The Hiring Experience

Elevating our ability to attract, recruit, hire and onboard UC Davis employees for the future

The Hiring Experience is a two-year effort to accelerate successful hiring and improve employee retention at UC Davis Health. This multi-pronged initiative includes partners in UC Davis HR, service channels, Health IT, Operational Excellence, Experience Design — and eventually all hiring managers. With improvements starting now, the plan calls for addressing all steps in the hiring process, from opening a job through onboarding.

With streamlined processes, better data, smarter tools and training, we're turning the hiring process into a welcome and rewarding experience for all involved.

  • Initially, this work is being implemented at UC Davis Health, but improvements are coming to the Davis campus too. Both campuses have different needs and priorities and this effort is tailoring solutions based on what we’re hearing from customers.

How We're Elevating Hiring for Lasting Starts

In 2023, UC Davis Health and the Davis campus experienced significant workforce growth during a time of enormous challenges. 

Initial analysis of our full recruitment cycle— which included feedback from UC Davis employees, recruiters and recruiting departments— uncovered many opportunities for improvements. Here's how The Hiring Experience plans to address them:

Current Challenges
at UC Davis Health

Overarching Goal and Outcomes  

  • Candidates do not know who to go to for questions or help​
  • Responses to candidate questions are not consistent​
  • It takes too long to get equipment  

Enhanced Candidate Experience
  • More guidance and engagement through better communication​
  • Real-time status updates​
  • Improved onboarding and accelerated productivity

The process to hire one new employee currently requires:

  • Action from 19 individuals across HR teams​
  • 16 different systems are part of the hiring process

Improved Processes and Tools
  • Streamlined end-to-end hiring process​
  • Standardized job descriptions​
  • Enhanced job description management and applicant tracking capabilities
  • 54 steps conducted over email​
  • 16 approvals per candidate​​
  • 91 manual steps per candidate

Better Experience for Hiring Manager and the HR Team 
  • Reduced manual interventions and rework​
  • Greater visibility into candidate lifecycle and onboarding activities​
  • More reliable data and reporting capabilities​
  • Clear communication around best practices and actions needed

  • Measurements of Success
  1. Reduce time to hire by 10% by end of FY 2024
  2. Establish continuous improvement business processes and data tracking


It's easy to identify the problem — too many systems, steps and hands involved — but we've never coalesced around the solutions. We're seeking commitments on the future state because it's going to take all of us to make it a reality." 
– Jim Hankins, Executive Director for the Shared Services Organization

Timeline at UC Davis Health and Technology Improvements for Campus

Updated 2/14/2024

THX timeline

Full size timeline

Improvement Efforts Underway

The Hiring Experience will address a variety of policies, procedures, technologies and employee training. The first of our improvement efforts are already rolling out. You can track progress using the scorecard below, which will be updated weekly. 

  • The Hiring Experience Scorecard (Updated 2/14/24)

  • A few key updates include:

    • THX Program activities shifted to execution and implementation throughout January and multiple key decisions were made to move the work forward.  
    • As you know, we are partnering with UCOP to replace PeopleAdmin with JDXpert, job description software. HR leaders decided to rebrand the application at UC Davis as Job Builder. This aligns with the name being used at other UCs.  
    • Additionally, to ensure ample time to test and train for Job Builder, the Health go-live was shifted from late March to mid-May. Much of the configuration of the software was completed by Health and Campus team members in January and they are wrapping up configuration and user acceptance testing will begin February 23. Training planning is well underway for Job Builder. Users are being identified, modules and course content are being developed. This work continues through February.  
    • Rapid Improvement Events workstream, focused on implementing a set of process improvements to reduce Time to Hire (TTH) and improve new hire and hiring manager experiences, primarily working across Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Shared Services Organization (SSO).  
    • At the end of January, the SkillSurvey tool improvement was released across Health and Campus, reducing the number of required references from five to three in addition to some other minor improvements. This should improve the experience and potentially speed up this part of the recruiting process for hiring managers and candidates.  
    • Microsoft Bookings, a scheduling tool, is in pilot mode currently with a subset of Health and Campus hiring managers, which will allow candidates to self-schedule their interviews based on the interviewers’ availability.  
    • Planning and data gathering took place for an equipment and access value stream analysis event in February designed to improve the onboarding experience for new hires and hiring managers around IT equipment setup, badge access, etc. This partnership between HR, Health IT and other teams should have a significant impact on everyone’s experience later this year.  
    • New hire and hiring manager surveys continue to be distributed monthly. After three months of data gathering, the HR team spent January reviewing the results and developing an action plan to address the lower scores and pain points identified in the comments with equipment and access, which we are already addressing, being one of those.  
    • The Experience team, in partnership with UC Davis Health Experience and Design team developed three personas, journey maps for the personas and most importantly, a service blueprint which shows how the three personas experience the recruitment journey and linked that to the department processes and activities performed by UC Davis Health staff. Pain points were identified and incorporated into the existing list of process improvement opportunities. The blueprint will be used as we move forward later this year and next year defining workflows for the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). 

    We look forward to providing future updates and announcements as we make progress in decreasing Time-to-Hire and improving the Candidate and Hiring Manager experiences.

    Scorecard Archive

two speech bubbles in conversation


Benefits Support and Services​​​​​

Supporting the UC Davis Strategic Plan and Health Clinical Strategic Plan

TO BOLDLY GO: A Strategic Vision for UC Davis

Strategic Plan Goal 3 calls for “mak[ing] UC Davis a place of excellence for learning and working by supporting a culture that values the contributions and aspirations of all our students, staff and faculty.” We're using customer feedback to realize solutions that better serve current and future employees and the people who hire them.

UC Davis Health Clinical Strategic Plan

UC Davis Health's vision is to "deliver tomorrow’s health care today — the next generation, the next innovation, the next cure." To do that, UC Davis Health needs to educate and prepare a future-ready workforce and drive excellence in all we do. 

The Hiring Experience will make significant contributions to this mission and vision, specifically when it comes to operational excellence and business process innovation. 

Transformation Catalysts
Investing in the Future of Medicine “Digital Davis” (Digital Health, Telehealth, IT & Analytics Infrastructure) Integrated Research and Innovation Operational Excellence/ Business Process Innovation
Creates funding opportunities to support our innovators to design and test new models of care delivery, diagnosis, and treatment. Expands our ability to connect with patients wherever they are, conveniently and efficiently provide care, and ensure the best data and analytics inform every care decision.  Links our world-class research directly to our clinical programs and provides unparalleled access to clinical trials for our patients and partners, ensuring discoveries are rapidly translated from bench to bedside. Drives efficiency, access, and throughput while alleviating capacity constraints to allow us to always deliver exceptional, efficient care.





Get Involved

The key stakeholders in this effort include UC Davis HR, service channels, UC Davis Health IT, Operational Excellence and Experience Design, but we're always looking for more partners and good ideas to improve things.

  • Email with any questions and find out how you can get involved.


  • What is The Hiring Experience Program?
  • Simply, the program has two desired outcomes:
    1. Improve the experience for employees, hiring managers and job candidates throughout all stages of the hiring process at UC Davis. 
    2. Accelerate the time from opening a job through onboarding a successful candidate.
  • Who is involved in The Hiring Experience?
  • The program includes a cross section of UC Davis Health and Campus HR team members and leaders, IT representatives, and hiring managers and department leads acting as subject matter experts. A set of consultants compose the program team supporting the program.
  • Who is going to be impacted by The Hiring Experience Program?
  • All of UC Davis will benefit from The Hiring Experience Program changes. Ultimately, we’re going to get successful candidates into positions more quickly, with an improved experience that increases their confidence in joining our teams across UC Davis.
  • What is the timing of the rollout of changes coming with The Hiring Experience?
  • THX Program is a 2-year initiative.
    Year 1 is focused on process improvements and implementation of a job description system to replace PeopleAdmin.
    Year 2 will focus on the implementation of an applicant tracking system to replace Talent Acquisition Management (TAM) and additional process improvements.
  • What Rapid Improvement Events are included in The Hiring Experience?
  • The improvement efforts for enhancing "The Hiring Experience" encompass the following Rapid Improvement Events (RIE):
    • Recruitment Intake: Digitization of the Hiring Request Form (HRF) & Vacancy Request Form (VRF) and standardization of the initiation process 
    • Job Description Standardization: Standardize high volume job descriptions to streamline process 
    • Equipment Request Process: Support new hires having equipment on day one 
    • Aging Report: Develop a report to show time elapsed for specific position requests to create visibility for operations  
    • Job Posting Length: Revisit job posting length and consider shorter defaults  
    • Talent Acquisition (TA) Process Standardization: Review TA processes to establish standards for key processes affecting time to hire  
    • Talent Acquisition Management (TAM) Offer Letters: Leverage TAM for offer letter creation process 
    • Salary Analysis Process: Review/revise salary analysis process and practices followed by TA 
    • Interview Scheduling Improvement: Simplify interview scheduling process by leveraging a tool like Microsoft Bookings 
    • Streamlined Interview Feedback: Explore options to streamline interview feedback and packet 
    • SkillSurvey: Reduce the number of required reference checks from 5 to 3, still to include two managers  
    • Hiring Manager (HM) Offer Visibility: Create additional visibility to hiring managers when an offer is sent and accepted by a candidate 
    • Privacy Security Training: Eliminate need for new employees to take privacy and security training twice 
    • Employee Data Gathering Form (EDGF) Improvement: Leverage digital signatures for EDGF and oath 
    • I-9 Verification: Utilize E-Verify for I-9 verification 
    • Universal License Validation: Utilize Universal vendor to conduct education, background, license and certification checks 


    For additional details on any of these projects, please reach out to the RIE project manager at




  • What is the timeline for implementation of the Rapid Improvement Events?
  • The rapid improvement events are being bundled and rolled out in phases early calendar year 2024 to help facilitate change management efforts for these changes. 
  • What is the expected outcome for the Rapid Improvement Events?
  • The primary expected outcome for rapid improvement events is a reduction in Time to Hire (TTH), accompanied by an enhanced experience for hiring managers, candidates, and HR teams.
  • Is there an intent to have a new applicant tracking system (ATS)?
  • UC Davis HR has selected an ATS to replace TAM. We are in the process of securing funding and in contract negotiations with the vendor. Once both of those actions are finalized, the program will share more specific details and timing around the ATS.
  • What is the Transitional State?
  • The “Transitional State” encompasses process improvements and a streamlined end-to-end recruitment cycle that precedes the implementation of a new Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The ATS represents the future state of the recruitment process.
Job Builder
  • What is the new Job Description Management Tool and Why is PeopleAdmin being replaced?
  • The new Job Description Management Tool, Job Builder, is the leading solution for job information management, providing the structure and efficiencies HR professionals need to construct, manage, and store job information. 

  • How is this new job description tool going to be used by UC Davis and what are the benefits?
  • The new job description tool will bring consistency between UC Davis and the rest of the UC system. Benefits include: 
    • Provides UC Davis access to current job standards that are updated and maintained by UC Office of the President (UCOP)​. 
    • Allows for greater consistency and standardization; reduces the need to create job descriptions from scratch​​. 
    • Increases direct accessibility and reduces the need to request job descriptions from Compensation, business partners, or management​. 
    • Eliminates the need to extract JDs for routing and signature through multiple methods and allows for employee acknowledgment through the tool.  




  • What is the anticipated timing for deployment of the new job description tool to Health and for Campus?
  • Health is anticipated to go live in May 2024.

    Campus is anticipated to go live in September of 2024.

    Hiring managers will receive additional information about Job Builder, including a training schedule, in the near future. 

  • NEW: Is Job Builder the same as JDX or JDXpert?
  • Yes! The new job description repository tool replacing PeopleAdmin is a software application called JDXpert (JDX for short). UC Davis has decided to adopt the name Job Builder given this is the name being used by other UCs and tool already has this branding.  
  • NEW: When will Job Builder training begin? 
  • Job Builder training begins the week of April 15 and continue until Job Builder go live in mid-May 

  • NEW: What kind of training/resources will be available? 
  • Job Builder training will offer targeted options for the different users of the system.  A detailed guide will be provided closer to training to ensure you know what training to take based on your role.  Training for most users will involve virtual instructor-led sessions.  Additional resources will also be available such as E-Course learning, Videos, and Job Aids. A new website is also being created to house all training content for ongoing reference.  
  • NEW: How much time will be required for training? 
  • Depending on your role, total training time can range from 1 to 4 hrs. 

  • NEW: When will I learn more about the training schedule? 
  • A communication will be sent mid-March outlining the Job Builder training sessions and how to sign up. 
  • What is SkillSurvey?
  • SkillSurvey is a tool available to be used in the hiring process to gather feedback from candidate references, evaluating their skills and suitability for the position. Once all references have submitted the survey, hiring managers will receive a comprehensive report highlighting competencies, behaviors, and open-ended comments.  

    SkillSurvey is industry specific, based on job category and classification.

  • Do Campus hiring managers have to utilize SkillSurvey as a tool? (Campus specific)
  • No, Campus hiring managers will continue to have the option to leverage SkillSurvey or opt to conduct telephone screen reference checks. 
  • Can both a SkillSurvey AND a Telephone Screen Reference Check be done? (Campus specific)
  •  No, as a Campus hiring manager you have the option to do one or another.
  • How long will a SkillSurvey take?
  • It depends on how quickly references respond and role type. The survey has an average of 35 questions (+ / -) and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. 
  • Can we modify the questions in the SkillSurvey?
  • No, you are not able to modify the questions. However, there are tailored templates you can select from. 
  • How are candidates notified? What does the candidate receive?
  • Notified via standard email templates from the TA team and via the skill survey system themselves.
  • How will hiring managers know a SkillSurvey is completed?
  • Hiring manager will receive a report via email. 
  • Will the requirement be the "most" recent performance review if the candidate chooses to use that option?
  • Yes, the most recent performance review is required if the candidate does not want to provide a current manager reference. 
  • Can the candidate submit more than 3 references? If so, when does it conclude?
  • Yes, the minimum is 3, however the candidate can include more references if desired. It concludes when the report is finalized. 
  • What if I feel there is a lack of information to make an informed decision?
  • Depending on the situation and timeline, strategize with your TA partner as there are options to get additional information. 
  • What are Hiring Manager best practices for utilizing SkillSurvey?
    • Advise candidates to inform their references about the upcoming SkillSurvey to ensure timely submissions.  
    • Thoroughly and fully review the candidate feedback form, as open-ended comments often provide valuable context. Open ended comments are highly valuable, they are verbatim from references. 
    • Understand that reference scores are consolidated; and hiring managers should review open ended comments for specific feedback.  




  • NEW: How can I tell if the feedback is from a manager? 
  • If the candidate submits at least two manager/supervisor references and two professional references before the SkillSurvey results are finalized, the responses will be aggregated into those two categories. If the candidate submits only the required two manager/supervisor and one professional reference, the responses will be concentrated into one result. 
Job Posting Length
  • NEW: What is the default job posting length for most jobs? 
  • Ten days
  • NEW: What are the exceptions to the default job posting length of 10 days?  
  • - Union positions must be posted for the minimum contractually agreed upon duration 
    - For Manager 2,3, and 4 positions may be posted for up to thirty (30) days 
    - Postings with paid advertisements may be posted for up to thirty (30) days 

  • NEW: What if there are not enough qualified applicants within the 10-day posting period? 
  • The job will be re-posted for a minimum of three (3) days  
  • NEW: What if there are special circumstances and a position needs to be posted for a different length of time other than the ten (10) day default? 
  • Discuss the rationale for the deviation with your recruiter supervisor who will take the appropriate action necessary.   
Applicant Screening
  • NEW: How will hiring managers learn more about where to find and how to use the new standardized applicant screening grid? 
  • Recruiters will share a link to the new grid when hiring managers have a new recruitment and provide additional instruction and answer questions as needed for the grid's use.
  •  NEW: Will the standardized applicant screening grids be used for all job postings? 
  • Yes. The goal is to create consistency in the applicant screen process and screen candidates according to the same set of qualifications. 
  • NEW: How will hiring managers use the applicant screening grids? 
  • Recruiters will provide more instruction on the use of the applicant screening grids when hiring managers have applicants to a job posting. Hiring managers will need to complete their screening activities in advance of candidate interviews.