CERN Jobs Insight

The good the bad and the hippo

 So here you are, in the interview room, facing a panel of 5 or more, and waiting for one of them to fire the first question. Who seemed to be the most skeptical when you entered the room while you were trying to make a first good impression? Who is smiling and is likely to be easily convinced by your arguments? Who will ask the most challenging questions about the not-so-well-explained lines in your CV?

 An interview is a unique situation and there is always a specific dynamic within panel members: they may or may not be used to work together, they may or may not have the same stakes or investment in the process, and they may or may not be familiar with the exercise. Sometimes, they may not even have exactly the same vision about...


"Wishing all the best to the new Recruitment Unit Section Leader" MA

Happy 2016 !





See you in February for the next post.

Sourcing or the art of fishing for rare fish

Diversity is a core value for CERN and is evident all around us: in the cultures working side by side, in the wide range of professions, backgrounds, languages spoken, and even at the restaurant where you can find all kinds of different food! The Recruitment Unit is fully engaged in promoting diversity, for example in raising panel members’ awareness on any unconscious biases they can experience during an interview, or when handling the challenge to source and find the best applicants in our 21 Member States for staff positions, and beyond for our programs.

Sourcing is all about finding and attracting the right talents, and to use an analogy we could compare it to fishing… Don’t worry,...


"Wondering how would perform a recruiter if he had to be in front of the scene." MA

Do you want to play a game?

Selecting the best talent is what drives us recruiters. And it’s not an easy task: we have to find where applicants are, we have to speak the same language, and we have to assess their skills using relevant methods and tools.

If Sourcing has changed a lot in the last 15 years (from the rise of internet to the increasing use of social media, and an increasing tendency to look for talents on the global market), assessment methods have not evolved as drastically, and a good CV written more than 500 years ago could probably still be interesting for 2.0 recruiters.

As a result, it’s not rare for employers to see more and more applicants who have already been through sophisticated recruitment processes, and are therefore familiar with assessments exercises such as...


"Note to self: Always have an extra pen during interviews" MA

Working to live, living to work, or surviving at work ?

What do you think brings us to work ?

Since the early stages of my education background, I’ve been trying to understand what motivates people to work. If today I have a clearer vision on this topic, I didn’t understand at the beginning what could bring someone to spend one-third of his/her adult life at work, or what would push someone to continue working after retirement age, or even after winning the lottery.

As the saying goes:

Motivation is something managers will look at for the purpose of talent retention, employee engagement, and they will usually consider it as a performance indicator. But motivation is also something recruiters will assess at different stages of the selection process (cover letter, interview, onsite visit/meeting with the team), as a crucial complement to technical and...


"Wondering if people with a technical background always recognise that colleagues who studied behavioural sciences have also specific technical skills." MA

CERN + Social Media = ?

CERN celebrated its 60th Birthday last year, and goes from strength to strength. Where we CERN recruiters find a challenge though is the persistent and common misconception that CERN only hires elite physicists and engineers. This notion has endured all these years, but since the centralised, in-house Recruitment Unit (RU) that we are was created in 2010, we have worked hard to position CERN as an employer of choice for the wide diversity of disciplines and professionals we need for the infrastructure to provide the research bed for the physicists to do their research.

Did you know that of the 2500+ staff members we have from our member states, only 3% are research physicists? The rest are all the technicians, engineers and support functions in fields ranging from civil...