Candidate Frequently Asked Questions

PM&CCareers
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

PM&C has made a number of changes to the way we attract and assess candidates.

The purpose of these changes was to remove barriers in attracting high quality candidates and getting the right people into the right jobs. We also wanted to make the recruitment process easier, more flexible and fit for purpose for both candidates and business areas.

I’ve heard that PM&C has changed the way that they recruit. What are the changes and why were they made?

PM&C has made a number of changes to the way we attract and assess candidates.

The purpose of these changes was to remove barriers in attracting high quality candidates and getting the right people into the right jobs. We also wanted to make the recruitment process easier, more flexible and fit for purpose for both candidates and business areas.

  • Attract – We want to attract motivated, agile and resilient candidates who generate ideas and are driven to achieve results. So we’ve replaced public service jargon and duty statements with inspiring job ads that tell candidates who we are, what we do, what we’re trying to achieve, and what opportunities we offer. These ads will not list a specific classification and salary (with the exception of APSJobs), similar to how roles are advertised in the private sector.
  • Assess – We want to have a broader and more diverse candidate pool with a variety of skills, experience, qualifications and backgrounds. So we’ve advertised jobs more widely, including on blogs, newsletters, journals and social media. We’ve also making the application process easier for candidates by removing duplication and cutting red tape. No more selection criteria – instead you will submit your resume and a ‘one page pitch’ telling us why you are the best person for the job. 

 

Do the recruitment changes comply with APS legislation?

Yes, the recruitment changes have been discussed with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and meet all minimum legislative requirements under:

  • the Public Service Act 1999, Section 10A – APS Employment Principles
  • the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013, Chapter 2
  • the Public Service Classification Rules 2000, Rule 9

 

Will selection decisions still be based on merit?

Yes, the selection of successful candidates will still be transparent and merit based, which means that:

  • all roles will be advertised on APSJobs to give eligible candidates a reasonable opportunity to apply
  • assessment of candidates will be based on the work related qualities genuinely required to perform the role
  • successful candidates will be selected based on their relative suitability to perform the role using a fair, consistent and competitive selection process
  • delegates will assign a classification to candidates and the role based on the APS Work Level Standards

 

How will I know whether I’m suitable for a job if the classification and salary level is not listed?

Classifications and relevant salary ranges will still be advertised on APSJobs, just not as part of wider advertisements. The primary reason for this is to attract the right people for the right jobs - we are looking for candidates who are motivated to apply for a role based on job fit, rather than because it is at a particular classification level.

The title of the role and the language used in advertisements will also provide you with guidance on whether you would be suitable. Our new advertisements are split into two sections to make this easier for you.

  • The Opportunity – this section replaces the typical ‘duty statement’ we have used in the past. It provides you with information about the main priorities, responsibilities and opportunities of the role.
  • Our Ideal Candidate – this section provides you with information about the required (and desired) skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications we are looking for in our ideal candidate.

 

Jobs seem to be advertised across multiple classifications on APSJobs. How will the panel know what classification level/s I want to be considered for?

Most roles will have the potential to be filled across multiple classifications (give or take some responsibilities and skill level). Therefore the onus is on you to pitch yourself to the selection panel at the appropriate level. For example, if you are a substantive APS 5 looking for a promotion and the role you want is advertised an APS 4 - 6, you would need to make it clear that you are looking for a promotion and demonstrate your ability to perform at that level.

 

How do I apply for a job?

The application process has not changed – you will still submit an online application through the PM&C Careers Page. As part of your application you will need to provide:

  • your resume, including the contact details of two referees
  • a ‘one page pitch’ telling us how your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications makes you the best person for the job

 

What should I include in my resume?

The quality of your resume creates the vital first impression we have of you. As a minimum, you should ensure that you include the following elements:

  • Personal Details – include your name, contact email address and phone numbers.
  • Education – provide details of any education and qualifications that relate to the job you are applying for.
  • Work Experience – include all work experience and outline the main responsibilities and achievements that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Organise your employment history in chronological order, starting with the most recent, and indicate actual dates of employment. Make sure to explain any gaps in time.
  • Other Experience – if relevant, briefly mention any extra-curricular activities, interests or volunteer/community work that you participated in and highlight what you gained from that experience.
  • Referees – include the name and contact details of two professional referees who can validate and support your application.
  • Layout – The standard resume length is between two to six pages. Use an easy to read font and a simple, consistent format. Use bullet points to break up text. Place key information on the front page where it can be noticed. Highlight important facts, and ensure that you can back them up with examples if asked at interview.

 

What should I include in my one page pitch?                                            

Your one page pitch is a chance to tell us why you are the right person for the job. We want to know why you want to work at PM&C, why you are interested in the role, what you can offer us, and how your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications are applicable to the role. In a nutshell – why should we hire you?

Try not to duplicate information that can already be found in your resume, but do highlight any specific examples or achievements that will demonstrate your ability to perform the role.

 

How will my application be assessed?

You will be assessed on your ability to demonstrate that you possess, or have the real potential to develop, the required skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications to perform the role. These requirements are based on the information provided to you as part of the job advertisement.

If your application is shortlisted, you may be asked to undertake further assessment to test your ability to perform the role. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • behavioural/motivational/personality testing
  • behavioural interviews to assess your motivation and fit for the role
  • role play or written tasks to assess key knowledge areas and critical skills

Your referees may also be contacted at any stage of the assessment process to validate your claims. For this reason it is important that you advise them you have applied for a role at PM&C, and that you feel confident they will be able to support your application.

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. 

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