Case Study: Executive Search Consulting with the Mozilla Foundation


Case Study: Executive Search Consulting with the Mozilla Foundation

Executive Search for the Mozilla Foundation means truly embracing the values of the Internet as a publicly accessible space - from creating an explorative recruitment process to having candidates present a case study in front of organization members. Here’s how this looks like in practice:

The Mozilla Foundation is on the intriguing mission to build and fuel what they call The Healthy Internet Movement: “We need an environmental movement for the Internet akin to the environmental movement for the planet – a massive, global tribe that will work with industry and government to envision and build a healthier, more humane digital world.”

To safeguard the web as an open space against the rise of “monopolies, fear, surveillance”, Mozilla has designed different initiatives, like the Internet Health Report or the Mozilla Festival, - and was in search of a Vice President Leadership Programs (to be based in Berlin) to overlook the projects and, together with his team, “fuel the movement”.


Determining the right candidate for an Internet movement at Mozilla

A movement is always something fuelled by emotion, inspiration and the pressing need to solve an issue. But, as Mozilla recognizes: “Movements need more than an issue: they also need strategy, leaders, and infrastructure.”

Against that backdrop, determining a candidate profile for the best fit presented one major challenge: “We had to figure out who we really need”, says Mark, Executive Director at the Mozilla Foundation. “It’s a change management process – transforming Mozilla into an organization that wants to support the Healthy Internet Movement. Defining a person who should join the executive team to enhance all the changes was the hard part.”

Mozilla already had quite a few potential candidates in its own active network, so, in addition to proposing candidates to the process, i-potentials mainly came in as a consulting and sparring partner in defining the candidate profile, accompanying the client during the interviews and helping them with the evaluation. “Our consultant Anna really pushed us to stay focused on the determined criteria”, says Mark, “thanks to the eagerness to learn the specifics of our culture and commitment to the process, the whole process with i-potentials was effective and enjoyable. “

During the i-potentials executive search process, the criteria for the fitting candidate are always determined based on 3 factors using our excellence model: The skills needed in the position, the personality which the role requires, and the value of the organization.


How the values of the movement reflected in the Mozilla recruitment process

In fact, the Mozilla Foundation is a good example of how organizational values can visibly shape a recruitment process. As the Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization (NGO) status with values like openness and transparency:  

“It´s an exploration process rather than recruitment process and it reflects Mozilla´s nature. All the important stakeholders are involved in it so that they can address their questions and potential doubts. It assures not only a very good due diligence of the candidate but also a better and faster integration once the candidate takes on the role”, says Mark.

In the spirit of transparency, the final candidates for some strategic positions such as VP Leadership Programs, not work through a case study, but also present their results in front of a larger group of about 20 representatives of the organization. That is surely a less intimate setting than in a regular recruitment process, but it succeeds in highlighting the key qualities Mozilla is looking for and gives candidates a realistic idea of their mission at the Foundation.


About the Mozilla Foundation

Founded as a community open source project in 1998, Mozilla currently consists of two organizations: the Mozilla Foundation, which leads the movement building work; and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation, which leads their market-based work. The two organizations work in concert with each other and a global community of tens of thousands of volunteers under the single banner of Mozilla.


About i-potentials GmbH

We are the leading consultancy for digital talent acquisition in the DACH region and partner of choice for international companies when it comes to building and extending their growth into German-speaking markets. Our portfolio reaches across various digital business models and industries. Click on to find out more about our services here.

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