+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    11,220
    Thanks
    5,543
    Thanked
    6,905
    Reviews
    9
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 posts

    Default Working in the public vs. private sector

    Hi All,
    I have only ever worked in the private sector and an opportunity has come up in the public sector (health specifically) which looks great. I’m wondering if anyone here has worked in both and can tell me what it’d like to work in a govt job? Some assumptions I’ve made are that it’s highly bureaucratic and takes a long time for decisions to be made. Is that accurate? Do managers have much power to make decisions or does everything need fairly senior approval? How rigorous is the recruitment process? Any tips on responding to selection critieria?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    1,565
    Thanks
    7,492
    Thanked
    5,109
    Reviews
    0
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    It can honestly depend on the culture of the agency.

    I’ve worked state and federal public sector, small agencies and large agencies. I’m HR/payroll but have worked across policy agencies, health agencies and others.

    The small agency I’m in currently has a lot of older managers and as a result they don’t push down responsibilities and delegation and still believe in line of sight management - if I can’t see you, you’re not working style. Whereas my previous agency pushed delegations down, empowered staff to make decisions appropriate to their level, and allowed a lot more workplace flexibility.

    Probably the biggest issue in public sector work currently is that budgets are being slashed and you’re expected to do the same work or more with less staff and resources. That’s where you can find delays - took 3 months for me to get approval to recruit to replace someone who left, and I could only replace with a level lower and part time because that’s the only room in the budget.

    As long as you don’t expect logical/common sense decisions you can survive in the public sector. I do get frustrated sometimes that there is a logical way that something should be done, but they do something that defies logic and you just roll with it. There is often a huge disconnect between senior executives and what actually happens in the real world. If you have good middle management that can be mitigated, but more often than not senior executives live in fairy land and you just have to roll with the crazy.

    I’ve been in the public service for 15 years this year and at this point I’m a lifer. I know how the system works, I’ve got great entitlements and I’ve made it to a level where I have some semblance of control and authority. I’ve made good connections in my agency and external and when I need to get things done, I can get them done with those connections.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Pcos30 For This Useful Post:

    Kalina (24-01-2020)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    1,565
    Thanks
    7,492
    Thanked
    5,109
    Reviews
    0
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    Oh and with the recruitment process - call the contact officer. In particular ask how the position came about (new, natural attrition etc) and if there is someone currently acting in the role. Unfortunately a lot of jobs are advertised with the intent that the long term acting will win it, because they can only promote through a merit process. Not that it’s a sure thing that the person will win it, but I’ve been around long enough (and been promoted through such a process) to know that’s how the world works. If they want a particular person they can work it to get that person.

    Also ask what skills/attributes they are looking for. Quite often they have specific things in mind that isn’t in the job description - there might be a particular skill set that they have on their desired that is more critical than others. This can then help you frame your criteria to get you in the room for an interview.

    Use the STAR model - Situation, Task, Action, Result - to shape your examples in the criteria. Like “customer complained, I had to investigate, I pulled files and sought advice, discovered an error and resolved for customer”. Try to use “I” statements - so if you were in a team that worked on a project, sell what you did - “we successfully delivered this project on time and I was responsible for all the documentation”.

    (Those are terrible examples but you should get the gist!!)

    If you get an interview, use different examples than what was in your criteria. Only use the ones from the criteria if you are expanding on it. Don’t be afraid to provide context to help them understand better. I’ve done 3 recruitment processes in the last 12 months and what let some good on paper candidates down was that they used the same examples and didn’t expand. They didn’t tell us anything new which made it seem like they didn’t have the relevant experience.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Pcos30 For This Useful Post:

    Green Cheese (24-01-2020),Kalina (24-01-2020)

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,190
    Thanks
    929
    Thanked
    2,595
    Reviews
    0
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 posts
    Great advice from @Pcos30. It's been over 10 years since I was in the public service, but I agree with everything said above, particularly in relation to the advertising for a position. We would have people act in a role and then have to advertise it to make it permanent, they were almost always guaranteed the role.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    11,220
    Thanks
    5,543
    Thanked
    6,905
    Reviews
    9
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 posts
    Thanks all for your advice. Responding to the selection criteria is so complex, I’m not even going to apply.


 

Similar Threads

  1. Good news for those who work in the community sector
    By MsMummy in forum News & Current Affairs
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-09-2013, 18:45
  2. Private through the Public system?
    By RunningWithScissors in forum General Parenting Tips, Advice & Chat
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-06-2011, 20:39
  3. working for the private sector-info needed.
    By CleverClogs in forum General Chat
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 17-11-2010, 16:25
  4. Options for Public-Private sector collaboration in Cochin
    By zedin12 in forum Family Finances
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 23-10-2010, 18:02

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

FEATURED SUPPORTER
Prams and StrollersLooking to buy a pram or stroller? :: Viewer reviews of prams :: Pram Buyers ...
FORUMS - chatting now ...

ADVERTISEMENT