Monday, March 10, 2008

E-Recruitment System

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has issued a Request for Tender for E-Recruitment Solution (ABS Reference: ABS076, 7-Mar-2008). This provides a useful summary of what any large organization might expect from an automated recruitment system (excerpt appended).

Some interesting requirements are:
  1. Preliminary assessment of the applications automatically
  2. Use of thin client web based workstations
  3. Liquid layout that adjusts for different screens and hand-held devices.
Given the new federal government's interest in reducing costs, it might be better if one such system was implemented for the Australian Public Service, rather than dozens of systems for the many agencies. A first cut of public service wide requirements could be obtained by simply replacing "ABS" with "APS" in the ABS document.

The Australian Public Service had an unhappy experience with the MANDATA project, which attempted to centralize personnel processing. However, since then the Internet and the web have made the task much easier. Mandata was required to provide its own computer network and even custom computer hardware. In contrast, the ABS system could be made public service wide by doing little more than issuing additional user ids and passwords for the web based interface. Also much more has been learned about how to manage such projects in the decades since Mandata.

1.3 Detailed Statement of Requirement


1.3.1 The ABS is seeking offers for an internet-based technology solution to support, facilitate and improve our recruitment and selection processes that will:

  • introduce an organisation wide approach to recruitment and build corporate recruitment capability;
  • enhance the ABS image as an "employer of choice" and support and progress attraction and employer branding strategies;
  • increase ease, efficiency and effectiveness of recruitment and selection process through automating or minimising the administrative workload and appropriate documentation;
  • improve the level of candidate care;
  • provide easily accessible recruitment metrics and management information that will enable better decisions, better management, better recruitment and better business results; and
  • maintain corporate knowledge. ...

General Requirements

1.3.5 As a public sector organisation, all recruitment conducted by the ABS must adhere to APS recruitment legislation and the merit selection principle. Within our environment, the technology solution offered will need to support a range of recruitment activities within the ABS including:

  • single / specialist positions open to all to apply (both internal and external applicants);
  • multiple positions open to all to apply;
  • multiple positions across multiple classifications open to all to apply;
  • bulk recruitment campaigns within a group / branch / region or across a number of groups / branches open to all to apply;
  • graduate campaign open to all to apply;
  • cadetship campaign open to all to apply;
  • non-ongoing (temporary) register by group / region open to all to apply;
  • talent management tool / candidate database for applicants to register a profile and indicate an interest in upcoming ongoing work within the ABS;
  • senior executive service campaign open to all to apply;
  • ABS Interviewers open to all to apply;
  • alumni register open to former ABS employees;
  • temporary positions that are only open to ABS employees; and
  • a mobility / transfer register open to all current ABS employees.

1.3.6 The ABS will require details of successful applicants to be exported and transferred to back-end HR systems through a csv and/or xml file.


1.3.7 The ABS is seeking a solution that can accommodate changes and be configured to suit individual recruitment needs. Any solution must provide the capability to automate standard workflows and assessment processes. Additionally, we require the capability for authorised ABS users to modify and easily manage non-standard workflows and assessment process that may arise when a recruitment exercise has unique requirements.

Usability and Accessibility

1.3.8 The solution should provide user access via all standard browsers (including, but not limited to, Internet Explorer (versions 7 and 6), Firefox (versions 2 and 1.5) and Opera (9.24). The solution is to remain compatible with newly released and commonly used browsers.

1.3.9 The solution should have 24/7 access for both ABS clients and ABS administrators.

1.3.10 Access should be browser-based and not require the download of components to the user’s computer (i.e. not a “fat client”).

1.3.11 Access to the solution should not require the user to download any software (such as software plug-ins).

1.3.12 The solution should be optimised for a screen resolution of 1024x768, but use a liquid layout that adjusts well for any resolution. With the increased use of hand-held devices for accessing the internet, it is important that solution is usable on all screen resolutions.

1.3.13 The solution should have a consistent global navigation and branding with the ABS website (

1.3.14 The solution should have the flexibility to change the global navigation and branding if in the future specifications change.

Functional Specifications: Front – End Applicant Functionality

1.3.15 The internet has increasingly become the acceptable, if not the preferred, method of searching and applying for jobs, for a broad spectrum of applicants. Consequently, eRecruitment is an important aspect of the ABS’ recruitment strategy. The ABS is seeking to implement a technology solution that will promote the ABS as an employer of choice and enhance our applicants’ experience during recruitment and selection exercises.

Access & Recording Applicant Details

1.3.16 Applicants (internal and external) for positions should be able to:

  • browse or search for employment opportunities by region or using search criteria without being required to register;

  • forward job details on to a friend without being required to register (except for vacancies only open to internal applicants – which should only be forwarded to current ABS employees);
  • set up email alert to be notified of job opportunities that matches stated criteria;
  • create / register a user 'account' that will allow the management or tracking of their profile / applications / communication with the ABS;
  • lodge an unsolicited application for ongoing or non-ongoing work by region, classification level or job type; and
  • learn about working for the ABS.

Apply for Employment Opportunities

1.3.17 Applicants should be able to:

  • access (and print if required) all relevant information in relation to the job(s) they are applying for such as job description & selection criteria;

  • identify at the beginning of the application process if they meet mandatory criteria for a specific role – e.g. Australian citizenship, taken an APS voluntary redundancy within last 12 months, drivers licence etc;

  • use a resumable application form to apply for positions on-line (e.g. ongoing / campaigns / non-ongoing / alumni) and allow unique access to update, edit or withdraw;
  • have personal particulars fields automatically populated if they have submitted an application previously - able to be edited;
  • build an on-line resume or upload a CV / resume and other documents such as an academic transcript;
  • record and/or update educational details and current / previous employment history;
  • record referee details - including name, relationship, length of time known, contact;
  • send referee report template to referee as part of the initial application;
  • record current location, flag relocation potential, and indicate a preference for work in one or more other locations;
  • save and print a copy of job applications and 'clone' previous applications to apply for further jobs - store personal details and documents for future use;
  • easily identify the remaining time to apply for jobs;
  • access on-line help facility when lodging application and access hints / tips for applying;
  • record diversity information and any special needs;
  • receive automated reminder close to closing date if application form is only partially completed;

  • webmail or email the contact officer with any questions they may have about the job opportunity;
  • view the status of their application and track an application through the process - applications received / short-listing / interviews in progress etc;

  • receive and track communication on-line including applicant confirmation, invitation to interview, unsuccessful advice etc. Record time of message, from whom and content of message;
  • elect an interview time on-line in real-time;
  • be provided with initial password;
  • request or change lost or forgotten password; and
  • undertake on-line assessment.

Job Offer

1.3.18 Applicants who are successful in the selection process should be able to:

  • accept or decline an offer of employment / promotion / transfer; and
  • receive and lodge relevant paperwork.

Functional Specifications: Back – End ABS Functionality

1.3.19 The ABS is seeking to implement a technology solution that should step selection committee members, delegates and recruitment officers through each phase of the recruitment and selection process with a streamlined and automated workflow from the request to advertise through to the completion of the hiring process.

1.3.20 Any solution should provide the ABS with the ability to define access for internal and external users, set standard user groups and roles, and control job permissions and levels of access centrally.

Create a Request to Advertise

1.3.21 ABS Managers will be required to create a Request to Advertise for a position(s) from their desktops. The Request to Advertise form should:

  • automatically generate a reference number;

  • capture position details such as information about the work area, the position, the selection criteria, the level & location;

  • capture the names of key personnel such as the delegate, selection committee members and the contact officer;

  • capture the selection strategy to be used;

  • provide a facility to identify required advertising media;

  • capture advertising text;
  • provide options surrounding accepting / rejecting late applications; and

  • generate an approval process with automated workflow and audit trail.

1.3.22 ABS Managers should be supported through the Request to Advertise process by being able to:

  • access a library of job families to be used to help complete the form by populating fields - although fields should also be editable;
  • access a library of press advertisements previously used based on group / region / classification that can be inserted and edited in the form as it is being created;

  • access a library of selection criteria previously used based on group / region / classification that can be inserted and edited in the form as it is being created;
  • access stored categorised standard paragraphs and text such as information about ABS groups / regions / branches that can be inserted and edited in the form as it is being created;
  • attach a timeframe (or accept the timeframes provided) to each step in the process that will be applied from the closing date. Timeframes should initiate automatic reminders to recruiters; and

  • track the status of the Request to Advertise and any notes.

Post & Manage a Request to Advertise

1.3.23 ABS vacancies should be posted on a self service candidate portal that effectively enables the ABS to build its employer brand and supports attraction strategies. After a Request to Advertise is approved by a delegate, there will be

an expectation that:

  • data is transferred from the Request to Advertise into a Word Template which contains position details, responsibilities & selection criteria - document to be attached to the job vacancy list in either a Word or PDF format;
  • data is transferred from the Request to Advertise into the application form;

  • assessment template(s) are assigned to a vacancy based on the selection strategy chosen;
  • pre-application form / questions are applied to a vacancy;
  • application form(s) are assigned to a vacancy;
  • some fields on the application form are made mandatory and others not mandatory;

  • weighting rules (if required) are applied;

  • vacancies are posted / configured on the candidate portal;

  • closing dates are set / extended;
  • vacancies are posted to various third party sites such as HMA Blaze, Commonwealth gazette portal, Seek etc;
  • job vacancy information be stored and archived;
  • temporary registers / potential candidate pools / alumni register / mobility register (for internal ABS employees only) are posted and managed including:
  • keeping the register open;
  • building an applicant pool with applicant profiles;
  • grouping applicants based on responses to key questions in the application form;
  • the ability for recruiters to search the register by groups using a range of filters or key search words;
  • a regular and automatic communication with applicants that invites them to continue, update or remove their application;
  • notification of suitable upcoming vacancies; and
  • tracking the status of applicants.

Monitor & Manage Applications

1.3.24 The ABS is seeking a centralised platform that collects and stores candidate information and applications in a standard format. That platform should allow the ABS to:

  • filter / flag / exclude potentially unsuitable applicants from proceeding and submitting an application;

  • access and/or print a schedule of applicants and view position details, applications, applicant history, CVs;

  • identify / search for particular applicants based on internal / external to ABS, specific qualifications, keywords, job previously applied for etc;
  • schedule automatic notifications to be sent to applicants;
  • send appropriate personalised communication to all applicants, or groups of applicants, at a particular stage of the recruitment process;
  • track and record communication;
  • store a library of email templates that can be edited by individual users; and
  • receive and record communication from applicants.

Assess Applicants

1.3.25 The ABS is seeking a solution that will provide an automated workflow that directs recruiters through the assessment process. That process should allow for:

  • the automatic assessment of applicants through responses from the application form;
  • applicants to be highlighted / flagged / sorted based on certain criteria or responses;
  • selection committees to shortlist on line and record candidate assessment and comments;
  • selection committees to have the choice to short-list as a group or individually – if short-listing is done individually, each selection committee member should be able to see each others assessments / comments;
  • information to be shared between selection committee members on-line;
  • on-line testing or screening tools to be integrated into the assessment process;
  • a short-list to be generated;

  • a short-listing report to developed and approved;

  • communication to be sent to applicants who are not shortlisted;
  • short-listed applicants to be scheduled for interview / further assessment on-line and/or manually;

  • a library of interview questions based on capability to be built / maintained;
  • assessment templates to be generated depending on the requirement of the selection committee;

  • the provision of support / on-line help function to recruiters;
  • committee members and delegate to be reminded of timeframes;
  • timeframes for processes to be recorded, monitored and reported on;
  • referee report templates / comments / assessments to be integrated into the assessment process;
  • selection criteria to be weighted (if required);

  • each step in the assessment process to be weighted (if required);
  • a provisional order of merit to be generated;

  • a final order of merit (individually or grouped) to be generated into a comparative assessment;
  • a selection report to be generated containing selection recommendations and key information about the recruitment and selection process;
  • a comparative assessment and/or selection report to be approved by the selection committee and provided to the delegate for approval (delegate should be able to access individual assessments if required);
  • a selection report with placement decisions to be generated (required if a placement process takes place after the assessment);
  • the delegate's decision to be recorded;
  • the selection report and comparative assessment to be forwarded on to the National Recruitment Unit for action; and
  • applicants to be advised of the outcome.

1.3.26 The ABS is seeking a solution that should automate and support many of the

activities involved in bringing in an employee into the organisation including:

  • integrating the process to request an above base salary with the record of approval;

  • generating a letter of offer (engagement / promotion / transfer) to successful applicants from a library of letter templates (with some fields populating automatically);
  • emailing or posting an offer to successful applicants with attachments;
  • recording communication with the applicants;
  • recording responses from applicants (accept / decline ) and advising stakeholders;

  • facilitating and tracking pre-employment checks;

  • triggering and/or sending / recording emails to other areas of the ABS (e.g. payroll, IT, security, relocations, line managers, corporate services units etc) to request they commence the employee;

  • searching valid orders of merit based on job characteristics; and
  • clearly identifying what applicants still remain on an order of merit.


1.3.27 The ABS is seeking to generate the following recruitment metrics and management reports:

  • the number and type of selection processes within a period of time across the ABS / group / region;

  • the number of current vacancies and the percentage at each phase of the process;
  • the number of applications per process / group / region / time period;
  • profile of applicants (age range, gender, location, classification levels, diversity information, special needs etc) per process / group / region / time period;

  • applicant qualifications - type & institution;

  • cost and time to fill (at each phase of the process and as a total) per process / group / region / time period;

  • percentage of applicants successful at each phase of the process per process / group / region / time period;
  • number of interviews as a percentage of applicants per process;

  • overall cost of hiring an employee;
  • type of employment – non-ongoing / ongoing;
  • source of applications (where applicants are currently employed);

  • successful candidates coming from various sources / type of advertisement / first contact;
  • career site visitor activity;
  • number of applicant kits downloaded as a percentage of the number of applicants;
  • internal v external applications and successful outcomes;
  • numbers of engagements / promotions / transfers;
  • percentage of accept / decline of engagements / promotions / transfers;

  • calibre of successful applicants (overall assessment);

  • analysis of selection committee members by classification and percentage of those who have undertaken recruitment training; and

  • an audit trail of applications and approvals.


1.3.28 The ABS is seeking a solution that is able to satisfy Australian Government Security Standards as specified in the Defence Signals Directorate’s ACSI33 ( and the Attorney General Departments Protective Security Manual. This includes but is not limited to:

  • the physical or logical separation of any ABS e-recruitment data submitted, from other clients (businesses) of the e-recruitment site. This may mean:
  • separate physical or virtual servers specifically for the ABS e-recruitment data; or

  • appropriate logical separation using Access Control Lists (ACLs) or other mechanisms to prevent access from anyone other than the ABS;
  • any data/information submitted by potential ABS recruits is logically or physically secured so that other website end users (i.e. potential recruits) can not read, modify or delete it;

  • only authorised ABS employees can access and retrieve the e-recruitment data from the solution’s website/file system/database;

  • all communications between potential recruits and the e-recruitment solution, and the e-recruitment solution and the ABS is secured in an appropriate manner. For example SSL secured connections for web access;
  • the minimum numbers of provider employees are able to physically and electronically access ABS e-recruitment data, and those that are able, do not do so unless they have a specific support need to do so;
  • data collected is appropriately and securely backed up to allow for continued availability and recovery in the event of an incident or disaster;
  • only authorised individuals are able to publish information onto the ABS e-recruitment site (whether they are ABS staff or provider staff);
  • all system generated emails are able to comply with the requirements of the AGIMO/DSD email protective markings guidelines. This includes the ability to put an email classification (for example [SEC=IN-CONFIDENCE: STAFF]) within the subject line of an email;
  • e-recruitment infrastructure and application security management processes are in place to minimise the risks of compromise. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • vulnerability management and assessments being regularly performed;
  • operating systems and applications are appropriately hardened ( including removing unnecessary services, and remote access/administration functionality);
  • defined patching process to minimise vulnerabilities in systems;

  • antivirus scanning;
  • intrusion detection/prevention monitoring is performed and monitored; and

  • appropriate firewalls (preferable DSD approved firewalls – are in place and are monitored;

  • appropriate change control procedures are in place to ensure all changes to infrastructure and supporting systems are reviewed and adequately tested;
  • appropriate identification and authentication procedures are implemented to ensure that valid users are:
  • identified using an appropriate identity token (i.e. username that maintains accountability);
  • authenticated appropriately (i.e. using a strong, appropriately managed password); and

  • held accountable for any actions they undertake within the system (see next requirement around logging/monitoring);

  • that actions undertaken within the system (especially administrative actions), both the application and the infrastructure, are appropriately logged (and the logs are appropriately retained) to ensure users are held accountable for actions they perform whilst using the system; and
  • the solution is appropriately monitored to ensure its availability for use by potential ABS recruits, including appropriate alerts to administrators and advice to the ABS in the event that the system is unavailable.

1.3.29 The ABS is seeking a solution that complies with National Privacy Principles.

1.3.30 The Tenderer will be required to allow ABS to audit compliance with security requirements in the specifications using ABS or contracted personnel. Where the security requirements are not compliant they will be required to be rectified within the timeframe specified by the ABS. ...

From: Request for Tender for E-Recruitment Solution, ABS Reference: ABS076, 7-Mar-2008

1 comment:

Usamah Sedqi AlBaik أسامة صدقي البيك said...

What could be the branded e-recruitment system that satisfies these requirements?