1.1 Background to the Study
Of all the resources available to an organization, manpower (staff) remains the most important of them all. The staff coordinates other resources towards the realization of organizational objectives and goals. To ensure that objectives and goals of the organization are achieved, adequate personnel recruitment programme are planned. It is on the strength of this, that Nwachukwu (2004:105) noted the following:
Recruitment involves all prospective applicants for job position in the organization. A good recruitment programme is one that is properly planned and well operated. Poor recruitment efforts could lead to the selection of poor applicant because position are to be filled too quickly.
On the issue of selection, Nwachukwu (109) noted thus,
After prospective applicants have been recruited, a systematic effort is made to identify the most candidates to fill identified positions. Selection is very important process that requires planning and objectivity.
The two observations made above underscores the relevance of staff in the functioning and service delivery of the public service of any state. Furthermore, placement of the selected staff in the appropriate places is another vital aspect of the personnel management. Enugu state as an entity has public service that coordinates the objectives and policies of government. Irrespective of how laudable the programme of the government, it will remain a ruse or non-achievement without proper staff recruitment, selection and placement. This then implies that manpower needed in the running of government machinery must be well recruited and selected to meet with the needs of the people.
In the light of the above observations, one is tempted to ask the following questions, how is the manpower (staff) of the public service of the state recruited and selected? Are those that are recruited and selected the best needed in the civil service of the state? Has government well articulated programme to fill the vacant posts when the need arises? Well, in the course of the study, these questions will be answered.
Importantly, the public service/civil of the state is a colonial heritage. The exit of the colonial masters in 1960 allowed the Nigerians to take control of the public service. Between 1960 and now, both recruitment, selection and placement, have been carried out by Nigerians. Those absorbed in the system are those that coordinates the activities of government.
Since 1999 till date, Nigeria has been under democratic rule, which implies that the activities of government ought to be better coordinated than in the military rule days. What has been the process of absorbing and replacing of staff in the public service? Of course, this study will unravel the dynamics involved but it is important again to stress that no organization can be better than its manpower make up. The process of recruitment, selection and placement, and its transparency will invariably affect the level of productivity and commitment of the staff. If competent and skilled (qualified people) are absorbed into system, there is the tendency that government activities will be running at positive stand. If otherwise, then poor performance and poor service delivery will ensue.
On a final note, this study will help to understand the factors at work in the recruitment, selection and placement process of Enugu State public service. The findings made will help both the researcher and the general audience to the problems confronting the public service of the state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
As noted in the proceeding phase of this study, public service that is in operation in the state is the vehicle of conducting the activities of government. Public service was instituted by the former colonial masters as a platform of achieving their socio-economic and political objectives. The succeeding government in Nigeria, both federal and state have all replicated the same structure of administration.
In the public service, there are identifiable problems that hinders its operation. One of the problems is the recruitment and selection of staff that are not qualified or those that do not possess the requisite skills to deliver the required services. Some of the staff being absorbed into system are kits and kin of the powers that be. Infact, they are recruited under what some experts calls patron-client syndrome or through political patronage.
When such categories of staff are recruited into the government, loyalty, commitment and productivity, will not be guaranteed and the objectives of government and the policies being embarked may likely suffer.
Secondly, the patron-client syndrome earlier noted also affects promotion and performance in the public service. When some categories of staff are unjustifiably promoted without due public service process, those that are left behind in the entire process will show less commitment to duty. When this scenario ensures, the staff or organization will be affected. Inefficiency, lack of commitment and general poor performance will be the lot of the organization or the state as a whole.
Thirdly, government policy can also affect the public service. In some occasions, government do place embargo on staff recruitment, selection and placement till further notice. While government may have her reasons hinged on not employing over bloated staff (bureaucracy), a critical look into the public service will reveal that many functions are being carried out by one person. In this case, some staffers are over-burdened in the entire process.
In another stretch, there are some occasions where by the public service is over bloated with staff. Redundancy, gossip and duplicity of function normally becomes the order of the day. Over-bloated public service is normally noticeable in the democratic regime. With over-bloated staff in operation, duplicity of function will ensue while the economy of the organization or the state will be affected hierarchically. To solve the two identified problems, a well coordinated staff recruitment process must be put in place by the government or the execution of such organization to ensure that only when vacancies exists and the number required will be absorbed into the system.
Finally, another, problem confronting the public service of the state is the lack of digital knowledge. Currently, computer technology has permeated into the functioning of both public and private enterprises. Most of the staffers today did not have the knowledge prior to their enlistment in the service. This is affecting their service delivery. Consequently, some of them are not interested in embracing the new development. The inability to embrace the digital drive (knowledge) has continued to dwindle the functioning of some categories of staff in the public organizations especially in Enugu State.
In the light of the above observations, the following research questions have been posed to guide this study
- Is the process of staff recruitment, selection and placement into the public service of Enugu State based on merit?
- Does political patronage syndrome affect recruitment and selection process in Enugu state?
- Could discrimination and favouritism in recruitment, selection and placement affect staff producitivity?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the dynamics of staff recruitment, selection and placement in Enugu State public service.
The specific objectives are as follows:
1. To identify the process of staff recruitment, selection and placement in Enugu State public service.
2. To ascertain if discrimination and favouritism are embedded in the recruitment process of the state public service.
3. To examine if political patronage hinders recruitment, selection and placement in the public service of enugu State.
4. To make recommendations based on the findings.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study is dual. The study has all the potential s of being useful to individuals, organizations, government, ministries, state and federal civil service. At the individual level, the study will explore the reason behind prime position, non-merit criteria have assumed in the recruitment of personnel in Enugu State public service. The individuals especially those seeking for employment will be in a position to understand why the could not be recruited despite their excellent performance in schools and at interviews.
More importantly, the study will make it imperative for the Enugu State public service commission to re-appraise the recruitment and selection procedures. The question whether the state has a laid down policy on recruitment and selection, and how this policy has affected the productivity of the state civil
service will become clearer when this study is completed. It could also add new knowledge and literature on the dynamics of staff recruitment, selection and placement in our democratic dispensation which in other words, provides reliable information for future researches on related issues.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
The scope of this research project is on the dynamics of staff recruitment, selection and placement in the public service of Enugu State. It would have been possible for the researcher to have taken the whole Nigeria civil service as a case study but was forced to narrow the work particularly to Enugu State civil service which invariably would serve the whole populace of the country.
The researcher was faced with limitations in the course of gathering this research project which can be itemized thus:
Finance: There was inadequate of fund in providing the necessary materials for the work.
Logistics: As the work be, the researcher encountered problems in the hand of relevant authorities who in there refusal of staff records, journals and magazine made it difficult for completion of the work. Hence, there reason was that the material is not open for public secrecy.
Time: It also took time in other to meet up with the period expected for the completion of the work.
Meanwhile, the problems were overcome by the researcher who employed useful means to obtain alternative document that yielded the same data which was able to move the researcher forward