How direct sourcing helped Pfizer meet the research challenge of a century

In the fall of 2018, no one could have predicted that within little more than a year, a global pandemic would strike and suddenly biopharmaceutical firms would be racing to develop a vaccine faster than had ever been accomplished before. But, without that foreknowledge or a crystal ball, the incoming CEO at Pfizer, Albert Boula, launched an initiative that helped the company respond quickly when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

The initiative encouraged all business and functional units at Pfizer to increase their use of automation. For Pfizer’s Contingent Labor team, this meant the opportunity to implement a new contingent talent channel they had been considering – Direct Sourcing.

Pfizer’s team moved quickly to implement a direct sourcing solution. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, they specified a solution that could be readily integrated with their trusted contingent workforce management system, Beeline VMS, and could be operated by their MSP.

They chose Beeline’s direct sourcing partner, TalentNet, and added a curator to manage what would become a fast-growing private talent pool. Within a matter of months, they were able to begin recruiting bench scientists and researchers for their most requested contingent positions. They recruited first for openings in the northeastern United States. As they began to prove direct sourcing’s effectiveness, they widened their scope, eventually using direct sourcing for all positions under MSP management, in all geographies.

According to Pfizer’s Operations Lead for Contingent Labor, the direct sourcing program was so successful, it not only met the program’s short-term goals, but is well on its way to exceeding the “Moon Shot” goals they used to challenge their team (but had not expected to meet – at least in the first year).

The researchers and bench scientists engaged by direct sourcing are working on many different Pfizer programs, but the one of greatest immediate interest is their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. On November 18, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that the ongoing Phase 3 study for the COVID-19 vaccine candidate had met all of its primary efficacy endpoints.

We are proud to have had a part to play in providing the resources for Pfizer’s vaccine development.

To learn more, watch this webinar, “Changing the game at Pfizer: How Direct Sourcing accelerates contingent labor transformation”.

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