Austin will have a city manager by the end of this year if all goes according to plan.

The city manager search consulting team laid out a timeline for the hiring process during Tuesday’s City Council work session.

The city’s 11-member council will interview at least six candidates between Thursday, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Nov. 2, for Austin City Hall's chief executive role, which has been vacant since October 2016. Council will conduct its final round of interviews with a slimmed down candidate pool in mid-to-late November. According to search firm Russell Reynolds & Associates, the council is scheduled to vote the week of Dec. 12 as it decides on whom to hire.

Stephen Newton, area manager for Russell Reynolds & Associates, said he felt “very comfortable” with where the city stood in the process. He said the firm continues to reach out to all corners of the country and to candidates with a wide range of professional experience, most of whom have previously worked in the public sector.

Although Newton proposed the council interview the candidates in groups of three, multiple council members favored all 11 members of the dais interviewing the candidates together.

Per City Council vote, the interviews will take place behind closed doors.