City begins recruiting for new CAO

A contract for $17,000 has been awarded to recruit a new chief administrative officer (CAO) for the city of Williams Lake.

A contract for $17,000 has been awarded to recruit a new chief administrative officer (CAO) for the city of Williams Lake.

The new recruit will replace existing CAO Brian Carruthers whose resignation was announced on Sept. 19.

At the regular council meeting Tuesday Mayor Kerry Cook said human resources provided a number of options, ranging up to $50,000 for professional firms to provide recruitment service for a new CAO.

“We’ve gone with Grant Smith of Waterhouse Executive Search,” Cook said.

Council’s executive committee Skyped with Smith last week and was convinced of his “experience and success” and felt confident to award him the contract.

At the beginning of the recruitment process, the committee will survey council, staff, and people in the community to determine what characteristics and qualities are desired for a new CAO.

That should take a few weeks, Cook said, adding Smith has walked through similar processes many times, and once the committee has compiled the information, Smith can go out to market the position.

“This is going to be a search, not only in B.C., but across Canada.

There will be a posting, screening, interviews, so the process will probably take about three to four months before we have a new CAO for Williams Lake,” Cook explained.

Coun. Surinderpal Rathor said every day he hears from people in the community that hope the recruitment will involve “going out” of the community for the search.

Cook told council Smith reported 60 per cent of the successful candidates are from his data base and marketing is key.

“Matching key people to the position, knowing the community and knowing what’s out there is important,” Cook said.

Council unanimously endorsed awarding the recruitment contract to Smith.

Carruthers was with the city for two years as director of leisure services, six years as general manager of community services, and for the last three years served as CAO.

He has accepted a position as CAO for the Regional District of Central Kootenay in Nelson and will be assuming his new role as of Nov. 19.

Cook also announced the city has hired a new executive assistant, Heather Sylvester.

Sylvester began working on Nov. 1, filling a position that had been vacant for two months.