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Select a recruitment approach (assessments)

Your recruitment process must assess candidates on their skills, knowledge and abilities as they relate to the role (the merit principle). Each candidate must be given the same clear instructions, and you must assess them at each stage of the process in the same way.

Consider inclusion and diversity requirements, including any cultural matters, that could affect a candidate's performance. Adjust your selection process to ensure your panel can assess all potential candidates equally for the role.

See Shortlist candidates for more.

Assessments

Most recruitment processes for government roles include 2 assessments: a written application in response to a role description and a structured interview. These are not mandatory. You may choose to include one or both or neither of these. You may want to use alternative or additional assessments.

Written assessment

Get your candidates to provide a written response to your job advertisement. This might include but is not limited to a:

  • resume
  • cover letter
  • responses to selection criteria.

Structured interview

Get your candidates to attend an interview. Assess candidates' interpersonal, communication, team and leadership skills using a set of standard behavioural questions. Make sure you follow-up with additional questions that explore candidate differences.

Acknowledge the subjective nature of interviews and the potential for unconscious bias. Ensure your recruitment process addresses this. Consider including additional assessments.

Skill sample tests

Get your candidates to perform job related tasks. For example, editing a document, analysing data, scheduling diaries. How candidates perform these tasks will be a good predictor of how they’ll perform in the role.

You could use this type of assessment before, after or during a structured interview.

Job knowledge tests

Get your candidates to complete a questionnaire or essay to demonstrate their technical knowledge for the role.

You could use this for technical roles such as technicians, fitters, and mechanics and those designing, building and maintaining machines.

You could use this type of assessment before, after or during an interview.

Formal presentations

Get your candidates to prepare a formal presentation for the panel on a key aspect of the role.

You could use this type of assessment before during or after your structured interview.

Assessment centres

Get your candidates to attend an assessment centre. Asses their knowledge, skills, and abilities through a series of work samples and exercises (e.g. group activities, role-plays, presentations, media interviews) that reflect the types of problems they would face in the role.

You could use this type of assessment for highly competitive (e.g. graduate recruitment) or senior roles before or after an interview.

Situational judgement tests and integrity tests

Get your candidates to complete a set of short scenarios that ask them to choose the best response or rank the responses in order of most appropriate to least appropriate.

You could use this type of assessment to evaluate leadership, team work, values, and safety skills.

Cognitive ability tests

Get your candidates to complete a standardised test that assess critical thinking and verbal, numerical and problem-solving skills. Tests can be targeted to the skills required for a role and automatically scored and benchmarked.

You could use this type of assessment after a written application and before inviting candidates to an interview. It’s useful for highly competitive roles (e.g. graduate recruitment) to reduce the number of candidates to a manageable number for interview.

Non-minority groups typically score higher than minority groups in this test, so ensure your recruitment process acknowledges and addresses this.

Personality tests

Get your candidates to complete a personality test. Learn about their emotional stability, openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion. Find out how they do things and how they interact with other people and their environment.

You could use this type of assessment for highly competitive (e.g. graduate recruitment) or senior roles before or after an interview.

Referee checks

Get your candidates to provide referees for you to contact. Find out how candidates performed in previous roles. Validate the statements they made on their written application and in their interview.

You can complete referee checks at any stage of the recruitment process. However, you must complete a referee check for a candidate before you recommended them for appointment or include them on an order of merit.

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