News

Headhunter hired to find next city manager

Efforts to find a new city manager got a head start Tuesday afternoon, when the City Council picked a headhunting firm to help in the search.

The council eventually picked Bob Murray and Associates, the same firm that recruited City Manager Kevin Duggan, who is retiring in May after 20 years in Mountain View. Duggan is considered by many to be a hard act to follow.

Word of Duggan's retirement has already spread -- one of the firms that was not picked already had five applicants for the job, Siegel said.

"Because the city is already in such good shape, a lot of people will want to work here," he said.

The selection process may take until June, which means there will be an interim city manager for at least a month. Siegel said it may not make sense to hire someone outside of the city to learn the job for such a short time, which means the new assistant city manager, Melissa Stevenson Dile, would briefly take the helm. Since joining the city Sept. 7, Dile has taken on "a broad range of responsibilities" including the role of employee services director after Kathy Ferrar retired last year.

The council spent three hours Tuesday morning interviewing three headhunting firms, ones "we believed to be the top firms in the state," said Mayor Jac Siegel.

The pool also included Santa Cruz-based Avery Associates and Sacramento-based Peckham and McKenney.

In the next week the council will meet again with Bob Murray and Associates, run by the former city manager of Olympia, Wash., to develop selection criteria for a new city manager. The council also needs to figure out what stakeholders will be involved in creating selection criteria, Siegel said.

Siegel said the criteria involved in finding a firm included its views and practices to ensure a diversity of applicants, how the firm advertises the position and how it would go about keeping things confidential for potential recruits, who may already have good jobs as a city managers.

The council has budgeted $23,000 for the recruitment process, which will come from general fund reserves.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 6, 2011 at 12:21 pm

"The council has budgeted $23,000 for the recruitment process, which will come from general fund reserves."

----------------

Money well spent, and will return dividends in spades, if the recruiting process identifies a candidate that can run this City as well as the outgoing City Manager has.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Leslie M
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm

The City should be able to conduct their own search as people will be falling over themselves for this job. This is a $23k gift to the Head Hunter.

A big thank you to City Manager Kevin Duggan for a job well done. It shows when you hire a local and not someone from out of the area who is passing through and they are just looking at this as a stop in building their own career.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Headhunter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm

The $23K is listed for the "recruitment process". Presumably that's in addition to the headhunter "fee", which would typically be a percentage (20-30%?) of the hired employee's salary.

Not weighing in on good/bad...just pointing out that most likely the expense goes well beyond $23K. The actual terms should be in the headhunter contract.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm

"The City should be able to conduct their own search as people will be falling over themselves for this job. This is a $23k gift to the Head Hunter."

---------------

Ummm...the article states that the City has selected the same headhunter that recruited Kevin Duggan, so there's no historical proof that an inhouse search is going to be successful in identifying the right candidate.

Also, the City Manager's job is relatively specialized as a category, not even taking into consideration the specific requirements or success factors that would be desirable for a city like Mountain View.

Just because people will be falling over themselves for this job doesn't make them good candidates. In fact, its arguably harder to select a candidate when you have too many to choose from.

Hiring a headhunter is like a sieve. They will vet the majority of candidates so that the City has a qualified list of candidates to choose from.


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