected to be challenging. The Hudson RPO team knew that they would need to deeply understand the brand and culture in order to sell it to potential candidates. This deep understanding of the business contributed to Hudson RPO’s success at convincing such a large number of candidates to interview and consider a career move to UCB.
Given the approaching deadline, the Hudson RPO China team increased its productivity and output, filling 110 positions in December 2013, 88 in January 2014, with additional hires being finalised over the next two months.
After sourcing more than 850 possible applicants, Hudson RPO placed the 25 hard-to-fill Medical Science Liaison positions in advance of the client’s deadline.
About the client
With € 3.4 billion in revenues, operations in approximately 40 countries, and nearly 9,000 employees, Belgium-based UCB is the world’s fifth-largest bio-pharma company with a portfolio of drugs focusing on immunology and the central nervous system.