“TNO is like a giant candy shop”

Yvonne Pribnow is a senior recruiter for the ICT and Strategic Analysis & Policy units. For the former, finding the very best researchers is particularly challenging.

“The Strategic Analysis & Policy unit advises governments and organisations on their innovation agenda. It brings together every conceivable discipline in order to realise the desired sustainable innovations. The other unit I recruit for, ICT, is one such discipline. The unit does ground-breaking work in things like cyber security and data science. To me, both units are exciting to work with. Actually, I think everything we do at TNO is fascinating. If you rely on vacancy texts as a reference, hardly any company is not innovative. But at TNO, we really are. We were established by law to help the Netherlands make advancements with applicable research. Innovation is in our DNA.”

Bridging academia and business

“Working as a TNO recruiter is fantastic. First, because of our unique position in the labour market. At TNO, we bridge the gap between academia and the business world. We go deep, but we never lose sight of applicability. Second, everyone here loves their work and can speak passionately about it, including TNO’s direction in the long term. I’m looking for exceptional talent that wants to contribute to that. I connect that talent to the research team, and can assume they will happily do amazing things together.”

Sending out the search team

“It’s particularly challenging to find the very best people for the ICT unit. We’re not the only employer fishing in those waters. If we have a vacancy, the research manager and I carefully consider where the candidate we’re looking for may be right now. Perhaps he/she is graduating, and we know which professors we can reach out to for insights. This is how we utilise our network. Our ideal candidate’s future colleagues also highlight the vacancy in their networks. Of course, they’re best equipped to convey how cool it is to work at TNO. They also do that in our online campaigns and other labour market communications. And they do it in real life, at conferences, campus days and other events.”

Like a kid in a candy store

“A job at TNO is a fantastic way to start – or continue – your career. Here, you get all the space you need to learn and develop, in both competencies and content. You’re surrounded by specialists. You can design your development path – to senior scientist, project manager or consultant – entirely at your own discretion. If you want to contribute to a project or theme that is a less obvious connection to your regular work, there is always room to discuss it. Take the initiative yourself, and you’ll see how much is possible. TNO is like a giant candy store, and you have to be able to resist the temptation to make yourself sick gobbling up every opportunity.”

Happy to make it happen

“After 12 years, I still really enjoy a great interview. I like that open conversation with plenty of interaction. The right question at the right moment from both sides of the table. And I like the interaction with the research manager in which I, as a recruiter, add value by focusing our search on characteristic TNO competencies, like the ability to collaborate, build bridges and connect. When I see that candidate with his/her new colleagues at the lift a few weeks later, I’m happy to have been a part of making it happen. ”

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