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Case Study

A short-notice freelance clinical project with a world-renowned CRO

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Case Study

A short-notice freelance clinical project with a world-renowned CRO




We have worked with this global CRO, across a variety of specialisms and on multiple high-impact projects, for over 11 years.

A leading organisation dedicated to delivering life-changing therapies in collaboration with partners across the globe, we were briefed on a requirement for 6 freelance clinical study start-up specialists, needed for an urgent project with a brand-new sponsor, with imminent site launches across Germany.

The urgency of the requirement meant that more than 10 staffing agencies had been engaged to help deliver candidates for these roles, so it was important for us to stand out when it came to the quality of our delivery.


  • Offer

  • Feedback

  • Screening

  • Briefing

  • Offer


    ​After an initial round of interviews, all 6 freelancers required for the project were selected from the shortlist we provided. We handled contractor compliance through our in-house compliance service, conducting right to work checks and ensuring compliance with local working regulations.

  • Feedback


    ​The team working at the CRO reviewed the profiles and decided to proceed with interviews for all candidates shortlisted. During this time we continually engaged with the contractors to ensure they remained interested in the project, and provided pre and post-interview briefings and feedback.

  • Screening


    ​We began our initial sourcing process after the briefing call, and conducted competency-based pre-interviews with candidates we deemed suitable for the role. 12 candidates were longlisted during the first week of sourcing and screening, with 7 profiles shortlisted for the client.

  • Briefing


    ​We were involved in a group briefing call with the CRO and 10 other staffing agencies, where details of the project were released. Information on the sponsor's conditions, role requirements and ideal timeline were issued, and we responded with our projected timeframe for sourcing and screening.

After an initial brief with the team at the CRO, we began the sourcing and screening process for the roles. With a firm understanding of the clinical candidate landscape in Germany, the team were able to submit 7 candidate profiles within a week of the project briefing date – 100% of whom went on to be interviewed.

From the interviewed candidates we submitted, all 6 required for the project were selected and offered their respective roles after a single round of interviews, despite the large number of agencies working simultaneously on this project.

The nature of this CRO means it’s not unusual for us to work on a requirement at the same time as many other staffing agencies, given their lengthy preferred supplier list. Our success rate in this project, however, has led to us becoming their exclusive recruitment partner for all clinical operations and clinical development requirements within Germany.

Project Highlights

Key statistics and delivery highlights of our work with the CRO.

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Meet the team

Meet the members of our delivery and client services team responsible for the oversight and delivery of this project.


Nathan Tambini, Consultant

​Nathan has two years of experience placing clinical contract talent, focusing on the freelance market within Germany. During this project Nathan was responsible for candidate sourcing, screening and offer management.

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​Emma Hobbs, Client Services Manager

Emma has more than 16 years of recruitment experience, and has been supporting clients at SEC for more than a decade. During this project Emma handled client liaison and offered advice on project direction.

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Lucien Dissake, Compliance Manager

With more than a decade of experience providing onboarding support and helping clients and candidates comply with working regulations, Lucien handles all compliance requirements for both our contract and permanent workforce.

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