Thawley's new recruiting rules swap fixed criteria for 'one page pitch'

By The Mandarin

October 9, 2015

Michael Thawley

No more selection criteria — jargon and pro-forma duty statements are out, replaced with inspiring ads that tell candidates what the department is trying to achieve.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s new way of recruiting looks a lot like the private sector. Unless you’re looking for a transfer and wading through APSJobs, candidates won’t see classification or salary bands in job ads anymore.

Those ads won’t only appear on the tired pages of national broadsheets anymore either, with a push to get opportunities front and centre to new sources of news for many potential applicants: on blogs, newsletters, journals and social media.

While the process of applying has not changed mechanically, what goes into the application has simplified to just the resume and a “one page pitch” telling them why you are the best person for the job.

The FAQ for candidates says the changes are about getting the right people into the right jobs, and being more flexible and fit for purpose for both candidates and business areas. That means it’s doing away with the artificial barriers that discourage good candidates currently in the private sector from applying, as well as opening up the candidate pool for those whose experience and backgrounds don’t neatly fit a rigid selection criteria.

Instead of filtering candidates to the job classification, the job will be tailored to fit the right candidate:

“If you are assessed as being suitable to perform the role, you will be assessed against the relevant classification levels using the APS Work Level Standards. If you are selected as the successful candidate the role will then be tailored to ensure best fit, and depending on your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications you may have the opportunity to negotiate your salary within the parameters of the relevant Enterprise Agreement.”

While PM&C secretary Michael Thawley and Australian Public Service commissioner John Lloyd have publically pushed for these changes across the APS, for now each department will set its own speed of change.

The rigid IT system behind APSJobs also puts the brakes on some iterative changes to the recruiting process until every department has caught up.

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