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All things Pharma

The Vacancy Management Company: the development of their service offering five years on

In 2001 Ian Fogg, Sue Birch and Claire Frost founded The Vacancy Management Company, the first niche company to provide interim solutions to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry for such projects as maternity leave and sickness cover. Five years on, VMC looks back at how ‘Vacancy Management’ has developed into a popular buzzword across the industry and service sector since the company’s inception.

Sue Birch
General Manager

Claire Frost
Resourcing Manager

Ian Fogg
Managing Director

WITHIN THE LAST FIVE YEARS, significant changes within the NHS have impacted on the pharma and healthcare industry. As a result of this, companies have had to respond to these changes and review the way in which they operate with regard to employing their sales teams. They have also had to make significant adaptations to people’s roles, and introduce new types of positions to ensure that they are targeting the appropriate customers in the right way. So now the concept ‘Vacancy Management’ is not only used by the industry to meet the requirements of traditional types of skill shortages, but is increasingly used for special projects and experimental organisational changes.

Sue Birch, General Manager of The Vacancy Management Company, explains how important it has been for the company’s growth and success that it has developed its business over the last five years in line with these changes.

Providing the best service

Claire Frost, Resourcing Manager, explains how essential it has been for VMC to listen carefully to the demands placed on its clients, and hence the changes in their requirements compared to five years ago.

“At VMC we will always strive to ensure that the interests of our clients are at the forefront of our minds at all times as the dynamics of the sales structure continues to evolve and set new challenges.

“We appreciate that for our clients to be successful in their long-term goals, we need to be continually adapting our service and offering the most flexible, open-minded approach to their requirements. To this end, we are always completely honest and open with all our clients, providing not only a ‘Vacancy Management’ solution but also a professional advice and support service. This is one of the reasons why many of the clients we started working with in 2001 are still utilising our services now. Many of the new clients whom we are continually developing have come from recommendations. This is also true of our employees and the candidates who use our services. We offer them exactly the same support, honesty and openness.”

Alan Sumner, Regional Business Director for Astellas, has said: “I have been involved with VMC for the last three years as suppliers of Primary Care project teams on a dedicated basis. I have also found them to be a great solution to filling short-term vacancies, and indeed direct to headcount recruitment. Their attention to detail is superb, and they have a wide reach into the UK ‘candidate pool’ due to the way that they treat people. In the last three years, I have yet to come across anyone internally – or externally – who doesn’t hold them in the highest regard.”

Like the industry itself, the requirements of candidates have changed considerably in the last five years. They want far more flexibility in their working situation: it is necessary to have an individualistic approach to each person’s needs, rather than a blanket one whereby one candidate will suit all positions. This approach of being selective to our candidates’ requirements has enabled VMC to build a highly ethical professional standing in the service sector: our candidates know they will be treated fairly and as individuals.

The Vacancy Management Company can be contacted by calling  01420 82202  01420 82202 or via their website at


Meeting specific needs

Ian Fogg, Managing Director of VMC – and previous founder of RDL, one of the largest contract sales organisations in the UK – has seen extensive changes within the industry over the last five years, and certainly since the onset of RDL. Ian explains how pharmaceutical companies are now far more targeted in their approach:

“Whereas the traditional approach has been to employ a blanket cover of sales representatives across the whole of the country, the needs are now much more specific to a local level. Different territories often need different levels of coverage at different times, and it is in this way that we have been able to offer our clients the level of flexibility they need in order for them to achieve their forecasted budgets.”

Things have changed in this market sector, and will continue to change – as we have seen recently. Ian says: “I believe more and more companies will move closer to working with providers like ourselves, who can adapt their service and clearly tailor it to specific requirements.”

With this in mind, we have very consciously developed our service offering in the last five years. Sue Birch explains: “We like to be able to offer the all-encompassing ‘Vacancy Management’ solution to our clients, so that they feel they can develop a close and trusting working partnership with one provider that meets all their requirements.” To this end, the diversity of the services VMC can now provide, compared to when we started business in 2001, has greatly expanded.

We can now offer:

  • Resourcing of personnel across a diverse range of roles
  • Permanent Assignment Campaigns
  • Interim short-term projects (i.e maternity cover, pilot projects, seasonal campaigns and regional hotspots
  • Larger specialist teams
  • Practical training, coaching and development programmes
  • Design and running of assessment centres
  • HR support
  • OPQ/Verbal/Numerical profile testing.

Leading the field

During the last five years, The Vacancy Management Company has developed to become one of the leading resourcing companies within this market sector. Sue Birch would like to take this opportunity to thank both the clients and the candidates who have utilised VMC’s services over the last five years, and looks forward to working with you again in the future.

For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity of working with us, we would encourage you to either call us or visit our website in order to discover how we can help you be successful.













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