In 2009, 170 new examiners started at the EPO, 40 % fewer than the year before (2008: 284). In the non-examiner area, there were 50 new recruits (2008: 73), 13 of them on permanent posts and 37 on contracts.
In response to an Office-wide staff survey which identified lack of mobility, career opportunities and personal development as major issues, a pilot project on professional development got underway in 2009, as did a project to create an internal job market. Both are designed to help increase job flexibility and aid the individual development of staff members throughout their professional careers while taking the EPO's changing business needs into account.
The drive to enhance efficiency is focusing on reduced bureaucracy and streamlined processes. 2009 saw the introduction of electronic payslips, and of electronic personal files ready for use in the reporting procedure. New rules for duty travel were approved, reducing the number of administrative steps involved and simplifying the procedure for users.