Authored by Sharon Klumpp and Chuck Rohre

In the final article of Baker Tilly’s three-part series on executive recruitment for public sector positions, we explore hiring recommendations for government entities.

There are a number of important considerations when looking to fill a position. Below are suggestions for hiring authorities to increase the potential for success and longevity of the newly hired executive:

  1. If possible, avoid recruitments immediately before or during an election. If the recruitment is for a high-level position that may report directly to elected officials, potential candidates will want to know to whom they will report. Additionally, you may decide to defer the recruitment of key department directors if the city or county key executive position is vacant. Most candidates for chief executive positions will want the opportunity to influence or make these decisions after accepting the job.
  2. Be forthcoming about compensation parameters and benefits. Even if not expressly stated in the recruiting materials, the recruiter needs to have some sense of how a candidate will fit into the organization’s salary structure and accurately respond to candidate inquires and expectations.
  3. Be open to the recruiter whether internal candidates are under consideration. Candidates will ask and it may influence their decision whether to apply.
  4. Be willing to share key issues and concerns about the organization and/or the position. It is better that the new individual be aware of key issues before a job offer than accepting and later withdrawing after learning of undisclosed issues.
  5. In interactions with candidates, especially interviews, remember the candidates are interviewing you as well. Disrespect, abruptness or obvious friction between panel members can be factors that drive away solid candidates.
  6. Be fair in your comparisons. When a recruitment is to replace a successful and popular individual, or conversely, an unsuccessful person who has left the organization under less than ideal conditions, perceptions of interviewed candidates can be affected by comparison to the last incumbent. Be fair and open to new possibilities. Although the person that previously held the position may have been the best there ever was, they are no longer there, and you must make the best possible hiring decision for the organization.
  7. Remember the search firm is as committed to diversity and equal opportunity as the hiring agency. As recruiters, the search firm has the same legal and ethical obligation as any hiring government entity.

Public sector recruitment is a partnership between the hiring authority and the search firm. By understanding and respecting the roles and responsibilities of each, the potential for success is optimized.

Check out the full public sector executive recruitment series:

Read part 1: Five myths about search firms >

Read part 2: Recruiting for difficult positions >

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly executive recruitment specialists can help, contact our team.

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