As an IT contractor to Government in Canberra for some 15 years, I’ve encountered all manner of selection criteria from our various federal departments and have found they share something in common, no-one really understands them. This begs the question; Are they complete waste of time?
Although an entry document aimed at low to mid level applicants, these verbose and often ambiguous criteria are so difficult to decipher and translate, that a book on how to tackle the criteria has become an acclaimed best seller (Dr Ann Villiers – How to Write and Talk to Selection Criteria).
If an instruction manual to address Selection Criteria has to be written by an academic with a doctorate, one might think alarm bells should be ringing in the APS.
My personal response to these increasingly ridiculous documents has been not to address them anymore and instead, opt for departments and more specifically, Government Agencies that have already dispensed with them.
I’m sure there are supporters of this outdated documents, however I’m equally sure that these are the same people that like to talk in acronyms and use words they picked up at a recent conference, but don’t really have a clue what they are saying.
I’m sure if a whole of government review was conducted on the effectiveness and cost of managing this aspect of recruitment. The tide would change overnight.