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Avondale Estates City Commission contracts with firm to conduct search for finance director

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Avondale Estates City Commission contracts with firm to conduct search for finance director

The Avondale Estates City Commission met on Aug. 10 at City Hall and approved a contract with a firm to conduct the finance director search. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

Avondale Estates, GA — After two unsuccessful searches to find a finance director, the city of Avondale Estates will work with Mercer Group Associates to conduct the search and help fill the position.

The Avondale Estates City Commission approved the contract with Mercer Group Associates at its Aug. 10 meeting. The firm’s fee is $17,500 for the search process, and up to $4,000 in additional expenditures as incurred. The contract will be for at least $17,500, but not to exceed $21,5000, City Manager Patrick Bryant said.

“We and many other municipalities have had difficulty recruiting for this position specifically, so in order to ensure that we get the high level of candidate that we believe the organization needs, we had enlisted a proposal from Mercer Group who conducted the city manager search that led to my hire…,” Bryant said.

Bryant added that the city has done two separate recruitments and received application for no qualified candidates, so the city didn’t move to the interview phase.

Mercer Group has conducted executive-level searches for local governments, authorities, and governing boards across the country, the proposal states. In the last six months, the agency has done finance director searches for Hall and Liberty counties and the city of Milton.

“We will partner with the City to recruit a Finance Director that embraces the values of the City, will be an asset to the management team, demonstrates a supportive working relationship with the elected officials, and has the financial management experience necessary for success,” said Alan Reddish, senior associate of Mercer Group Associates, in the proposal.

The search will be a national search. Mercer Group Associates will conduct a position analysis, advertise the job posting, review resumes, do candidate screening, conduct background checks and interview candidates.

Mercer Group Associates will begin the process next week by developing their recruitment brochure through interviews with the city manager, the assistant city manager, and the city’s current contracted finance director.

“From there, a brochure is developed, and the recruitment period is a 40-day period. At the conclusion of that, the Mercer Group will take approximately 10 days to review resumes and screen candidates,” Bryant said. “They will also then concurrently begin the process of conducting extensive background checks of the candidates. Once they finish that process, then we’ll move to interviews and then the negotiation phase.”

The process will take about 90 days. It will start on Aug. 15 and end on Dec. 3.

“I feel very confident that Mercer will be able to assist us with filling the position the way we want it filled,” Bryant said.

Commissioner Lisa Shortell agreed, and was also confident that Mercer will find the city a qualified candidate, which is what the city needs, she said.

“[This is a] very important position. We need expertise there. The city has tried already to do this through our own ways, and it hasn’t yielded results,” Shortell said. “We’ve been through this process with Mercer before, and I was very impressed with their process.”

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