From a total of 32 applications, the Isanti County Board of Commissioners has narrowed the selection for a new county administrator to six finalists.
Gary Weiers, of David Drown Human Resources, is guiding the board through the recruitment process since the retirement of Kevin VanHooser.
From the 32 applicants, Weiers reduced the number down to a slate of 13 candidates, and the board reviewed each of those candidates’ cover letters, resumes, short video interviews and personality indexes.
Before discussion of the candidates at the Nov. 20 board meeting, Weiers said, “It’s a bit awkward because of the fact you can’t name candidates at this point – their identities are private. However, you have to make this selection process in open public meeting, so there’s kind of two different forces at work here.” A numbering system was used to discuss the 13 potential candidates during the meeting.
“The question always is how do we get from 13 down to a number that we wish to interview,” Weiers said. “My experience with this is – that naturally occurs. As we go through this phase, some candidates drop to the bottom, some rise to the top, and there might be a few in the middle.”
He added that if a candidate is not on anyone’s list, that candidate does not warrant discussion, and if a candidate is on all the lists the same applies – no discussion needed.
And that is what happened. After the county commissioners gave their top candidates to Weiers, there were five that clearly rose to the top to move on to the final round, and after a short discussion, a sixth candidate was also added to be interviewed.
Those finalists will participate in the final interview process Dec. 5-6. During the interview process, each candidate will meet with county department heads for a half-hour interview the morning of Dec. 5, followed by hour-long interviews with the board the afternoon of Dec. 5 and morning of Dec. 6. Each candidate will be asked the same set of questions during the final interview process.
Following those interviews, Weiers will again consult with the board, asking their preference on candidates. At that time, if one candidate clearly rises to the top for all board members, they will be the selection. If there are two or more candidates in which the board is interested, there may be another round of interviews with those select candidates.