Case study: international recruitment of experts

Why did Fondation Botnar turn to cinfo in 2019? And how did we respond to their request?

Fondation Botnar

Experts wanted!

Our foundation is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of young people around the world. We provide a range of funding opportunities to enable pioneering research and innovation, and to help realise ground-breaking initiatives.

We approached cinfo, because we intended to create a new advisory Expert Group to assess applications for funding. cinfo’s role was to support us in the process of appointing five external experts in the following areas: cities, artificial intelligence (AI) & digital health, global research & solutions, changemakers & capacity building, and entrepreneurship & innovative financing. We were looking for people whose expertise would be key to the foundation’s grant selection, and who could support work in urban contexts, with a specific focus on leveraging digital and AI innovations for young people.

We chose cinfo because we’d had the opportunity to work with their team before and have long valued their experience in international cooperation. cinfo supported us in the many phases of the process, from writing and publishing the advertisements to conducting online interviews with candidates.

We particularly appreciated the tailor-made approach offered by cinfo to fit our special context.

In June 2019, we were proud to welcome Alice, Kelechi, Max, Ramesh and Michele – five renowned international experts in the areas mentioned above – and to start activities shortly thereafter. There is no doubt that cinfo’s support was instrumental in finding these very specific expert profiles, as we strive to ensure high impact investments to improve young people’s wellbeing.

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cinfo, Adrian Marti

Challenging new assignment from a dynamic Swiss foundation.

cinfo has been extending its active sourcing activities to respond to organisation/client requests for executive search support for senior and middle management functions.

In 2018 cinfo successfully assisted Fondation Botnar in recruiting for three positions in Basel. This led to cinfo being asked to support the recruitment of five members of the high-level Expert Committee, which started its work in mid-2019.

Fondation Botnar was looking for leaders in their field who could dedicate around 20 days a year to the organisation as it ramped up its programme around the world. This included positions in cutting edge fields like artificial intelligence/social entrepreneurship and digital health.

Our services included: finalising the job advertisement; international recruitment outreach; active sourcing, primarily using LinkedIn but also directly contacting candidates suggested by the Botnar ecosystem; the management and triage of applicants; holding first interviews and setting up a short list; doing reference checks on the final candidates.

After a worldwide search we were able to find excellent candidates, allowing Fondation Botnar to hire an innovative group of specialists. Constructive, responsive communication with the senior management of Fondation Botnar allowed us to respond quickly to new needs and was crucial in successfully completing this executive search.

One of the challenges was employer branding: Fondation Botnar is quite a new player, so convincing some excellent candidates to apply was one of the executive search functions we were involved in.

At cinfo we showed that we can recruit internationally for positions with new exciting skillsets, and that our mix of channels for reaching candidates ensures we have results.

All in all, an exciting experience which was a win-win for both sides. cinfo is looking forward to future cooperation with Fondation Botnar.

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