Guidance for HR practitioners
This guide provides advice on how to plan for mobility in an agency and some considerations about implementation for HR practitioners and those with human resource responsibilities.
The role of HR practitioners in mobility
HR practitioners support mobility in a range of ways, from sophisticated workforce planning, working with Agency Heads and executives to position their agencies to deliver, to helping business areas follow correct procedures. This can include supporting moves within or outside of your organisation, depending on business needs.
In implementing the Framework as an HR practitioner, you will be facilitating the strategic use of mobility through:
- workforce planning
- helping executives and managers effectively deliver Government and organisational priorities
- supporting employees and managers through the mobility process
“HR practitioners can influence SES in discussions of the importance of mobility by reminding them that mobility supports outcomes. Managers are rewarded for delivering outcomes, so executives need to support managers in building the business case for how mobility helps deliver outcomes across the APS.”- Paula Goodwin, Group Executive Enterprise Services, Bureau of Meteorology
Mobility as part of workforce planning
Workforce planning activities will indicate, at a high level, where and how mobility can best assist your organisation to deliver on Government, agency and whole-of-APS priorities. Consider opportunities for mobility when analysing your workforce, forecasting organisation needs, and identifying capability gaps.
Depending on your organisation, central HR planning might not cover individual uses of mobility, but will likely identify gaps and potential areas in which mobility can be a useful solution.
Gather information about mobility when analysing your workforce
You may already collect data or statistics on temporary internal and external moves by your agency’s employees in a number of different ways. If not, some good potential sources for data include:
- Your agency’s APS Census results: The APS Census provides high level, employee-reported data about the number of moves, where employees have moved in their career, how they find out about moves, and demographic analyses of the above (e.g. job family, gender, age, seniority).
- Your HR system: Capabilities differ, but your system may be able to generate more accurate data on your workforce, the mix of ongoing and non-ongoing roles, individual moves, or summary reports of movement in your agency.
- APS Employment Database: The APSC publishes employment data every six months on the APSED page . This includes high level data on temporary transfers.
- Interviews with executives, managers and employees about their experiences: Qualitative data can be very useful for understanding the lived experience of mobility in your agency, and can help you understand other data you collect from a new angle. Guidance on running effective qualitative interviews can be found on the Digital Transformation Agency’s website.
Consider mobility as an option when analysing gaps and developing strategies
Once you’ve completed forecasting and have identified the gaps in your workforce, you can determine how mobility will fit alongside other measures to deliver on Government and organisational priorities.
When mobility is most effective
Mobility to address surges or peaks in demand
- Short-term movements
- Fast on-boarding needed
- Unpredictable cause
- Predictable peaks where specific training is useful and a cohort can be trained in advance
- Systems or policy improvements won’t eliminate the need for extra people
- Generalist skills required
Mobility to solve complex problems
- The policy or delivery challenge requires response from multiple agencies or would benefit from a diverse or multi-disciplinary approach (e.g. legal, policy, IT involvement)
- Solving the problem cannot be easily done through engagement or co-design
- Specialist skills required
Mobility to develop employees
- Employee would benefit from an investment in their skills
- Employee will share new skills with their team on return
- Agency needs to build a rare skillset not readily available through the recruitment market
- Moves are complemented by other development methods
Common barriers to mobility and how you can respond
A range of potential barriers to mobility may make it harder for your managers and executives to use it strategically. The extent to which these influence your organisation will differ, and evidence of this may be apparent in your data.
A lack of transparency around the availability of opportunities leads to frustration from employees who feel they are never considered.
- Have a clear process for employees to put themselves forward for temporary moves.
Employees lack guidance on how to apply what they’ve learned when they return to their home agency.
- Create a ‘return pack’ for employees returning to the agency that sets out expectations.
In some agencies, the lack of a central policy and the tendency for moves to be treated as unique may increase the administrative burden.
- Standardise the most common processes, set up policies and process guides.
- Engage within portfolio departments or reach out to other agencies to share their processes.
Security clearance timeframes may be seen as a barrier.
- Start clearance processes for employees who are likely to move to an organisation requiring a higher clearance in advance.
There are few temporary roles available outside Canberra. Most roles don’t enable employees to carry them out remotely.
- Under the Framework, roles should be made available to as wide an audience as possible so that agencies have access to deeper talent pools and more employees have the opportunity to benefit from a temporary move. Where technology and the operational requirements of the role permit, you should encourage managers and executives to open up opportunities to remote workers.
- Look at supplementary training for your managers and executives to help them build skills and confidence in effectively leading remote teams.
Few temporary roles support employees who work flexibly, for example part-time.
- Encourage managers to think flexibly about roles; when roles are listed as full-time only, ask why.
- Encourage job share opportunities for part-time employees.
Managers are reluctant to release talented employees due to business needs.
- Encourage succession planning, and regular career conversations that include mobility between managers and employees.
- If this is a widespread problem, delegation could be raised from the direct supervisor to a manager or relevant executive. This could assist teams to manage the resourcing implications of moves across a larger number of employees, by having more strategic oversight.
- Examine your internal review processes to check they are operating effectively, and decisions made on temporary moves are defensible.
Mixed messaging around mobility means employees don’t know if taking moves will help or hinder their career.
- Encourage executives, managers and employees to share their mobility successes and the impact it has had on their workplace and careers.
- Promote a positive mobility culture and the benefits of mobility as an enabler to career progression.
Employees fear that asking for an opportunity is viewed as not being satisfied in their current position.
- Encourage executives to speak openly about the importance of career planning and their expectations that employees and managers will have career discussions as part of their regular performance conversations.
- Under the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2022, agencies must also require supervisors to manage the performance of employees, and engage in career conversations.
Tips for implementing mobility
Broadly speaking, bringing someone into a team on a temporary basis is very similar to doing so permanently. However, there are some additional considerations that can help you make the most of temporary moves. From the APSC’s own activities over the past few years, and its discussions with HR practitioners who have set up mobility initiatives, the following are powerful contributors to successful mobility:
- A strong authorising environment: In your planning process, identify who will be your champions at the senior executive level, and don’t be afraid to ask them for help if you hit roadblocks along the way. Organisational culture and leadership need to support and invest in building capability through temporary moves. Executive support for the strategic objective of each move – and for moves in general – will help overcome barriers as they emerge.
Trust, connections and existing networks: Existing connections between people are a strong enabler of mobility. You will likely struggle to establish effective mobility arrangements if you are connecting people who don’t know each other.
If these connections don’t already exist – for example, you want to support mobility to a new sector or organisation – you should factor in extra time and effort to establish them. Consider supporting networking events to bring together executives, managers and employees who could benefit from the use of mobility. You can also reach out to established professions and networks, such as the data, digital and HR professions
- A mature workforce planning capability: Mobility is a natural part of workforce planning; a good understanding of your organisation’s capability gaps, and strong talent management, will make any professional development-focused mobility program much more likely to succeed. Similarly, understanding future business pressures will help you make the most of mobility to address surges and peaks in demand, or to identify when bringing together a team might help solve a complex problem.
If you don’t yet have a mature workforce planning capability, you may need to spend time working with your managers and executives one-on-one to understand their challenges before you can appropriately assess the value of mobility as a solution.
Lean into existing solutions: Some of your managers and executives likely have a good handle on mobility already, and currently use it as part of their toolkit.
Look at how these managers and executives set expectations, use or establish networks, build trust with potential partners, or otherwise stand apart from other teams. If you can find out how they make it work in their context, you can apply the lessons elsewhere in your organisation.
You can also talk to other agencies about how they use mobility; the APS HR Professional Network Govteams community is a good place to ask questions and make connections.
- Improve incentives and signals in the system: Review the messaging and processes that currently underpin mobility as part of your assessment of the status quo. Perceptions of mobility can be mixed across the APS. SES buy-in and clear endorsement will help address this issue, as will examining the experience of temporary moves across your organisation.
Some places to start, include: collecting information about the number of mobility requests blocked by managers; centrally advertising opportunities for temporary moves; collecting and sharing stories about the use of mobility within your organisation; updating performance discussion or career conversation guidance to explicitly include discussions about potential temporary moves; or even setting up a regular mobility bulk round to fill temporary roles.
Think carefully about where the best possible people might be and how to reach them: Look at the role and consider where these skills can be found; there is a lot of talent in the APS that goes untapped because it’s not in a capital city. To expand the field, encourage managers to consider other locations or advertise opportunities to other Commonwealth agencies, other jurisdictions, or as an open non-ongoing role on APSjobs. Consider creating and sharing merit lists for future reference and to help others. More information can be found on The APS merit principle page.
You may also be able to broaden availability by adjusting the required role – perhaps it could be offered as a job swap, or taken up by employees on a part-time basis, or as a shared resource (e.g. three days a week at their home organisation and two days a week with the host organisation).
- Identify opportunities for employees to broaden their experience: Some employees may be keen to take up a temporary move but have been in similar roles for some time. Employees who may have generalised competencies, extensive corporate knowledge, good work experience, or positive commitment to work, might benefit from opportunities to broaden their capabilities. The home organisation will benefit from an expanding pool of skills, and the move can increase the employee’s morale and engagement.
Mobility to support surges and peaks in demand
As an HR practitioner, you may be called to support your executives and managers plan for, and effectively respond to, surges and peaks in demand. These could be small – a single team doubling in size – or large-scale, as with the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic response.
Mobility can be part of the picture for surges and peaks in demand, but it’s unlikely to be the whole picture. Non-ongoing employment and contracted, scalable workforces could also be considered alongside internal moves and calls for assistance from other agencies.
Consider the following when setting up a new arrangement to support a potential surge or peak in demand:
- Talk to those who’ve done it before. If you’re supporting a manager or executive with a surge for the first time, talk to other HR practitioners for guidance. Surge arrangements can be complex and, if unplanned, stressful for all involved. If you don’t know anyone yourself, a good place to find someone is through the APS HR Professional Network or by contacting the APS Workforce Management Taskforce.
- Design your processes to support a scaled approach. Ideally, a surge can be met with temporary internal moves with a team, branch, division, etc. Getting a good sense of when you will require a larger response will help reduce timeframes if circumstances change.
- Encourage managers to think creatively about how to use temporary workers in surge scenarios. If you need to on-board tens, hundreds, or thousands of new employees, they will be effective faster if they have less to learn before they can generate value. For example, this could involve breaking down a process so that the experienced employees handle the analysis and the temporary employees do the data entry or basic checks. This can be difficult to arrange in the middle of a crisis, so early planning is essential.
Similarly, if you are bringing in employees from another organisation, it is important that managers understand their employment conditions may not be the same as within your organisation. For example, employees may have slightly different hours of work; access to flex time or TOIL arrangements; and/or overtime or shift working provisions in their workplace arrangements. There will also be consultation mechanisms that need to be considered. All of this has implications on the hours these employees can work, and what they are paid for. Information sharing between organisations is crucial in the planning stages to agree on payment of any allowances and/or working hours. You can help managers to understand these complexities by collecting information about different conditions across the combined workforce for their awareness.
A number of departments and agencies have established very effective internal surge pools and other arrangements, of varying complexity, to support peaks in demand, ranging from the service delivery demand management approaches in Services Australia, the Australian Taxation Office, and the Department of Home Affairs to Budget surge preparations in The Treasury and the Department of Finance.
When you need help from outside your agency, you have a range of avenues depending on the urgency and scale of your need:
- Establish an ongoing arrangement with one or more similar agencies: If you have advance notice, consider making contact with agencies that have skills you will require. You may agree to share employees across your respective peaks and troughs, or receive a helping hand when you need it. Agencies operating in a similar field to you, or which make use of your agency’s services, are more likely to be able to help with this kind of request. Portfolio departments and their portfolio agencies are often good candidates for this type of arrangement.
- APS Workforce Management Taskforce: If the surge is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, required for critical delivery of APS services to the Australian community, unable to be managed by current agency employees and urgent, the APS Workforce Management Taskforce is available to assist. The Taskforce maintains a network of contacts across most Australian Government agencies and jurisdictions, and can help you reach the broadest possible audience for potential secondees.
- APS Surge Reserve: If you have a large scale, unforeseen need for generalist assistance, the APS Surge Reserve may be an option. Every Commonwealth portfolio contributes to the Surge Reserve to create a pool of volunteer generalists that can be called up in their hundreds or thousands in response to a national crisis. While not a long term solution (the Surge Reserve deploys for short periods of time), this may be enough to make it through a crisis, or enable longer term arrangements to be put in place.
- National Framework for Public Sector Mobility: The APSC has negotiated a framework- external site to support temporary moves between the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions in certain circumstances. If you are working with a State or Territory organisation, the framework provides a useful starting point for discussions about the logistics of the move.
Mobility to solve complex problems
Mobility can be used to bring together people with complementary skills to solve complex problems. This can be on a broad scale – such as through a taskforce or project team – or through the movement of an individual expert.
If you are helping an executive or manager establish a taskforce, the Taskforce Toolkit is a great resource. If you expect to run a lot of project teams or taskforces in the organisation, consider investing in:
- Coordinated corporate enabling support: A corporate team (whether hierarchical or virtual) who can coordinate enabling support services to support the rapid set up and orderly wind down of taskforces within the organisation. This should bring together experts in HR, technology, finance, security and procurement.
- Taskforce and project team advisers: Employees and managers in your organisation who have experience with taskforces and familiarity with the toolkit. These advisers could provide advice to taskforce leads/teams to facilitate a fast start.
- SES mentors: SES officers in your organisation who have led or worked on taskforces and are willing to be contacted intermittently. They could share their experiences and offer strategic advice to new SES leaders on a one-to-one basis.
If you expect to support a large number of expert secondments in your organisation, consider the following activities:
- Get help from your executives: Agencies with successful recurring temporary moves with other agencies often have very strong senior executive buy-in and championing of these moves. This buy-in, and the executive’s personal relationship with leaders at the other organisation, will help make placements happen.
- Reach out to organisations with the skills you expect to need: Some skillsets are highly concentrated and you may be able to access them with a little legwork. Universities and similar organisations are often happy to work with government. Setting up conversations with your equivalent in that organisation to make contacts and understand how you might work together will help when it comes time to move someone, or when a manager asks your advice about where to find an expert.
- Build a profile of your organisation’s skills and needs as part of workforce planning: This can then be used on behalf of managers or executives when they need a particular skillset.
Mobility to support professional development
HR practitioners can play a facilitation role in helping employees, managers and executives make the most of a professional development-focused temporary move, but ultimately it is the employee and manager’s responsibility to ensure the benefits are realised. HR practitioners provide the greatest benefit by assisting managers and executives with planning and processes to carry out effective workforce planning, manage their talent effectively, and speak openly about the benefits and impacts of temporary moves on their careers.
HR practitioners can also help agencies make the most of temporary moves for professional development by:
- Using data on capability needs to identify possible partner organisations: If you have a good understanding of your organisation’s future capability needs, you can identify suitable places for your employees to move to build that capability.
- Encouraging the use of mobility plans for temporary moves: When an employee is moving to build their skills, a Mobility Plan will help articulate what they intend to learn, their objectives, and how they will use their skills when they return.
- Encouraging managers and employees to engage with professional networks: Engaging with associations, guilds, and peak bodies often offers opportunities for those working in those fields. Examples include the APS HR, digital and data professional streams and the Australian Government Legal Service.
- Check in with employees and their managers on temporary moves: Regular contact will help maintain connection with the employee, their manager and the agency, and gives you an opportunity to encourage managers and employees to stay in touch and keep working through the mobility plan.
A formal program is one way to drive use of mobility for professional development within an agency. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recently had strong success from a new mobility program called ‘Raise Your Hand’ within their agency – further information about their approach and lessons learned can be found [here].
Further information on current mobility programs supporting moves between organisations can be found on the current mobility programs page.
Setting out some guiding principles and key processes in a mobility policy can help your organisation make the most of mobility. A mobility policy should:
- Align with your organisation’s corporate and workforce plans
- Deliver on the APS Mobility Framework principles
- Provide guidance on: eligibility, duration, responsibilities of employees and managers, recruitment practices, recalling employees early (whether at the request of the manager or the employee), and the termination or extension of a temporary move.
It is best-practice for every temporary move to be supported by a written record or agreement. Depending on where your employee is moving, you have a few options for handling this.
Most agencies already have a process in place to handle internal moves between teams. How much is needed to make this work will depend on your organisation, but it’s useful to encourage, at minimum, that managers advise you as the HR practitioner and confirm key details in writing, such as: start and end dates, role description, supervisors, and any planned leave or training commitments. Allocations for budget and ASL may also need to be addressed.
As with internal moves, most agencies will have processes in place to support temporary moves to other organisations.
If you are reviewing your agency’s approach, or setting up a new APS agency, there are four main arrangements:
- Secondments: Secondments are common and flexible arrangements tied to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or Secondment Agreement. They are well suited to agreements between APS agencies or between APS agencies and other Commonwealth or State and Territory entities. This MoU/Secondment Agreement template can be used as a starting point for agencies which don’t already have one. You will need to tailor each to meet your needs and circumstances in consultation with relevant experts in your organisation’s corporate and legal areas.
- Temporary transfer under section 26 of the Public Service Act 1999: Only available between APS agencies, a section 26 transfer allows you to temporarily move an employee to a job at the same classification level, acting in a higher, or lower, classification level (if all parties agree), taking effect on the date of effect agreed by all parties. Using a temporary transfer will simplify the day-to-day management of the employee but the temporary move is subject to the terms under which it is made. Careful consideration should be given to the written agreement, such as any conditions on how the agreement can be ended. The period of the temporary move can only be varied by the written agreement of the two agencies and employee concerned.
- Micro-assignments: APS agencies don’t require a formal contract or agreement to facilitate a low-risk temporary move such as a micro-assignment. A short-term move could happen through a conversation and the willingness to make it happen, especially if the employee does not require building or network access to complete the assignment. However, it’s worthwhile to have at least an email or some other form of written description of a move that covers start and end dates, a role description, supervisor details, and how any issues will be worked through. Micro-assignments are not recommended for moves outside the APS or for long-term moves. Find out more about micro-assignments.
- Leave without pay (LWOP) for the APS employee: This may be best used for moves to organisations with very different operating models, such as corporate Commonwealth entities and private companies, or multilateral organisations. Not all Enterprise Agreements and agency leave policies will support LWOP for temporary moves. Where available, LWOP offers a relatively simple way to enable employees to take a short-term move outside the public service. This can be useful for moves to small companies or not-for-profit organisations. APS employees remain subject to the APS Values and Code of Conduct while on LWOP, so the home manager and employee will need to assess the risks of the move and work out a plan to address potential conflicts of interest, privacy and security considerations. On a day-to-day basis, the employee will be treated as an employee of the host organisation. It’s important that the employee understands how they will be affected by taking LWOP; this can affect an employee’s conditions, so you should consider setting this out in writing for each occasion and including advice in any documentation you have about mobility.
Common considerations for secondments, temporary transfers and micro-assignments
Carry out a high-level risk assessment to understand any relevant risks, controls, and mitigations as part of setting up an agreement to move someone between organisations. Work through the following considerations before the move takes place:
- Funding and cost attribution: Organisations should negotiate who pays for a move based on the circumstances. For temporary transfers this is not required, as the host agency will incur the usual costs associated with being the employer. An attitude of generous collaboration should be the starting point for any negotiations with other APS and Commonwealth agencies. Organisations should consider salary, superannuation, the payment of any allowances and/or penalties, travel and relocation costs, and agree in advance how these will be paid. These can be included in the text of a MoU or secondment agreement, or summarised with a table.
- Leave: Employee entitlements to leave will differ according to the agreed arrangement. For a temporary transfer, leave should be solely handled by the host agency. However, for other arrangements, managers need to consider how leave requests will be handled, and ensure that the management of leave is agreed between the host and home organisation. If an employee is using a form of leave to take part in a mobility exercise, managers need to discuss and confirm with the employee whether the period of leave will count as service. Consideration of leave need to be consistent with the relevant enterprise agreement and leave policies.
- Performance management and salary advancement: Performance management and salary advancement: Managers should discuss performance and salary advancement with employees prior to taking part in mobility. For secondments or micro-assignments, it’s particularly useful to specify the role of the host organisation in assessing an employee’s performance, any requirements of the performance process, and how information will be shared between parties. For temporary transfers, consideration should be given to not disadvantaging an employee’s salary advancement for participating in the transfer. Encourage managers to discuss performance with employees prior to moving and agree to how the process will be managed. Employees should be made aware of how being on a temporary move will affect their salary advancement.Consideration and agreement must be consistent with the home organisation’s enterprise agreements and supporting policies.
- Security and other checks: Host organisations may have different security requirements to the employee’s home organisation and may require the employee to obtain a security clearance to fulfil the duties of the position. Obtaining a security clearance can take time and will likely have an associated cost, which may impact the temporary move. Some agencies with special risks may also require employees to complete other checks, such as police or working with children check, in advance of employment, even if the work does not involve a national security matter.
- Training and development: The host organisation will generally be responsible for any training and development costs needed to carry out the role. For professional development moves, it may be appropriate for the home organisation to cover some or all of these costs. Another scenario where this applies is where the employee is already committed to a training program that would overlap with the move.
- Conflicts of interest, confidential information, and other potential integrity risks: Agreements should take into account the potential for integrity risks. You should encourage managers and employees to read the APS Values and Code of Conduct in Practice guide on the APSC website and take into account the advice on conflicts of interest, behaviour, and management of information.
- Communication: Consideration should be given to establishing a communication channel in which the employee, home organisation and, if needed, the host organisation can share information. Managers should be encouraged to establish and agree to how they will stay in touch and share messages with the employee. This could include sharing information about staffing updates, changes in the work environment or general check-in messages. This may also assist the employee’s understanding of what is required of them, and any notification periods that may apply. For example, if employees apply for a job with another organisation, it should be clear how they will inform their home and host managers.
- Work health and safety: Host organisations are responsible for the day to day work health and safety of employees, but home agencies continue to have a duty of care. Home organisations will also have duties and obligations under relevant legislation. These duties and obligations will continue in respect of employees on secondment. More information about roles and responsibilities for APS employees can be found on the Comcare website.
- SES employees: SES employees on a temporary transfer may affect your agency’s SES cohort. The Senior Executive Service HR Practitioner’s Guide provides more information.
Case study: Australian Bureau of Statistics Mobility Strategy
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has an internal mobility strategy to increase employee mobility in order to leverage and enhance the organisation’s overall workforce capability in a cost-effective way. The mobility program, known as ‘Raise Your Hand’, facilitates the movement of employees with the appropriate skills and experience to work on priorities while also meeting the development needs of individual employees.
- Implementing a process to support managers to quickly source and move employees with the key skills required for short term roles without having to invest heavily in Expression of Interest (EOI) processes.
- Developing and implementing an efficient way for employees to register interest in short-term temporary moves (up to 12 months).
- Supporting employees to move across and within divisions or groups through mobility providing opportunities for employee growth and development in an environment where promotional opportunities are limited.
- Providing guiding principles to ensure employee selection is fair and transparent.
- Providing an avenue for employees to develop a whole-of-ABS focus.
The expectation of the strategy was that it would result in enhancing satisfaction and retention by offering an opportunity for employees to build capability and improve engagement by working in a new role. ABS engaged with a number of other agencies and stakeholders to understand processes for internal mobility, barriers and lessons learned to develop their strategy.
Internal barriers that were identified were:
- Release of employees (reluctance by managers to give up their most skilled employees).
- Location, restrictions on work program availability in employee office location.
- Length of time/effort to source employees internally to fill a short-term role.
Lessons learned from other agencies:
- Mobility registers are being successfully used in other APS agencies.
- Mobility strategies can take some time to gain inroads and demonstrate success and be readily accepted by employees and managers alike – it is a process.
- Mobility strategies can be introduced in incremental steps successfully, allowing an assessment of whether one component works before introducing another and allowing gradual cultural change amongst employees and managers.
- Employee release needs to be supported by the organisation and a clear policy or guideline to support this strategically is useful.
- An optional-use register can leave a register open to negative connotations that instead of skilled employees, it’s a collection of those unable to secure a transfer by other means such as EOI.
- Allowing managers access to a mobility register reduces HR visibility of vacancies and influence over the process, and removes the ability to accurately track and report vacancies and transfers.
The proposed solution was the implementation of a 12-month trial mobility register ‘Raise Your Hand’, to fill vacancies of 12 months or less. The register is complemented by strategies to support mobility in the ABS:
- Educating executives and managers about the ability to move employees across the Division outside of the advertising vacancy (EOI) process. Providing guidance in the form of information and process mapping.
- Formal ‘rotations program’ – allowing employees to apply for a formal rotations program (similar to Graduate rotations) to allow them to increase their capability, and share skills across the organisation.
- Entrenching mobility in employee development conversations. Build a requirement to discuss mobility into performance management and career discussions.
A review of the Raise Your Hand mobility strategy trial was conducted eight months into the trial to gauge the effectiveness of the strategy and identify any challenges and opportunities to enhance the process for the remainder of the trial.
Raise Your Hand has achieved the following:
- Efficiently mobilised employees to work on short-term high priority work across the ABS.
- Provided an existing mechanism to quickly respond to APS Surge requests for COVID-19 in the early stages.
- Allowed employees to register once for all short-term opportunities and be considered even during periods of leave, when they might have previously missed the advertisement of a vacancy.
- Eliminated red tape and shortened the length of time to fill short-term roles (as of February 2021 roles are taking an average of 4 weeks to fill, compared to 8-12 weeks for EOIs with a third (37.7%) having been filled in two weeks or less).
- Provided a more cost effective and efficient process for business areas to source employees and for employees to move within and across Divisions/Groups fulfilling their career and development needs.
- Increased opportunities for employees to build their capability.
- Improved employee engagement.
- 89.4% of survey respondents were in favour of the trial continuing.
The key lesson has been to work and understand what the business areas’ priorities and workforce needs are, engage, listen and address concerns as they arise. This has resulted in a well-managed and collaborative approach to internal mobility across the ABS. It is now a business as usual function.