Officials at the Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA), yesterday, took journalists through the process of how the newly-established recruitment process in public service, known as e-Recruitment, will work.
During a news conference at the ministry headquarters, Gaspard Musonera, the coordinator of the Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU), said the aim was to ease the process and improve transparency.
Apart from improving efficiency and reducing incidences of corruption in public service, the new system also aims to address challenges of institutions failing to give the Public Service Commission (PSC) timely reports on outcomes of recruitment processes, among other prevailing challenges.
Musonera said in cases of a job vacancy in any institution, the human resource manager requests the supervisor to allow for the post to be advertised, and if approved, anyone in the public will see this on their website.
“The job seekers will apply online. They will get an online message informing them if their application file has been received. Later, there will be a process of checking for applicants who meet the requirements so that they do interviews,” he noted.
Job seekers will be linked via Internet to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System servers of institutions.
After that, human resource departments will shortlist people online. Reasons for why some applicants were not listed will be clarified. The Cabinet meeting of March 29 approved the use of e-Recruitment in the public service.
“Every applicant will get a message. The Cabinet approved that there be a way in which messages can also go to applicants’ telephones besides the e-mails.”
After interviews, both successful candidates and the unsuccessful ones will be duly informed through the same system. There is room for an online appeal process. Appeals can be made on either short-listing, on written exams or even on the oral interview.
The appellant can apply directly to the institution concerned and, if they reject its decision or if the institution does not respond to queries, people can appeal to the PSC online.
“The good thing about this system is that every applicant can monitor the process through the online system”.
The benefits of the system, Musonera said, include, an effective recruitment and selection process in management, which is critical to ensure the required capacity for public institutions’ sustainable performance; ensuring a timely, effective and transparent selection of public servants and to ease the process of reporting to the PSC.
Job seekers application documents are secure online and can always be retrieved and used to apply elsewhere, he noted.
Musonera explained that the system allows online continuous interaction between the applicant and the hiring institution up to placement notification, noting that each applicant is allowed to view even the status of other applicants of the same post, thus providing evidence on the whole process.
A statement from the ministry says e-Recruitment has been tested successfully in the ministry and will be scaled up to other public institutions after the revised Presidential Order determining modalities for recruitment, appointment and nomination of public servants has been published in the Official Gazette.
“Once the Presidential Order has been published in the Official Gazette you will not see job adverts in newspapers as has been the case. All vacant job posts will be published on the system’s website,” said Judith Uwizeye, the Minister for Public Service and Labour.
“People who don’t have access to the various news platforms will no longer fail to know which jobs are available, and where,” the minister added, while urging all public institutions to get used to the new system.
Low internet penetration not an issue
Uwizeye explained that low internet connectivity was not a problem as the system was a solution.
Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency’s (RURA) March 2015 report says the number of people with access to the internet stood at 3.14 million.
The government targets to have 95 per cent of its more than 12 million citizens connected to the internet by 2017.
“We might not have internet in all villages but phones can also be used. Consider the person who has to travel from Musanze to Kigali to apply for a job in MIFOTRA. Instead of carrying their papers to Kigali, they can just walk to Musanze town and do everything there in a nearby cybercafé if their phone was not connected,” explained Uwizeye.
The executive secretary of PSC, Angelina Muganza, admitted that the new system cannot completely purge corruption but it was helpful.
Muganza cited a 2015 survey, which showed that of the 444 job seekers interviewed, only 8 per cent of those not employed had the perception that corruption existed.
“The new system is not a 100 per cent cure for corruption. Corruption can only be totally eradicated when people shun it, report it and when victims speak out,” Muganza said.