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Recruiting a diverse ICT workforce

This factsheet has been developed as part of a series to help agencies attract and retain diverse ICT staff. For more information on ICT workforce planning, please see the Whole-of-government strategic ICT Workforce Plan 2010–2013 or email ictskills [at] apsc.gov.au.

Build key relationships

APS agencies should seek to develop links with organisations that specialise in placing people with a diverse background in employment. For example:

  • disability employment support services and providers (JobAccess is a good starting point)
  • the Australian Public Service Commission’s Indigenous Pathways team on 1300 656 009 or Indigenous [at] apsc.gov.au.
  • National Disability Recruitment Coordinator

When using AGIMO’s ICT Apprenticeship and Cadet program, let them know if you are interested in recruiting Indigenous Australians or people with disability.


Selection criteria need to be:

  • measurable (how are you going to assess them?)
  • specific (a single item per criterion, not multiple descriptors)
  • written in plain English, using key words
  • directly relevant/fundamental to successfully doing the job
  • non-discriminatory
  • aligned to the ICT Capability Framework

Ensure that the selection documentation includes advice on addressing the selection criteria.

Did you know…?

The Department of Finance and Deregulation, through AGIMO, manages the whole-of-government ICT Entry Level Programs. The Entry Level Programs enable ICT Apprentices and Cadets to obtain a formal ICT qualification while they work in an Australian Government Agency. In 2010, 56 ICT Entry level staff were employed by 14 APS agencies through these programs.

The Programs enable participating agencies to build their ICT workforce capability in an increasingly competitive skills market. Specific requirements for diverse ICT staff can be met through the Programs.

Further information on the Programs is available at www.finance.gov.au/ict-skills.

Whole-of-government Indigenous recruitment

The Australian Public Service Commission coordinates the recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on behalf of a large range of Australian Public Service (APS) agencies through a program called Pathways to Employment. During 2008–09, the Australian Public Service Commission collaborated with 56 agencies to deliver Pathways to Employment recruitment programs for Indigenous graduate, cadet and entry-level positions.

For more information please contact the Indigenous Pathways team on 1300 656 009 or Indigenous [at] apsc.gov.au.

Flexible processes

Ensure your recruitment processes are accessible to Indigenous applicants or applicants with disability. Below are some examples of actions that you may take:

  • accept applications in different formats
  • allow sufficient time for people to lodge applications
  • ensure that selection criteria reflect only the inherent requirements of the position
  • allow an Indigenous or disabled applicant to bring someone with them to interview, if they request it.

Once an applicant is shortlisted call them and check if they have any need for reasonable adjustment to the selection process (for more information see fact sheet on reasonable adjustment).

In addition, ensure the applicant is able to access the building for interview. This may require explaining where the disabled parking is located and which entrance to the building has disabled access.


Consider including a mix of people on the selection panel who have a strong understanding of the needs of people from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous people and people with disability.

Useful resources

Public Service Act 1999

The PS Act includes clearly articulated APS Values. APS employees must behave in accordance with the Values and Agency Heads must uphold and promote them. These Values underpin high performance in organisations and are central to the public interest aspect of public sector employment. Agencies must identify how the Values apply within the context of their organisation and should ensure that the Values provide the basis of the agency's culture.

A number of the Values set out in section 10 of the PS Act refer specifically to diversity:

Section Value
section 10 (b) The APS is a public service in which employment decisions are based on merit.
section 10 (c) The APS provides a workplace that is free from discrimination and recognises and utilises the diversity of the Australian community it serves.
section 10 (g) The APS delivers services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously to the Australian public and is sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public.
section 10 (j) The APS provides a fair, flexible, safe and rewarding workplace.
section 10 (l) The APS promotes equity in employment.

The PS Act also requires Agency Heads to establish a workplace diversity program to assist in giving effect to the Values (section 18).

Last reviewed: 
12 June 2018