19/07/12

www.barbadostoday.bb

Page 41

Public sector remake
by Global Expert Systems

is our public Sector in Crisis?
When we gained Independence in 1966, the Colonial Office did not give us any special magic wand to make things work – independence is just that, let’s do it on our own. However, as we approach our golden jubilee, there is enough empirical evidence to suggest that “something needs to be done” about the public sector. This “something” is so far-reaching that we believe it requires more urgent attention, rapid project implementation and deployment as well as constant review and evaluation. According to the Office of Public Sector Reform, the vision is to “transform the public sector into a dynamic organisation, providing high quality service at minimum costs, building the capacity of public servants, promoting the competitive development of Barbados and improving the living standards of its people”. Public sector reform or public sector development is always a work in progress. And from a talent management perspective, we will want to examine the goal of “building capacity”.

How to better recruit in the public Sector
We honestly do not believe that we have done a bad job thus far. However, there is always room for improvement and greater efficiencies. After all, our departments requiring specialised talent seem to be on the right track. But how can we make it better? GES would like to make three suggestions: 1. Universal psychometric testing at the point of recruitment; 2. Implementation of specialised competency assessments to match the required areas of expertise; 3. A complete restructuring of the sector where all recruitment is done through competitive entry exams for all professional and technical public sector positions.

Psychometric testing.

psychometric testing
Very simply put, GES stands firmly behind the use of psychometrics in recruitment. This is the ability to measure attitude, aptitude, knowledge, personality, only to mention a few of the metrics. There are several options of psychometric tests on the market that come with very high customer ratings. The main point here is that a modernised public sector engaging in such a method at the point of recruitment will be one step closer to hiring the right persons for the right job. Finally, many of us are not aware that we have four generations of persons sitting side

Competitive recruitment
The first reaction to competitive recruitment for the Public Sector may seem a bit radical but this is already practised in Trinidad and Barbados for some specialised areas like the recruitment of foreign service officers (diplomats). Our recommendation is to implement this practice across the board in the entire region and allow an accredited body like the University of the West Indies to design the curriculum and testing modules across the various sectors, technical and professional

We call those born after 1990, Generation Z – they are already working with us and they are ahead of us in one area, digital technology. So how will a government recruitment agency handle this new generation? Can we begin to imagine interviews via webcams and instant messaging? Do we have virtual learning and e-training in place to cater to Gen Z? Are we ready to integrate mobile technology into our everyday way of doing business? Let’s think about it because Gen Z is already sitting next to us at work. Next week we will look at this exciting topic that speaks to hiring Gen Z, “Talent Management – eRecruitment and Social Media” • Feel free to visit Global Expert Systems online at http://www.globalexpertsystems.org/ index.php/event/first-caribbean-latin-americanconference-on-talent-management/ or email us at info@globalexpertsystems.org

FOCUS

Can we implement talent management in our publiC SeCtor?

areas. This is not new. Competitive recruitment is already practised across the European Union and throughout most of our neighbouring Latin American countries. Here in the Caribbean we are very much accustomed to competitive exams and by taking it one step further, together with other forms of assessment, we will guarantee, or begin to put in place, more competitive public sectors across the region.

by side in the workplace. The hiring of multi-generations can also be challenging but as we look forward to transforming the public sector into a dynamic organisation, we will have to seriously look at succession planning and recruiting younger professionals to replace those from the baby boomer generation who are now in the process of retiring.