CERN Talent Place


In today’s world, and in particular, at CERN, complex problems require innovative solutions from multi-disciplinary teams nurtured in a fertile environment. Increasingly, the level of complexity and the volume of information to process prevent a single person from finding the right skills in a first circle network. Additionally, silo-ed organizations, heavy processes and COVID-19 have deeply altered our capacity to meet spontaneously, co-create and therefore, innovate; which is why we need to invent tomorrow’s platform that will: • link PEOPLE up, giving visibility to their skills, inspiring new generations of collaborators; • reallocate TIME, empower people and offer new opportunities to grow in a transparent way, finding expertise beyond one’s own network; • create virtual SPACE to foster innovation through thematic groups and an ideation platform. I present to you the very first ‘CERN Talent Place’. The platform is composed of three pillars (People, Time and Space), a front-end element (Search bar) and a back-end element (artificial intelligence) to boost efficiency and help maintain up-to-date information. 1/ People: Each person (at CERN, no matter the contractual status) would possess a profile where would be displayed their: • Name, • Contact details, • Education, • Current assignment, • Experience, • Skills, • Publications, • Interests. Information to fill one’s profile for the first time can be taken from a CV, from LinkedIn, or built from scratch. 2/ Time: that’s where opportunities and new assignments are gathered, to turn workforce and organizational needs into a dynamic internal marketplace. Special users (HR, admin people, managers, project leaders) will be able to create and publish internal opportunities including: • Vacant positions; • Temporary part-time roles; • Mentoring opportunities; • Job shadowing; • Technical expert advice; • Knowledge sharing; • ‘Approved projects’. 3/ Space: serendipity is often at the core of innovation. Re-creating virtual spaces that allow and increase the number of ‘happy coincidences’ through formalised processes (‘ideation platform’ which collects and organise upvoting to turn ideas into projects) and thematic groups to share knowledge and information is a necessity as we experience hybrid work environments. Front-end element: To make sure the final user has a smooth experience, a semantic search bar welcomes them at the home page of the platform. Adding some keywords and pressing ‘enter’ will display the results under the three pillars: People, Time and Space. Back-end element: Finally, Artificial Intelligence plays an important role in the success of this platform. Several processes will benefit from the capacity of the tool to learn incrementally and among others for: • Pushing relevant opportunities to the profiles with the right skills; • Improving the internal recruiting system by suggesting candidates with the highest matching score; • Identifying people skills based on their experience or after the successful completion of projects; • Merging similar ideas proposed in the ideation platform; • Connecting people based on their interest and thematic group membership… Expected results for the stakeholders: • For the Organization: the workforce is more engaged, the competencies are better used, a better sense of belonging to the common culture, increased experience sharing and cross-fertilization, breaking down silos, keeping data safe and ensuring data privacy rules are respected, nurturing an internal marketplace, development of multi-skilled workforce • For Managers/supervisors: more engaged supervisees and knowledge sharing is eased • For Project leaders: easily finding specific skills, leveraging untapped human resources for projects • For Users (‘People’): the platform has different purposes allowing the users to find a suitable personal reason to join and collaborate. For young professionals, it’s a good way of gaining visibility, participating in projects and learning with more senior colleagues, growing a network, proving their value, feeling inspired. For more senior users, it’s a good way to get empowered, participate in engaging projects (a career in a single organization requires a regular change of the routine), the possibility to give back to the community through the sharing of their experience (mentoring, job shadowing), find their next career move. • For HR professionals: monitoring emerging trends in terms of skills, anticipating skills needed in the next 5 to 10 years and defining a training plan accordingly, having a better communication on open positions towards relevant internal candidates creating a flexible internal marketplace, making a good use of metadata to pilot the workforce While the tool is implemented in a single organization, we can foresee that implementing the same tool in different organizations (especially in public entities such as universities, research institutes, or public administration) would in fine allow linking the servers together and expanding the possibilities of collaboration across entities.

Technologies used

The goal is to use existing open-source technologies that could be later refined and enhanced. While preliminary research indicated the possibility of using 'peer-to-peer marketplace platform' (such as Cocorico or Second), Webfest has pulled the steering wheel towards open-source social networks such as Elgg or Humhub. The demo presented in the video uses PHP (similar to platforms pre-identified).


The most difficult is to make sure that the elements are synthetized enough to fit in a one-minute video while comprehensive enough to give justice to the depth of the original idea.


We managed to develop clear vision of the key elements needed to make this project successful, narrowing down the features to three in order to make it simple at the same time: People, Time, Space.


We have learnt to work under time pressure and make the best use of our different backgrounds and skills, exactly as in the project we are submitting.

Next steps

The project will require some additional work to identify a suitable technical solution, followed by a proof of concept and the first piloting, probably with the HR and IT Departments at CERN.