In November 2023, UC’s Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC), led by Executive Director Bernadette Y. Green, was awarded the Focus on Efficiency Award, given by the California Higher Education Collaborative (CHEC) conference committee, which recognizes those programs at California’s community colleges, California State University, and University of California campuses that demonstrate innovative practices implemented to improve operational performance, services, and outcomes for California Higher Education.

Green said, “With our sights set on the transformative operational strategy, we knew we had to be creative. Ineffective recruiting is both time-consuming and expensive for the organization. The rapid recruitment team sourced and delivered talented, motivated individuals who are adding immediate value to RASC.”

The Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC), located at the University of California’s Office of the President, began the journey to implement a new operating model in December 2020. As part of the strategic implementation, RASC needed to hire 55 highly skilled resources with specific skills and competencies to build six new teams and strengthen existing units, and they needed to hire them quickly.

Unfortunately, this essential operational push coincided with staffing shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations across the globe found it challenging to recruit and retain qualified individuals for a number of open positions. RASC needed help identifying candidates who could handle the business unit’s growth and would align with the goals of Vice President of Systemwide Human Resources Cheryl Lloyd’s broader transformation initiative.

In January of 2023, RASC created a rapid recruitment team through their existing partnership with organizational consultants Korn Ferry to bring focus and expertise to the task. Together, they implemented a complete lifecycle, end-to-end recruitment model to support hiring. Over the next ten months, Korn Ferry provided qualified, interested, and available candidates to the University of California's RASC team leaders and supported the processing of each applicant, using the University of California's evaluation standards, tools, and hiring processes. They were also asked to identify areas for improvement and opportunities for additional efficiencies. 

When the project concluded on October 31, the results were outstanding. Korn Ferry sourced over 3,500 candidates, screened 659, submitted 195 for review, and advanced 142 candidates to the interview stage. In less than a year, RASC filled its 55 open roles with highly qualified candidates and achieved an offer acceptance rate of 97%.
A scaled version of this model will be helpful in their recruitment efforts in the future. The results far exceeded the business's expectations and were instrumental in the success of its transformation.