Launch Your Career in Government… By Contracting!

Do you want to make a move from the private sector to the public sector, but aren’t sure where to start? Or perhaps you have tried to land a role with a government department, but haven’t had much luck?
From the outside in, transitioning to the Australian Public Service (APS) can seem like a challenge. Selection criteria aside, landing an interview is difficult at the best of times – and getting through several panel interviews may feel like an impossible feat.

Competitive pay rates, benefits and career opportunities make the APS an attractive option, so the competition is pretty tough.

But even if you have tried and failed, there is one great way to get a start in government, which could open the door to new opportunities in the future.

Here are 3 reasons why contracting is the perfect stepping stone to launch your APS career:

1. Cut through the long recruitment process

It’s no secret that government processes are plagued by red tape, and this extends to recruitment as well. Evaluating candidates, organising panel interviews, reviewing responses, conducting more interviews, and moving to a firm offer can sometimes take months to complete.

On the flip side, contracting is much more streamlined. We generally place ideal candidates into right fit roles within weeks, so candidates avoid the lengthy recruitment process and get started sooner.

Contracting may be the perfect segue into a public sector role that allows you to transition across quicker.

2. Get a feel for working in government from the inside

The grass always looks greener on the other side. If you’ve been working in the private sector but are curious about the APS, contracting is an ideal way to find out what life is like on the inside.

Rather than committing to a permanent role upfront, a 6 or 12 month contract gives you the opportunity to experience the culture, meet new people, ask questions, and genuinely see if it’s the right career move for you.

You’ll also be able to meet the people you will directly report to when you go for the interview. This gives you an opportunity to decide if you’ll be able to form a good working relationship with your manager and how much you can learn from them.

3. Over 70% of HorizonOne contractors are extended or go permanent

There are many reasons why a government department may go in search of a contractor – from seeking specialist knowledge to filling a gap because a permanent employee has left or gone on leave.

We always ask why a contract is on offer, so we can be upfront with our contractors about the likelihood of extensions or the possibility of the contract leading to a permanent role.

This allows our contractors to decide if the contract aligns with their goals before accepting it.

Because we go above and beyond to find the right fit candidate for every contract role, over 70% of our contractors are offered permanency or contract extensions…which is something we could help you achieve too.

Want to chat about contracting opportunities?

If you’re not sure how to launch a career in the public sector, or have previously applied for roles without success, contact our team for a friendly chat.

We may be able to help you find a suitable contract that allows you to start quickly, decide if the public service is right for you, and take a step towards a permanent offer.


Kristelle Gadd
Senior Recruitment Consultant | Accounting & Finance
HorizonOne Recruitment

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