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MyVacancy - SMS and e-Mail notifications of candidates in vacancy procedures (MyVacancy)

Published on: 01/12/2010
Document

'MyVacancy' system ('MojKonkurs' in Bosnian) is a system for electronic notifications of candidates participating in vacancy procedures for civil service posts in the State Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It has two major channels of communication with citizens - candidates pursuing civil service posts:
1. Web site (https://mojkonkurs.ads.gov.ba ) where all notifications on all vacancies for civil service positions are published; and
2. Personalised electronic massages that each candidate receives by SMS and email.

Each applicant receives an electronic message by SMS and email notifying him/her on the status of his/her job application. eNotifications are sent following the events of:


1. Registration of citizen's application in the system;
2. Evaluation of that application by the Selection Committee regarding fulfillment of formal requirements for that position;
3. Publication of the schedule of the entry State exam;
4. Publication of the results of the State exam;
5. Publication of the schedule of the Professional exam conducted for each job position;
6. Publication of the results of the Professional exam;
7. Publication of the schedule of the final interview with the candidate;  and
8. Publication of the results of the final interview.

SMS and email messages contain links on the web site, where schedules and results of the exams are published. Citizens can see all the relevant data on all vacancies announcements they participated in, upon logging on the system.

The system also provides CSA material with all necessary data for effective and efficient implementation of vacancy procedures. The system provides printed notifications/certificates to the candidates when necessary, and summarised information for the Selection Committee. Business intelligence module provides CSA management with information for strategic and operational decision making.

The system will be upgraded in the next development step to allow citizens to apply online for the advertised civil service positions.

Policy Context

The System development is promoted by the Law on Civil Service in the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which describes an opportunity to allow citizens to apply for civil service positions only. The 'MyVacancy' system is implemented in phases, the first phase being about eNotification.
The Public Administration Reform Action Plan in Bosnia and Herzegovina, chapter HR 5. Recruitment and Selection, states that appropriate announcement of vacancies across BiH should be established. The Action plan explains that a service to notify serving civil servants of available opportunities (electronically where possible) should be established and that a "customer friendly" procedures to inform all candidates of the progress of their applications should be implemented.

Description of target users and groups

Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina applying for a civil service positions in the State Institutions of the country. Each applicant receives personalised electronic messages by SMS and email, notifying him/her on every status update of his/her job application.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The project was initiated by organising a presentation of the project idea to the Institutions' management and, upon approval of the project, establishment of the project implementation team. The project team consisted of employees of both the Appointment sector and IT unit of the Civil Service Agency. The team devised preliminary system analysis and produced system requirements specifications as a part of tender dossier for public procurement of development services. Tender documentation promoted iterative-incremental development processes with elements of participative design. The focus of all meetings with the selected software development company was to ensure mutual understanding over project goals.

Technology solution

Specific technology was not described in the tender dossier and it was left up to the selected company to decide on the best option. The system was developed in ASP.NET while data are kept in a MS SQL database. The system communicates with the bulk SMS center of one of the Bosnian telecom operators using SMPP protocol and with dedicated Exchange email server.

Technology choice: Proprietary technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

We had two main goals to achieve: to implement fully electronic notification of candidates in public vacancies and to build capacities for real-time on-demand reporting on current status of vacancy procedures.

Implementing electronic notifications resulted in the increase of efficiency (rapid costs- and time-saving compared to the previous notification process via postal service), in the increase of user satisfaction (candidates are informed on their application status update in the moment the update is produced) and in building an overall CSA image of modern eService delivery Agency. Additionally, project implementation revealed potential of upgrading the system to fully support the recruitment process beginning with the online application of candidates.  Implementing real-time on-demand reporting on current status of vacancy procedures satisfied our reporting needs towards the Council of Ministers and Parliament, as well as provided capacities to plan our activities in more convenient way. 

Return on investment

Return on investment: €5-15,000

Track record of sharing

We can provide all necessary information regarding this project - which were the exact goals and results to be achieved, a project description and scope of the work, description of specific activities and schedules of implementation. We can also provide technical schemas and description of methods used in project implementation. This project could be of interest to any government, whether the civil servants selection and recruitment process is centralised or decentralised.

Lessons learnt

Main lessons learnt from the case are:

  • Every necessary effort has to be made in order to establish mutual understanding on software requirements, between the government project team and the software development team. Both sides need to listen and learn from each other throughout the project implementation.
  • A Helpdesk to support users of newly introduced system has to be established as well as an effective system for fine-tuning based on user feedback.
  • Business representatives of the government project team have to develop a sense of project ownership. eGovernment is much more about government business rather than IT.
  • When switching to SMS and email notification as a sole channel of communication with citizens, a public body has to ensure that emails and SMS massages have actually been delivered to users' e-mail and SMS accounts. It is necessary to build a tracking functionality in the system based on an SMS delivery report from the SMS center and to track and notify on possible delivery errors in email notifications.
Scope: National