The art of sourcing talent (not only in physics)

CERN is constantly seeking new talent, but this is not always an easy task, especially in some key areas. Although CERN is known worldwide for hiring physicists, they only account for a very small percentage of CERN’s annual recruitment. The Organization offers a vast range of job opportunities in other domains, including, notably, for technicians and engineers in mechanics, electronics, cryogenics, etc. The new CERNbassador event and the EQIPIA tool will help the CERN Recruitment Unit find the talent of the future.


The CERN Recruitment Unit was created in 2010 and part of its mandate was to improve the so-called “sourcing” of candidates from all Member States. This was done by designing a new dedicated CERN website, posting the offers on several job portals across Europe, establishing direct contact with universities and technical schools, launching campaigns and using dedicated social media. “There is plenty of talent out there, but it’s not always easy to reach, especially for certain professions - for example, technical engineers in radiofrequency, radioprotection, cryogenics – and in some Member States,” explains Anna Cook, CERN Recruitment Unit Coordinator. “Our goal is to promote CERN as an ‘employer of choice’ for these categories too and we want to do that by using innovative solutions.”

To turn the issue on its head, the CERN Recruitment Unit is introducing two different but complementary initiatives: the EQIPIA web platform and the first CERNbassador event. “This is a pilot event, scheduled for 20 March, which will host 40 to 50 teachers from technical schools. This first event will be dedicated to electronics, but other events dedicated to different fields could be envisaged,” says Anna. Via their teachers, the event will target technical school students – the hardest to reach. “Our wish is to raise the teachers’ awareness about CERN’s mission, get them excited about it and become our ambassadors,” continues Anna. At the event, CERN electronics experts will present their work and there will be stands where teachers will be able to ask questions and develop networks with representatives of the Beams, Physics and Technology Departments.

In the same vein, the Recruitment Unit is also working on enlarging its networking capabilities. “We have started to use EQIPIA, a web tool that synchronises LinkedIn connections in order to diffuse our job offers to all our contacts at CERN,” explains Anna. “In this way, they will be able to easily share these offers within their own networks.” EQIPIA is based on the concept of “referrals” - a recruitment method in which employees are encouraged to suggest potentially suitable recruits from their own networks. “The help of our CERN colleagues to spread the word about our opportunities would open up the doors to a whole new talent pool within their networks. We encourage them to accept our invitation,” she concludes.

For more information about the CERNBassador event or the EQIPIA referral system, contact

by Rosaria Marraffino