DPT Case Study

Topgrading Enables Pharmaceutical Company to Create Better Solutions

No. of Employees: 1,000
Industry: Pharmaceutical


  • 80% A Players hired and promoted throughout company
  • Double-digit growth year over year
  • Provides internal Topgrading certification to hiring managers

The Company

Based in San Antonio, Texas and Lakewood, New Jersey, and with approximately 1,000 employees, DPT is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that specializes in semi-solid, liquid and sterile dosage forms. Paul Johnson, upon being named COO, realized that the company lacked the talent necessary to achieve aggressive strategic plans.

"Over the past eight years we have averaged double-digit growth year over year. It’s clear to me that we couldn’t possibly have accomplished so much in such a short period of time without continuously Topgrading our talent."

- Paul Johnson, President and COO


Having heard of the methodology from other CEOs, Johnson attended a Topgrading Workshop, and asked Topgrading to organize a roll-out for DPT, starting with an internal workshop for executives.

All managers attend internal workshops for training, and Topgrading hiring methods are used to fill all roles, from entry level scientists to top executives, whether candidates are external (for hire) or internal (for promotion).

"Since Topgrading, we have developed and successfully implemented a strategic approach to the DPT business that includes a “people strategy” of hiring, developing, and retaining top talent."

- Paul Johnson, President and COO

DPT Topgrading Certification

To become Topgrading certified, managers must read the latest version of Topgrading, attend a Topgrading Workshop, observe a competency interview, and observe one or more tandem Topgrading Interviews. Certification is awarded when the interviewers are confident that the manager being certified can be an effective tandem interviewer.

Heads of HR in San Antonio and Lakewood oversee Topgrading certification and follow-through to be sure all methods are used conscientiously.

The Results

Since Topgrading, DPT's success hiring A Players and A Potentials has increased from 17% to 80%. For promotions, the improvement has been from an estimated 20% to 80%.

These statistics were generated by studying every hire and every promotion since Topgrading was launched at the organization. Assessments are routinely done 6 months and 12 months after someone is hired/promoted. Surveys are sent to the hiring manager, Human Resources professionals, and colleagues who have worked closely with the individual, who report if they find the individual to be an A Player, A Potential, B, or C.

"Topgrading gives us a talent advantage far superior to our competitors and enables DPT Laboratories to provide a level of quality and service that is unparalleled in pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing."

- Paul Johnson, President and COO

Topgrading can help you achieve similar results. Hire more A players today! Contact us.

Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. The Topgrading methodology will transform your hiring process by increasing the number of A player hires and decreasing the number of mis-hires. Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow high performing teams. Contact us to learn more about the Topgrading approach to hiring and start achieving better hiring results now!

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