Professional civil service recruitment is a core component of governance for development, as it is necessary for ensuring the capacity of civil servants, service delivery, fiscal sustainability, and proper salary management. Through an ambitious mixed method approach, this study seeks to provide a political economy analysis of civil service recruitment in Comoros—a fragile and decentralized state with a relatively large portion of spending on government salaries. More specifically, it aims to explain the recent dramatic increases in the number of civil servants in Comoros. The paper presents three main findings from the analysis. First, in 2010, elections at the national and local levels were associated with the largest recruitment in the past decade, due in part to the interplay of informal institutions such as political clientelism with the current public financial management system. Second, the institutions involved in recruitment are not permanent; they are evolving with the balance of power between the national and island governments. Third, civil service recruitment respects qualification standards.