Call for Expression of Interest – Recruitment Agency for the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO)

Call for Expression of Interest – Recruitment Agency for the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO)

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. Although our history is traced back to 1901 with the establishment of the Pacific Cable Board, the organisation has only existed in its present form as an intergovernmental treaty organisation since 1967. With a diverse membership spanning developed and developing countries, small island developing states, the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs.

The CTO is the largest Commonwealth sectoral body outside the Commonwealth Secretariat. The CTO membership comprises of all Commonwealth governments and, as ICT Sector Members, development partners (including governments, international development and communication agencies, academic institutions and other organisations) and industry partners (drawn from the business and private sector).

The post of Secretary-General is pivotal for the effective and efficient management of the CTO Secretariat. A key part of the Secretary-General’s role will be securing the funding necessary for the CTO’s activities within the wider field of ICTs from development agencies and the private sector.

The Secretary-General will also be responsible for developing the membership of the CTO and for ensuring that the role played by the CTO is in the best interest of all its members.


The CTO seeks to retain the services of an international executive recruitment agency to assist the CTO in the recruitment of a Secretary- General for a contractual period of four (4) years. To be successful, the recruitment agency must be capable of searching and attracting potential candidates well suited for the job who can take the CTO to greater heights. The starting salary for the Secretary-General will range from £80,800p.a to £96,480p.a depending on the qualifications and experiences.

This document provides the specific requirements expected from the selected recruitment agency for the effective recruitment of a new Secretary-General.


The recruitment and selection of the Secretary-General must be based on the principles of merit and fairness. The recruitment process by the successful bidder must create equal opportunity for applicants from Full Member Countries.


The recruitment agencies targeted in this process are those that are capable of assisting the CTO to recruit and select the best Secretary- General through proactively identifying suitable candidates from Full Member Countries of the CTO. The selected recruitment agency must be able to plan and achieve milestones required in the recruitment and section process within time, scope and financial/value for money targets.

A list of all Full Member Countries of the CTO is available from CTO website for ease of reference.


The Secretary-General (SG) is the public face of the organisation and is responsible for its office leadership and giving direction and clarity to  the Organisation’s strategic plan and policy development.

The priorities for the new SG will be to ensure a smooth transition to the changes from the revised constitution, raising the profile of the organisation to attract investment for programme development and delivery, by developing local and international business partnerships with both private and public sectors and expanding the current membership base.


The recruitment process should be scientific and tailor-made to select candidates with the traits the CTO is looking for. The recruitment agency must be involved from the announcement of the vacancy until the recommendation of the candidates to the CTO Council for appointment. The following is required of the successful international executive recruitment agency when facilitating the recruitment process:

  1. Confidentiality: The recruitment agency must maintain confidentiality at all times and return all documents to the CTO at the end of the recruitment process.
  2. Developing a recruitment strategy: The recruitment agency must lay out the entire process and steps of recruitment for the post of Secretary-General. The recruitment agency must also provide a strategy for the assessment of the suitability of candidates and the key requirements of the post, which the recruitment agency will use for the long-listing of the applicants.
  3. Call for applications: The recruitment agency must finalise the content and format of the advertisement for Secretary-General in consultation with the CTO Secretariat and in line with the job description. The recruitment agency must, apart from advertising the position of Secretary-General to all full member countries of the CTO and on the CTO website, develop an advertising strategy that ensures that the advertisement for Secretary-General reaches as many suitable and competent candidates. The recruitment agency must also receive all applications and where necessary, provide detailed information material for the vacancies and respond to all queries and requests for information on behalf of the CTO.
  4. Longlisting & assist in the shortlisting: The recruitment agency must draw up a longlist of the total candidates and provide an evaluation report on such candidates. The recruitment agency must also  provide support to the CTO with the production of a shortlist of the candidates, based on the integrity, merit, skills and relevant experience of the candidates to the requirements of the post.
  5. Assessment tests: The recruitment agency must carry out recruitment assessments to screen, longlist and shortlist qualified candidates.
  6. Interviews: The recruitment agency must prepare a schedule of interviews and draft questions in consultation with the CTO. The recruitment agency must facilitate the interviews. For the shortlisted candidates, the CTO Executive Committee will carry out the interview with the recruitment agency providing advisory and secretariat services in the interviews and analyse the results of the interviews for consideration by the CTO.
  7. Reference checks: The recruitment agency must also conduct reference checks and prepare selection reports.
  8. Preparation of regret letters: The recruitment agency must also prepare regret letters for all shortlisted candidates not appointed as Secretary-General.
  9. Submission Guideline and required documents

The following documents must also be submitted with the application of each recruitment agency:

    1. a detailed proposal for carrying out the whole recruitment process, including the methodology to be used, a detailed time frame and the estimated cost;
    2. the organisation/company profile (experience, size of organisation, specialisation, past experiences, qualification, experience and track record of key and other team members working on the assignment);
    3. signed CVs of professional staff who will be directly involved in the assignment;
    4. for firms, copies of the Firm’s Registration Certificate, VAT Registration Certificate and the latest TAX Clearance Certificate (recent).

The bidders must also detail previous experiences with at least 3 similar projects and referee contact details, including:

  1. previous high level executive search services for a business client, NGO, international organisation and/or a Government organisation;
  2. successfully identifying suitable candidates to fill top level positions for previous clients;
  3. providing timely, reliable, accurate and secure information and services to clients; and
  4. experience in proving relevant recruitment and selection reports.

Bidders must also outline all costs involved in the recruitment and selection process and there should be no hidden costs. Costs are to

be provided for the complete process from advertising to the appointment of the Secretary-General. Bidders should also indicate what discounts will be offered from advertising to the appointment of Secretary-General. Costs must be linked to the achievement of milestones and tasks. All costs are to be VAT inclusive.

Proposals must be submitted to ([email protected]),before the close date, 2 September 2019.


The following outlines a list of the deliverables of the successful international executive recruitment agency:

  1. a recruitment strategy outlining the entire process and steps of recruitment for the post of Secretary-General, and for the assessment of the suitability of candidates and the key requirements of the post;
  2. the design of an advertisement for approval by the CTO and copies of vacancy announcements;
  3. a total list of candidates with details of their applications;
  4. a longlist of candidates with details of their applications and an evaluation report on each candidate;
  5. a schedule of interviews and draft questions;
  6. an detailed analysis of the results of the interviews; and
  7. a recruitment assessment report, including a report on the analysis of all applications received and reviewed.


The following are the key requirements and qualifications for the shortlisting of the recruitment agency:

  1. at least 5 (five) years of experience, having a proven track record of hiring or recruiting at various levels particularly for international organisations such as the CTO;
  1. the recruitment agency must have knowledge of the systems and working modality of international organisations;
  2. the recruitment agency must have the necessary team of full time staff with thematic knowledge and expertise required to recruit desired professionals; and
  3. the recruitment agency must have systems and processes for rapid yet thorough screening.


The selection of the recruitment agency will be based on recruitment quality, timeline and cost comparison. On the basis of documents submitted (qualification, experience and capacity of the agency), agencies will be shortlisted for further selection.

Please note that the selection of the recruitment agency will be carried out in line with the CTO’s policies and procedures. The final decision and successful appointment will be made by the Executive Committee of the CTO. The successful recruitment agency must be ready and available to start the assignment immediately on signing of the contract.


The recruitment agency selected will be contracted for not more than three months, from the date of signing the contract.

Any proposal received after the specified deadline shall be rejected or overlooked. The right to approve the proposals by recruitment agencies and short-listing remains with the appointing body of the CTO.

Apply here!