In this morning’s Directors’ meeting we had a guest speaker, David Bearfield, Director of the European Communities Personnel Selection Office (known by its acronym as ‘EPSO’). Appointed last summer, Bearfield has brought great dynamism and a strategic overview to the institutions’ personnel management. The challenge to recruit not only the brightest and the best but also the most appropriate is faced by all of the EU’s institutions. Since his arrival Bearfield has not just shaken up selection methodology but has woken up the institutions to the fact that, impending recession notwithstanding, we are in a ‘global war for talent’ in which young, motivated individuals are simply not interested in jobs for life. What they want are interesting challenges and rewarding work. Of course, that is what working in the EU is about, but we won’t convince potential recruits by making them sit exams and asking them questions such as ‘who was the first female Green MEP’ (true story, apparently).