Recruitment Policy

CERN's staff recruitment policy is built upon the following 5 principles :

1.Recruit Excellence

Committing to hire people with the highest relevant technical and behavioural competencies

2.Source talent for today and tomorrow

Bearing in mind both the short and long term needs of the Organization

3.Get the right people in the right place at the right time

Ensure proactive and timely staff recruitment

4.Encourage and value diversity

From sourcing to hiring, appreciating differences

5.Recruit Ethically

Ensuring clear, transparent and fair recruitment processes

Our Graduates, Associates and Students programmes build upon the four cornerstones of CERN's mission:

 research, technology, collaboration and education

providing a direct contribution to carrying out CERN's mission in Europe and worldwide,

whilst providing first class training opportunities in a high-tech, multicultural and multi-lingual environment.

Below are a number of diversity considerations:

Age & Experience

  • CERN requires a balanced mix of ages and should make particular efforts to specifically target experienced recruits as well as graduates in order to bring a healthy mix of industry best practices and latest learning innovations.

Previous Employment

  • CERN hires predominantly from the private sector, and particularly from Hi-Technology, but also from its own recruitment pools (e.g. Graduates). CERN should strive to adopt a balanced mix of recruitment sources.
  • Furthermore CERN should make particular efforts to increase the pool of Technicians and Technical Engineers.
  • CERN will target fresh recruits. In principle, and in line with recently-implemented policy, CERN will not re-hire former staff members. In exceptional circumstances where specialised competencies may not be found on the market, and with the DG’s authorisation, a former staff member may be invited and selected.


  • CERN will strive to hire people of the right qualifications for the position which is opened. In general preference will be given to candidates with the qualification level indicated on the vacancy notice. Candidates with higher qualifications (in the same domain as the post) than those required will normally not be considered.


  • The recruitment pool is predominantly in CERN's Member and Associate Member States. Particular efforts should be made to source and attract excellent candidates from the Member States further afield whist taking into consideration Member State Return Coefficients.
  • CERN will source among its Member States. Except for a minority of Category 1 positions in Experimental and Theoretical Physics, Non Member State (NMS) applicants will receive a reply informing them of their ineligibility. In exceptional circumstances where specialised competencies may not be found on the MS market, and with the DG’s authorisation, an NMS candidate may be invited and selected.
  • Associate and “pre-stage to Membership” candidates may apply for staff positions once membership to CERN Council has been approved. The number of appointments for associate members is limited by the percentage contribution of the applicable CERN budget.


  • Whilst around one-third of the applicants are women with the appointment rate reflecting this proportion, specific efforts should be made in particular amongst scientists and engineers to encourage more applications from women.

Inclusion / Accessibility

  • The recruitment process should be fully accessible and support candidates who require reasonable adjustments. Adhering to W3C standards for the web interface will ensure colour-blind or people with reading difficulties may still apply. Alternative methods of application should be provided for candidates who require reasonable adjustments who are unable to apply via the online application form. Every effort should be made throughout the application, selection through to hiring process to accommodate these requirements.