Working at the EU Institutions: New Human Resources Selection Strategy

  • Nicholas David Bearfield
Part of the Innovation and Change in Professional Education book series (ICPE, volume 9)


In intellect-based organisations, human capital is the main resource and selection is a key function. The EPSO Development Programme modernised the EU Institutions’ selection methods for the first time in decades, introducing radical reform in three areas:
  • Planning and needs (3-year strategic HR planning, annual competition cycle)

  • Testing and professionalism (competency-based testing, accredited assessors)

  • Diversity and attractiveness (neutrality, employer branding)

The reform is underpinned by a competency framework. Comprehensive job analysis of EU officials identified seven core competencies valid for all entry levels. Job-relevant assessments were created to reflect performance requirements for different profiles and levels. The added importance of ‘greying’ of current staff led to the inclusion of an eighth competency, Leadership, used at Administrator level for early identification of management potential. New test content and assessment tools applied for the first time in 2010 allow testing on an objective and fair basis, providing new cohorts of motivated and talented staff.


Selection Service Declarative Knowledge Assessment Centre General Competency Competency Framework 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Personnel Selection OfficeBrusselsBelgium

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