Civil Service Bureau of Georgia

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
In order for any public service sector to function effectively, it must first have the confidence and support of its people. Prior to the launch of the Online Recruitment System (ORS), the Georgian public had limited access to job opportunities within the civil service due to a culture of hiring practices driven by nepotism.Positions that became available within the civil service were often not disclosed, or were only advertised to a limited audience, giving preference to those who had privy to this information. Furthermore, under the previous Law of Georgia on Civil Service, temporary appointments were allowed without any requirement for a competitive selection process. As a result, vacancies were often filled by circumventing the crucial process of competitive selection. These positions could also be held for an undefined period of time, allowing for employees to stagnate in an environment that did not value competition. This environment nurtured a culture of favouritism, where employees could seek to further their careers based on factors other than their professional achievements. Not only did this preferential hiring system promote corruption in terms of the recruitment of family and friends within the civil service, but the on-going effect left the greater public uninvolved and disheartened with regards to the biased competition process and the public service sector as a whole. In an employment market that was saturated by qualified professionals, the available job pool within the civil service was made even smaller by lack of advertisement of upcoming jobs, limiting the influx of fresh ideas into the civil service and adding to Georgia’s unemployment issues. From a recruitment perspective, the paper based system was difficult to control, as HR managers had difficulty searching through resumes to find appropriate candidates for vacant positions. Within this system there did not exist an effective way in which to filter and refine the applications received. The previous paper based system was also overly laborious and time consuming for both job seekers and employers. The process of application was made difficult by insufficient and cursory details provided in advertisements as well as a lengthy process of gathering and delivering the required documents for each application. There was also a lack of a centralised and online tool available for HR managers in the civil service, a systemneeded to facilitate the selection process. This system was not sustainable for the Georgian civil service, whose primary goal was to meet the needs of its people. In order to tackle the inherent corruption present a new system needed to be implemented that would create fair and unbiased access to employment opportunities with the goal of attracting and retaining talented and qualified professionals.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The driving force behind the concept and implementation of the ORS was the Civil Service Bureau, a government body established in 2009 to head reforms and innovations within the field of civil service, specifically anti-corruption civil service legislation, human resource management systems and electronic governance projects. After in-depth research into best practice from both local and international organisations, the CSB designed and executed the ORS in conjunction with a public awareness campaign, training sessions for HR managers within the various ministerial bodies and provided online support for both civil servants and the wider public. Being a technology-based system,it also brings the further benefits of fiscal savings as well as reduced time and effort required by both CSB personnel and the public when using the recruitment system.Whereas previously jobseekers would need to apply for each individual job through a paper based application, a process which was time consuming and labour intensive, now an individual can log onto the ORS and lodge an application through their profile which stores their résumé and other relevant documents. Other benefits to the site include the ability for users to save vacancies and leave comments for advertised positions as well as tailored search parameters for employers and notification when applicants apply for an advertised job with them.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
With the aim of creating a transparent recruitment process within the public service sector throughout Georgia, the Civil Service Bureau’s Online Recruitment System (ORS) was a significant step forward from the out-dated and often prejudiced competition system that was previously in place. After detailed assessment of current recruitment practice both within Georgia and abroad, it was found that to combat the corruption ingrained within the civil service nepotism must be eradicated and transparent equality made the norm. Launched in June 2011, the ORS sought to facilitate the growth of professionalism intrinsically through mandating competition requirements and opening up the public service recruitment process to public involvement and scrutiny.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
One of the key components in the successful implementation of the ORS came from support through legislation. This involved lobbying to Parliament to amend the Law of Georgia on Civil Servicewith regards to the process of unbiased application and promotion within the civil service and to adopt the anti-corruption ethos of the ORS. After the relevant legislation was amended the development of the software and subsequent website went underway. The ORS was designed and implicated in its entirety by the Civil Service Bureau, which included a team of dedicated lawyers, managers and IT specialists. Furthermore, a public awareness campaign was generated to coincide with the launch of the ORS. As the success of the new recruitment portal was hinged on the public’s use of the system, it was important to draw attention to its key features through mainstream social media portals as well as the Civil Service Bureau’s own website.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The solution was entirely proposed and implemented by the Civil Service Bureau of Georgia. The Civil Service Bureau mobilised all of the subsequent resources, as well as entirely designed and implemented the software. The implementation of the initiative was led by the HR Department of the CSB, specifically through the support of a team of lawyers, managers and IT specialists.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
As the ORS was designed and implemented by the Civil Service Bureau, all resources concerned with the initiative were mobilised in-house. The team directly related to the development and on-going support of the ORS consisted of a talented IT professional, as well as online support technicians. The budget allocated for the ORS was equivalent to USD 40 000 and included the design of the system’s software, launch of the program, media coverage and staffing needs.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Whereas previously jobseekers would need to apply for each individual job through a paper based application, a process which was time consuming and labour intensive, now an individual can log onto the ORS and lodge an application through their profile which stores their résumé and other relevant documents. Other benefits offered by the site include the ability for users to save vacancies and leave comments for advertised positions.Being a technology-based system, it also brings the further benefits of fiscal savings as well as reduced time and effort required by both CSB personnel and the public when using the recruitment system. Job seekers can now apply for positions within different sectors of public service that were previously not disclosed, or only advertised to a limited audience.This includes promotions within the civil service, ensuring that all new appointments are made solely on the basis of competition. The ORS allows users flexible and efficient access to available positions, giving an equal opportunity for access to those who apply. HR managers now have an elaborate recruitment tool by which to search for applicants that meet their required needs. They can tailor search parameters to filter applicants based on fields such as experience and qualifications as well as receive notification when applicants apply for an advertised position with them.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The Civil Service Bureau of Georgia frequently organizes a discussion on the development of the ORS with the human resources managers from state agencies; they express their opinions on the system and propose their suggestions for further development. The Civil Service Bureau regularly works with human resource managers from state agencies in order to maximize the efficiency of recruitment system development and implementation in the Georgian civil service. The results of this initiative can also be seen through the feedback received by way of the social media portals, official hotline, online support services and most importantly the testimonials of successful applicants who have used the services of the ORS. These testimonials are available on the website and are a reflection of not only the success of the ORS, but of the confidence that the program’s users have in the system.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
One of the main obstacles faced by any online recruitment system operating in a developing country in the digital age is the computer literacy of its people. As development in Georgia pushes ahead to meet Western standards, a lack of computer literacy among the population is severely hampering its civil service. As now all positions available throughout the civil service are published online through the ORS, it is almost impossible to be accepted for a position withinthe civil service sector without basic computer skills. In order to combat this obstacle the Government of Georgia instigated a program in which computer centres were opened in villages throughout the country in a bid to increase access, and in turn the computer literacy of its citizens. The project which delivers free internet access for interested users has the twofold benefit of allowing access to the ORS for those with relevant computer skills as well as those users who will benefit from free access to reliable internet and computers to better develop their own skills. It is hoped that this initiative will give more people access to the ORS and in turn lead to more qualified and talented professionals.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
It was essential to determine the needs of both the civil service and the public prior to development of the initiative, therefore a detailed situational and needs analysis was carried out in conjunction with local and international experts. This allowed for developers to create a program that incorporated the best practice from leading experts,to tailor a program that would address the issues of corruption within the recruitment process in the civil service. The primary goal of the ORS was to increase the overall transparency of the non-commercial recruitment system within Georgia and thus reduce corruption and nepotism at the staffing level. Therefore, running in conjunction with the ORS were key changes in Georgian legislation that allowed for the smooth running of the operation system, with the aim to eradicate the ingrained discriminatory practices that were previously accepted. Firstly, changes were made that affected the process of application with relation to the new recruitment portal.This included amendments to the Law of Georgia on Civil Service that mandated the public announcement of any vacant position through the website, reduced the period of time of application submission and included job descriptions for vacancy announcements within the civil service. It was essential to apply the new website in practice to determine both its functionality and feasibility prior to its launch. Detailed sessions for HR managers from different bodies of the Ministries of Georgia were held in June, 2011 and focused on familiarising staff with the systemas well as producing valuable feedback and pinpointing obstacles encountered during the recruitment process. This enabled further modifications by making it more tailor-made and focused on the specific needs of the users. In order to further improve the system after its launch it was imperative to gauge the response of the public via a series of focus groups. These sessions represented the views of both employed professionals and jobs seekers from both genders, as well as volunteers from the public and private sectors. The findings produced a snapshot of the current needs being met and issues that needed to be addressed in further updates of the system. In addition, an online service and hotline were introduced to aid users with queries and to smooth the integration of the new system. Based on feedback gathered in the initial stages of the ORS, the CSB introduced a new option for those wishing to register on its website integration of nationale-ID cards to register and access vacancies and profiles simplified the procedure of uploading the necessary personal information and increased the effectiveness of the site. The CSB also produced a series of promotional materials including an informational pamphlet and social media campaign. The promotional materials outlined the benefits of the new system, including use of the website as well as information regarding the helpline and online support system.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
In order to maintain the ORS it must be a sustainable initiative and therefore the CSB constantly overseers the website for insight into future updates and modifications. In order to facilitate this growth within the initiative, an online support service was introduced to actively monitor issues users may experience with the system. This works in conjunction with a hotline, to not only provide fast and effective service, but to look for improvements for further updates. To ensure that the benefits of the ORS stretch throughout the various governmental bodies of Georgia, the CSB has held a series of training sessions to ensure that not only its HR managers were competent in the use of the ORS, but also that they had the opportunity to share relevant knowledge regarding their experiences with the initiative. These valuable training sessions not only ensured that a detailed understanding of the ORS was held by those civil servants who would be interacting with the program, but that their individual knowledge and insight was disseminated among their colleagues. In addition to this, an iPhone application and mobile site were launched in December 2012 for mobile users to increase the efficiency and reach of the ORS.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Since its launch in June, 2011 the Online Recruitment System has led the way in promoting unbiased access to employment prospects within Georgia. The initiative has offered the wider public unprecedented access to professional opportunities within the civil service sector, an employment market that was previously dominated by nepotism hiring practices. Through the use of the recruitment portal,, the following statistical data has been achieved: • More than 43,000 applicants have registered on the website • 320 public agencies are listed and advertise their upcoming positions on the portal • Over 900 vacancies have been advertised The Online Recruitment System should be commended for its impartial recruitment service that has provided the Georgian civil service sector and the wider public with a non-discriminatory, competitive employment culture. The Online Recruitment System has cemented itself as a cornerstone in the promotion of transparent and effective governance within the civil service.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Civil Service Bureau of Georgia
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Tamta Tsotskhalasvili
Title:   Head of the Civil Service Reform and Development  
Telephone/ Fax:   +995322192727
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   7 Ingorokva Street
Postal Code:   0134
City:   Tbilisi

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