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How we work

Six steps to executive search excellence

To find, qualify and shortlist the very best life science talent - high-achievers with the right mix of skills, experience, qualifications and competencies to not just excel in the role but ensure a good cultural fit - we must first understand our client’s business, their mission, values and culture. That’s why our industry-leading executive search process begins with a discovery briefing.

  • Step 1: Discover & Define

    The discovery briefing serves two purposes:


    Firstly, the discovery briefing aims to establish the skills, experience and competencies essential for success in the role. This ensures we can qualify and shortlist candidates for job fit - the extent to which their strengths, needs and experience match the job specification. This is prerequisite for success in any senior management or executive position in the life sciences.


    Secondly, the discovery briefing clarifies the client’s market offering, their mission, values and culture. This enables our executive search consultants to deliver consistent messaging which aligns with our clients' employer brand while screening candidates for cultural fit - the extent to which a candidate's values, beliefs, outlook and conduct align with our clients'.


    The discovery briefing leads to the creation of a search matrix - a document outlining the skills, experience and competencies essential for success in the role.

  • Step 2: Search & Identify

    Completion of the discovery briefing and the creation of the Search Matrix heralds the beginning of the research phase of the search.


    Orchestrated by Fraser Dove’s in-house Research Team and overseen by the assignment lead, it combines traditional executive search techniques - headhunting, networking and talent mapping - with next-generation search tools and targeted advertising campaigns to supplement our extensive database of senior management and executive-level life science talent.


    This approach serves to identify passive and active candidates, reduces lead times while ensuring the geographic scope of the search is sufficient to deliver high-calibre life science talent.

  • Step 3: Qualify & Assess

    Our consultants conduct a comprehensive qualification assessment which includes competency and technical based questioning designed to match a candidate’s skills, experience and competencies against the Search Matrix. We use this opportunity to determine an individual’s alignment with our client’s organisation; it’s values and culture.

  • Step 4: Select & Shortlist

    Following qualification, those candidates who skills, experience and values best match the Search Matrix are presented to the client for consideration. Clients receive a candidate profile and technical report detailing how the individual has scored against the Search Matrix, as well as any supporting information that could assist the client in their selection.


    A meeting is then arranged to discuss the shortlisted profiles and address any questions or concerns voiced by the client. If required, the Assignment Lead will liaise directly with shortlisted candidates to clarify any points raised by the client, feeding this information back in a timely fashion so that the client can process with making their selection for first-stage interview.

  • Step 5: Guide & Influence

    We manage the entire candidate-side interview process on behalf of our clients, from scheduling interviews and travel arrangments through to post-interview feedback. All candidates are given a thorough briefing ahead of interview, including insights into the hiring team, our client's market offering, their mission, values and culture, interview preparation and delivery tips, as well as confirming interview and travel arrangements. This due diligence ensures our candidates consistently deliver to a high standard and impress the hiring manager. 

  • Step 6: Close & Feedback

    Fraser Dove provides full offer management to include the handling of counter offers and the provision of post-offer support. We liaise between client and candidate, ensuring a smooth process while managing expectations. This service extends throughout the candidate's notice period (which can be multiple months for executives) until their official starting date.


    Finally, we seek feedback on the hiring process from all candidates who interviewed with the client. This information is fed back to key stakeholders, enabling their client to hone their hiring process and alerting them to potential issues which could adversely affect the candidate experience and impact employer brand.


We continually tweak and refine our executive search process, seeking new ways and improve the service we offer clients and candidates. To this end, our consultants attend regular training to keep ahead of the latest legal and technical changes. Every improvement we make to our search process improves the cultural, DNA and technical fit of our life science candidates while reducing time-to-hire.

Client enquiry

Request a callback

For more information about our executive search process, please complete the form below or call us on +44 (0)203 355 7050. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 1 business day.