Marco van Tongeren

Corporate Recruiter

‘Intuition alone is not enough’ - Being able to further his development here was one of the reasons corporate recruiter Marco van Tongeren chose TNO. This just so happens to also be a strong drive for the people he recruits.

Recruitment and selection

‘I’m responsible for recruitment and selection at TNO within the Healthy Living domain and the Service Organisation’s Information Services and Corporate Real Estate & Facilities departments. This means I deal with a tremendous diversity of people and job vacancies. In the same day, I may, for instance, talk to a property manager, a software developer, and a molecular biologist.’


‘Recruiting talent for such divergent company segments demands a flexible approach. For scientists looking for a job within Healthy Living, TNO is their Walhalla. The societal impact of our innovations and the applicability of our research appeal to them tremendously. I do not even need to emphasise these USPs during first interviews.’


‘On the other hand, TNO isn’t that well known among ICT or facility staff, nor will TNO’s research context weigh heavily in their decision-making process. They’re attracted to other appealing aspects of TNO, such as its societal relevance, the space employees are given to discover and develop their talents, and the flexibility employees are given to shape their job to align with the period of life they’re in. These were the factors that finally convinced me.’

Intuition and data

‘The people we need at Information Services are hard to find. We really have to actively approach or “source” our ICT people. Data can help us with this. We have a wealth of data at our disposal that can help us determine what the best recruitment strategy is. Of course, part of the process is intuitive; nonetheless, data can give a lot of insight into a process that primarily concerns people. Data-driven recruitment helps us to work objectively. In the end, you want everyone to have the same opportunity to work at TNO.’

Right at home

‘Before I came to work at TNO, I was a recruiter in the commercial sector – a different world altogether. I learnt a lot, and eventually ended up in a management role. Something started to itch in 2021. I realised I preferred to be more involved in the substance of recruitment processes, but preferably in a less hectic environment. That’s when I was asked to come work at TNO. I immediately felt right at home here. Things at TNO are really about the substance. Smooth talking alone won’t get you anywhere here.’

Pleasant meeting

‘I’m having a great day if I’ve sourced ten potential ICT professionals and have received three positive responses, especially if this leads to interviews in which we’re able to openly and honestly discuss substantive matters. And also if I’ve been able to properly prepare the first serious application of a new candidate. I really take my time for this. It’s important for me that candidates are aware what part of their CV appeals to us, so that they cover this in more detail during their first interview. Candidates who don’t make it often give me the feedback they nonetheless enjoyed their meeting with TNO. For me, this confirms the fact that our human-centred way of working is being appreciated.’