Greenville’s next city manager probably isn’t currently looking for a new job.
That’s what Greenville City Council members are saying as a second search gets underway to replace former city manager John Castile, who left the city in August and became Greenville County Redevelopment Authority’s executive director in September.
“I anticipate that the person we hire does not know they would like to come to Greenville yet. They do not know that they are going to be changing jobs in the next few months. They may not even be looking for a change,” said Councilman Russell Stall.
Greenville-based Find Great People will help the council find a new manager. Council members have earmarked $57,500 from the city’s fund balance to pay for the search.
Mayor Knox White said this search would differ from the traditional city administrator search that starts with resumes of candidates who are looking for a job and finding those that seem the best fits. Instead, this search will identify the best talent for the role first and then try to sell that person on the city and the job, he said.
“We’re looking for someone who is not looking for a job,” White said.
Councilman Russell Stall said after the first search, council members realized they needed a search firm that better understood Greenville and the “Greenville way.”
“We are a much larger city that our population would suggest, and our expectations are higher than most other cities,” he said. “We’re excited about FGP. They understand Greenville, and because they live here, have a vested interest in finding a city manager who can effectively lead us into the future.”
The city paid $22,050 to Texas-based recruiting firm Springsted|Waters for the first search. Three finalists were selected, but one withdrew to become Asheville’s city manager. Council members interviewed the two remaining candidates but decided not to hire either.
“We could have settled on one of the candidates identified in the first round, and they would have been fine. But fine is not good enough. We are at a point in Greenville’s history where we cannot compromise on who we hire,” Stall said. “We have an amazing product to offer to a new city manager, and believe we have the ability to have high expectations.”
Nancy Whitworth, the city’s deputy city manager and economic development director, has served as interim city manager since Castile left. Originally, she told City Council members she would serve in that capacity for six months. She said she told the council at the conclusion of the initial search that she would continue to serve in an interim capacity to allow more time to find someone permanently. She said she has no interest in filling the job permanently.