Recruitment and selection practices in the public services : the case of the Department of Public Works in the Free State Province
Thulo, Sekhesi Simon
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Legislation clearly stipulates for the principle of public service delivery to all the citizens of the country. It is the task of national and provincial government departments to prioritise service delivery (RSA, 1997:10). The quality of services delivered to the public by the national and provincial departments, relies significantly on the quality, skills and capabilities of the public officials. Therefore, recruitment of public officials must not only identify and attract potential employees but ensure that all appointees possess the skills and ability to enable public service departments to achieve their strategic goals and objectives, and subsequently provide quality services to the public. Based on an investigation conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC), it was determined that most do not comply with the recruitment and selection requirements (PSC, 2006:8). In addition to the non-compliance with policy guidelines pertaining to recruitment and selection, as provided by the PSC through the Toolkit on Recruitment and Selection of 2006, the PSC, through an investigation on various HRM practices in the public service during 2010, found that widespread non-compliance with recruitment and selection guidelines are still prevalent. It is evident that departments are struggling to effectively implement recruitment and selection processes as stipulated in legislation and outlined in the policy documents. This study aimed to address: The non-compliance with legislation and policy requirements pertaining to the implementation of recruitment and selection practices which prevent departments in the public sector from appointing the most suitable employees to deliver on their mandate. A theoretical overview pertaining to recruitment and selection was conducted in the public service. Attention was also given to recruitment and best practices, which may be applicable to the Free State DPW. Furthermore, broad HRM legislation and policy, directing the implementation of recruitment and selection practices in the public service, was reviewed. An outline of legislation and policy as well as the recruitment and selection practices particularly applicable for its implementation in the Free State DPW public service was provided. The qualitative and quantitative research approaches were utilised in this study. Personal interviews and a semi-structured questionnaire were used as data collection instruments. Interviews were held with senior managers and middle managers involved in the process and experienced in strategic planning in the Free State DPW. The questionnaire was distributed to the line managers and junior officials who work with recruitment and selection practices in the department as well as union representatives. The empirical findings of the study were applied to the public service as a whole and recommendations were made on the implementation of recruitment and selection practices in the Free State DPW and the public service at large.