The Client
Nova Scientia

Nova-Scientia Group was founded in 2020 with significant funding investment to create an innovative start-up with rapid growth, in the field of optical fiber and photonic interferometry sensing applications. The company is at the very forefront of its tech sector with £60 million in funding to push their already patented technology in the field of Photonics, on which Nova-Scientia has the exclusive license. An international company with divisions in Italy, Switzerland, and Russia; the UK-based division opened at Harwell Campus, Oxford in February 2021 and is responsible for Business Development, Technology, and Manufacturing Divisions within the Group.

The Brief

SYLO | Beyond HR. were engaged by the CEO to carry out all recruitment for this Oxford-based start-up and, alongside this, to deliver all the HR and Health & Safety Foundations to ensure all necessary compliance were in place. We were appointed to carry out recruitment activity for the majority of the vacancies to be filled before February 2021. The most critical roles included the Board level roles of Chief Finance Officer and Chief Scientific Officer. We also filled all key infrastructure roles with the appointment of an Office Manager, HR Administrator, and Performance Coach alongside recruitment support for a firmware and a software embedded engineer.

Our Approach

Working alongside the CEO at Nova Scientia, we provided the business with a fully outsourced HR Department including a dedicated HR Lead and Recruitment specialist team in place with oversight from an Account Director. This approach was more critical than ever as HR was one of the core strands of Nova Scientia’s Year One Business plan.

Furthermore, where there was overlap between HR, Recruitment, and Health and Safety, it was important that this support was joined up and aligned to this plan. In the case of the recruitment campaign, our highly skilled Recruitment and Talent Management specialists worked closely with the CEO on all stages of recruitment. This work involved carrying out a thorough brief for all the roles so the team could draw up job descriptions and adverts to support the selection process ensuring each role attracted the best candidates. This was very much supported by the employee benefits package work the HR Lead was carrying out.

Our team conducted all the candidate shortlisting, initial telephone interviews, and presenting a defined shortlist of qualified candidates recommended for interview. We used competency-based interview questions developed and agreed in advance, with input from the CEO. In the case of the technical roles, we carried out a coordinating role with a Website Case Study Template Sept 2020 specialist recruitment agency and carried out the first round of assessment interviews before presenting candidates to the CEO.

Following the interviews, we provided a full de-brief of candidate interviews and our preferred shortlist, so the CEO was able to identify candidates for the final stage online face-to-face interviews. Our robust recruitment process meant that the right candidates were carried forward to the final stage and the CEO was able to appoint any one of the candidates we had recommended. Having our team in place meant that we were able to support the CEO on all candidate offers ensures a seamless onboarding process with the creation of the contract of employment and carrying out pre-employment checks.

Client Contact

CEO Clive Candler
The Outcome

A seamless end-to-end recruitment process resulting in all vacancies being filled.

SYLO’s approach was completely transparent, consultative, and collaborative every step of the way. The Lead Recruiter and I worked together to create job descriptions, adverts, and telephone interview questions. I was provided with regular updates, within the agreed timeline, presented with a shortlist of candidates for each role, in addition to a comprehensive telephone interview for each.

As the company was not yet fully functioning it was challenging for SYLO to tap into the culture and fit I was looking for, along with identifying the candidates with the right skills and experience. They did this very well with gentle probing questions which enabled them to build a realistic picture to present to candidates.

With the model they use, SYLO invests the time with the candidates from the very beginning ensuring candidates presented to me not only met the criteria of the role but had full knowledge of the role along with the type of company Nova Scientia is. In fact, I felt that by the time I got to the face-to-face interviews with the candidate’s I already knew them.

Their friendly, relaxed yet professional approach ensured that from both a client and a candidate’s perspective, the journey was most enjoyable.