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Clayton Town Council Sets Timeline for Manager Hiring


The process to replace long-time Clayton Town Manager Steve Biggs is already underway.

Working with Developmental Associates LLC, a hiring consultancy, the Clayton Town Council has crafted a comprehensive strategy to identify and attract a highly-qualified manager who shares the Council’s vision for the future of Clayton.

The timeline for this process will be deliberate and brisk – with the Council planning to offer the job to a manager in mid-August. That would likely put the new manager’s start date in Clayton somewhere between mid-September and mid-November.

Here’s the timeline:

By Wednesday, May 25 the Town of Clayton will post the job opening across a wide variety of media, including news outlets; government associations; professional journals and email listservs; and the Town’s job openings website. As the applications roll in, Developmental Associates will use a structured process to evaluate each application and assign them scores based on set criteria. Applications will be accepted for 30 days.

On June 10, Biggs will log his last day as Clayton’s manager after serving the Town since 1997. In his absence, Deputy Town Manager Nancy Medlin will take over as Interim Town Manager. Before Biggs leaves, he will have worked with Medlin and the Town Council to finalize a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016-2017, which begins July 1.

On June 28, the Council will meet to review the full field of candidates who applied to fill the manager’s job. Based on guidance from Developmental Associates and Council’s own independent analysis, the Town Council will narrow the list down to about 15 candidates.

Over the next couple of weeks, Developmental Associates will dig deeper into evaluating those 15 candidates. This process will include telephone interviews and a series of essay questions.

On July 11, Developmental Associates will present the results of the second-level screening to the Town Council. Using that information, the Council will further whittle the list down to six candidates.

During the last week of July, the remaining six candidates will take part in two days of intensive assessments at The Clayton Center. This demanding process will put each of the candidates through a series of tests and exercises designed to evaluate their management skills and styles. A broad group of assessors will be brought in to evaluate the candidates, including several managers from other municipalities; select Town of Clayton staff; and possibly a few members of the public who live in Clayton. The battery will include practical  exercises – such as simulated staff meetings and potential crisis situations – that will test how the managers would handle tough decisions and respond to situations in real-time.

The second day of assessments will wrap up in the morning, and the assessors will spend the afternoon reporting their perceptions and evaluations to the Town Council. After receiving and considering that information, the Town Council will deliberate and, ultimately, winnow the list of candidates down to three finalists.

In the first week of August, the Council will invite each of the three finalists separately to spend a day getting to know Clayton. That will include everything from formal interviews with the Council – to tours of Town facilities, a visit to local destinations and dinner with the Town Council.

Within a week of that last round of interviews, the Town Council will decide which one of the three finalists would best serve Clayton as our next town manager. As a final step, the Council will contract to have a thorough background check conducted on the prospective manager.

Assuming everything goes well with the background check, the Council will make the job offer in the second or third week of August. That puts the new manager’s probable start date in Clayton somewhere between mid-September and mid-November – depending on how much notice the new manager decides to give at his or her current job.

With a plan already in place and search beginning next week, the Clayton Town Council has wasted no time in moving to replace Biggs, who announced May 10 that he had taken a manager’s job in Christiansburg, Va.

The Town’s Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget proposal includes $25,000 for manager hiring process. The bulk of those funds will cover Developmental Associates’ consulting fees, with the remainder going to cover any travel, meals or other expenses associated with the recruitment and selection process.

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