County hires headhunter for DCD job

The Kitsap County commissioners have retained an executive search firm to find a replacement for Department of Community Development Director Kamuron Gurol, who resigned last month for family reasons.

In the meantime, the performance of the department’s interim head has convinced some an elaborate search is not necessary.

Interim director Cindy Baker, hired by Gurol last fall, has already indicated an interest in the position.

The recruitment firm, the Oldani Group of Bellevue, is charged with pulling together a recruitment profile and advertising for the position in national markets.

This differs from the process used to hire Gurol, which was conducted by county staff.

“We’ve used a headhunter in the past,” said County Administrator Malcolm Fleming. “In this case, they will be able to use their extensive contacts and pull more people out of the woodwork than we could.”

The cost of the search is $17,500, plus expenses not to exceed $25,000, with the money for the executive search can be authorized by Fleming as county administrator.

Since the DCD job pays between $70,000 and $97,000 per year and the search is expected to take three months, the county is actually saving money during this time.

Fleming said the search firm offers a two-year guarantee. If the recommended candidate resigns or is let go during that time, it conducts another search for the cost of advertising.

South Kitsap County Commissioner Jan Angel, describing the DCD director’s qualifications, said she is looking for someone with good managerial skills, a “can-do” attitude, and the ability to understand and work with both planners and engineers. The successful candidate also needs to have experience in private and public sectors, “ they know what it’s like to be on both sides,” Angel said.

“We need to find someone like Cindy,” she added.

Baker, on the job just two weeks, has already earned Angel’s respect. Baker’s habit of leaving short voice-mail messages about key issues is extremely helpful, causing Angel to observe, “I’ve had more contact with her in this short time than with past directors, in the whole time they were working here.”

According to Angel, she has already received positive e-mail from a “tough constituent” who had been critical of DCD in the past.

Angel said if Baker is selected as DCD director, the leading candidate from Oldani’s search can be offered the assistant director slot, which Baker will then vacate.

While supervising the third-party selection process, Fleming is also impressed by Baker’s abilities.

“Cindy’s a well-qualified manager,” he said. “We encouraged her to apply.”

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