What Snedden Campbell does

In all the excitement of setting up the new website and the weekly blog, it seems to have quite slipped my mind to lay out clearly what we actually do here at Snedden Campbell day to day. Yes, I want to come across as an exciting guy and great company at parties. However, we do excellent work and, to be brutally straightforward, we would like to do some more.


So, here it is. A thousand words on what Snedden Campbell Ltd can do for you:


Retained Headhunting for Specialist Team Members


Our core business since 2001.


Simply put, we get retained by companies to go out and find people for senior technical roles in everything from fundamental research through development to commercialisation and ongoing sales and marketing. That is just about every flavour of clinical chemistry that you can think of plus multiple sorts of engineering (electronics, software, microfluidics), Quality, Regulatory (510(k)’s, CE Mark, ANVISA), software, platform design (from hand-held to central laboratory), marketing, production, statistics…anything that you could possibly need to set up and operate a medical technology business. Apart from, maybe, finance.


Everything we do is in medical technology of one sort or another and many of our projects involve diagnostics in some way. Although these days that means mostly immunoassay or PCR, we also have experience in everything from mass spec to latex agglutination.


Outside of diagnostics, we have worked in various surgical implantables including orthopaedics. We also have quite a bit of experience in really high volume manufacturing for the MedTech industry.


As there is not that much of a MedTech industry in our hometown of Callander, we have to work across Europe and beyond. In 17 years that has meant projects in Spain, Ireland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and, occasionally, the USA. Mostly we work with candidates who are highly technically qualified – about half of our placements over the last five years have had PhD’s and 80% or so have some post-graduate qualification.


Our genuinely Europe wide range turns out to be a huge advantage as most of our competition tends to have a regional focus – quite good in London but struggles to find Liege on a map kind of thing. Turns out that placing people internationally is quite straightforward on the obvious issues – taxation, work permits/visas, finding an apartment and a nightmare on the “smaller” issues – getting the kids into the right school, finding your husband a job, setting up a mobile phone contract, when to put the bins out etc.


We are not, God knows, scientists but two decades of speaking to technical specialists means that we are experts on understanding who does what. At the most basic level even knowing that not all assays are the same turns out to be a big deal amongst some recruiters.


Headhunting for the Board


A logical progression from specialist team searches has been a gradually increasing volume of work at Board level. We have a number of CEOs out there now as well as CSOs, CTOs, CCOs, VPs of Marketing, Sales and Regulatory. The deep technical understanding that we obtained from doing the “nuts and bolts” hiring of middle management means that we know exactly what to look for when things move up a couple of grades. Who knew that the key thing in all this was having a decent briefing document so that everyone knows what the important criteria and goals are and nobody gets taken by surprise?


At the start, our Board work was commissioned directly by CEOs and their teams. That has evolved over the last five years and we now work increasingly on strategic projects with investors: VCs, Private Equity and Family Offices.




Once we started making executive Board appointments we began to have an involvement in non-executive roles. There is a certain natural progression.


Once again our international reach does make a difference in that it facilitates us in moving out of narrow ranges of the “usual suspects” and allows our clients to appoint experts from outside their immediate circle.


Sub-contract consultants


Not all roles are permanent. We are particularly good at placing people on contract in Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Chemistry.


Introducing Investors to companies


Once we had spent time getting to know and work with a few investors (mostly VC’s), some liked us enough to ask us to identify companies in areas of interest to their portfolios. Again, a logical progression of making use of our market knowledge.


Introducing companies to Investors


We now take on projects to assist companies with fundraising. This activity, whilst an obvious one based on our experience, has been a long time in gestation. We really want to do this right – it is, after all, a very small world.


Once again out international experience helps. Who knew that companies and investors in Europe have a tendency to the parochial? Apart from your company, of course, dear reader.


Consulting on people finding strategy


We know perfectly well that we know more than all but a handful of recruiters in Europe about who does what in MedTech. We are very good at explaining to companies what is possible in terms of talent acquisition, what is going to be challenging and expensive and the things that you really want to avoid doing (usually some variation on wildly underestimating the salary and wildly overestimating the availability of essential specialist skills). The key thing is we can do it months or even years before it becomes a critical issue and bites you in the backside.

The biggest challenge is not telling companies what they want to hear to get future projects but being able to inform them of what hey really need to know so that they can do something about it.


It turns out that even working with companies to produce job specifications that are interesting and informative is something that our clients are happy to pay for.


Consulting on business development


We have been involved in this for almost as long as we have been headhunting. Our extensive sector knowledge means that we are capable of providing practical assistance in identifying new clients, collaborators and markets. We know stuff. We know who has done what where and for how much and what the outcome was.



So, there you have it. Everything from finding your next Chief Executive to working out whether the world needs another rapid STD test and everything in between.


The best bit – the initial discussion is always free…

Posted on: 21st October 2018 by Ivor Campbell

Into his fourth decade of search Ivor has a voice with stories to tell, observations to make and the odd picture to share. Mostly related to the day job.

Snedden Campbell Ltd
28 Vorlich Crescent, Callander
FK17 8JE

+44 [0] 1877 330 495
+44 [0] 7799 690390

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