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Fuelling the growth of neuromodulation

Specialist medtech recruiter Hanison Green shares its journey so far and insight Into the sector’s growth

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A recruitment business specialising in the fast-growing field of neuromodulation continues to support the growth of the sector by sourcing expertise globally to take businesses working within it to the next level. 

Hanison Green, marking its second anniversary this month, works with a number of key names globally in the high-tech industry, finding talent to fill strategic roles, thus helping them to unlock the next phase of growth. 

The growth of neuromodulation continues at a rapid pace, with new ventures being created worldwide to tap into the scientific research-led tech phenomenon which uses electrical nerve stimulation to achieve life-changing results for patients living with conditions including spinal cord injury, OAB, and chronic pain. 

Working primarily with startups in the United States and Europe, London-based Hanison Green – established to ‘do recruitment differently’ and place top-level neuromodulation leadership in early-stage companies at a crucial stage of their development – continues to add new businesses to its client portfolio, in addition to major clients already being works with in the sector such as ONWARD. 

“We’ve seen great progress over the past two years, both for neuromodulation as a sector and for Hanison Green,” says Lindsay Hartland, founder and CEO of the business, who was previously a partner at global recruiter SThree. 

“I’m really happy with what we’ve done, but mainly the way that we’ve done it. We’re incredibly customer led. We invest a lot of time into working with our candidates, as well as the client, and I’m really pleased we’re able to often exceed the expectations of our customers.”

Despite having only been in business for two years, Lindsay has noted significant growth within the neuromodulation field globally during that time, but particularly in the United States. 

“We’re currently tracking the progress of around 350 neuromodulation startups, but we haven’t found them all yet, in fact around three or four new ones are coming onto my radar each week,” he says. 

“It’s a very exciting space of MedTech for companies and investors to operate in, and we’re seeing a real surge in activity currently, due to the continued advancement of scientific research, and clinical evidence, with major breakthroughs happening frequently now, but also because it’s becoming more widely accessible, as the FDA continues to clear more devices, and awareness of neuromodulation therapies continues to increase.”

The increase in pace of development, can in some way be attributed to COVID-19, says Lindsay, with the transition to telehealth and home-based therapy. 

“It was heading in that direction anyway, but the recent pandemic has sped things up,” he says.

“Historically, neuromodulation generally was implantable devices to treat chronic pain, but now we’re seeing a plethora of pioneering therapies being given the regulatory green light, along with the move towards external, non-invasive or minimally invasive stimulation devices which patients can use, and be in control of, in their own home.

“Through this therapy being moved from clinic to home, it has contributed significantly to the growth and awareness of the whole concept of neuromodulation. We’re now starting to see a glimpse of the real potential of stimulation therapy, and the life-changing impact it can have over so many health issues. Our belief and expectation of what neuromodulation is capable of is evolving quickly.”

Hanison Green’s client base expands across the United States, and Europe, and while the business continues to grow, Lindsay says it will never seek to have huge numbers of clients. 

“We don’t operate big numbers and certainly aren’t bombarding the market with loads of CVs. Our approach is very targeted. We attempt to match an excellent candidate exactly to a position or business within which we are confident that will be a great fit,” says Lindsay. 

“Many recruiters will get hold of a half-decent candidate and mailshot their details to as many companies on their database as possible, hoping that something sticks. We haven’t done a single mailshot in two years. That’s the opposite of how we work. 

“We get to know a candidate, and I mean really know them. We get under the skin of what makes them tick, and if we uncover a need that their current role doesn’t provide them, then we’ll aim to work with them exclusively. We’ll cross reference them to our list of neuromodulation companies and link them to where we see a need and indeed a gap within that company. We’ll then make very pin-pointed, individual and personal approaches to the list, highlighting where we believe the candidate can add real value to this business. It’s strategic rather than scattergun.

“We’ve got a 100 per cent acceptance to offer rate, and for every three resumes we send to a brief we average over two interviews, which shows how well we understand the market, and our customers. We’re not interested in wasting anyone’s time.”

Included in its array of up-and-coming names in the sector is Massachusetts-based NeuroMetrix – traditionally a diagnostics business, now moving into the neuromodulation therapy space, for which Hanison Green found their commercial leader for its US launch – as well as ONWARD.

While in 2020 the venture’s work was lesser know, it has since hit global headlines through its STIMO-BRIDGE trial, which enabled three paralysed patients to regain the ability to walk, run and swim through its spinal cord stimulation technology. It is set to commercialise its first product, the ARC-EX external stimulation device, next year. 

“We were only a few months in at Hanison Green and I managed to connect with Dave Marver (ONWARD CEO). The work they were doing was incredible, so I was really keen to speak with them,” says Lindsay. 

ONWARD have seen astronomical growth having doubled their headcount in the past two years, which has been great to see. We were fortunate to place their VP marketing, and subsequently their two senior marketing managers for the US and Europe and I still keep in regular touch with them, they’re doing amazing things and we’re very proud to to be able to call them a client of Hanison Green.”

Looking into year three and beyond – marking its official second anniversary on September 7, 2022 – Lindsay is committed to continuing to do what the business does well and enjoy the work/life balance he sought in becoming an entrepreneur. 

“Really, it’s more of the same going forward. We do what we do very well and have made some great relationships, so it’s building further on that,” he says. 

“I get to build relationships with some truly wonderful people through my work, and I also get to spend quality time with my kids, which was so important in doing this, and I’m very happy with my life right now. What more could you want?

“Looking forward, our ethos will be unchanged – treat people well, and with respect, and do your best for them, and do what you say you’re going to. It’s that simple, really.

“Our expertise and interest lie in neuromodulation, and I don’t see the need to go outside of that, so that will be the space we continue to build our presence in. 

“However, at some point we might look at brain-computer interface (BCI) – it’s sci fi, amazing stuff, and there are some wonderful companies working in that space, on the cusp on achieving something astonishing. Potentially we could move into that sector and support the growth of companies working in BCI at some point, but we’ll see how the sector goes – it’s still very early days.”

“But for the foreseeable, we’ll continue to support the ongoing growth and development of pioneering neuromodulation start-ups” 

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