TalentSurabhi: Connecting Clients with Right Talents

Gayathri Arumugam, COO, TalentSurabhi

With a constant increase in unmet needs of patients suffering from various diseases and health conditions, there is a need for fostering innovation in drug discovery and development process to address this public health issue. There are already millions of clinical trials being conducted globally which, paves the way for multiple potential business opportunities for the clients across verticals like CRO, Pharma, Life Sciences Service providers, ITES, and KPO with strong business pipeline.

As the global clinical research sector is exploring India by increasingly outsourcing clinical trials. Based on Market research analytics, it is projected that the total clinical research industry will grow at an exponential rate especially after post COVID era. With such positive trend, the current and the future recruitment and staffing environment in clinical research sector looks very promising with limitless business opportunities and growth.

“The future of talent acquisition lies in reskilling, rather than finding someone better in the market. If you need to hire today, you need to reskill yesterday,” says Gayathri Arumugam, Chief Operating Officer of TalentSurabhi. She is passionate about creating impact with best mix of people, process and product in a rapidly increasing scope, scale, and speedy ecosystem. Gayathri has over fifteen years of recruitment experience in the industry having served some of the world’s best CRO and IT companies.

She is highly competent and versatile professional with more than a decade of expertise in the Intersection of areas of Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Strategy and Market Research. She is a self-motivated result-oriented professional having cultivated an impressive track record of serving clients and candidates in Recruitment Services for various Industrial sectors.

Gayathri has demonstrated experience in CXOs and leadership level hiring and proven track record in upselling and cross selling the leadership profiles. Her prime focus is always to partner with the clients and candidates to provide them strategic and advisory consulting, branding and market intelligence to ensure the unique match that makes individuals, companies, and industries flourish.

She is seasoned in negotiating and influencing skills. She possesses extensive client engagement and relationship management experience. She is Proficient in understanding the ‘People’s Mind Set’. Gayathri is also specialized in reading between the lines to understand the expectations of both clients and candidates in serving their needs.

The ‘Talent’ Behind TalentSurabhi

With a constant increase in unmet needs of patients suffering from various diseases and health conditions and fostering innovation in drug discovery and development process to address this public health issue. There are already millions of clinical trials being conducted globally, which paves the way for multiple potential business opportunities for our clients (CRO, Pharma, Life Sciences Service provides, ITES, KPO) with strong business pipeline.

Gayathri’s deep recruitment expertise, profound knowledge in domains and market demands, rapid increase, and unmet need of Staffing in Pharma, CRO and IT Industries paved way to the setting up of TalentSurabhi in 2020.

Like many great inventions, the founding of TalentSurabhi has been an exciting journey. Founded by the board of directors the idea for TalentSurabhi is a first born of innovation and an appetite to help companies address their unmet need in a rapid increase of hiring demand in CRO, Pharma and IT industries.

Purpose of TS is rooted from her extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Gayathri got an opportunity to serve the CRO client way back in 2015, when she was associated with the reputed Recruitment firm as a Business Development Manager, she got an opportunity to sign-up with a CRO client which was a new vertical to her organization by itself. She had a meeting with the ‘Country Head’ of the established US based CRO firm in Bangalore, she was then assigned to search for a leadership role ‘Director of Biostatistics’, which was a burning requirement in a very rare talent pool, the client was in need to close the position on a very crucial basis.

By understanding the clients need. “Gayathri says”, The requirement shared by the CRO client was something unique and niche skill to work for the very first time. She deep dived by doing a market analysis and research to learn more about the new skill set and competencies expectations and identified the best suitable talents from the Clinical Research Industry. She went back to the client with set of 3 profiles out of which, the client was very impressed with the first profile submitted, the candidate was interviewed and offered the best talent within 30 days of the assignment signed.

Though Gayathri had a decade of experience in recruiting for IT leadership positions, she was very excited and motivated to close the ‘Director of Biostatistics’ role. When she experienced this successful closure happened in a quickest possible turnaround time, she loved to learn and explore more in the clinical domain. This unique experience and highest level of satisfaction had triggered her passion and commitment towards solving the unmet need of staffing problems in Clinical Research Industry. She built a good rapport and networked with the industry leaders and met with them in person to understand the gaps of hiring in the Clinical Research industry.

“The year 2020 has been an odd and very tough for businesses. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, a nationwide lockdown, and social distancing measures did not devastate our confidence and commitment to set up our new venture TalentSurabhi, we perceived challenges as opportunities by pivoting at the face of COVID – 19 Pandemic,” conveys Gayathri.

A Service to the Talented

The company’s customized process, coupled with effective communication and a commitment to each best talent hiring, produces long-term relationships and highly successful partnerships. Its approach is simple and is defined by the ability to thoroughly understand the clients’ culture, objectives, and key success factors to ensure the perfect fit.

TalentSurabhi (TS) is a start-up firm, with a vision to influence and drive the changing needs of Indian recruitment ecosystem through talent pool landscape analytics. At TS we are dedicated to provide every client with talent solutions that meet the needs of their specific industry and search assignment.

TS with its service offerings developed over a decade of industry experience are uniquely positioned to address wide range of scope in an increasing speed to provide scalable staffing solutions ‘that are tailored to meet customers resources needs’. At TS we provide a full range of solutions including temporary, Consulting-as-a-Service (CaaS), Ready to Resource (R2R), permanent staffing and other workforce solutions in the areas of Life Sciences and Healthcare, CROs, Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, and Information Technology.

“We truly understand the importance of building strong relationship with clients and candidates alike, allowing us to fully understand hiring needs and never compromising on quality. We assure our clients and candidates are mutually benefited,” says Gayathri. “We exhibit a moral and ethical responsibility to both our clients and candidates; by meeting their needs, we create meaningful opportunities for best talents and long-term value for businesses,” adds the team at TalentSurabhi.

Ultimately, they are committed to conduct first-class business in a unique way and determined to be the most preferred strategic recruitment partner.

Bridging the ‘Talent Gaps’ Amidst the Pandemic

The biggest challenge during the pandemic was quitting the job due to uncertainty and venturing into a new start up immediately despite knowing the high risk and benefits in the business for Gayathri. Every crisis comes with myriad of challenges and opportunities for transformation. Her team at TalentSurabhi leveraged opportunities to blended learning approach to address the accelerated increasing rate of Scope, Scale and Speed of the business, especially as the competitive landscape of its business nature was disrupted by radically different business models, newly emerging and dynamically changing business demands. Another tough challenge was setting up of a new office space during the pandemic and convincing clients during BD pitch and client vendor qualification audit.

The pandemic has disrupted a major sector of the workforce in ways Gayathri didn’t anticipate. In response to COVID pandemic, she recommended all necessary control measures, that have made remote work as new norm. Staff members were transforming living rooms into workspaces, facing difficult decisions about how to adapt and survive this seismic shift, surprisingly hiring practices have changed overnight. The change was uncomfortable at first, but TalentSurabhi’s team of professionals were up for the task. Initial phone screenings remained the same, but the face-to-face interview has been moved to online mode.

“We invited candidates to take up the interview from our office premises with all precautionary measures. To speed up time-to-hire, we offered candidates the option of video interviewing as soon as possible,” shares the team of TalentSurabhi. Virtual interviews not only aided to accelerate the hiring pipeline moving, but it also enhances the candidate experience and boosted employer brand. Long delay in every aspect of the company’s operations depended on multiple stakeholders, which affected its operations during the pandemic.

“We observed that job seekers were adaptive and flexible when organizations put safety protocols in place, which resulted in highly interactive virtual interviews. It was evident that recruitment professionals could assess candidate’s gestures, expressions, engagement, and body language as easily through online as in person. Also, handshake greeting, which is a part of in-person interview process were missing in the virtual one,” states Gayathri.

The company adapted to a new strategy and deep dived in consulting and preparing its candidates with focused areas including but not limited to, demonstration of professional behaviours/etiquettes, Client Background briefing, Backup plan for any technological interruptions, client working culture, time zone and importance of impressive presentation to crack the interview in best possible ways, which ultimately resulted in higher likelihood of interview clearance. Its hiring team were in constant touch with clients and candidates to make sure they feel comfortable during the entire interview process and ultimately build better relationships with client and candidate.

Beyond the Strides

On a long run Gayathri envisions TalentSurabhi to be one of the top recruitment firms in serving Clinical Research Industry and to be one among the top five recruitment firms serving other sectors in India. The company is committed to expand its footprints in different major cities in India and to have global footprints in other APAC countries. “We envision to scale our team up to 50 in five years down the line,” adds Gayathri.

Given the current events, businesses have been forced to re-evaluate many of their processes, procedures, being adaptive and flexible to confront the challenges and restrictions the world is facing. One of the most daunting tasks for many organizations during this time has been talent planning and assessment.

Identifying the ideal candidate to fill a vacant position is difficult enough, but now businesses must do so without in-person interaction. So, the company embraces this new reality of talent assessment, that are as follows:

  • Influence and drive the change
  • Enhance digital capabilities
  • Strengthen clear communication with set expectations to client and candidates
  • To reduce time to hire
  • Assess and develop leadership
  • Contribute significantly to the industries it serves by preparing ready to resource workforce and impart training to reskill and upskill to meet the dynamically changing industry demands.

“We at TalentSurabhi help our client and candidate redefine the ‘NEW NORMAL’ it has always been our mission to break barriers, forego tradition, and move beyond what’s expected to find best talent. Now, likely more than ever, this continues to reign true,” conveys the team at TalentSurabhi.

Its team is no stranger to the challenges that businesses face when assessing new talent. Virtual talent assessment has been an integral part of the company’s process since day one of its business, and they have not only found a way to harness its capabilities, but also use it to their client’s advantage. TalentSurabhi delivers frequent virtual webinars through industry thought-leaders, that build and develop cutting edge solutions in addressing high demand skills and competencies.

Its objective of hosting webinars is to create awareness about the clinical research industry among fresh graduates. It is to create future work force and highlight the bigger picture of various role to experienced candidates showing the way to align industry expectations with their career progression plan and to expand its network and bridge the Talent Pool Gap. “We see a huge challenge in identifying the talents with niche skillsets in this particular domain, hence we are keen to inspire and prepare more talents by organizing such webinars in the future,” concludes Gayathri and her team at TalentSurabhi.

Valuable Words by Gayathri Arumugam

“Don’t Let Failure Stop You from Succeeding”

Sharing some of the details of how I failed as a Mompreneur, what I learnt, and how it brought me to where I am now.

Back in 2011 – I was a first time Mompreneur, a new mother who wished to stay back home for a better upbringing of my child. When I turned 25 my entrepreneurial spirit began. It was as if someone turned on a faucet, and ideas started flowing into my mind one after another.

In 2010, I embarked on the most fantastic, nerve-wracking journey of my life. On November Six, 2010, I became the mother to a beautiful, baby girl. Before the idea could even get materialised, I jumped and ventured into a new day care business on August five, 2011, which was an amazing accomplishment for me. That entrepreneurial flame that had sparked inside me flickered in and out as I tried to balance my family and my desire to be a successful entrepreneur.

The truth is, I simply was not prepared for the long-haul with my business, and I most definitely underestimated how completely exhausting motherhood would be. Eventually, my business model was not sustainable because I was not ready to take up any challenges and I failed. My hopes of being a work-at-home Mom, running my own business, and building independent wealth and security for my family seemed like a distant and unattainable task.

In 2012, my ex-boss reached me out and asked if I was available to join her start-up leadership recruitment firm as a sourcing specialist. I decided to move ahead with her offer and joined immediately, with all my love and passion towards work, one year down the lane, I got promoted as a Business Development Manager. The entrepreneurial flame that had sparked inside me flickered once again in 2016, I tapped into my creative side of my passion towards greens and did market research for six months and ventured into my second entity ‘Gift My Plants’ on March twelve, 2017. The business was at peak and saw huge success as second time entrepreneur.

On November 19, 2019, I was featured in ‘Your Story’ for creating a new business model, a one stop destination for gifting plants, corporate gifting, and garden set ups, which had presence in Inorbit Mall, Whitefield at Bangalore. Due to the pandemic crises, we moved our business from a physical store to online and we still see potential customers seeking our services and we still exist.

I know with all my heart that success is nothing, but failure turned inside out. Equipped with this belief, I have set myself on a trajectory to accomplish the happy life I desire, and to help those inspired souls around me to do the same. It has been a process to learn how to balance being a mom who is both active and present in personal lives, and also be true to myself and pursue my creative passions.

Now, I know how to fail fast. I know how to pick-up the pieces and create again and again.

My advice to the young generation of entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts based on my pragmatic learning from all those tough lessons in my life.

Be a Passionpreneur, think out of the box, have a clear vision, and objective with apprentice mind set. Be innovative and think creatively, stay curious to learn new things every day, set a strong foundation during the initial stages of setting up the business. Have a clear pathway to make a profitable business, stay focused, have a growth strategy, ask for help within your network who can uplift your ideas.

  • You must have a plan for sustainability and a solid promotional plan.
  • You need to believe in the product.
  • Just because you have experience on a topic, doesn’t mean you should start a business around it. For me, it has to be something I am passionate about.
  • I love helping to spread positivity in the community I live in, it is a passion and a talent that I have.
  • I had to find a common bond between my passions and create a brand that allowed me to set up new ventures.

Being Courageous is better, ‘Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.’

From the Dairy of Gayathri Arumugam

Women Re-entering the workforce – An Undervalued Talent Pool

Did you know many companies are missing out on a large, untouched pool of talent? It’s true, and too often it’s due to misconceived perceptions about something employers never take the time to ask questions about a resume gap that keeps these women from getting back to work. This talented group of individuals is primarily made up of women re-entering the workforce after taking a break from their professional careers. Unfortunately, there is a massive bias against these candidates because of the employment gap due to the time spent raising their children. However, they should not be ignored or classified as unqualified because of time away from their careers. After all, you may unknowingly pass up on critical talent hidden in this undervalued talent pool. Instead of rejecting or otherwise qualified resume because of the ‘gap’.

At TalentSurabhi, we discover the undiscovered talents and directly reach to the candidate. When we source candidates such as women re-entering the workforce — we get to know who they are, along with their strengths and weaknesses. In our eyes, a resume gap due to being a stay-at-home mom is never a weakness. Women re-entering the workforce offer a level of talent and aptitude that can greatly benefit any company. As with any hire, specifically an executive hire, we always encourage companies to focus on the fit rather than just the find. By asking strategic questions, like the ones above, you can learn more about these women while discerning their potential and fit within the culture. You can count on our dedicated team to be there every step of the way to support companies and guarantee the successful recruitment and integration in every hire.

Most of the closures we made for the last one year was 50% of women’s who were on a career break due to various reasons, our candidates were extremely happy with our service for placing them in multinational CRO companies in India, despite high challenging & tough time during the pandemic.

We just not support connecting right opportunities with our candidates, we also impact their career with great turning points.

Interesting Insights

“The team of TalentSurabhi has a great understanding of job requirements and identifying different eligible talents for filling up the job openings.

They represent a great communication between clients or candidates. Their way of work is truly appreciated.

The best way to thank a business consultant is to refer them to other businesses or friends, when you really think the consultant did a great job. I would like to thank the TalentSurabhi team for providing me with an opportunity, help, support and encouragement due to which I am working with a great company now. I have had two breaks in my career due to personal reasons, but keeping them at par, they have given great opportunities to interact with great organizations.

This team works with so much energy and dedication that they have given me a great career start after my breaks. They have been great go-getters for me, glad that I have contacted them at the right juncture of my career, so that I have a smooth career path. Even during the pandemic when it’s difficult to communicate with the company HR’s.

Really like to appreciate the entire team of TalentSurabhi for being so supportive and also guiding me in making the right decision on choosing this job, which I am enjoying the most in my career so far.

Thank you, team, and wishes for many more businesses.”

–  Nina N, Premier Research.

“My experience with TalentSurabhi has been nothing short of excellent. They are extremely friendly and highly involved throughout the whole process, with feedback from the employer being communicated to me almost immediately. I was lucky enough to get the job offer from them after a break in my career. I am extremely grateful to the team for making the process very straightforward.

I highly recommend TalentSurabhi for their professionalism, as well as for their very friendly approach to recruitment. Not but the least I would like to thank regarding the motivation given by the team during the process. They were incredibly responsive, supportive, and helpful. It felt like a personal service which can be rare. Thank you so much, I’ve really enjoyed my experience with TalentSurabhi and the job you have found me ticks all the boxes I was looking for.”

– Dr. Amanpreet, Agati Clinical Informatics.

Talent Speaks

I am Geffrey Manuel, working as a Client Relationship Manager (CRM) at TalentSurabhi (TS). I have joined TS sixteen months ago as a Talent Search Analyst and in the span of 6 months of time I got promoted to CRM, I am proud to say that I am the first employee of TS, my potential and performance are very well recognised till date. Being part of the founding team, TS has been very generous in considering my opinions to any major changes that are made.  The biggest asset of TS is the people who work here and Gayathri a strong leader who provides the best of opportunities and exposure for an employee to explore their skills and talent. She unlocks the potential of employees and helps them to nurture it and turns it into a skillset/competency. The team at TS is more like a close-knit family than just co-workers, we work together and help each other to achieve our targets and company goals.  Although it is a start-up company with a small pool of mix of talents, I am very much confident and strongly believe that TS has high potential to grow bigger, because of the deep domain expertise and the people who work here are passionate, committed and focused on their goals.

Follower Speaks about TalentSurabhi

“As a keen observer of market trends in the space of human resources behavior and talent management. I find ‘Talent Surabhi’ a breath of fresh air. Their approach towards connecting available talent to the requirements of the industry is simple, time-bound, and result-oriented.

A start-up with a decade-long experience, they bring a matured strategy to their business. The breath of industries they have covered so far bears testimony to their pledge, ‘To provide every client with talent solutions that meet the needs of their specific industry and search assignments.’

As a company, their time-tested, old-school permanent staffing solutions, blended with flexible solutions like Consulting as a Service (CaaS), Ready to Resource (R2R) address the needs of changing times in industries that have seen states of constant flux and increasing growth.

In my personal interactions with the Talent Surabhi team, I found them to be pleasant, professional, providing real-time responses with clear timelines for the next steps. They are available all through the way. This attribute builds confidence in both parties i.e., the Client company and potential candidate, leading to less ambiguity, more transparency, and successful closure of positions in the shortest possible time. In my observation Talent Surabhi believes in Win-Win-Win for all involved.”

  – Dr. Deepak L Joseph

The Most Promising Words

It was a great pleasure working with TalentSurabhi (TS) for multiple positions of Senior to Principal Biostatistician’s role. Their efforts in identifying right talents meeting Job Descriptions and hiring manager requirements were exceptional.

TalentSurabhi turned back very quickly with the right set of candidate profiles including immediate joiners that was so impressive and saved us from a very crucial resourcing situation. I found that they were very diligent in every stage from CV circulation to ensuring no offer dropouts till the last moment.

Among other recruitment agencies I have worked with, I strongly believe that TalentSurabhi services are superior to other agencies about their value-added services.

My Overall impression and experience with TS are above and beyond my expectations. I have experienced their profound knowledge and expertise in CRO/Pharma Industry recruitment on various interactions.

I thank the entire TS team for their extraordinary support, and I highly recommend their services.

– Dr. Sakthivel Sivam, PhD – Director of Biostatistics, Quartesian.

We value our relationship with TalentSurabhi team.

“TalentSurabhi possesses a deep knowledge of the life sciences sector and works with a wide network of well-qualified individuals across a range of job disciplines. What I value the most is that Gayathri always listens but is never afraid to push back when she feels that someone is the right fit for our business. Having a vendor partnership with Gayathri and Talent Surabhi has significantly improved our time-to-hire on several key roles over the past 2 yrs.”

– Neha Kapoor, HR Manager at Emmes.

Case Study by Talent Surabhi

Virtual Hiring Success Story – I

‘TalentSurabhi’ was recommended to fastest growing multinational CRO to help them fill their ongoing multiple open positions for Biostatisticians and Statistical Programmers roles in India to overcome their crucial resourcing needs. During our initial search process, we have understood that lack of visibility and branding of our client was seemed to be the bottlenecks. As a strategic recruitment partner, we went above and beyond and helped our client with our market intelligence insights which lead to create a new role for HR Leadership.

As a solution to our client existing problems, we upsold a profile for the position of “CHRO”, at first, things went smooth with the interviews concluding in a week, but we ran into another difficulty as the CTC of the candidate was beyond client budget. We put our best step forward and convinced the candidate to join this fastest growing CRO by detailing her the impact that she would be creating with this opportunity and grow significantly with our client organization.

TalentSurabhi worked closely with the client and candidate to bring the search to a successful conclusion, we were able to close the position with 1:1:1 ratio and 100% closure happened within 20 days of assignment signed.

Virtual Hiring Success Story – II

We approached our client who is a mid-size Multinational CRO company; they were searching for a high demanding role of ‘Principal Biostatistician’ for more than three months. We met with the hiring manager virtually to understand the gaps they saw in the variety of candidates they had interviewed. Once we captured the pain points from the hiring manager, we have surprised our client with some immediate joiners’ profile and rescued them from crucial resourcing situation and were able to close the position with 4:2:1 (4CV’s:2Offers:1Joinee) ratio and candidate joined after 30 days of notice period. 100% closure happened within 35 days of assignment signed.

Virtual Hiring Success Story – III

‘TalentSurabhi’ worked with a multinational CRO to identify a technical expert on high demanding role of ‘Lead Statistical Programmer’ Position in India. We had a difficult task to close this position as the number of candidates who would qualify were few in number and the candidate who we found was a strong candidate, an immediate joiner.

But she was a difficult person to deal with, so we treaded the ground cautiously and took extra care to ensure she felt comfortable with us and the client. With the submission of 6CV’s, this position was closed with 6:2:1 ratio and 100% closure happened within 30 days of receiving the requirements.