In what has been a common occurrence, after nearly every recruitment process there are rumors and allegations about pre-selected candidates, unfair selection process or employers being biased.
To prevent the above and also create a uniform and fair recruitment process the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources (MoLHR) yesterday launched the first ever Recruitment and Selection Regulation, 2012 in the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Hall.
Labor Minister Dorji Wangdi said, “The regulation will herald a landmark transformation in the Bhutanese labor market.”
Today, the total labor force is 336,391 as per the labor force survey report 2012. Out of this, the civil service and security force together accounts for only around 15%. The rest of them are employed in the private sector, corporations, NGOs with the majority in the agriculture sectors.
With the civil service and armed forces already having stringent recruitment guidelines the new regulation will apply mainly to the private and corporate sector.
The regulation has documented the various aspects of Human Resources procedures, particularly on Recruitment and Selection.
It lays down simple regulations on reviewing need for the position, authority to recruit and select, disqualification criteria, appointment and role of selection committee, duties and quorum of selection committee, advertising of vacancies, applications, short listing, interviewing, selection procedure post selection duty, contract employment and grievance procedures.
“Allegations of unfair treatments in recruitment, selection, transfers, training, promotions and dismissals are there. And people shy away from filing the formal complaints,” said Labor minister.
He said that the Labor and Employment Act governs all matters pertaining to Labor and Employment in the Nation.
“Section 234 of Labour and Employment Act empowers MoLHR to make rules and regulations necessary to carry out its functions economically, efficiently and effectively to prevent unfair treatments, and conduct,” said the minister explaining the legal basis of the new regulations.
The minister said that in the absence of such Regulations, most companies, enterprises, organizations, and individual entrepreneurs have been conducting recruitment and selection in an unorganized manner even with a fairly well-established Human Resource (HR) system.
The main objective of the Regulation is to establish transparent, uniform framework for an effective recruitment and selection process.
The regulations also aims to ensure that the best qualified candidates with right aptitude for the right job are selected through a transparent, open, fair and merit based recruitment process that is free from any discrimination, bias, and prejudice.
Lyonpo added that they have even gone to extent of mentioning that there should be no discrimination based on “Physical Appearance” in the recruitment procedures.
The Regulation also aims to make the labor market more organized, efficient, predictable and trustworthy for Bhutanese job seekers.
The procedures mentioned in Regulation must be followed by all the employers and employees. Non-compliance of it will attract penalties and legal actions tantamount to the degree of violation involved.
The guidelines also has regulations for registered jobseekers that are disabled.
Along with it, three Guidelines for University Graduates Internship Program (UGIP), Pre-Employment Engagement Program (PEEP) for X and XII grade school leavers and Apprenticeship Training Program (ATP) were also launched.
An official from Department of Employment said the guideline for UGIP is a new initiative from MoLHR while PEEP and ATP guidelines were revised ones. Previously UGIP and PEEP was under one program.
“Unlike previous years, revised ATP guideline now allows class VI school leavers to participate in this program,” said an official.