Pope Francis has just filled the new-created position of human resources director for the Holy See’s Human Resources Department. From now on, the management of the 3,000 Vatican employees, formerly the responsibility of the Secretariat of State, passes into the hands of a layman as a part of the Secretariat for the Economy, with one objective: to enhance professional skills by promoting internal mobility.
Three Spaniards are now in charge of Vatican finances and personnel. First is Jesuit Juan Antonio Guerrero as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, second is Maximino Caballero Lido, secretary general of the same dicastery, and now the lawyer Luis Herrera Tejedor is the third to join the very closed club whose members watch over the material and human resources of the Vatican.
Luis Herrera Tejedor’s somewhat symbolic appointment was made public on September 5, 2022, symbolic because his appointed position did not yet exist. The Spanish lawyer will be in the position of managing the human resources of the smallest State in world, i.e. approximately 3,000 employees.
A few weeks ago, Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero lifted a corner of the veil covering the competences of the new office created by the apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangilium, a text promulgated on June 5, and whose intent is to finish the reform of the Curia project.
Thus, the new “Vatican Human Resources Department (HRD)” will have the task of setting up career paths and training programs, especially through the implementation of an objective work evaluation system.
But the HRD will also have to make the positions more attractive by introducing a variable compensation component to reward deserving staff. Finally, it will have to strive to create a better working environment for its collaborators using various methods: internal communication, social meetings, extra-professional activities, etc.
With a red line set by the sovereign pontiff himself: no dismissals.
The profile fits perfectly with Luis Herrera Tejedor: a graduate of the Spanish IE Business School, he was HR director for the Spanish branch of Yves Saint Laurent (1990-1991), and for the distribution group Logista (2004-2007), then with the Spanish bank Inversis from 2017-2021, before offering his services as a coach, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.
Luis Herrera Tejedor’s experience is significant: it extends beyond the dicasteries and organisms of the Holy See, even beyond the staff of the institutes, such as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) – the Vatican “bank”– the administrations or even the Foundations.
Through this appointment, the sovereign pontiff has surely demonstrated the will to professionalize the organization of his administration, but the task of the new HRD should prove difficult because habits, in Rome, are difficult to change.
Thus, the entire staff of the Holy See, half of whom are lay people, enjoys employment for life. In addition, apart from the prefects of the dicastery, whose salary can reach €5,000 per month, the remuneration varies between €1,200 and €3,500 net per month and is not taxable.