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  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago
  • Author: James Hume

​This case study provides a good example of Next Phase’s deep understanding of scientific and technical concepts, which enables us to target individuals with exactly the right expertise for business-critical positions.


A company with pioneering Gene Editing capabilities, whose mission is to support the development and manufacture of cell & gene therapies and viral vectors, required a Director-level candidate with niche skills to lead the establishment of their CRISPR Gene Editing Group. This candidate would build a high-performing team as well as develop the science to win credibility for their automated, high throughput mammalian cell engineering technology, and screening capabilities. This was a pivotal role to launch this to the market and ensure the company stays at the forefront of their sector. The difficulty to find someone exceptional is that there is a very small talent pool of candidates with this type of skillset in the UK; and those with these skills are typically in amazing jobs already and may be reluctant to take the risk of joining a start-up company.


Using his specialist knowledge in the industry, James was able to proactively identify and approach a pool of high-calibre candidates with niche skillsets that matched the specific brief. Some of the people he engaged were individuals referred to him by trusted contacts, while others were people whom James had met at industry-specific events. James provided these people with a detailed insight of the company’s unique technology, to show just how attractive a proposition they offer. He was also able to manage the successful candidate through relocation to the UK, which added a further layer of complexity to the recruitment process.

The Result

James’ method, utilising his network to identify people with very specific skillsets, resulted in a high-quality portfolio of candidates for the interview process. This led to a successful hire, who has gone on to establish the company’s CRISPR Group very successfully, then develop this further beyond their initial ambitions to cement the company’s place as a market leader. The CRISPR Group has now become their flagship group around which all their other services operate.