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Before a department takes steps to employ staff, it should work out the type of staff it needs in terms of grade and rank, and the time scale in which the staff are required.
The general principles underpinning recruitment within the civil service are that recruitment should: o use procedures which are clearly understood by candidates and which are open to public scrutiny; o be fair, giving candidates who meet the stipulated minimum requirements equal opportunity for selection; and o select candidates on the basis of merit and ability.
Recruitment of overseas officers is undertaken only when no or insufficient local candidates are available.
Key components
There are three key components to the recruitment process: o deciding on terms of appointment o selection of candidates o probation
Deciding on Terms of Appointment
Terms of Appointment : Having decided on the grade and rank of the staff required, and the timing concerned, the department should consider what the most appropriate terms of appointment would be. This should take into account the nature of the duties to
be performed and the overall manpower deployment of the department. The different terms of appointment that can be offered are • permanent and personable terms; • agreement terms; • temporary terms (month-to-month or day-to-day); • part-time; • non-civil service appointment; and • consultancy
Guides to Appointment : Entry requirements of staff in each rank and grade are agreed between the Head of Grade/Department concerned and the Civil Service Branch, taking into account the advice of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service or other relevant advisory bodies. These requirements are periodically reviewed and laid down in Guides to Appointments.
Selection of Candidates
Advertising : Vacancies in the civil service are normally advertised in newspapers and through circulars.
Screening and Selection : Departments screen applications to see if the applicants meet the specified qualifications and other requirements of the post. Suitable candidates are then shortlisted for subsequent examination and/or interviews. Not all grades/departments would require candidates to undergo examination, but candidates would normally be required to be interviewed by a recruitment board or an officer from the recruitment team.
Roles and Responsibilities : The Civil Service Branch recruits staff of some General Grades while Heads of Grades/Departments recruit staff of their own grade/department. For recruitment to middle and senior ranks, the advice of the Public Service Commission has to be sought before appointment is offered.
Flexibility : To minimize recruitment difficulties as well as attract and retain the best people, there are flexibilities which include recruitment overseas, offer of agreement terms, lowering entry qualifications and granting incremental credit for experience.
During probation staff are introduced to the mission, objectives and values of the civil service and their departments. Probation is a serious process which provides regular feedback on performance and assesses suitability for employment in the civil service. It includes:
• on-the-job training : staff should be exposed to the different duties required for their rank. In this way they can learn the skills expected of them and managers can verify their long-term suitability; • supervision and guidance : staff should receive close and sympathetic supervision and guidance to enable problems and difficulties to be identified early and timely counseling or other action to be taken.
Newly joined staff must be told the length of their probationary period, which varies with the requirements of each grade. If there are indications that staff are not suitable for confirmation, they must be counseled and then warned in writing if the problem persists. Confirmation is the step whereby a member of staff on probation is found suitable for the job and employed on permanent and personable terms.
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