Head of People

  • Oss, NL
  • 1 week ago

The Organisation

General information

We are Ardena, a fully integrated Contract Development & Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with a core focus on bringing molecules to clinical studies.
Ardena is a reputed contract partner providing drug substance and drug product development, manufacturing, logistics and bioanalytical services to pharmaceutical customers globally. In parallel, we compile the regulatory dossier for our customers to fast track their product towards compliance. Ardena has niche expertise in the development and  manufacture of Nanomedicines. Every day, we guide companies through the hurdles and challenges of drug development. Our integrated service offering helps to streamline the drug’s progress to clinic and beyond, to reduce risk and timelines, and to facilitate a seamless flow of information.

We have a dedicated team of about 300 professionals operating from 6 sites in Belgium (Gent), The Netherlands (Amsterdam, Oss, Assen), Sweden (Södortälje), and Latvia (Riga). Ardena has an open and transparent culture: team-spirit and ownership are important values in our company.

We are a dynamic CDMO offering exciting career opportunities to skilled and motivated people that want to work in a fast-growing market within the global pharmaceutical industry. Do you want to work in a challenging environment, where experts come together to develop innovative drugs for unmet medical needs?

Place in the Organisation

Job title

Head of People (1.0 FTE)


Oss (main work location)

Reports to

Harry Chistiaens, CEO of the Board

You are end responsible for all people, organisation and culture topics in Ardena. You will report to the CEO of Ardena and will be part of our Management Team. This team is composed of our CEO, CFO, COO and CCO, Business Unit Directors and several Department Directors. You will bring people topics to this table and work closely with all members of this team. Most often with the Business Unit Directors of our locations.

As we are growing fast both in sales and in number of people, this is the moment to create a Head of People role. This is a new role for Ardena. You will shape this to what is best for Ardena and our teams and to support us in our growth ambitions.

Due to the number of people in the Netherlands (175) we anticipate that there is a focus in the role on the Netherlands. Therefore the ideal candidate we are looking for has gained HR experience in a Dutch context. Your ‘home-base’ location will be Oss and you will travel to various other locations.

The Job

As Head of People you will play a crucial role in the further growth of the company.
Currently we are active in six different locations. This offers a dynamic context: in Belgium our headquarter, in the Netherlands the largest number of employees, in Sweden and Latvia small locations but with immense potential. Since early 2020 we work with a new investor, GHO based in the UK. This offers new impulses in working strongly together as one Ardena.

We are looking for a hands-on Head of People for all Business units of Ardena in Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Latvia). In this role you will oversee overall people needs and translate these in priorities and smart actions.

In delivering pragmatic operational support you will be supported by locale employees.
You do not have direct reports and should be able to get the HR work done through the local teams. As a Business Partner you will coach the Business Unit Directors (location managers). These line managers are used to (and effective) in managing their local people tasks.
If growth involves expansion, you will for sure play an important role.

Your responsibilities

  • Part of Ardena Management team – steering all people topics with this team.
  • End responsible for HR, from strategic topics to personnel administration
    (payrolling is outsourced);
  • Develop a future proof People strategy and People annual plan, in line with overall
    One Ardena strategy and location specific needs;
  • Steer and implement People strategy and People annual plan with small team and
    with the Business Unit Directors;
  • Sparring partner and coach for Business Unit Directors and other senior
  • Build and enrich our employer brand to attract expert talent (graduates and PhD
    experts) to stand out against competition;
  • Grow Ardena by ensuring an effective and smooth recruitment and onboarding process (strong ambition with adequate Recruitment targets);
  • Grow Ardena by building a learning organization to unlock available knowledge and deliver high quality standards (revitalise the Ardena Academy);
  • Grow Ardena by succession planning and stimulate employees for a long stay;
  • Continuous improvements to people processes and expand the range of people processes and tools. Balancing One Ardena needs with adding value locally;
  • Maintain and built on the new job framework and reward policy;
  • Drive the new implemented personal development cycle (performance mgt);
  • Working with our Works Councils.

To conclude: you provide strategic guidance and have execution power in all people area’s: employer branding, recruitment, learning and development, culture, leadership, performance management, labour relation and yes also People basics and administration.

The person

  • Master degree in HRM and/or Business Economics;
  • Minimum of 10 years experience in HR;
  • Generic HR role for a mid size (scale-up) company in a Dutch context;
  • Ability to work with high educated professionals (preferable affinity with the Pharmasector or experienced in working with these kind of professionals);
  • Growth mindset;
  • Ability to switch between strategic topics and very hands-on implementation;
  • Ability to lead people projects without hierarchical direct reports;
  • Solid business partner with coaching abilities;
  • Proactive attitude and used to initiate people and behavioral changes;
  • Connecting different interests and people (global and local) to deliver results;
  • Good command of English (written and spoken) in addition to Dutch.

You recognise the following personality traits and drivers:

  • Enterprising, confident and socially vibrant personality with a natural sense of authority and diplomacy;
  • Results-driven, analytical and resolute;
  • Inspiring and challenging;
  • Empathetic and sensitive to others;
  • Hands-on, pragmatic combined with analytical thinking;
  • Unifier who ensures even closer cooperation within teams;
  • Modern manager. A true people person: a people manager who can put hierarchy aside and create the conditions that allow others to excel; Socially adept, with a strong personality.


Mark Steinen – Partner HRTouchpoints Roermond
Mobile: + 31 6 21107026 Munsterstraat 8
E-mail: mark@hrtouchpoints.com 6041 GA Roermond

HRTouchpoints Amsterdam HRTouchpoints Belgium
Mokerstraat 10 Sterrenlaan 6
1021 KC Amsterdam 8300 Knokke – Heist
Netherlands Belgium