Personnel procurement in Nigeria -


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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Personnel procurement in Nigeria

How is personnel procurement carried out in the Civil Service?




How is personnel procurement carried out in the Civil Service?

The civil service is one of the most important tool that has been used by political leaders to archive their. It will be very difficult for any government to succeed without the help of the Civil Services. The civil service in a developing country like Nigeria occupies the core position in the business of planning and development of society, hence, Lewis (1966) refers to it as a crucial part of the infrastructure, since the quality of all other public services depend upon the quality of the civil service. He opines that development planning is hardly practicable except a country establishes a civil service capable of its formulation and implementation.
 We will take a look  into  what  recruitment, selection,  and placement  is  all  about.  In  this  write up, we  will  look  at  the  meaning  of procurement or recruitment, selection,  and placement,  the  various  criteria  and  methods  used  for  recruitment,  selection,  and  placement  of personnel in the Civil Services.
A  critical  success factor  in  the  realization  of  the lofty  objectives  of Government  is  a  professional, competent  and  result-oriented  Civil  Service  with the  impetus  to  effectively  discharge  its  catalytic  role  of  facilitating  successful conception,  planning,  execution  and  monitoring  of  the  policies,  projects  and programmes  of  Government.    Indeed,  it  is  only
  such  a  Civil  Service  that  can  be useful and indispensable to the political leadership.
What then is Civil Service? The  1999  Constitution  posited that the  Civil  Service  of  the  Federation  ―means service  of  the  Federation  in  a  civil  capacity  as  staff  of  the  Office  of  the  President, the  Vice-President,  a  Ministry  or  department  of  the  Government  of  the Federation  assigned  with  the  responsibility  for  any  business  of  the  Government of the Federation.
The  Civil  Service  is  a  body  or  organ  which  enjoys  continuity  of  existence.  Its  members  unlike  members  of  the  National  Assembly  or  a  House  of  Assembly are  not  limited  to  a  short  term  of  office  at  the  end  of  which  they  may  or  may  not be  returned  to  office.    Elected  members  come  and  go  but  the  Civil  Service remains.    When  a  Civil  Servant  relinquishes  his  office  for  whatever  reason,  his place is taken by another person who similarly enjoys security of employment.
Collectively,  Civil  Servants  command  a  pool  of  experience  and  know-how for  implementing  Government  Policies.
The  Civil  Service  is  the  instrument  of  the Government  of  the  day,  but  neither  the  Service  nor  its  members  are  the  partisan of any particular political party.
A  Civil  Servant  is  required  to  assist  in  formulating  and  implementing  the policies  approved  by Government  whatever  his  personal or private  opinions  or attitudes  may  be. This  does  not  mean  that  a  Civil Servant  should  undertake illegal  action;  if  so  directed,  he  should  invite  attention immediately  to  the  legal position  or  requirement  and  advise  on  the  proper  action  to  take.    He  has  the duty also to advise on the implications of a policy or action.
Structurally,  the  Federal  Civil  Service  is  divided  into  Ministries  and  Extra Ministerial  Offices.    Currently,  the  following  are  the  Ministries  and  the  major Extra-Ministerial Offices: The Presidency, State  House Office  of the  Secretary to  the  Government  of  the  Federation, Office  of the  Head  of  the  Civil Service  of the  Federation, Federal Capital Territory Administration, National Planning  Commission, National Sports  Commission.
Once Manpower Planning is done, the process of recruitment begins. Recruitment is the process that entails the search for prospective workers and stimulating them to apply for the jobs put up by the personnel administration on behalf of the organisation. It is based on selection of the best principle where a number of applicants are invited for a single job opening and then the unwanted are eliminated selecting the one for the job who suits all the prerequisites suitably. Recruitment can make or break an organisation because even a brilliant training module cannot repair a faulty recruitment. The recruitment process consists of attractive recruitment literature and publicity, finding out target sector and people, usage of scientific tests for ability and aptitude testing of prospective candidates, tapping right candidates from within the organisation as well as outside as the requirement may be(sometimes only one way or combined), placement of the right man for the right job and effective probation period process and proper induction into the organisation. It should be noted that Procurement is also the same as Recruitment.  Recruitment  is also the  entering  point  of  all  staff of  any  establishment  except  for  those  who  are  appointed  or  elected  etc.  However,  there  are certain  general  requirements  and  qualifications  which  are  essentials  for  recruitment.  These include  Civil  Status,  Age, Sex, Domicile,  Educational  Status,  Experience,  Technical,  and Personality  Trait  etc.  Employment  or procurement  of  employees  is  carried  out  in  the  stage  of recruitment,  selection,  placement  and  induction  (Mbieli,  2006).
According to Bankole (2000), recruitment  has  to  do  with  those policies,  programmes  and  activities  that  are  connected  with  attracting  applicants  who  have  a  high probability  of  success  on  their  jobs.  The  success  of  an  organization  depends  largely  on  the calibre  of  personnel  employed.  Recruitment  of  personnel  can  only  be  meaningful,  when  the  right facilities,  equipment  and  the  right  working  environment  are  in  place.  However,  Omale,  (1992), believed  that  the  term  recruitment  is  fairly  different  from  how  practitioners  of  personnel management  take  it  for.  He  believed  that,  recruitment  starts  with  getting  an  applicant  interested enough  in  a  job  and  in  a  particular  organization  to  write  an  application,  and  the  process  stops when  his  application  has  been  received  in  the  organization.  He  went further  to  say  that recruitment  is  the  salesmanship  which  organizations  do  for  themselves  and  the  various  jobs  they have  for  filling.
However,  from  the  above  the  principal  purpose  of  recruitment  activities  is  to attract  sufficient  and  suitable  potential  employees  to  apply  for  vacancies  in  the  organization. Recruitment can be internal or external that is where it is contracted through an agency.  In  all  of  these  considerations,  recruitment  should  be  simplified  through  the  values  of  education and  research.
In  the  Civil  Service,  recruitment  is  tantamount  to  employment  that  is,  is  what  it takes  to  get  an  applicant  interested  in  a  job  in  the  organization,  through  examining  or interviewing  him,  to  issuing  him  a  letter  of  appointment.  The  misunderstanding  of  the  concept  of recruitment  in  the  civil  service  might  be  one  of  the  reasons  why  the  recruitment  process  is  not given  the  attention  it  deserves.  We  can  conclude  that  recruitment  is  the  most  significant  activity in  public  personnel  administration  or  management.  The  chief  aim  of  recruitment  is  to  get  the right  persons  in  the  right  positions.  No  one  above  50  years  of  age  may  be  given  a  tenure  job  in the private or public Civil Service except on contract Source: (Public Service Rules).
The Principles  of  Recruitment:
Mbieli  (2006),  opined that  the  options  for  making  recruitment  is  centred  on  three  core principles,  these  are
 1.  Impartiality:  Ensuring  fair  selection  of  officials  for  proper  treatment  of  the  general  public
2.  Equal  Opportunity:  Open  competition  to  enable  as  many  citizens  as  possible  to  take  part in  examination  for  recruitment  and  the  services  to  be  provided  to  the  nation.
3.  Absolute  Neutrality:  An  approach  which guarantees  all  political  masters  the  services  of the public servants.
 Methods  of  Recruitment The  methods  for  making  recruitment  starts  with  the  following  procedures a
(i) Examination:  There  are  several  types  of  examination  raging  from  written  and  oral  test, aptitude  test,  achievement  test,  psychological  test.
(2)  Election:  Public  offices  are  filled  by  the  systems  of  election
(3)  Individual  Appointment:  Chief  Executive  also  engages  certain  levels  of  public  official through  the  will  of  his  personal  judgement.
(4) Group  Appointment:  Appointment  made  by  the  legislative  on  nomination  given  the  Chief Executive.  Civil  Servants  also  recruited  through  the  group  effort  of  Public  or  Civil Service Commission.
Recruitment  Policies
Cole,  (1997),  states  that  organisations  should  adhere  to  recruitment  policy.  He  came  up  with  the following  typical  policy  statement  for  recruitment:
(i) Aim  to  ensure  that  every  person  invited  for  interview  will  be  given  a  fair  and  thorough hearing.
(ii)  The  need  to  reply  every  job  applicant.
(iii) Aim  to  inform  potential  recruits  in  good  faith  about  details  and  job  conditions  of  every job  advertised.  Aim to  process  all  applications  with  efficiency  and  courtesy,  Seek  candidates  on  the  basis  of  their  qualification  for  the  vacancy  concerned. He  further  stated  that  organization  should  not; Discriminate  unfairly  against  potential  applicants  on  grounds  of  sex,  race, religion  or  physical  disability. Discriminate  unfairly  against  applicants  with  a  criminal  record,  and Knowingly  make  any  false  or  exaggerated  claims  in  its  recruitment  literature or job.
Recruitment of federal civil servants is vested in the federal civil service commission, whose establishment was provided in the third schedule of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1979, as amended in 1989 and 1999. The federal civil service commission Recruits officers from grade levels 07-10. Existing vacancies are communication to the commission, which assists in recruitment. The implication of this is that the Recruitment of all service grades  excluding those of the permanent Secretaries and the Head of service, which are provided for under section 157 (1)of the constitution is carried out by the Federal Civil Service commission.
The power to appoint officers GL 01-07 was delegated to permanent Secretaries and heads of service. Reports of such appointments were to be sent to be civil service commission and published in the Gazette from time to time. Recruitment into level 07 and above remained solely with the Federal Civil Service commission. Reports of existing vacancies were sent regularly to the federal civil service commission by permanent Secretaries and heads of extra-ministerial departments is agreed with the establishments and pensions departments.
Recruitment  and  selection  of  staff  is  often  conducted  in  a  series  of  stages  known  as  the resourcing  cycle.    The  resourcing  cycle  begins  with  the  identification  of  a  vacancy  and  ends when the successful candidate performs the job to an acceptable standard.
Stage  One: Pre-Recruitment The  actual  and  hidden  costs  of  recruitment  and  selection  are  important.    The  total  outlay  in recruiting  one  employee  can  involve  expenditure  of  the  order  of  six  to  forty  percent  of  the annual  basic  salary.   Costs  of  advertising,  agency/search/selection  consultancy  fees, royalties,  fee  for  occupational  testing,  etc.,  all  soon  mount  up,  without  taking  into  account administrative  costs  and  the  recruiter’s  own  time.    If  no  engagement  is  made  these  costs  can escalate  dramatically,  for  there  are  unquantifiable  but  significant  costs  involved  in  repeating the  recruitment  exercise.  It  is  important  therefore  to  establish  an  effective  recruitment  system,   if only  because such significant sums of money  can be  put at risk (Humphrey, 2010).   The  process  should  provide  statistical  information  for  human  resource  planning,  job information,  and  administrative  support  to  deal  with  responses  from  candidates  (Humphrey, 2010).
Stage  Two:    Recruitment Prequisitions According  to  Humphrey  (2010),  information  on  a  formal  staff  requisition  document  should include  the following:
1.  Name and location of  originating  department
 2.  Job title
3.  Main job function
4.  Salary  or  grade
5.  Benefits (allowances)
6.  Reason for  requisition
 i  Replacement
ii  New appointment
iii  Additional appointment
7.  Required by  : (date)
8. Signature………………….....…… (Head of Department).
Job  information The  Department  of Employment’s  Glossary  of  Management  Terms  defines  “Job  Description” as  a  broad  statement  of  the  purpose,  scope,  duties  and  responsibilities  of  a  particular  job, whereas  a  “job  specification”  is  a  detailed  statement  of  the  physical  and  mental  activities  in  a job.
Job Description A  job  description  identifies  the  authority  of  the  job,  its  location  in  the  organization  and  the activities  and  major  responsibilities  that  must  be  done  to  perform  the  job.    It  is  a  written statement  of  what  a  job  holder  does,  how  it  is  done  and  why  it  is  done.    It  should  accurately portray  job  content,  environment  and  conditions  of  employment.    Job  description  serves  as the  basis  for  performance  rating  and  promotion.    It  makes  the  duties,  tasks  and responsibilities  clear  to  the  job  holder.    It  is  used  in  determining  employees’  remuneration and,  consequently,  his/her  status  in  the  organization.    It  is  very  useful  in  designing  training programmes  and  it  is  used  in  contract  negotiation  with  labour  unions.    There  are  two  basic approaches  to  job  description:  open  approach  and  classified  approach.    Job  description  is  not an end in itself and the  compilation is not  a  once-and-for-all  exercise,  especially  as changes in technology,  raw materials, company  objectives, products and labour market  will  dedicate new jobs.
Job Specification According  to  Ejumudo  (2012)  a  person’s  specification,  also  known  as  job  specification, defines  the  education,  training,  qualification  and  competences  required  for  the  job.   Candidate  profile  as  it  is  sometimes  called,  is  to  make  explicit  the  attributes  that  are  required in  candidates  for  the  job  in  question.    Thus,  the  personnel  specification  becomes  a  summary of  the  most  important  knowledge,  skills  and  personal  characteristics  required  by  the successful  candidates  in  order  to  be  able  to  carry  out  the  job  at  an  acceptable  standard  of performance.     Naturally,  the  nature  of  the  job  will  be  performed  in  a  type  and  level  of knowledge  and  skills  required,  but  the  job  will  be  performed  in  a  particular  social  context, and  so  it  is  important  to  have  the  manager’s  view  as  to  the  sort  of  personal  qualities  that would permit the  newcomer  to fit  into the team (Ejumudo, 2012).
 As  Fraser  (2008)  explicitly  stated,  each  human  being  is  unique  and  can  only  be  understood  as a  complete  entity.    Ill-conceived  attempts  to  force  him  into  classifications  usually  lead  to essential  elements  being  either  concealed  or  missed  out  entirely.    But  when  trying  to  select from among  a  group  of candidates, we  want to be  able to compare  one  with  another.
The Method and Sources of Recruitment
Generally speaking ,  there  are  two  main  sources  of  recruitment.    The  first  is  recruitment  from  outside the  organization  while  the  second  is  from  within  the  organization  itself.   This  second method  is  mainly  through  departmental  promotion  which  is  one  in  which  appointment  to  the higher  posts  in  the  service  is  made  only  from  within  the  service  itself.    This  may  be  done through restricted  competitive  examinations.
Stage Three:    Selection Selection  is  the  process  of  choosing  from  the  pool  of  applicants  those  to  be  hired  by  the organization  based  on  the  specified  organizational  requirements.   This  stage  in  the recruitment  cycle  is  very  important  as  it  is  through  this  that  employers  make  decisions  on who  is  the  most  appropriate  candidate  to  be  employed  of  all  the  job  applicants  that  possess the  relevant  qualifications,  experience  and  aptitude.    It  is  at  this  stage  that  the  recruiters  are very  careful not to select  candidates that would not fit  into the workforce  properly.
The  processes  include  the  establishment  of  management  panel/committee  for  employment, invitation  of  candidate,  verification  of  credentials,  interview  and  text  and  final  engagement.
According  to  Humphrey  (2010),  for  a situation to be described  as an interview  it  must  meet the  following  criteria:
a. It is a part of  the  communication process.
b. It is a vehicle  for the  transmission of  information from one person to another.
c. It  focuses  upon  specific  subject-matter  that  is  relevant  to  its  situation,  occasion and purpose.
d. It  requires  the  participation  of  at  least  two  people  who  interact  freely  with  each other. It is initiated to achieve  one  or several objectives. It takes place  in a particular  physical or social setting. It occurs as part of  a  procedural sequence  of events.
  Principles  of  Selection: There  are  three  main  options  for  making  selection  of  personnel,  these  are: a.  Randomization:  This  is  done  unsystematically;  employees  are  selected  randomly  based on  certain  criteria,  such  as  additional  qualification,  discipline,  experience,  marital  status, quota  system,  age,  etc. Hypothesis  Formation:  This  is  done  by  hypothesis  testing;  employees  are  selected  based on  the  demonstrated  relationship  between  the  applicants’  characteristics  and  measures  of performance  on  the  job.
Based  on  assumed  or  hypothesized  relationship:  The  application  of  psychology  to personnel  selection  is  well  establishment  and  it  is  the  hallmark  of  traditional  industrial psychology Bankole, (2000).
The  Interview Setting
In  any  interview,  privacy  is  an  important  requirement.    This  is  to  avoid  third  parties  having knowledge  of  the  conversation  between  the  candidate  and  the  interviewer  during  interviews.   Although  the  interview  has  a  social  element,  it  is  also  a  business  meeting.    If  an  office  is used  for  the  interview  it  might  be  necessary  to  consider  tidiness,  positions  of  desks  and chairs,  as  well  as  barring  the  telephone  and  turning  off  the  personal  computer.  Privacy includes avoidance  of interruptions and visual distractions (Humphrey, 2010). In  the  course  of  the  interview,  every  effort  must  be  made  to  establish  rapport  with  the candidate.    If  this  element  is  missing,  chances  are  that  the  objectives  will  not  be  achieved, unless  a  deliberate  stress  situation  has  been  created  for  a  purpose.  
It  is  also  necessary  that the  necessary  courtesies  are  extended  to  candidates  during  any  waiting  period.    This  is because  feelings  of  being  isolated  or  ignored  can  easily  be  aroused  by  lack  of  attention  and  it takes much time and effort to overcome these  effects (Humphrey, 2010).  Conducting  the  Interview After  defining  the  context  of  the  interview,  the  interviewer  has  to  decide  on  the  style  of interview to adopt.    The  style  can be  directed, non-directed or probing.
Directed  interviews In  this  style  of  interview,  direct  questions  requiring  definite  answers  are  used.    This  style  is especially  appropriate  for  school  leavers,  for  applicants  with  complicated  job  histories  and when there  is  a  suggestion that “facts”  are  in dispute.
Non-Directed  interviews Open  questions  that  allow  the  candidate  to  choose  an  answer  should  always  be  relied  on.    It is  the  best  way  of  searching  or  developing  a  candidate’s  views  on  any  subject.  Prompting  is  a useful  technique. Another  technique  is  for  the  interviewer  to  keep  silent,  thus  building pressure  on  the  interviewee,  who  usually  cannot  resist  the  need  to  fill  the  vacuum  by continuing  to talk,  trying  to establish his/her  point  (Humphrey  2010).   Probing interviews In  this  kind  of  interview,  the  interviewer  attempts  to  cover  and  recover  the  same  ground  by  a series  of  questions.    The  interviewer  may  need  to  check  on  claimed  experience,  perceived inconsistencies  in  the  job  history  or  even  on  attitudes  displayed  which  may  not  seem  to  be  in character.
Assessment Immediately  after  the  interview,  an  initial  assessment  of  each  candidate  should  be  made.   This  practice,  always  valuable,  is  especially  important  when  there  is  a  long  delay  between interviews  and  the  final  decision.
  Meaning  of  Placement: Placement  means  putting  the  right  person  on  the  right  job  structure.  Placement  of  applicants comes  in  after  recruitment  and  selection  have  been  concluded.  It  is  the  process  of  matching  the applicant  with  the  job  they  applied  for.
It should be noted that before the 1988 civil service reforms, civil servants on levels 01-06 where under the supervision of each ministry and the ministry of establishments in respect of recruitment, deployment and promotion, while Levels 07 and above where under the civil service commission. The Head of service deployed pool staff according to the needs of the service. The president had the responsibility for deploying permanent Secretaries.
Placement  is  to  ensure  effectiveness  and  efficiency  of applicants  to  the  standard  and  set  objectives  of  the  organization  Bankole,  (2000).  The  principles, procedure,  methods  or  processes  of  making  placement  is  the  same  as  that  of  selection.  Induction programme  come  immediately  after  the  procurement  of  new  staff  (recruitment,  selection,  and placement).   This  is where  new  employees  are  familiarizing  with  work  environment,  the  job,  the  machines  and  the serving employees.
In conclusion, I have succeeded in pinpointing the various stages of procurement into the Civil Service. Where I also told you that Recruitment  and  selection  of  staff  is  often  conducted  in  a  series  of  stages  known  as  the resourcing  cycle.   The  resourcing  cycle  begins  with  the  identification  of  a  vacancy  and  ends when the successful candidate performs the job to an acceptable standard.
 Recruitment  is  critical  to  all  establishments  and  its  one  of  the  first  steps  in  Personnel Management.  Once  the  need  for  staff  has  been  established  by  the  Human  Resources Management in an organization, recruitment functions come next.
It should be noted that Selection  and  Placement  goes  along  with recruitment  exercise also.

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