Vincent Delbaere on internal mobility, career management, and talent development

In the Right Career HRD Talks, we explore how career management, internal mobility, and talent development take shape in Belgian companies. For this purpose, we will engage in conversations with progressive HR leaders.

In this first episode, our central guest is Vincent Delbaere, HR Business Partner Lead at Euroclear. Euroclear, known as the "depositary of the stock exchange," helps you to be more successful by making it easier for you to settle domestic and cross-border securities transactions and safekeep your investments.

The choice for Euroclear to discuss their HR case in the first edition of our HRD Talks, in collaboration with ZigZagHR and ManpowerGroup, was a deliberate one. With a strong workforce of around 5,000 employees worldwide and approximately 450 employees who have internally transitioned to different roles, Euroclear provided an ideal HR case in terms of internal career guidance.

Additionally, Lieve Mostrey, CEO of Euroclear, has been nominated for Manager of the Year. This further illustrates Euroclear's forward-thinking approach and its commitment to an HR policy that benefits all.

Watch the full podcast in the video below, or continue reading for a summary.

Internal mobility characterized by a cultural transformation

In 2022, Euroclear embarked on a new business strategy, coupled with a new people strategy that will be implemented globally over a period of three, four, or five years.

The people strategy is characterized by four pillars that we would like to explain:

  • Mobility within the organization: It’s essential to involve all levels within the organization. The focus is on translating the strategy into the various business units and ensuring that all business unit leaders and people managers are engaged in its implementation. In addition, Euroclear aims to involve all 5,000 employees in the strategy and ensure they know what it means for them.
  • Building a solid leadership team: Identifying all leaders within your organization to determine the capabilities required for successfully implementing the business strategy.
  • Skill detection: Taking stock of the skills within the organization by conducting a snapshot assessment. Which skills are already present? What gaps exist? And what are the future skills that will be needed?
  • Culture transformation: The importance of this pillar is to make the culture within your company future-proof. To facilitate this, Euroclear has developed a culture compass, a GPS that guides your employees.

In addition to the above pillars, Vincent and his team prioritize performance and societal impact.

How does Euroclear support employees in terms of career management and internal mobility?

"At Euroclear, we realize that learning and development are paramount. We provide professional guidance, but each employee is the CEO of their career."

This quote is reinforced by the impressive figures Euroclear can present regarding career management and internal mobility. In 2023, 450 employees assumed a new position within Euroclear by taking on the CEO role of their careers.

Such internal repositioning trajectories typically last 4 to 5 months and are characterized by training to provide the individual with the necessary re- and upskilling.

In addition, Euroclear focuses on the following initiatives to encourage employees to be the CEO of their careers:

  • Everyone has the opportunity to engage in assessments to gain insight into their options within the company.
  • The possibility of having career discussions with a people manager.
  • Development of leadership programs at the organizational level. An example of this is 'Leaders for the Future,' Euroclear's talent pipeline for future leaders.

Every talent counts: customized work where needed

The most remarkable part of the conversation revolved around Euroclear's 'Career Continuity Program,' a case that earned them a nomination for the Trends Impact Awards.

Like other companies, Euroclear also faced employees who had been with the organization for 10 years or longer but could no longer return to their original jobs due to a chronic illness.

Euroclear found a solution to this, as explained by Vincent: "Together with our career coaches, HR, the prevention service, and the occupational physician, we mapped out what these employees needed for sustainable reintegration within Euroclear, which skills could still be utilized, and how we could create a customized job for them to make work manageable again."

To achieve this, people managers and colleagues were trained to gain their buy-in. In addition, they provided for 60% additional employment to ensure that work pressure did not increase.

Challenges associated with internal mobility

Euroclear is an organization that strongly emphasizes career management and internal mobility through the implementation of various initiatives. However, this does not mean that everything goes smoothly, despite the impressive results they achieve.

For Vincent, it's a matter of finding a balance between what the organization needs and what the employees want and dealing with resistance from managers. Talent sometimes needs to be moved out of a team to enable the organisation to grow. This can encounter resistance from managers.

Employees themselves can also be quite impatient at times, and it's observed that the team's maturity plays a significant role in the effectiveness of career discussions.

Skills development for HR

Career management and skills development are also important for HR itself. In his 'Full Stack HR Professional,' HR expert Josh Bersin describes five 'stacks' that are stacked on top of each other, with solid HR expertise at the foundation.

On top of that, there are consulting and problem-solving skills, business acumen, a deep understanding of HR Tech, and, at the very top, leadership—the ability to empathize with how leaders make decisions in order to bridge the gap between business needs and concrete people solutions.

"It all starts with a solid HR knowledge: you need to build knowledge in at least 2 HR domains. Financial and business acumen are indispensable today. Finally, HR professionals must be eager to learn, skilled in stakeholder management, change management, and (HR) technology."

This means that you don't necessarily need to know all the tools, but you do need to understand the thought processes behind them. You can acquire this knowledge by taking courses, engaging in conversations with key stakeholders, exchanging experiences with other teams and companies, connecting with the HR community, and looking beyond your own industry into other sectors and industries.