Sooke council’s quest to find a new chief administrative officer appears to have encountered problems months after the departure of Teresa Sullivan.
The role is filled on an interim basis by Don Schaffer, a former manager of legislative services for the City of Victoria,
Sullivan was the sixth CAO for the district since its incorporation in 1999.
Reports circulated recently that Waterhouse Executive Search, the firm hired to find the best candidate for the position, was having difficulty in locating an appropriate candidate for the job.
Mayor Maja Tait won’t comment on personnel matters within the district, but she did confirm the search continues and Schaffer had committed to stay on until a replacement is found for the $140,000-per-year position.
George Maddens, senior partner with PFM Executive Search, said the market has shifted, making searches for top positions more difficult.
“The tide has really turned. It’s a candidate’s market and employers who expect a lot of action and are waiting for resumés to flow in will be disappointed,” he said.
“It’s tough. You really have to go out and search for people who may not even have considered making a move. You have to be proactive.”
Madden added a small municipality may have difficulty attracting someone who is excited about the position and anxious to try a new challenge.
“The last thing you want is someone who thinks they can move to a smaller community, put their feet up, and go into a sort of retirement mode.”
Tait is optimistic that the right person can be found and said council is committed to continuing the search for “as long as it takes to get the right person in place.”