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Public Service Commission

Consolidating results and making selection decisions

Selection decisions are based on a consideration of the full set of assessment results for candidates who have progressed through the process. Notes of all assessor discussions should be kept throughout the selection process.

When doing a comparative assessment under GSE rule 17 you are assessing candidates against the pre-established standards for the role as well as against any other candidates.

When doing a suitability assessment under GSE rule 18 you are assessing against the pre-established standards for a role and not against other persons.

Meeting the capability standards

Using multiple assessments allows candidates to demonstrate their capabilities, knowledge and experience in a range of contexts. The consolidated results of these assessments help provide a solid evidence base for selection decisions.


Focus capabilities are those that are most important for the role.

Candidates should meet the required levels for these capabilities to be considered for employment. Where complementary capabilities are assessed, you should generally be satisfied that the candidate meets most of these or can develop them on the job in a reasonable period.

Candidate should also meet the required standards for knowledge and experience (when applicable) and any essential requirements to be considered for employment.

It is a good idea to document strengths and development needs for all candidates to help you give meaningful feedback to unsuccessful candidates and for inclusion in the new hire’s individual performance development plan.

Consolidating capability assessment results

Whether you are assessing one candidate or many, it is good practice to be systematic when reviewing assessment results. You can combine each candidate’s results on the capability-based assessments to form capability ratings and an overall score for each candidate using a template such as the one in this example.

If one of your assessments is a personality questionnaire, ask the assessment provider for assistance with mapping the results against the capability requirements for the role. You can choose to either include the personality assessment results when you are working out the capability ratings or use the results from personality questionnaires to help you to make your selection decision based on the right fit for the role.

Example – Candidate’s consolidated results

See: Example of a candidate's consolidated results (all capabilities assessed)

This example shows what a candidate’s assessment outcomes might look like when all capabilities are assessed. It shows how you can aggregate scores for a capability in the various assessment tasks to give an average score.

The capability ratings are helpful in showing how a candidate demonstrated their capabilities in the various assessments. They can be used to compare candidates to help determine who is best suited to the requirements of the role and the needs of the agency.

Some recruiters like to add up the capability ratings to give an overall score for each candidate. Another way to combine results is to calculate an average rating for each capability if you have used the same numerical rating scale for all assessments.

Where there are multiple candidates who meet the standards for the role, overall scores can help you identify the stronger candidates. You can also consider each candidate’s fit for the role to ensure they are the person best suited to the needs of the agency. Also consider if there are other candidates who are suited to the role in case your first choice is unavailable. 

Example – Assessing focus capabilities

See: Example of a candidate's consolidated results (focus capabilities assessed)

This example shows what a candidate’s assessment outcomes might look like when the focus capabilities are assessed. Note in this example that there is no focus capability from the Business Enablers capability group. Focus capabilities may be selected from the Business Enablers group, but this is not a requirement.

You may also notice that one less assessment is used in this example compared to the example where all capabilities are assessed as less capabilities are being assessed.

Inconsistent information

Sometimes there will be conflicting or inconsistent information obtained from various assessments. Inconsistent information is not necessarily a problem and can provide useful clues into the contexts in which a candidate is likely to perform better and where they may need to develop. Here are some examples:

  • Communicate effectively – a candidate may communicate effectively in writing but not when presenting ideas in a case interview.
  • Commit to customer service – a candidate may perform well in one task when responding to a general inquiry from a pleasant customer, but may not perform well when dealing with a difficult customer in another activity.
  • Display resilience and courage – a candidate may misunderstand the requirements of a work sample task and not demonstrate the behaviours required; yet a personality questionnaire indicates that this capability is likely to be a strength for the candidate.
  • Project management – a candidate with limited work experience might find it difficult to demonstrate this capability in a behavioural interview despite having sound theoretical knowledge of project management frameworks.

Inconsistencies can be explored further when reference checking. See: Referee checks

Combining capability results with other information

Selection decisions are not just about which candidate has the highest score on the capability assessments. It is important to consider capability assessment results together with other information you have gathered through the process to decide who is best suited to the requirements of the role and the needs of the agency. Consider:

  • does the role meet the candidate’s expectations?
  • is the candidate motivated to perform the tasks required in the role?
  • does the role allow the candidate to display their preferred work style?
  • will the candidate work well in the team?
  • is there alignment between the candidate’s values and the agency and public sector values?

When you are doing a suitability assessment or if only one candidate is being considered, it is still important to consider other information that relates to the candidate’s fit for the role, team and agency. If you have concerns about whether the candidate is likely to be suited to the role, team or agency you can follow this up in a second interview or through referee checks.

Preferred candidate

If you and your assessors have decided on a preferred candidate you can go directly to the next step of doing the referee checks. If you are unable to differentiate between two or more strong candidates, you can consider doing a second interview or complete referee checks to help you make your decision.

You should not do referee checks on candidates you are not seriously considering for the role.

Making the selection decision

Making the final selection decision is an opportunity to bring someone into your team who will be happy and productive in the role you are filling.

Selection decisions should be made on balance taking into account all the information from the assessments and referee checks. After you have completed the referee checks, revisit the overall capability scores for each candidate and consider their fit for the role. Check whether any changes are required in selecting the candidate best suited to the role and the needs of the agency.

Ask your HR advisor for your agency’s template to record and seek approval on your selection decisions.

While the approval to employ a person is the responsibility of the senior decision makers in the agency (that is, those with the relevant delegation), the assessors are responsible for the selection of the preferred candidate or candidates. Delegates are not involved in the recruitment and selection process and do not have the discretion to revisit assessment outcomes when  deciding to approve the assessors' selection decision.

Things are a little different for bulk recruitment and talent pools. For these, assessors determine which candidates meet the pre-established standards for the role. They also decide who is eligible to for employment or to be placed in a talent pool. Not all candidates who meet the standards are necessarily placed in a talent pool. This may depend on if a cut-off has been set. It is then up to hiring managers and delegates to decide who is best suited to the role and the needs of the agency.

Talent Pools

If you have a number of strong candidates who meet the standards, you may decide to offer the role to the candidate most suited to the role (after conducting referee checks) and include the rest in a talent pool. You may also include a person who was offered the role and who declined it. You should ask their permission to include them in a talent pool.

If the purpose of your recruitment and selection process is to establish a talent pool, you can include all candidates that meet the pre-established standards for the role.

The PSC’s Talent pools guide for HR and hiring managers has information about how to set up and use talent pools.