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Blended Recruitment and Talent Management Solution for The General Pharmaceutical Council

The Client

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain. Its job is to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public who use pharmaceutical services in England, Scotland and Wales.

Client’s need

After becoming operational in September 2010 and identifying the business need, the GPhC decided to recruit a newly established communications team of head of communications; corporate communication manager; digital manager; and media and public affairs manager.

In recruiting for the whole team at the same time, the GPhC wanted to ensure a workable interaction between the individuals and ensure they were recruited with compatible skills and experience. Therefore the client was looking for more than a standard recruitment process and was looking to an assessment centre to deliver the results sought. Following a proper tender process, Hudson was the successful agency.

Hudson solution

Hudson Marketing & Communications worked closely with Hudson's talent management team to identify competencies for each of the roles. The design of the process reflected the competencies for each role that the GPhC had identified. Once developed these were used in the interview process to create a long list of candidates for the client to interview. To further support this process talent management invited candidates to complete a Business Attitude Questionnaire (BAQ) and an Abstract Reasoning Ability Test (ARAT) to help define the final shortlist. Hudson Talent Management first delivered an assessment centre for the head of communications role and then ran the same campaign for the remaining roles. This included a combination of role-plays, presentations, competency-based interviews and group exercises.

The results

The GPhC took the final decision on the recruitments and three of the four roles were filled both on time and within budget. One post was not recruited to within this process.

The GPhC noted that if they had used the standard recruitment process, they may not have had the same level of assurance that the candidates had the depth of skills and experience needed to hit the ground running and respond to the particular demands of a new and evolving team.


On the recruitment process:
"It was interesting and challenging to see how the assessment and test extracted information and behaviours in a way which we felt provided the kind of depth we were looking for when building the team from scratch. The level of service that Hudson provided throughout the whole process was sterling, their advice and fortitude in the face of our continuing needs was excellent. I recommend Hudson to prospective organisations who need a similar process and outcome as the GPhC."

On talent management: 
“On reflection, we learnt a lot from going through the process and it certainly assisted in us in looking at candidates slightly differently than had we recruited and interviewed on the basis of a CV and interview."
Interim Head of Communications, GPhC

Project Snapshot


  • Multiple roles for new communications team: head of communications; corporate communication manager; digital manager; and media and public affairs manager.
  • Compatible skills and experience required across the new team.



  • Three of the four roles recruited on time and on budget. One post was not recruited to within this process.
  • Client's increased levels of assurance in the complementary skills and behaviours of the successful candidates.

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