(Nevada Health Link image)

The employees of Nevada’s Silver State Health Insurance Exchange have had a hard time persuading executive search firms to help them look for a new executive director.

The organization oversees Nevada Health Link, a state-based exchange that posts videos of all board meetings and extensive collections of board meeting packet documents on its website.

The exchange has run into Web-based enrollment system and paper application processing problems, and Jon Hager, the former permanent executive director, resigned in February.

The exchange board named Steve Fisher to be the interim executive director in February.

Exchange employees put out a solicitation for a search firm to help look for a permanent executive director. The exchange received no new proposals.

The employees tried to talk to four firms to find out why the solicitation had attracted no bids.

One failed to reply.

A second said it was too busy to bid on the job.

Two others said they couldn’t meet the board’s requirements.

One of those firms told the exchange that, if it had taken the job, it could have found an executive director with an annual salary of $29,000 in about 14 weeks.

The other firm would have charged $39,000 and might have found a suitable candidate in about three weeks.

The exchange has responded by using other types of outreach, including ads in two Nevada newspapers; an ad on Monster.com; an insurance trade journal ad; links on Facebook and Twitter; and a notice distributed through a National Academy for State Health Policy e-mail list.

The informal recruitment process had attracted about 30 potential candidates by April 9, exchange employees said.

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