Partnering to create a customized recruitment solution helps PAREXEL to attract and hire the right candidates

A new recruitment solution enables PAREXEL to not only source and screen potential candidates, but also develop and build talent pipelines.

  • Hired at 90 percent over forecast in the program’s first year
  • Lowered time-to-fill by 40 percent


Executive Summary

IBM helped PAREXEL to hire top talent by implementing advanced recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and IBM Kenexa BrassRing on Cloud talent acquisition solutions.

Over the past 30 years as an outsourcing services provider, PAREXEL has helped clients develop and launch new biopharmaceutical products and medical devices by recruiting experienced, talented clinical research professionals from across the globe. PAREXEL partnered with IBM to develop a customized, easily scalable RPO solution that helps PAREXEL to meet the talent demands of its clients, drive customer satisfaction and support the development of products that improve lives around the world.

I think the relationship in its current structure brings out the best in both organizations, for our hiring managers, we offer a dedicated internal contact that has a stronger knowledge of our business strategy because they are embedded in our company. IBM also has a world-class team of candidate development recruiters. This helps enable us to offer the highest level of consultation to our hiring managers, meet project deadlines, stay within budget and hire the best.

Tom McGoldrick

Vice President of Talent Acquisition, PAREXEL



PAREXEL needed a talent acquisition system that would help them quickly source, screen, and hire only the most qualified and talented personnel.

PAREXEL is one of the largest biopharmaceutical outsourcing services organizations in the world, and helps its clients develop and launch much-needed products from the earliest stages of inception through clinical trials and commercialization. As an outsourcing services provider, hiring the right employees is paramount to PAREXEL’s and its clients’ success. The right recruiting solution will help meet the talent demands of clients and support the development of truly beneficial products.



PAREXEL required a customized recruitment solution to attract and hire the right candidates on short deadlines.

PAREXEL needed a recruitment solution that would not only source and screen potential candidates, but also develop and build talent pipelines, understand the labor market, deliver top candidates during periods of heavy hiring, scale up and down quickly, and build a strong connection between the hiring manager and recruiting consultants.

There are a number of intervention activities that have proven to be effective in helping those with chronic conditions maintain a good health status for longer with limited resources; the challenge is working out where they will be most effective.

“When a patient is admitted to a hospital, it is very easy to concentrate on solving the immediate problem and then send them home,” comments Dr. Beauregard. “The unfortunate reality is that there are so many factors in that environment that can lead to that person’s health declining again. Adherence with follow-up care, their level of engagement, attitude and confidence in managing their condition, whether they understand their diagnosis, and prognosis and medications are just some of the things that can make a significant impact. Our challenge was: how could we make it easy for physicians and caregivers – whose time and resources are limited – to look at the bigger picture?”

From the beginning of our redesign, one of the things we insisted on was a dedicated senior leader from IBM specifically for our project, and we mirrored that on our side. We selected a full-time program manager within PAREXEL, there are a lot of organizations that do not do that, and it is a mistake. In my experience, the most successful partnerships have as much skin in the game on the client side as the service provider does on their side. You need that level of commitment in both partnered organizations to be successful.

Tom McGoldrick

Vice President of Talent Acquisition, PAREXEL



PAREXEL and IBM together built a tailored RPO solution that brings out the best talent.

IBM implemented recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and IBM Kenexa BrassRing on Cloud talent acquisition solutions to meet the hiring needs of PAREXEL.

The model aligned two teams of recruiters; a team of in-house recruiters from PAREXEL and a team of candidate development recruiters from IBM. Each in-house PAREXEL recruiter was partnered with a candidate development recruiter from IBM.

Institutional knowledge and hiring manager influence was driven by PAREXEL, while market intelligence and scalable candidate flow was handled by IBM recruiters.
The design centralized large requisition loads through these partnered recruiters and leveraged a flexible recruiting team dedicated to the program through a project based recruiting methodology.

Solution Components
IBM Global Process Services

  • IBM Kenexa Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)
  • IBM Kenexa BrassRing on Cloud

We felt the institutional knowledge would be best achieved through in-house recruiters and IBM would maximize sourcing strategy, candidate development and labor market understanding to help guide us and assist us in developing candidates.

Tom McGoldrick

Vice President of Talent Acquisition, PAREXEL

Shortly after launching the new RPO model in North America, PAREXEL introduced the system to 17 countries in Europe. IBM’s global infrastructure helped make this a smooth expansion by bringing several options to the table, including: more than 30 global locations, seven unique centers of excellence and recruiting services delivered in six local languages.

The system is part of IBM’s full-cycle talent management solution and fully integrates with sourcing, assessing, hiring and onboarding solutions to find top candidates who are the right fit for a company.



PAREXEL’s RPO solution exceeded expectations and ensured that recruiters and hiring managers had an effective way to quickly share and manage top candidates.

PAREXEL hired several in-house recruiters who partnered with the IBM team and worked directly with the hiring managers, providing a high level of institutional knowledge. This helped enable the IBM team to focus exclusively on building strong talent pools and recruiting the top talent PAREXEL needed.

The scalability of the RPO solution helped drive a 150 percent increase in qualified candidate flow within 60 days of the change in forecast, and helped ensure the positions were filled quickly and with highly qualified, talented individuals. It has also reduced time-to-fill rates by 40 percent and significantly lowered first-year turnover rates.

Since most of the hours our clinical researchers work are on projects for our clients, improving our quality of hire has a direct correlation to the quality of the work we produce for our clients. Additionally, our ability to recruit new talent into the organization has helped us staff new projects.

Tom McGoldrick

Vice President of Talent Acquisition, PAREXEL

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