Washington University recognizes that staff motivation, productivity, and retention are dependent upon people working in jobs that are well suited to their interests, and therefore offers and encourages transfer opportunities for current employees. Likewise, supervisors should be supportive of staff members who have the desire to enhance their skills or develop new competencies to pursue different or greater responsibilities internally.

An employee must be in his or her current position at least nine (9) months and be in good standing before he or she is eligible to apply for a transfer. The nine-month waiting requirement may be waived if the position is being adversely affected due to a reduction in the work force or job elimination, or if there is significant change in the terms and conditions of employment (e.g. work schedule, hours, salary, status, etc.).

In all cases, the employee’s work record, including but not limited to performance, attendance, efforts to develop skills and related behavior will be used as valid criteria for determining suitability for a position.

In consideration of the above factors, employees are required to provide documentation that supports their performance history, such as the last performance evaluation or letters of reference. For all positions, consideration will be given to the employee’s demonstrated interpersonal skills, among other job-related factors, before making a final decision. Deficiencies in such skills or job-related factors may eliminate an individual from further consideration. Exceptions to this policy are reviewed on an individual basis and must be approved by the Office of Human Resources.

Transfer Eligibility Criteria

  • Employed in current position for at least nine months.
  • Written confirmation of acceptable performance record/evaluation signed by the applicant’s supervisor and completed no more than 18 months prior to date of transfer application (e.g. meets expectations, average rating, etc.).
  • Maintain an acceptable level of performance including but not limited to absence of corrective action in the last 9 months and/or resolution of previous corrective action.
  • Successfully pass any special screening processes required for the position of interest, including but not limited to background investigations, reference checks, drug screens, and skills assessments.

Transfer Process

  • Go to your Worker Profile in Workday and ensure that all your Education, Certifications, Job History, Professional Affiliations, Languages and Skills are updated. Once updated, this information will help populate your internal applications without further data entry required from you.

Note: It is imperative that the online application reflects an accurate and complete account of employment history, including all the positions held within the University.

  • Follow the Internal Apply Tutorial online.
    • A resume and/or cover letter might be required for certain job requisitions. Including a resume even when it is not required is highly encouraged.
    • A performance appraisal or two letters of reference should be uploaded at the time you are submitting your application. However, if you do not have these documents readily available, you may bypass this step. You may be asked to provide a performance evaluation or letters of reference if you progress to interview or reference check stages.
    • Answer any additional questions at the bottom of the application.

Note: You are not able to upload additional documents to your job application for a specific position once you have submitted your application.

  • Continue to monitor job opportunities on the employment website for suitable positions of interest.

Intradepartmental Transfer Process

Based on the needs of the area as determined by the manager, the department has the authority to transfer employees to positions within the department to maintain efficient and productive workflow and results. We strongly encourage managers to make an internal announcement regarding the opportunity, but it is not necessary to post it as an opening.

Interdepartmental Transfer Process

Employee Responsibilities: Prior to initiating a transfer, it is recommended that the interested employee advise his/her immediate supervisor that he/she is interested in other opportunities outside of the department. The employee must identify a specific job requisition number or area of interest to facilitate the transfer process. In all cases, the employee must complete an on-line application and submit a copy of the last performance evaluation or letters of reference to the Office of Human Resources. Employees may also be required to take clerical tests, such as grammar or typing, as a part of the application process.

Hiring Manager Responsibilities: If a hiring department has knowledge of an employee outside the department who is interested in its opening, at a minimum the department is expected to notify Human Resources and should also refer the employee to the Office of Human Resources so that eligibility for transfer may be determined. Each hiring manager is responsible for conducting the final interview(s), verifying past employment/references and, ultimately, extending the formal offer of employment.

Human Resources Responsibilities: Interview or refer an employee whose knowledge base, skill set, and work history match the position referenced by the employee. It should be noted that only employees deemed qualified and suitable are forwarded to the hiring manager for review. While information related to the position status is limited, the Office of Human Resources will, upon request, attempt to provide feedback when the information is available and deemed reasonable and practical to communicate. The Office of Human Resources will re-verify the eligibility on a periodic basis, typically 90 days after the initial transfer approval.

Reference Checks

To facilitate the reference check process and safeguard the rights of employees seeking interdepartmental transfers, a hiring supervisor who is considering making an offer of employment to an employee from another department should ask the current supervisor to verify the performance and attendance record of the employee.

There may be extenuating circumstances in which an employee requests that his/her current supervisor not be contacted before an offer or acceptance. In all cases, information provided to the hiring manager should reflect only the documented strengths or accomplishments, developmental areas, and corrective action or disciplinary notices as recorded in the employee’s personnel file.


Hiring managers are expected to discuss and confirm the employee’s current salary grade and rate of pay with the employee prior to extending an offer. Hiring managers may grant a salary change, within University guidelines, for a promotion (a move to a job in a higher salary grade). In general, no salary increase is provided for a lateral transfer (a move to a job in the same grade). When an employee transfers to a job in a lower salary grade, the manager should consult with the Office of Human Resources. Typically, the employee’s salary will be reduced because the level of responsibility has decreased.

Notice of Transfer

If chosen for an open position, the employee should notify the current supervisor of the transfer. A date of transfer will be agreed upon by the managers of the affected areas and the employee. Generally, employees in non-exempt jobs should anticipate at least two weeks formal notice and employees in exempt jobs should anticipate at least four weeks. In all instances, adequate notice of transfer must be given to avoid the risk of disrupting the workflow in the employee’s current area.

Orientation Period for Transferred Employees

The first six (6) months in the new position is an orientation period except for those individuals in a registered university apprenticeship program who are subject to a three (3) month period of orientation. However, transfer employees may use accumulated sick and vacation time during this period with supervisory approval.

An employee should be aware that it is necessary to satisfactorily meet the new position’s performance expectations and standards as established by the new manager during the orientation period. The employee’s work habits and performance will be examined throughout the orientation period and, if the employee fails to meet these expectations, he/she may be separated from employment.