Too long, too complicated: recruitment needs to get back to basics

Simplifying long and complex recruiting practices to improve employment mobility is just one step towards the workforce of the future, public servants heard when two public service commissioners got together.

The Commonwealth and New South Wales public service commissioners agree: recruitment processes for government jobs are too long, complicated and demanding on applicants.

Simplifying and speeding them up was just one good step towards building the public sector workforces of the future that was discussed at the recent IPAA ACT Conference in Canberra. Australian Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd (pictured above) and his New South Wales counterpart Graeme Head were joined by the IPAA’s national president-elect and partner-in-charge at KPMG Australia, Penny Armytage.

“You can’t attract people if the first interaction looks like their worst stereotype of how the public service works.”

Lloyd believes the way candidates are rated and the recruitment procedures themselves — including the arduous requirement to write claims against selection criteria — should be simplified.

“The public sector needs to be able to attract and retain the best and the brightest,” he told delegates. “Currently the average time for APS recruitment is around 12 weeks. That’s too long, and the long delays can result in people going elsewhere.”

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  • Paddy Mohan

    In the Northern Territory (NTPS), we dont have to write statements addressing selection criteria. Rather, selection criteria is addressed in the resume and a one-page summary sheet.