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Public Service Commission

Choosing assessors

Choosing the right assessors who are committed to finding the right person for the role will have a big impact on your assessment process.

The minimum number of assessors required is two for a comparative assessment and one for a suitability assessment.

How to choose assessors

For a comparative assessment process, at a minimum, it is important to include:

  • a hiring manager who is at a higher grade than the role being recruited (unless the hiring manager is a qualified human resources or recruitment representative)
  • an independent person who works outside of the employment area or division.

Additional assessors who are at least at the same grade as the role being recruited may be included where appropriate.

It is better not to have assessors’ subordinates as assessors. If they are, there must be an additional independent assessor from outside the agency.

Representatives from professional services suppliers may be engaged to provide expert support in the selection process. Such support may include reviewing and shortlisting of candidates and screening interviews. Professional service suppliers may be included as assessors, but they are not involved in making the selection decision(s). It is up to the person(s) responsible for undertaking the recruitment and selection process in the public sector agency to decide the outcomes of the selection process. This includes deciding who meets the standards for the role and, where relevant, who is the person best suited to the role and the needs of the agency.

In selecting assessors you should include, wherever possible:

  • a mix of genders
  • persons reflective of the wider community with representation from diversity groups
  • for an identified or targeted role, at least one person from the related diversity group (e.g. an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identified role).

Invite assessors to be involved in the recruitment process early on so they can plan their time commitment and involvement in the process. Also specify what their contribution will involve. This may include some or all of the following:

  • helping to develop the targeted questions
  • screening resumes and applications
  • helping to design interview questions
  • participating as an assessor in interviews
  • participating as an assessor in other assessment activities (e.g. observing group activities, marking work sample exercises etc.)
  • doing referee checks
  • giving input to the final selection decision.

Assessor training

It is important that assessors have a good understanding of the recruitment and selection requirements of the GSE Act and GSE Rules, particularly the merit principles set out in GSE rule 16. If you are using an assessor from outside of the NSW Public Service you may need to give them an overview of the main assessment requirements.

Also consider the types of information and training that will help assessors to make well-informed and objective recruitment decisions. Types of training may include:

  • Navigating Recruitment e-learning program for guidance on all steps of the recruitment process
  • Assessment practices training – training resource for agencies to deliver to HR professionals (available by request from the Public Service Commission)
  • training for particular assessment activities – e.g. training assessors to observe and rate a group activity
  • information or training on techniques to address unconscious bias
  • information or training on disability awareness and cultural awareness
  • information on legal requirements and obligations (e.g. workplace adjustments, preventing discrimination etc.).