Joliet approves contract for city manager search firm

Brock A. Stein | 4/19/2017, 2:01 p.m.
The City of Joliet will hire the same firm it used in 2013 to find a replacement for their outgoing ...
Joliet City Manager Jim Hock

The city of Joliet has hired a Northbrook-based firm to conduct the search for its next city manager.

GovHrUSA is the same firm that handled the search that lead to the hiring of current city manager Jim Hock in 2013.

Hock announced earlier this month his plan to retire on May 3.

According to a memo, the city will pay $21,000 for the service which includes a $13,000 recruitment fee as well as advertising and recruitment expenses.

GovHR chief executive officer Joellen Earl said that the process would be similar to how the firm conducted its search three years ago which met with the approval of Mayor Bob O’Dekirk.

“I thought it worked pretty well,” said the mayor at Monday’s pre-council meeting.

O’Dekirk said that the firm had winnowed a field of about 80 applicants down to a field of 15-20 for the city council to consider.

Earl said that the company would conduct outreach and develop a matrix to show the city council how well the final candidates meet the criteria for the job.

Initial vetting, she said, would include some long-distance interviews via Skype before coming before the council with a final list.

City council member Jan Quillman asked to see a list of everyone who applies for the position, regardless of whether they make the final list.

“I just want to see who’s out there, whose interested,” said Quillman.

Hock earned a salary of $187,678.67 in 2016 with an additional $7,200 for stipends and other compensation according to the city’s payroll summary report.

He started as city manager in Joliet in November 2013 taking over for Tom Thanas. He previously worked as a community development director for Carpentersville, Illinois and before that he was the city manager in Park Ridge from 2008 until 2012. A Michigan native, Hock worked in various municipal jobs in his home state including over 10 years as assistant city manager in Sterling Heights, Michigan, a Detroit suburb.