IMDEA Water is the first Spanish research institution recognized by the European Commission with the acknowledgement in human resource excellence management.
On 11 March 2005, the European Commission launched a recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C). As a recommendation is not mandatory but it does suggest a number of actions to be carried out by those entities involved in the research.
In February 2008, IMDEA Water joins the C&C trying to adapt the principles in their HR policy. In September 2009 is established the first " Human Resources Strategic Group”, in which IMDEA Water takes part. The objective of the Group is the incorporation of the C&C in the policies of the institutions attached previously, and in which all entities are involved in making an HR specific Strategy. In July 2010 IMDEA Water gets the acknowledgement from the Commission.
The C&C is based on 40 principles that cover, among other things, recognition of the profession, developing a research career, the value of mobility, the principles of recruitment and selection criteria. It specifies the roles, responsibilities and rights of researchers and institutions that employ researchers. The Charter "constitutes a framework for researchers, employers and funders which invites them to act responsibly and as professionals within their working environment, and to recognise each others as such" (European Charter for Researchers, 2005).
HR Strategy is a support tool that helps research institutions to incorporate the C&C, allowing them to find gaps between the current policy of the institution and the principles included in C&C. It also helps to adapt the Charter and Code to the particular circumstances of each entity. The strategy becomes an easy mechanism and highly flexible.
There are five main reasons why it is important for a research institutions to join the C&C: to create a favorable working environment for researchers, to support a change in work culture, to join a truly pan-European network consisting of researchers and research organization, to show concern for their HR policy and to benefit international visibility. It is also important for researchers because the C&C provides: the recognition of their rights as a professional, the mobility experience is valued, the work-life balance is respected, the recruitment transparency is guaranteed and allows to join a truly pan-European network of researchers and research institutions with the same goal.