A NSW Government website
Public Service Commission

Making offers and giving feedback

An offer of employment is made when the recruitment process is complete and a preferred candidate has been chosen.

Section 54 of the GSE Act contains a non-exhaustive list of conditions of engagement that employees may be subject to. Requirements relating to these conditions are set out in the GSE Rules. Under GSE rule 5 a person may be required to serve a probation period on commencing employment.

About offers of employment

The decision to make an offer of employment should be based on a consideration of all the available evidence, including application and resume, assessment results and referee reports.

The usual practice is for the assessor(s) to prepare a written recommendation of the preferred candidate(s). The recommendation should summarise the process and include the following information:

  • a description of the capability-based assessment activities completed;
  • information on the candidate’s results on the capability-based assessments; and
  • reasons for recommending the preferred candidate, with reference to the role requirements.

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

Making an offer

Once you have approval to make an offer, contact the preferred candidate as soon as possible.

It is usual practice to make an initial verbal offer to the successful candidate(s) and to follow this up with a formal written offer once the details of employment are confirmed.

During the verbal offer you should advise the preferred candidate(s) of any conditions of engagement that apply. You can also talk about a start date any workplace adjustment(s) that may be needed and flexible working options. Also let them know that they will receive a written letter of offer that they should sign and return as the record of their acceptance.

The letter of offer does not need to read like a legal document; it is an important part of creating a positive on-boarding experience for new starters. Consider writing in plain English and highlighting the benefits of employment in the NSW Public Service. See: NSW Government: 6 reasons to work for NSW

Unsuccessful candidates

As soon as the role is accepted, it is important to notify other candidates that they have been unsuccessful or that you wish to offer them a place in a talent pool.

Remember always to treat candidates with care and respect. Although most candidates will be unsuccessful for any particular role, you want them to walk away with a good impression of your agency, and the NSW Public Service, and to consider applying for roles in the future.

Hiring managers and recruiters are encouraged to use our brief guide to giving good feedback to unsuccessful interviewed job applicants (PDF 1.2MB).

Giving feedback

It is good practice to offer feedback to candidates who are not successful but who made it through to the final stages of the process. Feedback is given to help candidates learn from their experience and improve for next time. It should be based on the person’s assessment outcomes as they relate to the role requirements.

When offering feedback it is important to:

  • be prepared – review assessment results before the feedback session and have relevant documentation on hand;
  • be objective and focus on the behaviours displayed;
  • talk about the candidate’s strengths – be specific about what was done well;
  • highlight specific examples where they need improvement;
  • avoid commenting on other candidates’ performance (including the successful candidate);
  • ensure feedback on cognitive ability test and personality questionnaire is given by an appropriately qualified person;
  • use the rating scale descriptors when giving feedback on results for other assessments rather than raw scores (e.g. ‘development required’, ‘likely to be a strength’ etc.); and
  • give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions.

Further information is available in the Guide to giving good feedback to unsuccessful interviewed job applicants (PDF 1.2MB).