The application is the information candidates provide to be considered for the role.
You have scope to tailor the application to include the following optional parts:
- a cover letter of no more than 1 to 2 pages
- a short statement against one or two targeted questions
Other information collected by default in the I work for NSW application form includes personal details, diversity information, work experience, education, details of referees and requests for workplace adjustment.
Note: It is not compulsory for candidates to attach a resume as a separate file. The ‘work experience’, ‘education’ and ‘referee’ fields can be used to capture the key aspects of a resume.
Managing requests for workplace adjustments
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth) sets the framework for making workplace adjustments during the recruitment process by enabling a person with disability to have equal opportunities in seeking employment. This legislation applies to NSW public sector agencies.
To prevent discrimination you need to:
- talk to candidates about their specific needs
- have a strategy in place to manage requests for workplace adjustment
- be aware of the types of workplace adjustments your agency can make on the job
- understand the types of adjustments to assessments or opportunities for alternative assessments (or talk to your assessment service supplier to seek advice)
- put a plan in place to make workplace adjustments.
Some candidates may not disclose at the application stage that they may require adjustments at a later stage. Communicating with candidates throughout the process about individual needs will help you to accommodate any adjustments needed.
The cover letter gives the candidate the opportunity to:
- explain their motivation in applying for the role
- outline their achievements as they relate to the focus capabilities and other role requirements
- give a summary of their relevant qualifications and experience.
A good cover letter is generally no more than 1 to 2 pages in length and should be succinct and logically written.
It is recommended that you do not ask candidates to address targeted questions in the cover letter as it is easier to compare and assess these as separate responses.
Targeted questions are written in a way that allows candidates to give examples of how they have demonstrated the behaviours that relate to a focus capability.
Targeted questions can be designed to assess how candidates demonstrated capabilities in a relevant context and can be situationally based, starting with phrases like:
• “Give an example of a situation where...”
• “Describe a scenario...”.
Behavioural indicators can help you to develop targeted questions that relate to the focus capabilities you are examining. You can use or adapt the behaviours described in the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework or develop your own specific behaviours to the capability level for the role.
The benefits of using this approach are that:
- the question relates directly to the capability and is pitched at the right level
- you can use the behavioural indicators to help you evaluate responses
- you can also use the candidate’s written response to assess the Communicate Effectively capability if this is also a focus capability
- you can confidently screen out candidates who do not meet a focus capability.