Case Study: Richmar Successfully Ramped Staffing At Cepheid By 200% During The First Six Months Of The COVID Pandemic


Cepheid, Inc. is a global diagnostics life science company headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. They develop and manufacture medical diagnostics equipment and disposables for rapid detection of infectious diseases. Richmar has been their primary staffing vendor since 2000 and has been an integral part of their growth and ability to meet market demands. We solely staff their production lines in Sunnyvale and Lodi, as well as manage their contingent workforce program that includes vendor management, consolidated billing, and workforce management.


Before the pandemic occurred, Cepheid was in the process of expanding its operation in Lodi, CA. When the pandemic hit, not only were they in growth mode, but now they were challenged to develop a new test for the COVID-19 virus. Once this was accomplished, they were then in panic mode as the demand for their product was overwhelming.

Cepheid’s Talent Acquisition Team and Chief People Officer called Richmar immediately. They were all new to the company and had little knowledge of Richmar’s history with Cepheid and/or our capabilities. They were scrambling for a business continuity plan.


Richmar’s program management team was able to convey our confidence in our ability to meet their new staffing demands. We explained our process and history with all of the stakeholders, and how we had the contingent staffing program under control. We created customized real-time reporting to show our progress on a daily basis and shared our strategies for attracting quality candidates.

Richmar’s team was able to provide a steady and calm approach to the staffing requirements as we already had 20 years of experience staffing for them. We knew their culture, their people and their processes. With close collaboration, we were able to be creative in finding ways to staff during a never-before-experienced shelter-in-place environment.

Staffing during a shelter in place is not easy, but we found a way! We immediately implemented on-site hiring events, zoom interviewing, and remote onboarding. Challenged with social distancing requirements, we limited hiring events to ten people and hosted them as invitation only to control the amount of people in one place. Staffing during this time was extremely challenging due to government subsidies, fear of the disease and the shelter-in-place ordinance. However, we were able to leverage our long existing talent database, various job boards, and employee referral program to attract candidates to our openings.


Not only were we able to meet the demands needed for production, but we were able to fill all remote technical positions and staffed an entire Plant Automation Team in support of Cepheid’s expansion to Newark and Lodi.

Richmar successfully ramped up staffing at Cepheid by 200% during the first six months of the COVID pandemic. Using creative strategies and science-focused precautions, Richmar was able to quickly ramp our client’s production staff to meet the global demand for their COVID-19 test.

Cepheid’s trust in Richmar allowed us to do our job in the most efficient and proficient manner possible, which resulted in goals being met and Cepheid successfully shipping 2 million tests by August 1st.


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