Merit Based Selection
'Selection on merit' is a process of determining which job seeker has the skills, abilities and knowledge deemed to be most suitable for the job. In a merit based system, applicants effectively compete for a job. The written application, the selection interview and any testing of applicants is all part of the competition process.
If the selection process is said to be "Closed Merit", a vacant position will be advertised only within the organisation. Only applicants from within the organisation will be able to compete for the vacant position.
If the selection process is "Open Merit" then the vacant position is advertised widely by whatever means deemed to be suitable to attract a pool of applicants from outside the organisation. Generally, in an open merit selection process, vacant positions are advertised in the jobs section of a newspaper.
If jobs are awarded to individuals on the basis of friendship or relationship, then the selection process is not Merit Based. Similarly, if a position is awarded on seniority or plain proximity of an individual i.e. working in the same office as the person who previously held the position, then the selection process is also not merit based.
Selection on merit has more advantages than disadvantages, but if there is a disadvantage it is the cost and time involved in going through the process properly. On the otherhand, the main advantage is that you will uually often obtain a more skilled and competent person for the vacant position, and his has benefits to the organisation as a whole.