Average number of applications
Tenure, total sector
years (+0.1 years vs 2010)
Police officers’ tenure
years (-0.2 years vs 2010)
years (+0.2 years vs 2010)
Number of advertisements, openings and applications
Recruitment data extracted from I Work for NSW provides valuable insights into recruitment processes and trends across the sector.1
In 2019, 22,409 job advertisements were created on I Work for NSW,an increase of 11.2% from the previous year. Over the same period, the number of job openings increased by 17.1% (see Figure 8.1).
A total of 486,150 job applications were completed for job advertisements (an increase of 9.6% from the previous financial year), with 53.4% of applications from women and 46.6% from men.
The average number of completed applications per job opening was 15.02, an increase of 0.1% from 2018. This number varied across different job categories, with the highest rates for advertised roles in prisons, security and rail operations.
Schools (6,344) and Emergency Services (4,178) had the highest number of openings in 2019. Schools also recorded a relatively large number of applications per opening, at 17.2. Emergency Services had fewer applications per opening (3.1), which highlights the specialised nature of the roles.
The average number of completed job applications per opening was highest for jobs with a salary of $268,001 or over (see Figure 8.3).
Of the 486,150 completed applications, 24,472 were successful, a decrease of 11.2% from the previous financial year. This equates to a success rate of 5.0%, with females being more successful than males (5.2% compared to 3.9%).
More detailed analysis of differences in the number of applications and the success rate between men and women can be found in the Gender chapter of this report.
Filling of roles
The average time to hire has continued to decrease, from 69.8 days in 2015 to 42.7 days in 2019 (see Figure 8.4). Job categories with the shortest time to hire were Customer Services and Call Centre (21.4 days), Legal and Justice (23.1 days), and Prisons and Security (26.3 days).
Time to recruit in 2019
Agency tenure and movements
The median tenure of non-casual employees in the public sector has continued to decrease since 2016, including a drop from 9.0 years in 2018 to 8.5 years in 2019 (see Figure 8.5). The gap between male and female tenure narrowed to 0.5 years in 2019, a decrease of 0.2 years from 2018. Female tenure decreased 0.4 years to 8.4 years in 2019 from 2018, while male tenure decreased by 0.5 years to 8.9 years.
As in previous years, the services in the government sector with the longest median tenure in 2019 were the Teaching Service (12.6 years), NSW Police Force (12.4 years) and other Crown services (9.1 years) (see Table 8.1). Within other Crown services, the longest tenure was for NSW Trains (15.8 years), Sydney Trains (10.0 years) and School Administrative and Support (8.9 years). Mobility for many roles in these agencies is generally within a service rather than into other parts of the sector due to their more specialised nature.
The Transport Service had the shortest median tenure in 2019, with a slight increase of 0.1 years to 5.5 years in 2019. The separation rate for the Transport Service was 21.4%, up from 15.5% in 2018. This was largely due to State Transit Authority franchising Region 6, producing a separation rate of 43.4% in 2019. In addition, the separation rate in Transport NSW increased from 17.5% in 2018 to 18.0% in 2019.
In terms of occupation groups, Machine Operators and Drivers had the highest median tenure in 2019, at 10.4 years. Further, Technicians and Trades Workers had a median tenure of 10.2 years and Managers 10.1 years.
In occupations where there were more than 100 employees, Education, Health and Welfare Services Managers had the longest median tenure, at 18.6 years, and close to half of these employees were from the Teaching Service (47.6%, see Table 8.2). The largest occupation group with the longest median tenure was School Teachers, with a median tenure of 12.2 years.
In occupations where there were more than 100 employees, the lowest median tenure was among Advertising and Sales Managers, at 2.3 years, and Sales, Marketing and Public Relations Professionals, at 2.4 years (see Table 8.3).
The occupation with the highest number of employees in the bottom 10 jobs for median tenure was Medical Practitioner, at 4.4 years. This occupation also showed a high rate of movement within the sector (9.9%).
Across the public sector and government sector, the agency separation rate and the public sector exit rate decreased compared to 2018, both down 1.5pp. The highest separation and exit rates were in the Transport Service (21.4% and 18.6%, respectively, as shown in Table 8.4). This was primarily related to State Transit Authority franchising Region 6, resulting in a reduction of more than 1,000 full-time equivalent (FTE).
Only 1.7% of separations in 2019 related to internal movements within the public sector, with most employees exiting the sector upon separation from their agency. The NSW Health Service and the Transport Service had the highest rate of internal mobility (2.8%).
Employees aged 15 to 19 had the highest separation and exit rates of all age groups (21.8% and 21.6%, respectively). However, these employees only account for 0.5% of total separations. Employees aged 65 years or over accounted for 9.5% of overall separations, with a separation rate of 17.3% and an exit rate of 17.1%. The exits were mainly due to retirement. Employees aged 25 to 29 had the highest rate of movement within the sector (3.6%), predominantly due to the mobility of Medical Practitioners between Local Health Districts. Medical Practitioners had a movement rate of 14.5% within this group.
In 2019, the rate of movements within the sector continued to display the same pattern as 2018: highest in the 25 to 29 age group and then progressively declining.
1 It should be noted that this does not encompass all recruitment activity in the public sector. The main exclusions are the Health cluster, and the Industry cluster from 2017 onwards.
2 Includes only applications where the number of openings was specified.
3 Only includes occupations where there were more than 100 employees.