Corporate Eye

Cosmic Jobs: Now Hiring at CERN!

CERN Twitterstream

On March 30, 2010, “a new era in science” opened when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) achieved an operational energy level of 7 TeV.

Decoded, that means scientists have succeeded in smashing together sub-atomic particles at something near the speed of light.  Why?  To find out more (and maybe everything) about the origins and inner workings of the cosmos.

There’s a long way to go before the answers are revealed—and it may well be that surprising new questions emerge before there are actually any answers.  So there’s plenty of work to be done at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), owner of the world’s largest science experiment.  The LHC is a circular tunnel that runs for seventeen miles under French and Swiss territory, packed with devices that can measure time to a few billionths of a second and register location to millionths of a metre, to record data about the particle collisions.  Around fifteen million gigabytes of data every year, to be exact.  The data will be stored and processed in a worldwide grid comprising thousands of computers.

Top scientists from many countries are participating in this huge project.  But CERN also needs all kinds of other workers, from administrative staff to equipment technicians.  In fact—they are looking for a Recruitment Specialist!

This “challenging position” would be in a “newly established unit” that will:

. . . implement best practices by forecasting and anticipating recruitment needs, planning these in collaboration with key management stakeholders, and subsequently delivering a service of excellence from attraction and assessment of candidates through to selection and appointment.

That description may sound familiar—but now just imagine recruiting for a project that may unlock the secrets of the universe.  “Challenging” just doesn’t seem a strong enough word!

In terms of the organization’s online presence:  Careers at CERN is a pleasant but rather plain site, with information on a variety of programs, the typical search tools,  and the usual sort of video.  There’s nothing about the “culture,” perhaps because applicants in such a rarified niche would either already know or not really care about the working environment.  And there are no social media links.   CERN actually has a good Twitter presence on the “science” side, but apparently that hasn’t taken hold on the HR side.   So all in all, the site is functional but not nearly so exciting/romantic as one might hope.

If you want to know more about CERN and the LHC, get some background with the 3 Minute CERN Tour at YouTube.  (It’s really excellent.)  Then catch up on recent events with this BBC story.  And CERN’s LHC website is also a great source of information.

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.

Vous pouvez lire un article sur ce que par le Dr Babak Zawari eritten dans le centre de recherche du CERN.

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