Firm hired to find new Cass County administrator

The task of locating potential candidates to take over the empty chair of the Cass County Administrator office will fall to the talents of an outside hiring agency.

The Cass County Board of Commissioners agreed, in a unanimous decision, to a contract with Hiring Solutions LLC to aid in the county’s search for a new administrator during a special meeting Tuesday night at the commissioner’s chambers in Cassopolis. The hiring firm, based out of Okemos, Michigan, will work with the existing county search committee to seek out qualified candidates for the position, returning up to five names for the county board to potentially interview at the conclusion of the search.

The commissioners’ decision followed a presentation by Hiring Solutions President Todd Surline, who agreed to talk with the board following its decision to delay the decision as to whether or not to contract with the firm last week.

Among the provisions of the contract is that the county will set aside an amount not to exceed $19,000 for payment of the agency’s services, from the county’s tribal casino compact fund. This amount includes not only the $16,200 professional services fee worked out between the county and Hiring Solutions, but also potential reimbursement charges for background checks and other assessments for the top five applicants.

With the deal in place, employees with Hiring Solutions will begin searching for qualified candidates for the central executive position, which has sat vacant since the termination of former administrator Roger Fraser in December.

The agency will handle much of the grunt work for the search, including handling the first waves of interviews and as well as vetting resumes and job references. In addition to relying on job postings, the firm will actually seek out potential candidates who are currently employed as leader with governmental and other agencies across the country, Surline said.

The firm will also sit down with the recently formed administrator search committee to determine what traits or qualities the group is seeking in the next central executive, Surline said.

“You all have to be on the same page,” the president said, referring to the county board. “That is the absolute critical thing I get from candidates who are looking at these positions — ‘Tell me about the commissioners. Are they of a like mind?’ That doesn’t mean you’re in the same political party, it means that you have in mind the best interests of this county, and that’s really your focus.”

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