“My ideal TNO person? An enthusiastic and critical thinker who understands the impact of our work”. Of course, Jane Duinisveld looks at education and experience, but as a Corporate Recruiter at TNO she is mainly looking for enthusiasm, passion and eagerness to learn.
"I work at TNO for the Defence, Safety & Security unit where we use our knowledge and technology to create innovation for the people who work for our defence and security on a daily basis. I'm still fairly new to TNO, but the common thread in my recruitment career is that there has always been a link to technology.
I consciously chose TNO because I want to contribute by recruiting the best (technical) experts. Also it is great to work with highly intelligent professionals. The specialists we are looking for are scarce and their work is complex – and that keeps my job challenging."
Impact on society
"Most people don’t know just how cool, dynamic and innovative TNO is! Until you start working here. That’s when you discover the uniqueness of the organization and and the passion everyone has for their job! People are doing incredible work here. The techniques used at DSS are both highly specific and diverse.
I had a fairly good technical basis, but now I'm working hard on my knowledge of the technologies used within DSS. After all, that will allow me to find the right match. What keeps surprising me, in a positive way, is the realisation of what it takes behind the scenes to ensure that we can live safely in the Netherlands. This is one of the main reasons why I wanted to work at TNO: the work here is meaningful and has an impact on society."
Not a university, not the government and not a company
"People who come on an interview mostly tend to have a relatively clear picture of TNO. They have already had something to do with interaction with TNO, for example during their studies or they know someone who works here. If they come from the academic world or from another industry , I like to highlight what a unique organisation TNO is. Not a university, not the government, not a commercial company, but active on the field in between.
In addition, I emphasise the many opportunities you get to develop yourself at TNO. Because that's very important to us. For example, we have set up a talent development programme that helps junior professionals to develop their (soft) skills. And the freedom that is given to employees is quite remarkable."
The desire to continuously learn
"For DSS, I'm looking for people with a specific affinity for defence and security.. Of course, I look at education and experience, but enthusiasm and passion are just as important. If you want to continuously learn and develop yourself, TNO is the right place for you.
For me, the ideal TNO employee is an expert with drive and a critical thinker. For DSS, your reliability is an highly important aspect: every candidate has to go through a screening process because, you will deal with confidential information."
In search of the right match
"In an interview I'm looking for the right professional and personal match, but also for a certain “click”. It's not tangible, I know, but you clearly notice when all parties get energised by the conversation and it just fits like a puzzle.
Does the candidate always have to be a smooth talker? Not really, that depends entirely on the job. A consultant needs different skills to a researcher. Together with the manager, we also look at the balance and diversity in the department. If the team predominantly contains people with less intrinsic motivation, for example, then someone who has more of a technology focus will fit. And this passion for technology is often reflected in an interview! You don't have to be a smooth talker for that, but you do have to be able to convey that enthusiasm. Often, this is visible when your expertise is discussed because this that’s what makes you tick.
What can also help is good preparation. Think carefully about the job and the required competencies, how that suits you and your experience, but also consider what is important to you and where you see yourself developing. And practise the interview.
The golden tip that applies to everyone? Be yourself. It is important that we have an open and honest conversation with each other. Then, together with you, we can make the best choice as to whether you fit TNO and vice versa. Clear expectations from both sides are key to building a successful cooperation."