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Case of Skills Management

Encouraging internal mobility within the R&D division

mobility pharma skills management

The question:

How to encourage internal mobility in the R&D business environment?

The client’s starting point

  • A global Research and Development division of a major pharmaceutical company with over 9,000 employees
  • Specialist jobs (e.g. biology researcher) that require very specific skills and a reluctance of the employees to change their job because of the lack of expertise
  • A desire to promote internal mobility across business functions

Akoya Consulting’s response

  • Methodology to identify the functionalities of a digital tool issued during a design thinking workshop
  • Construction of a transparent solution that allows to position oneself within the organization and to know the possible career paths and skills to develop
  • Promotion of internal mobility, which reduced the entity’s recruitment costs by 30%

The whole story


Our client, the R&D division of a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry, wanted to promote internal mobility in an environment where jobs are linked to very specific expertise. The goal of this mission was to implement a tool that would facilitate mobility while bringing the necessary information in a highly specialized environment.

Firstly, in order to provide transparency and to inform employees correctly, we have started by creating job descriptions detailing each of the existing jobs, the skills required to perform them as well as the possible career paths between the R&D jobs. This work has been done in co-construction with internal ambassadors.

Secondly, we have held a design thinking workshop with employees in order to define useful and user-friendly functionalities of the future tool that will enable users to easily navigate through the business functions.

In order to ensure the agility of the tool we took into account three parameters: ease of navigation between jobs and the possibility to position oneself in the organization, visibility of jobs close to each other in terms of skills, suggestion of the skills needed to be improved in order to ensure a successful mobility.

The Career Compass solution, combined with other initiatives such as the promotion of internal mobility by ambassadors, has enabled the R&D division to reduce the volume and cost of recruitment by 30%.