Using hiring firm to find next Cass County administrator a smart move

Published 9:39 am Friday, January 29, 2016

The Cass County Board of Commissioners took the latest step in finding someone to fill the void left at the top of the county offices earlier this week, by agreeing to source out much of the dirty work related to the search process.

On Tuesday, the board unanimously voted to approve a contract with Michigan-based hiring firm Hiring Solutions LLC to aid with the county’s search for a new administrator. The board agreed to set aside an amount no greater than $19,000 in payment of the agency’s services, which includes a $16,200 professional services fee as well charges for potential reimbursement charges for background checks and other assessments for top applicants.

Agents with Hiring Solutions will be tasked with finding a slate of no more than five candidates for the position, based on criteria worked out between the agency and the members of the ad-hoc committee formed in recent weeks to guide the administrator search. The firm will draw not just from talent applying to job postings but will seek out potential candidates working across the country.

The finalists selected by Hiring Solutions will then be brought forward for the board of commissioners approval, with its members hosting final interviews and making the decision on who will take on the role of the next Cass County Administrator.

We feel this is a positive development in the search process thus far, and we applaud the commission for their decision.

While ideally the county’s search committee would be able to locate great candidates on its own, the fact of the matter is the process would be a time-consuming procedure. With the committee comprised of commissioners, elected officials, department heads and other senior leaders (including Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson and Van Buren/Cass Health Department Director Jeff Elliott), the talent is certainly there to get the job done; but with the many responsibilities outside the committee each of these officials have, focusing on finding the best possible candidates for administrator would have proven difficult.

So, while the potential $19,000 price tag of bringing on an outside firm is indeed expensive, the benefits of bringing in experienced people to search for talent seems like a wise investment.

With such turmoil in the administrator office over the last few years, the stakes are higher than ever for the county to find the right person to manage its operations.

By employing the services of Hiring Solutions, we feel that the county is on the right track to finding that perfect candidate.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.