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Vol. LXI, No. 12
June 12, 2009

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'Itís About Lifeí
NIH Launches Recruitment Campaign

OHR Director Christine Major stands in front of new recruitment banner at the Gateway Center.
OHR Director Christine Major stands in front of new recruitment banner at the Gateway Center.

Next time you step off the Metro escalator, look around. You’ll see a familiar agency being promoted as the employer of choice—NIH.

The NIH Office of Human Resources recently launched a recruitment campaign to promote careers at NIH. The goal is to attract top talent from scientists to grants managers, nurses to administrators and engineers to police to help NIH achieve its scientific mission.

OHR Director Christine Major explains the importance of promoting our careers. “We’ve found that many people haven’t heard about NIH, while others just never considered it as an option for employment,” she said. “This campaign is all about raising awareness to the local public about NIH and planting the seed there for career possibilities. OHR is continually looking for ways to find the best employees to further the mission and science of the NIH.”

Major sees that mission as a vital part of the campaign. “NIH is the best place to work. We have an incredible mission and working here truly makes a difference to the lives of the American people.”

The campaign is over a year in the making, with many people contributing to its success. Scores of top NIH employees were interviewed to find out why they came and why they stay and to find out what makes NIH such a great place to work.

While these discussions highlighted many aspects of working at NIH, one idea stood out: life. Employees consistently mentioned the positive impact of NIH on their life and the lives of people all across the country. This formed the heart of the new NIH recruiting brand, “Discover a career at NIH: It’s about life.”

New brand in hand, OHR focused on getting the word out. To reach the most people, NIH overhauled its jobs web site, The site lets employees spread the message in their own words through video testimonials. It’s also more user friendly, incorporating a search tool and an online tutorial explaining the application process.

The web site was just the beginning: NIH is advertising on Metrorail and Ride-On buses, which is expected to reach over 15 million people. OHR also developed that giant sign for the Gateway Center to reach people passing through the bus loop and Metro station at our front door. OHR is reaching out through targeted ads in the Washington Post and the Public Library of Science and is attending career fairs throughout the region.

OHR needs your help to make the campaign a success. “Employees are NIH’s best recruiters,” notes Phil Lenowitz, deputy director of OHR and an avid recruiter. Recruitment brochures and cards will soon be available to employees, giving everyone the tools to recruit for the agency. So if you know good candidates, help them discover a career at NIH..NIHRecord Icon

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