Social Media a Boon to Recruiting for Collider Project

    Who would think that a high-profile project such as the Large Hadron Collider would go wanting for tech talent?

    Facebook has turned out to be a better way to recruit for positions with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, according to

    Applications for hard-to-fill positions have grown tenfold since it began social media recruiting, rather than placing ads in specialty publications and on job boards. It quotes James Purvis, head of talent acquisition at CERN, saying:

    Facebook is a massive referral network. A lot of people are finding out about jobs from friends of friends.

    I can just hear the folks at BranchOut and other Facebook recruiting companies saying, “Well, duh!” at that comment. Purvis also said of the approximately 200 people hired at CERN each year:

    People think you have to be a particle physicist to work at CERN, but we employ very few physicists. We need technicians, engineers, accountants, lawyers, and firefighters.

    It uses a service called Broadbean that posts job ads to 40 or 50 job sites across Europe and cloud-based video service Sonru to conduct a first round of interviews, rather than flying each one to Geneva. The article, referring to weeding out “candidates who look good on paper, but turn out to be disappointing face-to-face at an early stage,” however, sent some alarms off in my head about the importance of a good anti-discrimination policy.

    CERN is developing a series of videos for Facebook and YouTube, and working on an applicant tracking system that doesn’t require staff to read every application — in effect creating that black hole that job candidates always talk about.

    Latest Articles