This Guide applies to Non-corporate Commonwealth Entities (NCEs) under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). Corporate Commonwealth Entities (CEs) are encouraged to comply.
This Policy outlines the government’s mandatory requirements in relation to recruitment advertising.
The Policy assists NCEs to achieve value for money in recruitment advertising by:
Encouraging the use of online recruitment advertising over print media advertising;
Restricting the use of major metropolitan and national newspapers for recruitment advertising (unless paragraph 12 on exemptions applies);
Mandating maximum sizes and placement of recruitment advertisements in national and major metropolitan print media, as well as in other print media (such as regional, periodic publications, or specialist media such as Indigenous); and
Mandating that colour must not be used in any print media advertisements, where the cost is higher than black and white print.
The Recruitment Advertising Policy (the Policy) was first introduced on 1 July 2009, and aims to assist NCEs and CEs covered by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) to achieve value for money and improved targeting of their advertising spend.
Recruitment advertising promotes specific and general job vacancies, including graduate opportunities, within a Commonwealth Government entity.
Large-scale recruitment advertising not related to specific job vacancies - and with a degree of creative content - may be considered an advertising campaign, which is subject to separate guidelines. Entities should seek advice from the Department of Finance (Finance) if they are unsure whether an activity is an advertising campaign.
NCEs must place their recruitment advertising through the Central Advertising System (CAS). CEs can opt-in to the arrangement based on value for money considerations.
The initial version of this Policy introduced mandated limits on the size, use of colour and number of repetitions of recruitment advertisements in all print media. Subsequent amendments to the Policy in July 2010 mandated the use of single Whole-of-Australian-Government composites in major metropolitan and national newspapers.
Since the Policy was introduced, NCEs have increased their use of online media and social networking sites to target jobseekers. On average, online advertising is 60-70% less expensive than print media. Furthermore, in an environment where employers compete to attract the best candidates, the ability to tap into the passive jobseeker market through online job boards is also a growing area of strategic advantage.
The Policy mandates that NCEs:
Should consider placing online recruitment advertising in the first instance.
Must not use major metropolitan and national newspapers for recruitment advertising, unless an exemption is granted by the NCE’s Agency Head, or an official within the entity at the appropriate level of seniority .
Must limit maximum sizes and placement of recruitment advertisements in all print media (including regional, periodic publications or specialist media such as Indigenous) as per clause 24 of this policy; and
Must not use colour in print advertisements, except in circumstances where the media supplier offers colour at the same cost or less than black and white print.
The Policy applies to all recruitment advertisements in print media, including specific and general job vacancies, and graduate opportunities, placed by NCEs.
The Policy does not apply to other forms of advertising, such as public notices, tender notices, invitations to make a submission, grant applications or community announcements.
Compliance with this Policy
NCEs must comply with this Policy. CEs are encouraged to comply.
The Agency Head of a NCE (or an official with the appropriate level of seniority) may - in limited circumstances - consider and approve requests for an exemption from clause 8b) of this Policy for particularly hard to fill positions (such as positions in the Senior Executive Service (or equivalent)) or special target groups (such as Indigenous groups), where online recruitment advertising would not be considered as effective, or good value for money, and advertising in major metropolitan newspapers is justified.
Agency Heads (or officials with the appropriate level of seniority) should consider requests for exemption having regard to their obligation under Section 15(1) of the PGPA Act, to promote the proper use of Commonwealth resources, where proper use means efficient, effective, economical and ethical use that is not inconsistent with the policies of the Commonwealth.
NCEs recruiting APS Agency Head (other than departmental Secretaries) and APS Statutory Office holder positions (including board appointments) which have received Ministerial approval to advertise, are not required to seek an exemption from their Agency Head to advertise in national or major metropolitan print. This is in alignment with the Australian Public Service Commission’s Merit and Transparency Guidelines.
The Recruitment Advertising Policy’s colour and size limits for print advertising as outlined in clause 24. continue to apply to APS Agency Head and APS Statutory Office holder positions.
Placement of Advertising
NCEs must book and place all paid recruitment advertisements (including temporary and non-ongoing advertising) through the Master Media Agency (MMA), regardless of the type of recruitment or position advertised.
The MMA is not involved in placing recruitment advertising in the Australian Public Service (APS) Employment Gazette.
Please note that if entering into a sponsorship arrangement with a media supplier, the advertising rates used in the sponsorship arrangement must not be higher than the government media rates. Please contact the MMA for specific advice on this.
NCEs subject to the Public Service Act 1999 or the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 must also advertise employment opportunities in the electronic APS Employment Gazette, incorporated on APSJOBS.
In addition to the APS Employment Gazette and in accordance with the considerations detailed in the section below on ‘Considerations’ (paragraphs 32 to 36), entities may use additional online advertising to attract suitable applicants.