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Enhancing staff internal mobility opportunities

A new webpage and an Admin e-guide entry will keep staff members better informed about internal mobility at CERN


Career development of staff members, with the specific objective of promoting internal mobility (IM), was highlighted among our Director-General’s top five priorities for the Organization’s goals for the year 2018. Consequently, a dedicated CERN-wide working group was set up, comprising representatives from each sector and the Staff Association, to make recommendations, with a view to harmonising and streamlining processes and increasing efficiency in the way IM is managed at CERN.

As the Project Leader, Valeria Perez Reale, explains: “There have often been misunderstandings of the concept of internal mobility today. It is defined as a change in the professional situation of a staff member. This may take the form of a change of one’s functions, within the same organic unit or in another department, or keeping one’s functions but changing one’s organisational unit.”

A key deliverable of the project was a study and analysis of IM at CERN, based on data spanning the last five years, the legal and budget framework, feedback from key stakeholders, the latest research and benchmarking with similar non-profit international research organisations. The conclusions of the study, presented at the HR public meeting in September 2018, showed notably that internal mobility takes place at CERN at an average annual rate of ~2% of staff members on an ad hoc basis, with different practices across the Organization. Staff members were found to be generally positive about IM, although the definition, where to find opportunities and how the process unfolds were identified as key areas to clarify.

The working group’s recommendations revolve around three key principles:

  1. Defined organisational need: that internal mobility enables the Organization to meet its objectives with experienced internal staff;
  2. Transparency: that the opportunities and the process are well documented, measured and known to all staff members in the Organization;
  3. Flexibility: that the Organization be able to adapt to changing priorities.

A further five dimensions underpin these recommendations: purpose clarity, policy guidelines, process design, platform capability and performance measures.

James Purvis, Head of CERN’s HR department, is particularly pleased to see the project come to a successful conclusion: “Internal mobility has been a priority for the Organization for some time now. It has long been associated with diverse misconceptions, and in this context I am pleased to see the project come to fruition following comprehensive data collection, benchmarking and analysis to produce a new set of clear processes and tools for CERN that will further improve and enhance the possibilities and opportunities for internal mobility for all staff members.”

Concretely, all public job opportunities listed on Careers at CERN are by default open to staff members. Further, new dedicated Internal Mobility pages list the specific internal mobility opportunities open exclusively to staff members, as well as the possibility to join the internal mobility pool.

The full internal mobility process is now published and detailed in the Admin e-guide. Metrics will be monitored throughout the year by the HR department and reported on an annual basis to the Organization’s management.

For more information, staff members are invited to consult the HR Internal Mobility webpage.