Canberra is known as a town of public servants and many of those are known to frequent this site. Therefore, I’m wondering if the readers here can provide some insight.
I’m not a public servant and nor have I ever worked in the public service. I have worked with public servants on projects and the like, and coming from the private sector I often find their inefficiencies very frustrating. But when they’re the ones paying the money, the level of concern can only be so high.
However there seems to be a very common practice within the public service which is highly inefficient and is not just a case of the APS wasting their money (well, the tax payers’ money). I also find it’s wasting the time and impacting mental well being of others. I’m talking about the APS hiring process.
It seems that for all jobs there has to be selection criteria addressed by all applicants which are then evaluated by APS staff to choose a list of candidates to interview. The interviews then proceed and seem to require a minimum panel of three people – one of which fulfils the role of a scribe. Once the interviews have completed I gather the scribe has to write up all the notes and then the rest of the panel use that information combined with the selection criteria responses to assess who is required.
Seemingly, it’s very common for this process to take a month or more (even in the case of only several candidates). During this time the candidates can choose to just wait, or look for a job elsewhere (albeit, probably not in the APS if they consider this waiting time too long). Actually, I’d even argue that the only people who could afford to wait this long for a job are those already employed and most likely already in the APS.
But that’s not the real problem, that’s just showing how bad an employment process it is (when compared to the practices of the private sector). The real problem is, that I get the impression this is quite often done only for show. Quite often the role being ‘recruited’ for is already filled, but they simply need to go through the formalities so as to be able to keep the person in that role. As a result, they never intend to hire any of the other candidates whom they have just had spend time addressing selection criteria (which can be many hours worth of effort – think days of hours worth) and attending interviews. But not only their time is wasted, but so is the time of three public servants for an unknown number of 8 hour (or is that 7.5 hour) days.
To the outsider this seems highly inefficient and a waste of tax payers money and peoples time and mental stress. How is such a farce allowed to continue?
However, I’ve stated I’ve never worked in the public service, and so maybe I’ve just miss-understood what I’ve been hearing APS employees commenting on. Feel free to correct me RiotACT.