Recruitment and selection: Testing the new system

Implementation of the collective agreement on a procedure for recruitment and selection began in January 2015. Since then the Recruitment, Assignment and Mobility Committee (RAMC) has met on at least three occasions, as vacancies have been announced and as meetings have been held under the recruitment, assignment and placement system (RAPS). The RAMC, on which a staff representative sits alongside two representatives of the Director-General (DG) and of the Director of HRD, is now one of the cornerstones of that system. Committee meetings are held to examine any expressions of interest in reassignment by our colleagues in the field (Stage 2) and to make a favourable or unfavourable recommendation to the DG in each case. Hence the notification you have received over the past six months of several transfers “without competition”, a process which in future will be considered the norm. This is because, in the past, many of our colleagues in the field have found it virtually impossible to change their assignment or duty station even though they possessed the minimum requirements to do so, as they never managed to get past the shortlist.

The Staff Union firmly believes that the existence of several levels of recruitment and institution of the RAMC will in future result in a more balanced procedure, and this for two reasons: first, it will allow officials who are due for reassignment to be placed much more easily, under time criteria that have now been clearly established; secondly, colleagues who may feel that they are stuck in their post will be encouraged to express interest in the posts vacated by those who are reassigned. The priority this year has naturally been geographical mobility but, once the system of regular rotation of posts is in place, mobility from one post to another will automatically become part of the process. A certain degree of frustration may well be experienced by members of the staff who are hoping for a higher grade, given that for the time being preference will go to within-grade transfers. But here again, once all those due for reassignment have taken up their new posts, the time will come when their colleagues will also have every chance to further their career through a normal competition.

The RAMC has other tasks: reviewing job descriptions for posts that are up for competition, reviewing the outcome of interviews for posts that have not yet been filled at Stage 2, and so on.

As in the past, of course, the Staff Union Committee will through its representatives on the RAMC continue to defend your interests vigorously, however complex and varied they may be. To start with, based on a detailed examination of the information available to them, the Committee’s representatives ask pertinent questions, draw attention to irregularities in job descriptions and shortlists and make the Staff Union Committee’s position known as 2 objectively and – above all – as factually as possible on any problem that arises in connexion with a proposed transfer or competition result. When discussing such matters with the other members of the RAMC, the Committee’s representatives do their best to bring them round to Staff Union’s point of view. Where they are unable to do so, they ask for the report to the DG to indicate the points on which they disagree and/or to include their separate recommendation on the subject.

In this way, the DG has all the facts before him when he takes a decision on recruitment and selection on the basis of the RAMC’s recommendations. Similarly, if in the light of the official result of a competition a staff member considers that he or she has not been given a fair hearing during the recruitment process and decides to appeal, the Joint Advisory Appeals Board (JAAB) is then able to take into account the Staff Union’s position regarding the competition.