A pharmaceutical start-up in Pennsylvania was looking to file an NDA in the spring of 2017. The client had previously hired a quality consultant who wasn’t a perfect match. To replace this individual, they utilized Ashton Tweed to search for a qualified Director of Quality Operations who would connect with their “roll up your sleeves” environment and could begin working immediately to keep their spring plans on track.

The client was intrigued by Ashton Tweed’s interim engagement model and decided to hire interim talent as a starting point before choosing a permanent employee. This strategy enabled their company to have less upfront costs, which was beneficial as they were a small start-up with limited resources and funding. Additionally, they wanted someone who needed little training and could hit the ground running, so interim talent was the perfect option.



This role required someone with a minimum of 8 years of Quality Control and/or Quality Assurance experience in the pharmaceutical industry and a minimum of 5 years of progressive management experience. The client preferred the candidate to have experience with the manufacturing of oncology, oral, or solid dose products. Lastly, they were looking for someone who had built the quality function of a business before and possessed strong small business acumen.

Interim Quality Director Jumps Right Into Start-UpAshton Tweed sourced and researched 162 candidates with the proper qualifications. Out of this group, 26 interested candidates were screened by the Ashton Tweed team. During the process, the firm ensured that each reviewed candidate also matched the client’s company culture. This person needed to mesh well with the client’s causal but very collaborative and focused work environment. The client’s Human Resources department required the candidate to be creative, insightful, supportive, good humored, transparent and self-aware.

The top 4 candidates who embodied these qualities were selected and submitted to the client’s hiring manager. After subsequent client screens and discussions with Ashton Tweed, the client selected 3 candidates to be interviewed onsite. After the face-to-face interviews, the client decided on the best match for their company.

The hired candidate not only had the skill set required, but had also conducted PAIs and written SOPs, which would be needed during the first week on the job. This professional had previously been a consultant and had small company experience, therefore possessing the “roll up your sleeves” mentality the client desired. Furthermore, the individual lived within 5 minutes of their office and could start immediately, which was ideal. The candidate started working the week after the offer was accepted.



In just over a month, the ideal candidate was selected and began working with the company. Ashton Tweed helped negotiate the candidate’s hourly rate and came to a good number for both parties. The candidate was hired in time to jump in and travel with the hiring manager to conduct inspections that had been previously scheduled. The client was happy with how quickly the candidate became acclimated to the company culture and that they were able to maintain their tight spring schedule.


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