Careers at the Department of Communities - applying for a job with us

Information to assist you in applying for a job at Communities.
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You’ve most likely arrived here from the JobsWA website, where all government jobs are advertised, but you could also have seen the perfect job for you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or a local newspaper, or heard about it on a regional radio station.

Deciding to make a career move, looking for a new job, getting an interview and waiting to find out if you got the job can be an exciting and challenging time. It’s not something that we do every day, so it can also be a bit stressful even for the most confident person. The recruitment process shouldn’t be stressful or feel like you’re being tested. It should be an opportunity for you to shine.

We’re looking for the right person for the job - someone who is passionate about the work they do and will play a part in making Communities a great place to work.

Creating a positive experience that lets you showcase your best self is the way that we can make that happen.

See below information about how the process works, what to expect and some tips on how you can make the most of your recruitment experience.

Before you apply

Before you make a decision to apply, gather as much information as you can about the job and our department so that you can make a fully informed decision about whether this is the right job for you.

The job ad

Read the ad and any attachments.  The ad gives you an overview of the job duties, as well as information about the pay, location, status and tenure and who to contact for more information.

The Job Description Form (JDF) is an important document. It tells you where the job fits into the organisation and team, what the duties are and what skills, experience and attributes the person doing the job needs to be successful. 

Our website: You’ll find a wealth of useful information on the Communities website Communities careers page can tell you more about our department, our vision and values, what our employees value most about working here and the difference we make for the WA community. Doing some research will stand you in good stead. 

Eligibility requirements

If you accept an offer of employment with us, you must consent to a criminal record check. Many positions also require you to have a Working with Children card. This ensures the safety and wellbeing of our clients and employees, and security of our resources and information. The JDF and the ad will tell you exactly what is required.

Employment and engagement screening 

Consented Criminal Record screening, client and child protection checks, integrity and other applicable checks are a mandatory aspect of Communities’ recruitment, selection and engagement processes.

Our Overarching Employment and Engagement Screening Policy provides more information.

Screening checks will not always preclude applicants with an adverse history from employment or engagement. Screening checks do not eliminate the risk of employing or engaging unsuitable people, however they are designed to minimise the risk based on available, credible, relevant information and to safeguard Communities’ integrity. 

Checks will be undertaken in a way that does not breach privacy, human rights or equal opportunity laws.

If you do not give consent to undergo pre-employment checks, the screening process cannot be undertaken, and you will not be permitted to commence employment with Communities in any capacity.

The contact person

Our ads will always give you the name of someone you can talk to about the job - usually the manager the position reports to. It’s a great idea to give them a call (or contact us via the National Relay Service, if required) to find out more about the job and introduce yourself. Be prepared with your questions – you might want to ask what a typical day in the job looks like, what challenges might the position or the team be facing, what are the immediate priorities, and what sort of person they are looking for. If you get an interview, it also makes it a little easier if you already know a bit about one of the people on the panel and you can focus your answers on what you know is important.

Your referees

Your referees know you well and might be able to offer words of wisdom on how best to present yourself in your application. You’ll also want to let them know you are applying for a job and make sure they’ll be contactable.

The more information you have, the better prepared you are to decide if this is the job for you, tailor your application to address what’s important in the job and show us that you’re the right fit.   

Your application

If you’ve spoken to the contact person in the job ad, then you’ve already made a good first impression.

Your job application is your chance to build on that, so make the most of it by doing some planning.

Let’s start with the last thing first! Before you start your application, check the closing date of the job.  We can’t accept late applications so it’s important that you plan ahead. We don’t want you to miss out because of a technical glitch that prevents you from getting your application in on time.

Preparing your application

The job ad will tell you what to include so read it carefully. Generally, at a minimum we’ll ask you to submit a resume and cover letter, and if the job requires it, proof of your qualifications. You might also be asked to submit a statement addressing the selection criteria.  

It can help to make a list of your experience and achievements that are most relevant to the job you are applying for - use this list to plan what you highlight in your job application. 

To help you to make it easy for the assessors to see your talent and abilities, keep the following in mind:

  • If the job ad specifies a certain number of pages, please don’t exceed it.  For some jobs we might get many applications so we really appreciate it if you provide only what we’ve asked for. 
  • Give succinct but tangible examples of your achievements, skills and abilities that show that you can do the duties in the JDF.
  • Use plain English - avoid acronyms that others might not be familiar with.
  • Make it easy to read - using a tiny font, narrow margins or long paragraphs to fit more in reduces ease of readability.  

Submitting your application

We prefer that you apply via JobsWA (you’ll find an Apply button in the job ad), but we also provide a link to a Microsoft Word application form if needed.  

Check that you have all the documents you’ll need to upload before you click that Apply button.

And it bears repeating - we can’t accept late applications so please don’t leave it to the last minute! Technology can sometimes fail so give yourself plenty of time.

You’ll get an email telling you if you successfully submitted your application. If you don’t receive that email, or have any technical difficulties contact the Human Resources person listed in the job advertisement.

Application supports

When you apply for a job with us, we want to make sure you have every opportunity to show us why you’re right for the job. You can speak to the person listed in the job ad so they can ensure that there are no unnecessary barriers, that you are comfortable during the recruitment process and that we make any adjustments you might need. Our Human Resources (HR) team supports our managers to make sure everything meets our Disability Confident Recruiter status.    

Aboriginal people are strongly encouraged to apply for all roles at all levels and across all portfolios. If you are an Aboriginal person who would like assistance with your application, please contact Jobs and Skills WA on 13 64 64.

The assessment process

We aim to complete our assessment process as quickly as we can so that we don’t miss out on the best people for the job.

Shortlisting and selection

At a minimum, the panel (usually three people) will assess your application against the duties and selection criteria in the Job Description Form (JDF) and make a shortlist of those who are most competitive.  

You’ll be invited to an interview (either face-to-face or online) and it’s likely that you’ll be given 10 – 20 minutes before the interview to read the questions and make notes. Bring your application with you so you can refer to it if needed. Depending on the position you’re applying for, you might go through other selection processes. You could be sent a scenario prior to address at interview, or you might be asked to make a presentation. During the interview, the panel will be happy to answer any questions you might have of them about the Department, the job or anything else you might want to know. We may also contact your referees at any point in the process, so make sure they know you’re applying and their contact details are current. 

Regardless of the selection process, you might like to prepare for it by thinking about what questions you could be asked that relate to the selection criteria and the JDF. 

Don’t hesitate to let us know if you need any accessibility adjustments such as support accessing the building, additional time for responding to questions, supportive software or different assessment methods.

The decision

The panel considers all the evidence gathered during the process to decide if you meet the job requirements and we’ll write to you to let you know what decision was made.  

If you believe you’ve been adversely affected by that decision, the Public Sector Standards in Human Resource Management allow you to lodge what is known as a breach claim. We’ll tell you how you can do that when we advise you of the panel’s decision but you can also visit the Public Sector Commission website to read more. 

We’ll also give you the contact details of the person who can give you feedback on the application and interview. It’s a great way to get some constructive feedback so that you can improve your chances next time.

Offer of employment

If successful, we’ll usually contact you to let you know and then follow up with the written offer. 

If you accept the offer, our onboarding process will begin. We’ll send you all the necessary paperwork to complete and forms to sign.  

Your manager will contact you before you start and if it’s possible, will make time for you to meet the team before you officially start with us.