December 21, 2015 – Executive search firm Curran Partners has placed Deborah A. Kauffman as vice president of human resources at Radius Health. Reporting to the CEO, Ms. Kauffman will lead HR planning and execution as the company’s first VP of human resources.
Prior to joining Radius, Ms. Kauffman advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in human resources with Astra-Zeneca. Earlier in her career, Ms. Kauffman served in various HR roles with GAI-Tronics, a manufacturer of telecommunications equipment.
“We’ve completed four top HR searches in the last year or so – all for companies advancing in drug development and preparing to gear up their organizations to handle drug regulatory filing and commercialization,” said Michael Curran, president. “Human resources plays a central role in that preparation.” Typically, he said, companies at this stage in their life cycles don’t have experienced senior-level HR executives on staff.
Radius is a science-driven biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new therapeutics for patients with osteoporosis as well as other serious endocrine-mediated diseases. The company was founded in 2003 and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Established in 1989, Curran Partners serves the recruiting needs of companies in the consumer and industrial products, healthcare and life sciences, and business-to-business services sectors. Its clients include public and private U.S. organizations and, to a significant extent, foreign entities establishing or enhancing their U.S.-based operations.
Curran Partners also recently recruited James P. Brady as the first VP of HR at biopharmaceutical company Intarcia Therapeutics. He most recently served in various HR roles with Genzyme. In addition, during the last 14 months Curran Partners also placed chief human resources officers (CHROs) at Achillion Pharmaceuticals and MacroGenics.
The role of the CHRO has changed dramatically over the years. Once a mid-level staff position, the head of human resources today sits at the elbow of the CEO and maintains one of the most influential positions within senior management.
And as hiring heats up, companies across every demographic contingent seems to be searching for top flight HR guidance. According to one study, a full one-third of companies polled said their organizations were hiring for HR positions, including CHRO. This number is up from 20 percent just 18 months ago.
Incredibly, a report released recently by Aon Hewitt said that more than half of CHROs say they are not career HR professionals. Of these, approximately one third had no background in HR prior to assuming their current CHRO position.
This research concurs with findings from Hunt Scanlon CHRO surveys which indicate that as large companies bring their more significant executive recruiting work in-house, there is a developing need for highly experienced CHROs who can oversee the entire corporate personnel spectrum, from top to bottom.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media