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Same-day Hiring: From Interview To Offer
We used to take weeks to find the right person for a position. Now, the expectation is a few days. How do you find the right person for the job in a short time? We asked Jamie Quinlan and Lisa Dyson for their perspectives. Emergency department nurse manager Jamie Quinlan shares how she decides to hire, and Lisa Dyson, director of talent acquisition, weighs in with expert advice.

The Frontline: Jamie Quinlan's ED Process

How many people have you hired in the last year?

We’ve hired 40 – 45 nurses in the past year.

Today, the majority of our applicants have less than three years of experience, which is very challenging for us in the emergency department. But they are very motivated to get into the workforce, which means that we need to quickly figure out if they are going to be a good fit and make the offer. We can’t wait and batch our interviewing process like we used to, taking a two-week span to make a decision. Now we have a day of interviews and at the end of the day we reach out to HR about offers.

Walk me through that process.

As soon as we receive the applicants, I review all of them, pick out who I want to interview and our administrative assistant, Kimberly, immediately begins emailing or calling to set up the interviews. I want to interview them that day. I want to extend the offer within the week.

So you have a goal to interview immediately, how do you fit that into your already very demanding schedule?

We have three of us who complete the interview. It’s me, our two clinical nurse coordinators, and the paramedic supervisor if we are hiring an EMT. If all of us cannot attend the interview, Kimberly sets up an interview with the one or two who can be there. She will schedule wherever there is an opening. We will not delay an interview for all of us to be present.

How long after your team interviews the candidate, does it take for you to know if they are a fit?

We know as soon as we interview them. As soon as we complete the interview, we contact our recruiter, James (Sugiyama), who is very quick. He gets the salary calculation back to us, and checks for our approval. Anyone on the team can approve the offer.

Do you have something that the team is looking for in a candidate?

The one thing we look for is personality. Everybody knows you can train anybody to do almost anything but you cannot train someone to be a good person with a good personality and to work well with the team.

What kind of personality do you think thrives in your team?

Very assertive, very direct. We are looking for people who say what they mean, ask for what they need, and feel comfortable with direct and quick interactions.

This process has evolved over the several years I’ve been at the main ED. Originally our interviewing was geared toward the skills of the nurse, EMT or paramedic. Our interviews are now geared toward personality.

Today’s candidate is less clinically skilled, but highly motivated. Any other description you would have about today’s candidate, who may be great but not the perfect candidate?

I think they are a blank canvas, especially when you recognize that they are coming into their very first job ever. Literally their first job is with us. We have ongoing discussions about professional maturity. We expect that they don’t know what this means. I don’t think there is a perfect candidate. Everyone needs to grow into the job. We are committed to helping all our hires be successful.

System Expert: Lisa Dyson's Top 4 Tips

Lisa Dyson brings 20 years of health care recruitment expertise to her job as director of talent acquisition. She and her team of nimble recruiters winnow the market for the best talent, which means they screen upwards of 150,000 applicants every year.

Hiring a new employee is no easy task. My goal is make the hiring process more efficient and to help you find the right candidates road blocks are painful for managers and candidates, and a streamlined hiring process is vital. The key to eliminating road blocks is clear communication between manager and recruiter. The shared goal of this partnership is the need to fill positions with qualified personnel in a timely manner. Hiring is one of the most important activities leaders do. Over the years, I’ve learned from hundreds of leaders.

Here are the four things the best leaders do.

  1. Be Proactive: Before you post, decide what you need and want for your team. It’s a delicate balance. Everyone agrees that finding a good team fit is important. What we want to avoid is waiting so long for the “perfect candidate” that we lose our chance at the “best candidate”.
  2. Be Prepared: Creating a hiring panel is a great idea. Prepare the group to make sure all involved are in agreement about the hiring profile and can consistently communicate to candidates about the position, organization, and culture. If you do choose to have multiple team participants, get their valuable input, but don’t set the expectation that all have to endorse the hire. Waiting for consensus can cause unintentional delays.
  3. Be Decisive: Our market is a candidate’s market. Once you have received a candidate for consideration, it is critical you review the candidate’s application and make contact as soon as possible. For highly sought-after candidates, a one-day hiring process may be required. Failing to move quickly means one could lose quality candidates to other departments within in the organization or, even worse, to our competition. Managers who are slow to hire risk losing up to 70 percent of candidates to other offers. Keep your recruiter informed of your progress by updating a candidate’s status in iCIMS.
  4. Be Compelling: During the interview, communicate your vision. Explain to candidates why your department, and U of U Health, is a great place to work. Talk about the team, the department, the culture. The best hiring managers spend up to 50 percent of interview time engaging candidate’s interest in the job in order to land their top choice.



Jamie Quinlan

Former ED Nurse Manager, University of Utah Health

Lisa Dyson

Director of Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, University of Utah Health

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