South Dakota to spend up to $30,000 to fill new position on Noem’s staff, according to contract

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem is seeking a chief/director of communications, according to a contract with a Kansas recruiting firm.

The state will pay Bird Dog Recruitment and Consulting, LLC, up to $30,000 to hire the new staff member, according to the contract.

Bird Dog was paid $10,000 on May 26, according to the state checkbook.

Because the new position is not a civil service job, the position does not need to be posted publicly, Noem’s communications director Ian Fury said in an email.

While public money is being used to recruit someone for a new position for the Governor’s staff, the public can’t see the job description.

Bird Dog is based in Topeka and is owned by Kim Borchers. Borchers is also the Kansas Republican National Committeewoman. Borchers’ personal Facebook cover page is a photo of her with Noem.

Bird Dog has a specific agenda, according to its website.

We are here to support transformative leaders, and we understand that they need a team to make real reforms happen. We believe that government should be limited, innovative and committed to those who pay the bills. Bird Dog exists to partner in making this a reality.

Bird Dog website

But if you are a potential candidate, it appears to be difficult to find job openings on the Bird Dog website. There is a spot for potential candidates to answer questions about jobs they are interested in and to answer questions related more to their philosophy of government.

Potential candidates must answer the questions in 400 characters or less, which is about 60 to 130 words, depending on spacing.

So in roughly 130 words or less, candidates are asked to answer:

  • What is your belief regarding the role of government in the lives of its’ citizens?
  • Should government be larger or smaller? Explain your answer.
  • What do you believe is the most pressing issue in the country today and how do you propose we address it?

In response to questions about a LinkedIn post that listed a job opening and description for a chief of communications or director of communications for Noem, Fury said in an email that he was not leaving his position. Fury said he will be working with the new hire in the new position.

The new position would help fill the role of former senior advisor and policy director Maggie Seidel, he said. Seidel resigned in March for a new position with an out-of-state private company.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue working for Governor Noem and look forward to working with the new Chief of Communications to communicate with the people of South Dakota and tell our story to folks in other states,” Fury said in an email response.

“As Senior Advisor, Maggie oversaw both the Governor’s policy and communications teams. The Chief of Communications will take on the latter role,” Fury said in his email.

Although Noem is seeking to hire a person for a staff position, the details of that position may be difficult for the public to learn.

As of June 2, the job was not posted on the state’s human resources job listings. Fury said that’s because the position is not a civil service job.

“Civil service jobs must be publicly posted for a minimum of seven days, but positions that are exempt from civil service do not need to be announced publicly to be filled,” Fury said in an email.

Fury was also asked by KELOLAND News why the job was not posted with the state’s human resources department and why it doesn’t appear to be listed on the Bird Dog website. KELOLAND News asked Fury if he could comment on the hiring process seeming a bit mysterious, especially since the Governor says she values transparency.

“Given the experience needed for success in this type of demanding role, the position is being filled through a search process similar to other executive-level positions in private industry and government,” Fury said.

Bird Dog did not respond to phone messages or an email message from KELOLAND News. Borchers did not respond to an email.

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