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Screening and assessing potential graduates pays off for NSW Government


Feb 26, 2021

Sydney, NSW


NSW Government has won top ranking in the Australian Financial Review’s 2021 Top 100 Graduate Employer List – an achievement that has been six years in the making. PBC’s role in supporting NSW Government to attract talented new graduates has focused on designing and implementing the selection program, encouraging diversity, and identifying future leaders, in line with the NSW Premier’s Priority to build and maintain a world class public service.


Since it started in 2016, the program has grown significantly, and applications have largely increased year on year. From just 25 graduates in 2016 to 147 graduates in 2021, the program has seen over 800 graduates join NSW Government in just five years. In 2016 the NSW Government Graduate Program came in at 60 in the AFR 2021 Top 100 Graduate Employer List and has experienced an astonishing increase in popularity, demonstrated by the steady climb in its ranking in that time to top the list in 2021.



Innovative and best-practice techniques for screening and assessing potential graduates have played a key role in attracting the best and brightest graduate talent to NSW Government. In designing and implementing a selection process, PBC ensured that it met all relevant legislative requirements; provided a positive and equitable candidate experience; reflected the work skills required of NSW Government graduates; and used best practice evidence-based approaches to volume selection.

In the initial design phase of the selection program, PBC consulted extensively with the organisation and relevant stakeholders to develop a process that includes:

  • Use of valid and reliable assessments including cognitive, personality and situational judgement.
  • Use of online technologies to capture data efficiently and enhance the candidate experience.
  • Consulting with other organisations to ensure equity, fairness, and inclusiveness in the process.
  • Customisation to reflect contemporary public sector issues.
  • Knowledge transfer by training NSW Government assessors in best-practice capability-based assessment techniques.

PBC has applied a continuous improvement approach during the five years it has supported the NSW Government Graduate Program, ensuring it attracts diverse candidates that best meet the requirements and values sought by NSW Government. This included a transition to full virtual delivery in 2020 in response to COVID-19.

Effective employee assessment and selection can have a significant impact on your organisation’s performance, ensuring higher productivity, better team effectiveness, a more cohesive workplace culture and improved staff retention. To find out how PBC can help your organisation select the right people, develop key talent, build better teams, drive leadership capability and enhance business performance visit our website.

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