Seek approval for advertising vacant position

Approval to advertise for a vacant position varies depending on the position and the public entity. In many cases approval should be sought from the CEO.  In the case of a CEO vacancy, the Board may need to provide approval.

Advertise position

Define key selection criteria in line with the employer’s requirements for the role. Advertise the vacancy widely to attract a sufficient pool of competent applicants. Use the Victorian Government’s employment website:
Other advertising mediums such as newspapers, internet job search sites or Victorian Government Purchasing Board contract recruitment agents may be used to attract a suitable pool of candidates.

Appoint selection panel

Appoint selection panel – there should to be a gender balance and an independent panel member.

Shortlist candidates and interview

Interview candidates with prepared questions to assess interviewees’ knowledge, skills and abilities in relation to the key selection criteria.
Other means of assessment including oral or written presentations, work samples, role plays or testing maybe undertaken. Record panel assessment of each applicant against the key selection criteria.

Choose most suitable candidate

Conduct reference checks in relation to key selection criteria. Seek approval from employer for appointment.

Offer employment

Confirm appointment

Send appointment letter to successful candidate. Provide employment contract.
Notify unsuccessful candidates once an employment offer has been accepted.

Arrange any relocation


Prepare an induction programme to the public entity.

Tips for Using Executive Search Consultants

The State Purchase Contract (SPC) for the provision of staffing services is in place for the period 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2019. Public entities can use the staffing services contract but are not required to. The objective of the contract is to ensure a consistent and timely supply of suitably qualified and high quality on-hire workers and permanent personnel for the Victorian Government. The use of the SPC for executive appointments is optional however the rules of use should be complied with and quotes sought when engaging an executive search firm to ensure transparency and competitive pricing.

  • Ensure you have a range of executive search firms to call on for quotes – keep up to date with their track record and check with colleagues in other public entities or departments.
  • Consider using consultants for an abbreviated service and only pay for what you need, e.g. executive search.
  • Seek quotes from recruitment firms who have a successful track record in relevant industries as well as senior government appointments.
  • Check if the consultant has the capacity to provide a comprehensive and targeted search function. Request quotes to be expressed as flat fees, not percentages of remuneration.
  • Refer them to the PEER Policy and explain packaging arrangements.
  • Refer them to the Standard Contract and Handbook on the VPSC website.
  • Request regular updates from the consultant for the duration of the search assignment. Request replacement guarantee of 6 months (below 6 months is insufficient).
  • Negotiate on price where possible.
  • Ensure the consultant is supplied with information to help them brief potential candidates (e.g. strategy documents, public entity culture, business plans, employee conditions and benefits).
  • Request details of all candidates (including those who were referred). For the longlist meeting, ask the consultant to categorise candidates according to source (i.e. responded to advertisement or search).
  • Link payment tranches to delivery of tangible services/products (e.g. presentation of search strategy, shortlist, candidate accepts offer).
  • Check your liability for success fees if other candidates are subsequently placed in your public entity – if the amount is excessive, then negotiate before signing the contract.
  • Seek help from your purchasing/contract officer on documentation before executing the contract (they can also give helpful feedback on evaluation of proposals).