The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources has launched the regulation on recruitment and selection process as the guidelines to employees and job seekers. How effective will it be is yet to be seen. In Bhutan, most Public Corporations are run by Family & Friends. Out of 300 employees in one of the corporations in Bhutan, the rough estimate of insider show that the families and friends recruitment employees constitute roughly 80 percent of the total employees of the company. The other 20 percent who managed to break through the chain shall be victimized in many different ways. Since it is run by family and friends, the internal vacancies which are tailored made shall be announced. A guy from family and friends shall be selected and placed at unbelievably high grade in through so-called open competition. The hardworking employees without backing from Family and Friends shall be given regular or double promotion as an eye wash for unflinching hard work but the hardworking guy would take decades to reach at same level of his co-worker promoted through internal vacancies. The training especially external training will be minimal for outsiders that broke through the chain unless that outsider knows how to oil the boss instead of working hard. Going by the observation, the Family and Friends recruitment process in corporation is more in government subsidized corporations. It seemed that the ability and talents of the individuals don’t matter since the fight for survival is minimal and government fills their belly anyway.
The interview process in such corporations mainly consists of two or three components strictly tailored for particular interview /interviewee at the discretion of panel or management. The components will consists of academic performance, written exams and viva or just two components; VIVA and Written Exam or VIVA and Academic scores. The VIVA VOCE with maximum weightage plays a crucial role in selecting the already pre-selected candidates or from among the favoured candidates. The able guys shall be most of the time in waiting list to fill the slots that is left by favoured candidates on their whims.
The regulation written on the paper will not help without zealous implementation. There should be a member of panel from Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and an observer for all interviews especially in government and public corporations and the CSOs. As of now, the observer from Ministry of Labour and Human Resources plays either truant or they are completely away from the scene.
The VIVA VOCE and written examinations papers should be made available for scrutiny by those candidates who thought they did quite well. The VIVA VOCE must be recorded in camera and should be downloaded in their official website or kept as a proof for certain duration of time. To avoid all odd people trying to scrutinize the recordings, the entry fee can be constituted. The written paper must be preserved for certain period. As of now, the jobs seekers can’t scrutinize marking and grading of their papers. If he challenged the employing agency on the ground that they performed exceptional well in written paper, the angency will answer that ‘you are not-very-good in VIVA or some other exceptionally VIVA performers got the jobs.’ In recent interview in one of the government subsidized corporations, the IIT student was put on waiting list as corporation select someone else. If IIT student who would be welcomed throughout the world could end up being not-very-good, the selected candidate should be either Havard or Oxford graduate. But it was not. The selected candidate, he said was, seemed to be member of Family and Friend.
In Bhutan, the corruption in recruitments is either blatant or disguised in many forms and shapes. A young auditor from Royal Audit Authority will call a HRO of government department saying that his high graduate wife is attending that interview and auditor will request HRO to do what he/she could to help here. The HRO will come looking for that lucky lady to earmark the name lest panels forget her name. While the hopeful sweats for job, the job will be gifted to that lucky lady. Next time, auditor will phone that HRO telling him to be ready for auditing with certain documents which Divisional Chief of RAA told that auditor to audit. A minster or a member Board of Director will call Managing Director informing that his/her daughter is coming to undergo interview for personnel officer in the company. The Managing Director feels that he should thank the director for easily recruiting him as MD. Then the Managing Director will inform the panel about presence of that talented lady. That exceptional lady will have 8 out of 25 scores in academic, 10 out of 25 marks in written but 45 out of 50marks in VIVA VOCE. At the end, the recruitment will based on powerful father’s tongue twisting.
Therefore, the need for the proper scrutiny platform is required. Otherwise, the regulation drafted as empowered by Labour and Employment Act shall be worthless paper to show off to the rest of the world that Bhutan has a good system in place. The regulation should be able to make that phone call from Board Director to Managing Director useless. The regulation should be able to reduce the chance of getting that auditors’ wife recruited. The regulation should guarantee that IIT student gets that job. If not, what is the regulation but wastes of government resources and energy?