Limited talent pool as a driver for channel expansion


Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice Team

Limited talent pool as a driver for channel expansion
March 20, 2022
4 minutes

How the Kestria rode the waves of strategic international cooperation

Executive summary

On their quest to secure three executives to relocate and work in Greece, the Client sought the support of Kestria to identify the scope both locally and abroad for candidate opportunities where the local talent pool was not delivering the profiles they needed.

Using our expansive global network, Kestria engaged our colleagues in India and Greece and initiated what would turn out to be an extensive and successful project that further solidified our presence as a reliable and trusted partner in recruitment. 

About the client

Since its founding in 1969 as a private pharmaceutical company, client has achieved some significant milestones. It has emerged as one of the leading Pharmaceutical companies in Europe, having its own in-house- R&D and specializing in the development, registration, manufacturing and life-cycle management of highly complex pharmaceutical technologies and generic formulations. Client is proud to have its products out-licensed in all six continents and to have a strong presence in all major global markets. Its multinational culture and business operational model offers its clients an ideal custom-made product portfolio. 

The quest for candidates from distant hiring market

It was the very first meeting to show our new client how they can benefit from our cooperation locally. However, soon after our initial conversation, it became clear that the global opportunities Kestria offers its clients were also an ideal solution for client, which is facing a shortage of local talent in the Greek market. We immediately agreed to work together to find three suitable candidates specifically in India.

The positions sought out were as follows:

  • R&D Formulation Development Research Scientist 
  • R&D Engineer app 
  • RA Medical Devices app 

Main challenges


Cultural fit

Being managerial positions, our challenge was to find the right fit for the client in the face of ambiguity brought about by the search being performed in a foreign country with a different hiring market and accompanying culture.


Economic crisis

The economic crisis at that time made Greece a less than favourable destination for relocation. This confounded with an exceptionally high tax rate as well as cultural differences (contributing to potential “culture shock” among candidates) would make the buy-in from candidates that much harder to secure. 

Key success factors


Understand the cost of relocating

If we take into account the image of Greece at the time of the economic crisis we needed to market Greece as an attractive destination to candidates, taking into account the cost of living and sizeable tax rate in the country among other things.

Before commencing the searches, Kestria India studied all aspects of Living in Greece, including cultural differences, quality and cost of living, educational facilities for children, social interaction, entertainment etc. and gathered specific and reliable “Reference Data” to share with candidates to minimise any worries or misconceptions they may possess when reviewing the option. 

While short-listing candidates, we emphasized the positives of working in Greece, such as it being part of EU, a global exposure etc.


Create a career vision for the candidates 

Furthermore, and critically, we went to great lengths to understand the individual career-aspirations and family circumstances of the candidates. This was done to ensure that selected candidates were adaptable and prepared to continue this phase in their careers with the Client.

As required, Kestria Greece (Katerina Meimaroglou) worked as the facilitator with Kestria India (Gurdeep Hora) executing the searches throughout the process which took three months from end to end.


Be prepared not surprised

We adopted a fully aligned strategy taking every conceivable factor and its effect to all sides into account. Given the multiple imponderables such as candidate expectations, client’s responses in terms of compensation and benefits, living conditions and taxation etc, it was necessary to initiate close interaction between the Search Team and the Client to elicit quick feedback and alignment of requirements with talent availability to move from stage to stage with minimal delay.

For the most seamless progress in this respect, we decided to present one point of contact to the client, Kestria Greece, for broader client contract issues and another, Kestria India,  for detailed search and operations.


Client feedback? Extension of the original assignment

Despite the many potential hurdles and complicated factors described, the entire process went very smoothly to a point where, despite the initial agreement being to recruit 3 candidates, the final number of recruits was in fact 4.

Gurdeep S. Hora
Kestria India

We applied our knowledge and hands on and communicative approach to the full extent in this case and managed to gain a deep understanding of the Client’s business and their needs. Our global network provided excellent professional contacts who were able to obtain key information from the local markets that helped us to provide the Client and the candidates with all information required to proceed.

This was a very positive experience for all sides, not only because it enabled us to establish lasting and trusted cooperation with a very interesting client, but we have further laid the groundwork for other international clients, current and new, with global operations to remove pain points in their international recruitment and bring their chosen territories of operation that little bit closer.

Learn more about Kestria's expertise in this industry.
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