Executive Director Selection Process
Hiring an Executive Director is a critical responsibility of the Council. Here you will find information on the current process to find our next Executive.
We are announcing the final interview in the hiring process for a new Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD) Executive Director. Two finalists have been recommended to interview with the full Council. The Chair of the Minnesota Council on Disability is calling a special council meeting on Wednesday, August 12, 12, 2020 to conduct the final interview.
Final Candidate Resumes
A thoughtful hiring process has been developed and led by the Council’s Acting Chair and Deputy Executive Director, with assistance by experienced consultants with expertise in hiring best practices including consultants from Management Analysis and Development (MAD) of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB); state human resources professionals; and, leadership from the Small Agency Resource Team (SmART) at the Department of Administration. This team has met weekly since mid-April to design and implement steps to recruit and select MCD’s next Executive Director.
Here’s a recap of the process to date.
Council decision to launch Executive Director search process
The MCD Executive Committee passed three motions at their April 7, 2020, meeting giving the Council’s Acting Chair authority to:
- Exercise discretion, approve and make decisions, as needed, to conduct the Executive Director search activities to fulfill the Executive Committee’s responsibility in recommending two or more finalists to the full Council.
- Select 2-3 Council members (includes 1-2 ex-officio and 1 executive committee member) to serve as resources and provide as-needed input on the Executive Director search.
- Approve the Executive Director job posting and to have Admin SmART post it as soon as possible.
Position description and job posting
MCD and Admin’s SmART Human Resources team reviewed and updated the Executive Director position description in keeping with the Council statutory authority and responsibilities , and the state human resources classification system, which sets the responsibilities, skills, knowledge and experience of the executive director position to provide consistency, and a base level of expectations across state agencies.
With the updated position description in place, MCD and Human Resources developed a job posting notice with minimum and preferred qualifications. The position was posted from April 17 through May 18, 2020 on the State’s Career website for all qualified applicants. A Senior Executive Recruiter with MMB led outreach efforts in attracting talented and diverse candidates to the applicant pool.
Council outlined preferences
The Council met with the MAD consultants at their May 12, 2020, meeting to describe characteristics that were important to them in a new Executive Director, which are summarized here:
- Leadership: Provide direction and delegate to a diverse and passionate council; be a strong representative at the capitol and communicate strategic vision.
- Maximize Council effectiveness: Bring people together, listen to them and support their ability to advocate for disability issues.
- Work with ex-officio members: Make the most of relationships with ex-officio members and opportunities to connect Council work with agencies’ efforts.
- Collaboration: Build respectful, collaborative relationships within the Council and with constituents to carry out the MCD mission.
- Diversity, equity and inclusion: Be knowledgeable about and experienced with disability issues from multiple perspectives, including lived experience, race, gender, sexuality, and age.
- Communication: Have strong skills for communicating within and outside the Council.
This information as well as the minimum and preferred qualifications outlined in the position posting were the basis for the interview questions.
Human Resources staff received and reviewed 59 applications to determine which applicants met the minimum qualifications. Applicants not meeting the minimum qualification were notified and given an opportunity to appeal if they felt they had additional information supporting their application. Human Resources referred 11 candidates meeting minimum qualifications to MCD, and all were invited to, and participated in a phone interview the first week of June. The names of applicants and those participating in the first and second interviews are confidential. Only those finalists moving to the third interview will be made public.
The Council Acting Chair worked with the consultants, the Interim Executive Director, and the Deputy Executive Director to develop questions for the first interview, an interview scoring guide, and information about the interview process that would be said to each candidate, so the candidates each have a consistent experience and receive the same information during the interview. The scoring guide defines low, medium, and high ratings for each interview question. The guide is an important way to avoid implicit bias by those conducting the interviews and to ensure a fair process by identifying objective criteria ahead of time that are used consistently when scoring answers by the candidates. The questions were designed to delve deeper into the minimum and preferred qualifications listed in the posting and the characteristics Council members identified in the May 12 meeting.
The interview questions were sent to all candidates several days prior to the interview. Interviewers were the Council Acting Chair, Nikki Villavicencio and the Deputy Executive Director, Alex Bartolic. MAD provided training on interview protocols and use of the scoring guide.
Six top-scoring candidates were invited to a second interview.
For the second interview, the Council Acting Chair with the hiring team of consultants, human resource professionals, and the Deputy Executive Director developed questions, an interview scoring guide, and information about the interview process to be provided by the Chair to each candidate to ensure a consistent experience for all candidates. The interview questions were sent to all six candidates one week prior to the interview.
All six candidates participated in the second interview on June 29 and 30, which was conducted with audio and video. Interviewers were:
- Council Acting Chair, Nikki Villavicencio
- Council Member Muzamil Ibrahim
- Council Member Myrna Peterson
- Deputy Executive Director, Alex Bartolic
- Director of State Services for the Blind and ex-offico member, Natasha Jerde.
MAD provided training before the interview to explain the use of the scoring guide, and the interview process.
Three top-scoring candidates were invited to a third interview, which will be with the full Council.
The third interview and selection process for the Executive Director will occur at a special Council meeting, according to open meeting laws. The names of the three finalists will become public after Human resources conducts background studies and the Deputy Executive Director conducts reference checks. This is when the three individuals officially become finalists for an interview with the full Council.
The third interview will include a presentation and several interview questions. A scoring guide is being developed, and the Council members will be trained on interview best practices and the scoring process. The date will be set based on availability of Council members.
We will continue to post updates on the hiring process here on the MCD website.