Jefferson Co. issues RFP for executive search firm to help fill key central office positions - some are new, some which have been vacant for several months
Courier-Journal, Louisville, Sept. 13, 2015

JCPS looks for search firm to help fill jobs
by Allison Ross

Jefferson County Public Schools is looking for outside help as the search to fill some of its top-level positions drags on.

JCPS last month issued a request for proposals for executive search firms that could help it recruit "various mid- to high-level executive management positions and/or difficult to recruit specialized positions on an as-needed basis." While not specifically noted, the hunt for the district's next chief of communications and community relations would be one of those positions, said Bonnie Hackbarth, who is serving as the district's interim spokeswoman.

Two other cabinet-level positions are also open: chief business officer, which would oversee human resources and finance departments, and chief of data management. In addition, the district is short a human resources director after Superintendent Donna Hargens announced in April she was opting not to renew Mark Rosen's contract.

"We have some good candidates for the various positions," Hackbarth said. "We are looking to have a search firm help us evaluate existing candidates and also recruit additional potential candidates."

She added: "If you applied, we're still looking at you."

The request for proposal (RFP) is open until 3 p.m. Sept. 14. The district said it reserves the right to offer more than one contract, and noted that the district is looking for contingency proposals, meaning the firm would be paid based on placement success.

Search firms should be able to assist with searches for executive and mid-level positions in all departments, including academic services, data management, communications, business services and operations, the RFP states.

Hargens is hoping to extend the district's contract with Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations to have Hackbarth stay on as interim spokeswoman as the search to permanently fill the chief communications job gets close to entering the fifth month.

The position is a key one for Hargens to fill, as her evaluations have noted a need for her to continue to improve communication. Her most recent evaluation also stressed the need to improve the district's human resources practices.
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