Reporting to Chief Executive Officer

NuChem Sciences, a synthetic chemistry and biology contract research organization, is expanding and looking for candidates to fill a Chief People Officer position. The candidate will be working from our new facilities in Saint-Laurent, Montreal. NuChem provides integrated services to early drug discovery projects for our clients spanning from Medicinal Chemistry, ADME/PK, Biochemistry, Cell Biology and In Vivo Pharmacology, in the area of small molecule drug discovery.


  • Shape the people vision and strategy through engagement with the businesses and the senior management team.

  • Embed the people agenda and strategy at the very heart of the group strategy. These are inextricably linked.

  • Partner with the CEO as a close advisor/business partner and the senior management team to define the NuChem’s culture ambition.

  • Building a robust People strategy that both works in the here and now but can be scaled for future planned growth. This strategy must be data driven, commercial and display forward-thinking people principles.

  • Talent. Design and implement career frameworks, pathways and retention strategies. Especially focussed on PhD graduates. Create a compelling Employee Value Proposition that resonates with the market. Shape and execute an appropriate and pragmatic approach to talent management to include, talent acquisition, performance management, identification of high potentials and critical roles.

  • Recruitment and EVP. Ideally, this role would build a recruitment and retention engine at scale that is also innovative and has a long-term focus. This cannot be isolated and will require new thinking on the operating model, EVP and recruitment strategy. NuChem’s talent agenda won’t be solved by simple headcount filling. They want to look deeper:

    – Recruit a sizable number of very good scientists on time.

    – How can NuChem continue to build a talent brand worldwide?

    – Are there aspects of our EVP that will specifically speak to scientists? Are there different ways these scientists can be incentivized e.g., initiatives like sponsorship for private study?

    – How do roles evolve over time? What will help NuChem become an employer of choice for 15 years not 5.

  • Learning and Development. Understanding the gaps in key individual’s skill sets and either delivering solutions or outsourcing learning needs. This includes technical learning, professional / soft skills development and management development.

  • Employee Engagement. As the business grows develop a plan of engagement to enable the culture to develop through well-defined leadership behaviours.

  • Organizational Design / Workforce Planning. Planned growth needs to be mapped against organizational needs and future recruitment requirements. This role would take a view on staffing and utilization model and how NuChem can get even more efficient in the way they deploy people and build flexibility and extensibility.

  • Encourage and facilitate a culture of strong people development, diversity, career progression and succession.

  • Establish a plan and budget for the department to achieve its goals including strategy and costs for internal and external communications, marketing, events, etc.

  • Development of a co-ordinated talent pipeline that satisfies current needs whilst building for the future shape of the organization. Anticipate the organizations future talent needs and skills gaps. Build reward structures and packages that align remuneration to the strategy and culture and aid talent attraction and retention.


The successful candidate will have a strong desire and ability to get under the skin of the organization and design appropriate and fit for purpose interventions that deliver true business value. The business is populated by bright, practical people who will challenge convoluted people process but embrace truly value adding interventions. As a result, the ideal candidate will be bright, creative, innovative and business oriented with a willingness to roll their sleeves up and get things done.

Candidates will have gained a ‘best practice’ experience in a large, highly regarded business and People function. They will also have been on a “growth journey” in a smaller organization and understand the realities of work in a rapidly scaling organization. The candidate must be able to quickly get to grips with the current challenges whilst anticipating the future state of the organization, delivering a strategy that truly enables growth. This will require tact, intelligence and a low ego, collegial approach allowing creativity to flourish and for the best ideas to be heard and built upon. This is non-hierarchical business; highly effective relationship building skills and an ability to communicate and engage at all levels will be fundamental to success. Culturally a low-ego but high confidence candidate would fit well.

It is not essential to come from a scientific background but experience working with a high intellect, specialist workforce will be highly valued. A graduate degree will be an asset.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to put the function on the map in a successful, growing organization with solid foundations. This is a medium/long-term challenge to partner closely with the leadership team with the goal to enable NuChem to achieve its ambitions.

The ideal candidate will have the experience, gravitas, intellect and capability to fully own this position on the executive team. This will be earned by making an immediate strategic and business contribution whilst developing a legacy through truly value adding people centric interventions.

  • Bilingual (French and English)
  • 10+ years related experience, including at least 5 years of managerial experience.
  • Must demonstrate the highest level of integrity, ethical behaviour and be able to maintain confidential information.

The remuneration package will be competitive. The position will be located in Montreal.

Please send your CV before March 1, 2023.