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Operational Excellence began with two projects to improve administrative processes.
In choosing the first two projects, leaders wanted to target initiatives that would have a
significant impact across the University if addressed. They selected the
staff hiring process
and the way the University makes small-dollar purchases.

Though the Early Impact Staff Hiring and Procurement projects are complete,
Operational Excellence continues to follow and celebrate progress in EHRA-NF/SHRA
hiring and small-dollar spending. The success of these two initiatives has given the
Operational Excellence team and the entire campus momentum for future work.

Goals & Impact

Project Goal

One of the main goals of the Early Impact Hiring project was to reduce hiring time (job posted to offer accepted) for EHRA non-faculty positions from an average of 110 to 45 days and SHRA positions from an average of 76 to 45 days.

Project Impact

At the project hand-off with the Office of Human Resources in December 2019, 1,110 SHRA hiring events occurred with an average time of 49 days from offer posted to acceptance, and 339 EHRA-NF hiring events occurred with an average time of 72 days. 95% of hiring managers surveyed reported that they got their top choice candidate.

As of May 2020, 1,282 SHRA hiring events have occurred with an average time of 48 days from offer posted to acceptance, and 380 EHRA-NF hiring events have occurred with an average time of 69 days.



One of the most commonly heard challenges when the Operational Excellence team met with representatives from schools and units across campus was how difficult the hiring process was for staff positions. Prior to this initiative, it was taking an average of 110 days to fill an EHRA non-faculty position and about 76 days to fill an SHRA position.

Process & Output 

The team set a goal to complete the hiring process from job posting to offer accepted in an average of 45 days for staff positions. This initiative enables Carolina to obtain top talent by allowing the University to complete the hiring process more efficiently. It allows managers to hire their top candidates, so Carolina has the people it needs to fulfill its mission. For candidates, a nimble and efficient process allows them to feel positive about their experience.

To ensure an effective process was created, the team took an iterative approach and worked collaboratively with all the stakeholders involved in the hiring process. Several tools were developed to make the process more efficient and effective:

  • Hiring Playbook: Guides hiring managers and HR representatives step by step through the hiring process in 45 days and provides best practices from across the campus community. Click here to view the playbook on the HR website (Onyen-protected).
  • Staff Hiring Dashboards: Provide an overview of active hiring events so hiring managers and senior leaders can see the status within their units and identify where additional support may be needed. An Operations Dashboard and Executive Dashboard were created to suit the needs of different populations. Click here to sign in with your Onyen and access the dashboards on the Carolina Analytics Portal. 
  • War Rooms: Meetings where OHR collaborates with school/division HR representatives to celebrate hiring successes and to proactively identify potential recruitment obstacles.

The hiring process tools were rolled out to the first cohort of University participants in February 2019 and were implemented in all schools and units by the end of 2019. For the full schedule, see the timeline.


The Carolina employees below worked as part of the design team to reimagine hiring processes.

Ashante Diallo, Senior Director for Human Resources, College of Arts & Sciences
Bill Stockard, Executive Director, Human Capital Management and Shared Services F&O
Bonnie Smith, Associate Director for Human Resources, School of Medicine Administration
Matt Hawkins, HR Data and Reporting, School of Medicine
Candace Reynolds, Transformation Manager, Operational Excellence
Jessica Fleming, Assistant Dean of Human Resources, Kenan-Flagler Business School
Jo Ann Gustafson, Director of Operations, VC Office of Research
Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, HR & EOC
Martina Ballen, Senior Associate Director, Human Resources & Chief Financial Officer, Athletics
Megan Keefe, Business Systems Manager, HR & EOC
Noreen Montgomery, Senior Director of Employment & Staffing, HR & EOC
Rich Arnold, Senior Director, HR Information Management, HR & EOC
Robin Willow-Johnson, Employment Manager, HR & EOC
Steve Regan, Assistant Dean for Human Resources, School of Public Health
Vanessa Ragland, Director of EHRA Non-Faculty HR, HR & EOC
Vicki Bradley, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, HR & EOC