What is secondment?
The term secondment is used broadly to cover a temporary movement or ‘loan’ of an employee to another part of an organisation or to a completely different organisation. Employees can be seconded into organisations ranging from major commercial businesses, public services and schools through to small local groups and charities. Organisations benefit from both inward and outward secondment. Typically, paid secondments require formal arrangements, are full time and last up to twelve months.
Secondment is increasingly being recognised as valuable for development. As organisations adopt ever flatter management structures, opportunities for promotion through a succession of line management positions are limited. Secondments offer employees career development opportunities and are increasingly being used as part of talent management programmes. They also provide organisations with the chance to develop their skills base. See our factsheets on talent management, development planning for individual employees and management development for more information on these topics.
Go to our factsheet on talent management
Go to our management development factsheet
Go to our development planning factsheet
Although secondment is often regarded as a marginal activity that is supported mainly by large organisations, the increasing flexibility of working patterns means that it may become increasingly important in the future. According to the our Managing employee careers survey, secondment is one of the top ten most commonly used career management practices and 67% of respondents considered them to be ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’. Similarly in the CIPD/DDI leadership forecast, 63% of respondents identified external assignments as very effective (the highest response rate) for developing leaders.
· 1 decade ago