Unemployment, merit and Injustice

Abdul Basit Alvi

Unemployment is a big issue and it really matters for a poor and needy person to get a job for feeding his family. Unfortunately in Pakistan, Unemployment rate is increasing with passage of time. Government’s claims and promises for future seem quite unrealistic and hypothetic. Currently the situation is quite worst as we don’t have new mega projects or any planning for big projects in near future. Political and economic instability has reduced the interest of investors for making new investments.

Merit is not taken seriously in recruitments and deserved ones don’t get their right. Mafias are everywhere and they never let anyone to enter in any organization on merit. They bring their own people purely based on references and kill the right of deserved ones. Big blunders are seen in interviews as well. Equal opportunities are not ensured to provide via conducting interviews. Easy questions and gossips with candidates having strong references while tough questions are asked from others. I had a quite bitter experience during the journey of my job hunting and would like to share it with readers.

I applied for a senior position of Procurement  (on contract basis) in a Government Department (in their donor funded project) few months ago. I was quite lucky this time that i was among three shortlisted candidates. I got huge experience in Procurement and this was the main reason for them not to ignore me. Foreign aided project was itself was another reason to comply with the donor requirements relating to recruitment documentation.

Any way i was interviewed and my interview was very well. I was more than 100% assured to be hired on merit, based on my qualifications, past experiences and skills. I didn’t hear any news from them for two months so i called them. Upon my inquiry, they told me that recruitment has been done and quite surprisingly, my name was not among the selected ones. I thought that they might hired someone having more experience than me. I asked the name of selected one. I sat in front of my laptop and started searching the names of the selected person, third candidate and chief of project in google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. I succeeded to find all necessary information. 

Here is the saddened part of my story. According to my findings, third candidate also got huge relevant experience and foreign qualifications. He got very impressive LinkedIn profile as well. He is currently working somewhere in Govt Department on same position. Then i started searching the name of the selected one. I didn’t found him in LinkedIn. In google i found him as advocate at one place and as owner of some overseas recruitment agency at another place. Then i searched for Chief of the Project. Again, no LinkedIn profile but got Facebook account. I seen the Facebook account thoroughly and was shocked to see that the selected one was Facebook friend of Chief since many years and he also wrote comments on few pictures of Chief. 

The whole picture was quite clear to me. Chief of Project had commitment with the selected one to recruit him. Me and the third candidate were called just for formality, documentation and donor requirements. I am quite sure that the interview questions were also shared with the selected one and all arrangements were done in advance to hire him.

I took screenshots of all evidences and launched a complaint to the chairman of that department with all facts. I was quite sure that no action will be taken and all facts & evidences will be thrown in dustbin. Same happened , I heard nothing from them. I launched complaints to Prime Minister Citizen Portal as well but didn’t receive positive response. Ombudsman refused to register the complaint. Crime control & accountability agencies, Political leaders and media  didn’t showed any seriousness to take up the issue as they have nothing to do with people’s common and personal issues. I don’t say that i am 100% right in my findings. I might be wrong but there should be a proper and transparent system to investigate, address and remove all doubts.

My dear readers, the purpose of this story is just to highlight the facts and to raise the voice against this and thousands of other and same kinds of incidents. The main purpose of describing the story is the awareness for raising voice again injustice as well. As highlighting the issue is for helping to take preventive actions so i am hiding the real names of department and persons involved. Unfortunately merit is not followed in our country and proper complaint & grievance system does not exist practically. No one share the pain of an employed person and this behavior can be seen in all segments of our society.

Why don’t we make a transparent system of recruitment, Equal opportunities for all and Same level & standard of test and interview for all? Who is responsible for discomfort, depression, pain, wastage of time and money, increasing rate of suicide and increasing level of hatred from our talented people? This point needs to be addressed and treated seriously.

All documents, interviews, tests, qualifications, experience certificates should be open for all. All documents and recorded interviews should be presented to public via media or by uploading on websites. We don’t have a system of complaint against a recruitment and hiring issue. A proper, transparent and justice based complaint and grievance system should be in place to ensure the justice and merit. Evidences and proofs should be given weightage. We need uniform and equal opportunities for all. We are looking for real and practical Change. A change which bring relief, equality and justice for all without any discrimination.

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