Recruiting in the Medical Device Industry: Our Process

Published October 28, 2022

We love working with companies in hyper-growth industries. These companies need to find the right people to keep pace and innovate and we went into this business to help them do just that. The medical device industry is one of those hyper-growth industries that get us excited. 

With a market size valued at 176.7 billion and a projected compound annual growth rate of 5 percent, it’s a space that will continue needing great leaders and brilliant minds.

We were lucky enough to work in this industry recently with a medical device startup. They came to us to fill a board member role. Not only did we accomplish this for them, but they hired three of our candidates, one of them being the Chair of the board. We also accomplished this in just five weeks—half the time it usually takes to place high-level leadership and board roles. Along the way, we developed a fondness for the medical device industry, along with extensive knowledge.

Ultimately, our successful process breaks down into three categories: intellect, collaboration, and strategy. Here’s how it works and how we can use it to help you fill key leadership roles as well.

Intellect: Understand the Clients Needs

This is a complicated industry, fraught with regulations and red tape. As a result, the first part of our process is getting on the clients’ level and truly understanding the ins and outs of the industry.

We learn what you want.

In this case, our client needed experienced board members who understood what investors needed so the client could get their next round of funding. Experience, knowledge, and credibility in the marketplace were of utmost importance for these placements.

We intellectually engage the industry and candidates. 

We spent time digging deep and understanding the processes, levels, and connections needed for medical device funding. If you didn’t understand how the funding process works from Angel Investors to the first round and so on, you don’t know what a board member has to do.

In a board member-level search, you’re invariably going to be speaking to serial entrepreneurs and investors who’ve done this many times. Understanding investment strategies and investment funding through various stages were critical to having conversations that lead to candidate interest.

We understand what it takes to launch a medical device product.

The process of launching a product in this space is an arcane and regulatory-influenced process. From market access—if you don’t qualify for medical reimbursement or third-party payer insurance, you’re not going anywhere—to FDA approval for the product, there’s a lot to know.

The potential board members needed to know these particular details about the company. Where are they in the FDA approval process? What hurdles are they facing? So we developed a deep understanding of this ourselves.

We understand the marketplace. 

It’s hard to scale up products in healthcare and you have to understand that. What Comhar founder, Bernard Layton, understood very well when we were talking to investors was the stage that our client was at and what they needed. 

This led to candidates immediately appreciating where they were going to be in this company situation. The candidates that Bernard saw were more interested and qualified because we were able to have these comprehensive and informed conversations.

Collaboration: Partner in the Process

We don’t operate in a silo. Quite the opposite, our goal is to run our search as a department of your company would: side-by-side, maintaining consistent and transparent communication from start to finish. 

We become an arm of your company from the start. 

We need to get to know your company as well as your CEO. We need to know where you’re at, what you’re doing, and what your biggest vision looks like. To do that, we start with in-depth conversations with key stakeholders in the company.

We facilitate this through our Engagement Launch where we address the company’s culture, values, markets, customers, challenges, opportunities (short and long term), scope/scale of the organization, etc. 

When working with this client, we followed the initial intake call with weekly meetings where we presented progress reports, helping everyone stay organized and focused. These reports include all candidates we’ve interviewed. Whether we gave them the green light to move on to an interview or decided to pass on them, we know it’s important for the client to understand our why and thinking on each candidate. 

We have disciplined and transparent administrative processes.

We want to be as disciplined as our clients are at developing a medical device. This means our admin processes are clear, streamlined, and communicated up front at each stage of the search. In addition, our goal is to balance the interests, appropriateness, and expectations of candidates, just as you would if you were doing the hiring yourself.

Strategic: Fill the Role Successfully

Our success as a firm always follows from our clear strategy. While this may shift slightly from one client to the next, the foundation is built on great marketing, deep expertise, and the ability to move at the speed of innovation.

We develop the best marketing materials.

No matter the client, our marketing is always all-in. This includes creating stand-out marketing materials like a short podcast that illustrates the clients overall objectives and goals and a digital presentation that helps potential candidates understand the role and responsibilities of the job. 

We know how to spot a great candidate. 

We get to know every candidate extensively before ever bringing them to you through our proprietary assessment. One of the key benefits of working with Comhar Partners is that we have spent the last ten years creating our own database of companies and potential candidates. Our software, KeyHires, is privately owned by us and we use this to source the best possible candidates for you.

We are in lock-step with innovation. 

Our team is spread out among eight markets and five offices across the country. Our Medical Devices Practice Group works in both mature and growing businesses supporting search mandates for C-Suite, Senior Executive, and key leadership appointments. Many of these searches need to be conducted in a confidential manner, which we are fully prepared to do.

Our experienced consultants know the realities of the rapidly evolving globalization of the world of medical devices. In addition, they recognize the importance of innovation and are living at the speed of transformation in emerging markets. Our team is regularly assessing, motivating, and recruiting world-class leaders and this consistency ensures success and breakthrough performance for our clients.

We strive for excellence no matter who we work with and are ready to help your medical device company grow through the placement of key leaders.

If you’d like more guidance or want to have an open conversation about your talent and hiring needs, please reach out to Comhar Partners. 

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