Professional Recruiter Could be Used for Town Administrator Search

The town administrator screening committee could receive some help in their search from some experts in recruiting town executives from UMass Boston.

Discussing the possible use of a recruiter to aid the town in the search for a new town administrator, screening committee chair Paul Pietal  recently told the selectmen that he discovered the Collins Center of UMass Boston which assists towns in finding town managers. 

“We uncovered this by digging around a little bit. They're in the business of helping towns and cities with executive recruitment,” Pietal said. “Talking with Mr. (Dick) Kobayashi we wanted to make sure you were aware of the services that are available and we thought they sounded intriguing.”

Kobayashi is responsible for the center’s executive recruitment and interim management practice. 

If they were to be used, the center would help create a profile for the town though interviews with the staff at town hall and the selectmen. Once the profile and job description are released. the center would post the opening and choose which applications to send to the screening committee and perform background and reference checks if requested.

The center would also recruit candidates that may not be necessarily be looking for a new job but could be a good fit for the position.

“The one thing we found probably most beneficial is that relationship with town administrators though New England they already have. We can put an ad in the paper, we can get the general responses one normally would. What we would be missing is that recruitment effort where we don’t know the candidates and quite frankly we don’t want to leave stones unturned,.

Selectmen Chairman Joe Roach was open to the idea, especially after the success from the use of a recruiter in the recent search for a new fire chief.

“I can’t speak highly enough about the process they put into this. We did’t have a screening committee, we used them and they went though the process. When they came back with three or four (candidate), it was three or four we would have never even reached,” Roach said.

The Collins Center has helped 30 communities find new town executives with all but one retaining their choice from the process. Locally, Foxboro is also using them in their search for a new town manager.

The price for the center's assistance is $14,000 but the town is mainly looking to use them to make the town’s profile and bring in new candidates. Those services alone cost $7,000. Funding would have to come from a funds transfer from the finance committee.

“You’re getting someone who is going to be the top manager of the town. If we go with the first half and it’s only $7,000? It’s money well spent as far as I’m concern if we can come up with a real good candidate,” Roach said.

Paitel said he would continue to meet with the Collins Center to learn more about them before recommending their services.

John December 13, 2013 at 08:04 AM
I totally agree, sometimes you have to spend a few dollars to get the right candidate. Given that we pay in excess of $150k annually this should be a bona fide nationwide search. The posting should be in publications such as the ICMA, GFOA, as well as local resources such as the MMA, and no harm in posting it on LinkedIn either. The search firm will most definitely help in fully assessing each candidate.


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