Town Council Sets Budget for Administrator Job Ad

The Derry Town Council has set a $2,000 budget for advertising for candidates for its next Town Administrator, and charged Human Resources Director/Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau with getting the word out.

The Council met in a special session Tuesday, March 25, to hammer out the process for filling the Administrator post, which has been vacant since July. Budreau has been acting as Administrator since July 12, 2013, by order of the Council.

The Council went over an ad composed by Budreau, which reads as follows: “Derry, NH (pop. 33,100) is seeking a creative, proactive leader to serve as its next Town Administrator. The Administrator reports to a seven-member Town Council, oversees a $40 million budget, and functions within a Town Charter form of government. Experience in municipal operations, staff development, community and economic development, and creative community problem solving is preferred. Strong interpersonal and written/verbal communications skills are essential. BA required; MA and municipal management preferred. Competitive salary. Excellent benefits.”

Deadline for response is May 2.

Town Council Chairman Mark Osborne brought samples of other towns’ recruitment ads, and observed that Derry’s seemed “consistent” with the other towns’ efforts.

The Council approved the ad, 7-0, before discussing where and how to place it.

Councilor Joshua Bourdon had researched “help wanted” ad venues and brought his research to the meeting. He had identified several Web sites with hiring components. “Craigslist is free,” he noted.

Another, Simply Hired, is not free but has several advantages, Bourdon said. For a payment of $199, Simply Hired will post a job ad for 30 days. Simply Hired also posts the job out to relevant sites, including the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and CNN, he said.

Another site,, works differently. The town sets its own budget, from 15 cents to $1.50 per click, and “the more money we spend, the higher we go on the search.” With more invested, the chance of showing up on a job seeker’s first page increases, Bourdon explained. But, “Whenever someone clicks on our ad, it costs us,” he said.

One suggestion was limiting their search to 200 people. But Councilor Michael Fairbanks pointed out, “What if the 201st is our person?”

Councilor David Fischer said, “When someone clicks, it doesn’t mean they’re applying. They’re looking.” charges $275 for 30 days and $300 for 60 days, Bourdon said. But it also gives one complimentary “refresher” for the ad, he said. “After that, it costs $50 to refresh,” he said.

Councilor Albert Dimmock recommended using municipal sites such as the New Hampshire Local Government Center. “I don’t want to spend a dime,” he said.

“It’s going to cost something,” Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores countered. “We should decide what we want to spend.”

Osborne said while he shared Dimmock’s concern about finances, setting a budget of $1,000 to $2,000 is still cheaper than a search firm.

The goal for Osborne isn’t necessarily saving money, he said, but to “get our hands into the process sooner. We offer a different perspective.”

The Council agreed to authorize Budreau to post the ad on the New Hampshire Municipal Association site, which is free, and to allot the $2,000 budget as he sees fit among, and “any relevant sites.”