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  • Avera McKennan Wins National Award for Innovative Hiring Practices

Published on December 17, 2009

Avera McKennan Wins National Award for Innovative Hiring Practices

"Green Carpet Events" win honorable mention in Modern Healthcare Spirit of Excellence awards


SIOUX FALLS (Dec. 17, 2009) - Avera McKennan has received national recognition by Modern Healthcare magazine for its innovative practices in recruiting and hiring registered nurses.

Avera McKennan won honorable mention in the "Team Spirit" category in Modern Healthcare's 17th annual Spirit of Excellence awards. Winners were announced in the magazine's Dec. 14 edition, and can be viewed online at The award recognizes Avera McKennan's "Green Carpet Events," developed by the Human Resources and Nursing departments. These events are designed to interview large groups of candidates and orient them to the organization, all within three well-planned, focused hours.

"Health care organizations face significant workforce challenges, particularly in the area of registered nurses," said Bill McLean, senior vice president for human resources at Avera McKennan. "Despite our year-around recruitment efforts, the best hiring opportunity falls within a short time frame each spring when competition is fierce for the brightest and best among graduating nurses."

This concept allows Avera McKennan to conduct approximately 30 interviews in one three-hour event, receive references, collaborate on hiring decisions and call successful candidates with a job offer within 24 to 48 hours. "We've been able to create a welcoming, celebrative atmosphere that helps candidates feel at home at Avera McKennan and discern whether or not they fit within our culture and feel part of our mission. We believe it's a concept that's applicable to other career areas and other organizations, and should be shared as a best practice," McLean said.

Along with capitalizing on the prime time for hiring graduates, these events save significant human resource expense in hours spent scheduling, interviewing, and telephoning references. Exit surveys show that candidates overwhelmingly prefer this format to traditional interviews.

Avera McKennan employs 1,200+ registered nurses within its network, including clinics, regional hospitals and Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, a 545-bed tertiary hospital in Sioux Falls.

About Avera McKennan
Avera McKennan is an integrated delivery network that includes Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., as well as 115 locations in more than 50 communities in four states. Our ministry, our people and our superior value distinguish Avera. We carry on the health care legacy of the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, delivering care in an environment guided by our values of compassion, hospitality and stewardship. Avera McKennan colleagues work for the largest health system in the region. The Avera network has some 13,100 employees and physicians, serving nearly 300 locations and 95 communities in a five-state region. Inpatient, outpatient and clinic visits totaled 2.2 million in the last fiscal year, a number equal to more than twice the population of the Avera service area. For more information about Avera McKennan, see our website at