Recruiting Improvement In Royal Brunei Navy Commerce Essay

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1. One of the priorities development stated in the Defence White Paper 2004 is the expanding the capacity of the recruit training centre. RBN have tried the best to make every efforts include the development of plans for manning, training needs, strategies and plans for recruitment. As part of the Defence Strategic Plan efforts, RBN identified the core and strategic objectives to enable the process.

2. In today's Navy, it is increasingly important that the manpower, personnel and training put the right person in the right place, at the right time with right training and skills. In addition, morale and welfare of personnel considered look into to support a high aspect of intrinsic motivation. Over the past year, RBN have invested in personnel, training, and resources to enable Fleet to be ready and deploy at a higher state of readiness and build a more responsive surge capability. These investments were vital to sustain the aging assets in order to continue RBN mission.


3. The aim of this paper is to analyse the recruiting strategies on improving the recruiting system in RBN.


4. A total number of 992 have been allocated for RBN establishment and currently the overall manning is over manned by 40% [1] . In 2004 - 2005 RBN currently fell short of its recruiting demand. Although the aim is to take a maximum of 10-15 personals for the navy, on the other hand it cannot be achieve as the numbers is very limited.

5. The recruiting policy for RBAF is based on the selection criteria as to what RBN requirement. The current system is still in place and need to be review to meet certain requirements. At present RBN didn't have any recruits joined to RBN since starting intake 125 to 128. At this stage RBN have to cover by waiting for those who are leaving and retired. Unfortunately it unlikely happens as these numbers is only small. While waiting for new billets, the creating vacuum may trap personnel within their rank. Another thing to be considered that billet for the specialist trade (i.e. Weapon and Mechanical) can not be changed.

6. Every year RBN personnel received a numbers of retirements in 15, 20 and 25 years service [2] . Some of them are also advised to retired early due to several reasons.

7. To combat these problems, RBN should take an initiative for the development and future plan of manpower to fulfil the requirement in the RBN capability developments. These challenges will attain dramatic improvements, changing the culture and the shape of the workforce in the human resource environment.



8. RBN has review current ways of doing business and suggests solutions that will improve effectiveness and find efficiencies of current manning. The issue of manpower is brought to expansion as RBN required maintaining a maximum manning level. In a steady-state profile, the cost of losing personnel, either due to retirement or decisions not to reenlist, includes gapped billets. The cost to the RBN in terms of lost experience and technical knowledge are extensive, but are essentially immeasurable.

9. The establishment control process is sometimes lengthy, cumbersome and expensive. Establishment changes showed significant variation in the time to process. Some changes were processed quickly, others took more than a year. The length of time taken and the need to approve by the board can lead to normal posting cycles being interrupted.

10. Establishments are not an accurate description of available resources. Other factors, such as financial constraints and with recruiting limitations, do not allow the establishment positions to be filled. Even if there were sufficient recruits, the budget is insufficient to fill the authorised naval strength. To ensure optimal individual recruiter productivity, RBN should plan to allocate the new billets. Every year the increasing billets will be review for the approval of board of to achieve the goal of improved recruiter productivity. The Naval Administration Cell (NAC) will be responsible to determine every requirement of new billets as where and when to be used.

11. Balance manning are required before an establishment change can be processed. Some problem is that positions no longer required are sometimes identified before a requirement for a new position is identified. If the redundant position is handed back, it cannot then be used as an offset for a future requirement. In these circumstances, departments are understandably reluctant to hand back positions.

12. Redundant positions may remain occupied or they may be transferred to a pool of unoccupied positions in others departments, which provides some flexibility. During the financial year, they can be used to provide establishment cover for essential positions. Temporary positions are handled through a 'short-term manpower pool', which is used for short-term projects.

13. Other factor that affect the manning such as retention and personnel leaving the navy. NAC should obtain the information and collect accurate data especially why personnel leaving the navy early. However personnel on medical reasons could be the one when they are failed to reengaged every 5 years. Never the less, RBN has also taken many initiatives to rehabilitate personnel who fail the physical training test or appear to be struggling. On the retirement side, RBN also received a number of personnel retired from the service which are most in 20 years service. RBN have focus on the retention efforts on personnel who acquired and accumulated particular skills, qualifications, and certifications. Personnel who worked on special duty appointment should have special duty assignment pay, for those who take on more responsibility.


14. Recruiting Office of the Royal Brunei Armed Force is situated in Bolkiah Garrison. The Recruiting Office has sub-units in all districts, which conduct registration and interview for Royal Brunei Armed Forces applicants. After the initial process, the applicants will distribute to their choice location. In RBN a series test will be conducted and finally followed by an interview with the recruiting officer and its members to finalise their choice.

15. To improve the recruiting system, navy must assign personnel to screen and select recruiters. In general, these personnel follow various processes, including conducting interviews and checking the personnel records of potential recruiters. To meet this development, RBN should use experienced recruiters to personally interview all prospective recruiters and evaluate their potential to effectively communicate with applicants, parents, teachers, and others in the civilian community.

16. By carefully selecting recruiters based on a demonstrated skill for recruiting, as well as excellent performance in their specialty, RBN will be able to increase the effectiveness of their recruiters.


17. RBN has used mutli-advertisement such as newspaper, radio and television, road show and website. MINDEF website showed only the partition of the officer's career at this stage and the explanation is not into detail. Advertising is expensive and it is importantly to choose the right media. The purpose of the advertisement is to attract suitable potential applicants in terms of qualifications and experience and it should therefore contain the necessary information to secure their attention and interest. The advertisement should produce a clear word-picture or template of the ideal candidate and should encapsulate the demands and position and attributes of the person. Careful considerations should be given on its design, layout and contents.

18. With the coming of new information technology today, people would spend on average 2 to 4 hours per day using the internet as a recruitment tool. This is a source of additional information on a web site and being convenient and cheap advertising medium that allows a speedy response from applicants. In helping to capture and attract the young people using this kind of advertisement, the site must include the information on the basic pay, additional allowances for specific skills or duties and benefits during in service and after serving RBAF. It is also to help people learn more about navy careers, educational opportunities, and the navy lifestyle. Therefore, this will provides the public a chance to read about specific naval personnel serving today and how they support the navy mission.

19. Targeting recruitment information towards their parents may improve recruitment effectiveness. Advertising that explains the benefits of military service would give parents the information, they need to encourage and support a child's decision to join the service.


20. The development of better recruiting is highlight that education is one of the most important aspects of the RBN's modernisation drive. The RBN may acquire new equipment, undergo reorganisation and changes in SOPs but without a well-developed educational system, the RBN will not be able to fully implement any of its modernization efforts.

21. Today's youth have three main options after high school: fail exam leave school, entering the civilian job, or joining the RBAF. RBN should examine the feasibility of greater opportunities for recruits to complete their education simultaneously while there in service.

22. The level of education in the future will be higher compared today that the selection for the recruit is very difficult to get the minimum Form 3 English or Form 5 [3] . Although they passed Form 5 with 'O' level but they are not any credit subjects to help them to get through. As RBN recruiting committee experience on this requirement, RBN should take an initiative especially for those who do not have high credits in 'O' level but have a potential must given a chances through General Educational Development program. This can be done through a sponsorship by the jointly school or college.

23. Once the recruit is selected with good background of education, their chances for next progression will be easy. Other advantage that they will get promoted in time as long as their career are in line within the term of reference. More over they will be given a chance to continue further study if they perform well.

24. Professional education provides the knowledge necessary to conduct operations and operate existing naval technology. As the level of technology becomes more important in the conduct of warfare, however, so too does the quality of professional education. Moreover, the life cycle of any given technology is continually growing shorter and knowledge is becoming outdated more quickly. Therefore, professional education needs to provide personnel with the intellectual tools, structure, and technological background necessary to constantly update their knowledge throughout their careers.

25. Another important innovation that will decide in the future of the professional education is by establishing naval military academy. This will developed and encourage recruits to join the RBN in continuation their studies when leaving school. This proposal is to offer more generous educational benefits as a means of improving RBN recruiting. But the problem will influence the personnel to leave the service in order to take advantage of educational benefits. Another major concerns arise are the long-run cost of a program and its effectiveness as a recruiting incentive.


26. At present Naval Administration Cell (NAC) is responsible for monitoring and updating the compliment record of RBN personnel in conjunction of internal training and posting. Other areas include leave, promotion and administration are parts of the NAC job. The personnel responsible for the NAC have a background of technical and warfare who had served a minimum of 15 years with little experience on the human resource management. Their role is to look after the posting of technical and warfare branch based on the recommendation from the posting board committee. To cover everything in NAC that have in HRM, RBN should firstly focus on the functions of NAC.

27. Secondly, the procedures should be reviewed to enhance:

Designing an effective organisation structure,

Staffing the structure with suitable people,

Defining work roles and relationships, and

Securing optimum working arrangements [4] .

28. Other areas need to be improved on the activities of NAC are:

Human resource planning,

Retention and recruitment,

Education, training and development, and

Personnel career management.

29. To function those above activities, a full time dedicated manager in organisational level is needed specialisation in HRM act in consultation with the head of departments. He is assuming a prominent role for day-to-day personnel matters as advisor. For the recruiting side, NAC must determine how many new personnel the RBN needs each year to meet congressionally mandated manning levels.


30. For short-term strategy, RBN should invited a consultant and given a feasibility study on the organisation. Once the study has been carried out, the planning will be designed to suit the requirement. In addition, a consultant may have a more detached view of issues than organisation's employees may. In the mean time RBN will send some personnel for HRM course and will be year mark for future HRM manager.

31. However, care should be exercised on the recommendations from an outsider who may not understand the organisation culture and requirements. In addition to the cost of hiring a consultant, organisation should factor in the time it will take to provide them with necessary background information on the organisation.


32. RBN establishment are overborne by 40 % and while waiting for the approval, numbers of personnel will be leaving if they still jammed in their rank position and also affect the posting cycle. A balance manning is required to fill up on the empty billets and this is the responsible of NAC to look after it.

33. RBN are also continuing traditional recruiting strategies in the high schools, vocational technical schools, colleges, the local malls and events that attract men and women in the new areas. It was stressed the important of the recruiter to conduct the interviews and checking personnel data to make the system more efficient.

34. The usage of information technology nowadays becomes a recruitment tool and being convenient and cheap advertisement that allows speed response from the applicants. The information about basic pay, additional allowances and benefits must be include in the media, therefore public will have a chance to feel about the life as naval personnel.

35. The difficulty to get personnel in Form 3 English or Form 5 will affect their future career especially for those who do not have strong credits. However, RBN will support the personnel in providing the education through a sponsorship with the school or college.

36. Currently NAC is acting as human resource office but with limited experience personnel. A full time human resource manager is required to man HR. Other areas need to be improved such as planning, retention, training and development and career management. It is requested that in future an experience consultant will work together to structure the NAC to be fully manned as HRM office.


37. The most important thing to be done on improving the recruiting system is by setting up a proper HRM office. The existing NAC will be used as HRM office and review back the necessary requirement. The system must be organised systematically by trained HR manager. The followings that also need to be looked after are:

Manpower Planning,

Retention and Recruitment,

Career Structure, and

Training and Development.

38. Secondly, to maintain the system effectively, RBN should invite a consultant to assist the NAC staffs. In the mean time, RBN should request for additional new billets to increase the number of personnel. Then this will follows with the selection of recruits through recruiting process and advertisement.