This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
The City Government of Zamboanga Qualifying Examination and One-page Application Form
Local Government Unit of Zamboanga City
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Every year, the CHRMO receives more-or-less a thousand applications from job seekers vying for a limited number of vacancies in the CGZ. The HR staff must find an objective way to shortlist applicants to dispel the perception that in government, “it is not what you know but whom you know.” Given a large number of applicants, documents submitted have reached almost unmanageable proportions, occupying so much of the office’s filing space. In 2015, to address these concerns, Dr. Jane C. Bascar, CHRl\/IO Department Head introduced the Qualifying Examination (QE) and developed the one-page application form for applicants.
Background and Problem
The objectives of this best practice are to:
- Shortlist numerous applicants through an objective written assessment of their readiness for work, their basic knowledge, and skills, as well as their ability to undertake activities necessary to accomplish tasks;
- Reduce the voluminous application documents received by the office and to improve access to and retrieval of important applicant information;
- Improve the image of the CGZ as a professional organization.
The conduct of the QE and the development of the one-page application form was the office’s response to the general perception that in government, political patronage is the norm as well as to answer the challenge of having to review a massive number of applicants for vacant positions in the CGZ. With the numerous applications received, HR staff spend a considerable amount of valuable time reviewing voluminous documents in evaluating applicants for inclusion in the HR Merit and Promotion Selection Board interview.
Solution and Impact
Every year, the CHRMO received around a thousand applicants to vie for vacant positions in the CGZ. As a result, the HR staff concerned are bombarded with numerous documents for assessment and evaluation, consuming most of their productive time. To address the concern on how best to shortlist applicants, the conduct of the QE was introduced, together with the submission of a one-page application by the applicants. This led to a better recruitment, and selection process where the most competent applicants possessing the desired level of knowledge and skills are selected, resulting in a more professionalized workforce.
The CGZ QE is conducted twice a year, on a Saturday in the months of April and November. When there are intervening events such as the National or Local Elections, the Qualifying Examination is canceled or deferred to a later date.
In applying, job seekers now submit only the one-page application form, which has many advantages. For the CHRIVIO, the information of the applicants can be extracted in a very convenient way without going through a lot of documents and the one-page form also frees up office filing space. For the applicants, the form greatly reduces printing and photocopying costs and time spent in accomplishing them.
- The QE has succeeded in shifting the public perception on the screening process as subjective to one that is more objective and professionalized.
- With the QE, the CGZ now can recruit and select the most competent candidates in terms of skills, knowledge, and attitude.
- The bulk of application documents have greatly decreased resulting in easier access and retrieval of important applicant data as well as freeing up of valuable office space that would have otherwise been occupied by the application-related documents.