The session started at 09.00 am with a formal welcome note by prof. Veena Shenoy and then Ms. Audrija gave the formal introduction of the guest speaker who then took over the session. The guest speaker Ms. Padmaja begins with a brief introduction about herself. She is working as a Senior govt official having a degree of MA from the University
of Delhi and a master of international law from Australian National University. She belongs to Patna, India, and migrated to Australia in 1991. The discussion started with a briefing about the interview process in the public services in Australia
where there are 3 rounds for qualifying different levels and all the 3 rounds might require interviewing process sometimes depending upon the posts. All the public services are under the Australian Public Service Commission. Then she pointed out one unique criterion for getting promoted and how it is different from Indian work culture. In Australian public services, the individual always has to apply for a promotion and there is no such time-bound promotion concept there. The job vacancies are open for all, which means any individual who belongs to the country and has relevant skills can apply for a job in the public services. Another differing point regarding the work norms is that in Australian public services, there is not a particular age for getting retired. Any individual can work and serve the country as long as they want. No one has the right or authority to force anyone for a retirement. Then she gave a gist idea about the selection criteria including –
Additional skills (analytical skills, writing skills, quick reading skills)
She mentioned one very interesting parameter of selection, i.e., use of ‘Star Model’ during the interview or discussion. This Star Model talks about S – Situation, T – Task, A – Action and R –Results. This star model is generally used by candidates in describing any situation for the support of their soft skills. A lot of focus generally given to the work experience and professional exposure rather considering the degree of that particular individual. Also, the behavior of the individual at the time of interview process gets a lot of priority as this will going to be the key component while discussing with clients or managements and could be the driving factor for the success of any sector be it private
or public sector. She also mentioned that in Australia, during the interview process there should be at least 3 people
present as interviewer from which two should be from the same department of concern. And also, a time period of 2 to 4 weeks was generally given for any appeal to come regarding the whole interview and selection process. These processes are same for all, be it contractual position or a continuous position, or a promotional position. There are 6 levels of APS and there is a minimum requirement in every work level standard. Dr. Mohan Kumar, Practice Head, Wipro Limited was also present in this session and he requested to have some discussion on training processes involved in the public services in Australia. She mentioned that there is always a separate budget for training processes and some routine trainings are always going on within the department. Sometimes, Training from the overall public service head is also been conducted annually. Certain training processes includes – Minute taking of a meeting, content writing training, quick reading or rapid reading, trim training. But there is no concept of classroom training, they mostly conduct online training within Sap- inter and intra-departmental.
Also, for the recruitment, a lot importance is given to the referee report. It could be from two ways– one from the immediate supervisor and another from the previous working organization. Referencing can be done both verbally and through a written mode. But there is a certain template based on selection criteria that needs to be followed in the public services. She mentioned that their work culture consists of a diverse group of employees. Everyone gets a fair chance based on their ability, i.e., the individual who is able to do the job rightly will be selected. About 25% area is reserved there for the students who belong to rural areas. She was also talking about having several public service acts Developed by the Australian public service commission. Each year surveys are done, one by the department, and one from the entire public sector head, regarding collecting information about bullying, hurting, harassment etc. The HR department is always there to handle any such situation. These parameters are given the most priority as health and well-being is very important for their work culture. so, these policies are very important. Lastly, she suggested all the students to look for different opportunities outside. It is also important to travel to different regions and to know local cultures because understanding the work culture will help the individual to work more effectively and efficiently.
Feedback from students:
The session was very insightful. The speaker explained the global recruitment and selection process followed in Australian Public Services. Also, the challenges they are facing in that industry regarding recruitment and selection. It was very informative and interactive session. As a whole, students found the session engaging and informative.