Non‑Campaign Recruitment Advertising Policy
Effective 1 July 2012
Table of Contents
1.1 The Non‑Campaign Recruitment Advertising Policy (the Policy) was first introduced on 1 July 2009 with the aim of assisting agencies covered by the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA agencies) to achieve value for money and improved targeting of their advertising spend. The initial version of the Policy introduced limits on the size, use of colour and number of repetitions of recruitment advertisements in the print media. Subsequent amendments to the Policy in July 2010 mandated the use of single Whole‑of‑Government composites in major daily newspapers.
1.2 FMA agencies have increased their use of online media and social networking sites to target jobseekers with particular skills, expertise and interests. In an environment where employers compete to attract the best candidates, the ability to tap into the passive jobseeker market in particular, is a growing area of strategic advantage. FMA agencies increased their use of online recruitment advertising by 55 per cent in the 2010‑11 financial year.
1.3 The Policy, effective 1 July 2012, mandates:
- The use of online recruitment advertising;
- That major daily newspapers1 must not be used for recruitment advertising;
- Maximum sizes and placement of recruitment advertisements in limited print media (such as regional, periodic publications or specialist media such as Indigenous); and
- That colour must not be used in print advertisements.
2.1 Recruitment advertising promotes specific and general job vacancies including graduate opportunities within an Australian Government Agency.
2.2 Large‑scale recruitment advertising not related to specific job vacancies and with a substantial degree of creative content may be considered to be campaign advertising, which is subject to a separate policy2. Agencies should seek advice from the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) if they are unsure whether an activity is non‑campaign or campaign advertising.
2.3 This Policy outlines the Government’s mandatory requirements in relation to non‑campaign recruitment advertising.
2.4 The Policy assists agencies to achieve value for money in recruitment advertising by:
- Mandating the use of online recruitment advertising;
- Restricting the use of major daily newspapers for recruitment advertising, unless paragraph 3.4 applies;
- Mandating maximum sizes and placement of recruitment advertisements in limited print media (such as regional, periodic publications or specialist media such as Indigenous); and
- Mandating that colour must not be used in print advertisements.
3.1 The Policy takes effect from 1 July 2012 and applies to all non‑campaign recruitment advertisements, including specific and general job vacancies, such as graduate opportunities.
3.2 The Policy does not apply to other forms of non‑campaign advertising such as public notices, tender notices, invitations to make a submission, grant applications or community announcements.
Compliance with this Policy
3.3 FMA agencies must comply with this Policy. Agencies subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC bodies) are encouraged to comply.
3.4 The Chief Executive of a FMA agency (or their delegate) may, in limited circumstances, consider and approve requests for an exemption from paragraph 4.4 of this Policy for hard to fill positions (such as the Senior Executive Service (or equivalent)) or target groups, where special circumstances justify a need for an advertisement. Other positions cannot be exempted from this Policy.
3.5 Chief Executives should consider requests for exemption having regard to their obligation under Section 44 of theFinancial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act), to promote the proper use of Commonwealth resources, where proper use means efficient, effective, economical and ethical use that is not inconsistent with the policies of the Commonwealth. In addition, to comply with the requirements of FMA Regulation 9, Chief Executives and other approvers also need to be satisfied when approving expenditure related to recruitment advertising that the proposed expenditure will represent a proper use of Commonwealth resources.
3.6 FMA agencies that do not comply with this Policy should report a breach under the FMA Act, as part of their annual certificate of compliance processes.
Placement of advertising
4.1 FMA agencies must book and place all government recruitment advertisements (including free advertising) through the Media Placement Agency3 .
4.2 FMA agencies subject to the Public Service Act 1999 or the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 must advertise employment opportunities in the electronic APS Employment Gazette4 , incorporated on APSjobs.
4.3 In addition to the APS Employment Gazette and in accordance with the considerations detailed in Section 5, agencies may use additional online advertising to attract suitable applicants.
Advertising in print media
4.4 Agencies may place print recruitment advertising in print media such as Indigenous, local, regional or rural media. (Agencies are not permitted to place print recruitment advertising in major daily newspapers).
4.5 Agencies that advertise in other print media, in accordance with the options suggested under paragraph 5.2, need to be mindful of the maximum sizes for single position advertisements. These are:
- APS 1 – 6 (or equivalent): 13 cm x 3 columns (or another configuration up to 39 column cms);
- EL1 – 2 (or equivalent): 16 cm x 3 columns (or another configuration up to 48 column cms); and
- SES positions (or equivalent): 20 cm x 3 columns (or another configuration up to 60 column cms).
4.7 Colour must not be used for any recruitment advertisements placed in print media.
Use of external Recruitment Providers
4.8 Agencies that engage external recruitment providers (such as third-party specialist recruitment providers and/or executive search firms) must comply with this Policy. Third party providers must place advertisements through the Media Placement Agency. Agencies must also advise the Media Placement Agency of these arrangements in writing. The Media Placement Agency will invoice the agency for services under those arrangements. Contractual arrangements with external recruitment providers must reflect these requirements.
International recruitment advertising
4.9 Agencies placing any international recruitment advertising that is:
- placed from within Australian territory to appear outside Australian territory must use the Media Placement Agency; and
- placed from outside Australian territory to appear outside Australian territory are not required to use the Media Placement Agency.
4.10 The use of agency branding or logos is a matter for the agency, in accordance with any broader policy on Australian Government branding5 .
5.1 The Media Placement Agency should be consulted for advice regarding all media options, publication dates and distribution areas, costs and deadlines. The Media Placement Agency will be able to provide current and robust advice on options, including:
- Generalist or specialist recruitment websites: which may offer a cost effective option for reaching a wide audience of suitable candidates. In addition, there may be a number of niche, specialist and industry specific online job boards or periodic publications that may be suitable for attracting applicants for Senior Executive Service, professional or specialist roles.
- Indigenous media (in print or other): which may offer a cost effective option to attract Indigenous candidates. This is particularly encouraged for positions that involve Indigenous policy development or service delivery.
- Local, regional or rural media (print or other): which may offer a cost effective option to attract local interest for suburban, regional and rural vacancies. This is particularly encouraged for positions that involve rural/regional policy development or service delivery.
5.2 Agencies should consider carefully what advertising (in addition to the APS Employment Gazette), if any, may be needed to reach suitable applicants and ensure that all positions are advertised reasonably to all members of the public, consistent with the Public Service Act 1999 or Parliamentary Services Act 1999.
5.3 Agencies are encouraged to consider the most cost effective advertising option(s) to attract suitable applicants. This includes carefully considering the number of placements required for each advertised position.
5.4 The Australian Public Service Commission also provides employment advice and guidance to assist agencies in developing their recruitment strategies.
5.5 If your agency’s recruitment advertising has been unsuccessful, Finance would encourage you to discuss your strategy and options with the Media Placement Agency.
6.1 The following is a general outline of procedures involved in placing online government recruitment advertisements. Agencies are encouraged to familiarise themselves with any specific services or requirements that the Media Placement Agency may have.
6.2 It is imperative that adequate time is allowed for the preparation of advertising material, always taking into consideration placement deadlines. Unless agreed otherwise with the agency, the Media Placement Agency provides, on average, a four-hour turnaround on advertisement requests (where limited media planning and/or strategy is required). This needs to be taken into account when planning your advertising. An account executive from the Media Placement Agency can advise on flexibility within media deadlines, and will attempt to process late bookings or material alterations on an agency’s behalf.
Initiating the process
6.3 The first step is to contact the account executive at the Media Placement Agency and present them with a brief, outlining the budget, dates, position, information on the target audience and objectives of the advertising. At this stage a discussion will take place with respect to the online coverage, content of the advertisement, the size, the placement and the budget. The account executive may also advise on appropriate regional, local and ethnic media, industry journals and any appropriate radio coverage. For routine recruitment advertisements an agency may not need to have this initial discussion. The Media Placement Agency may assist an agency in the development of recruitment advertising templates and advise on such things as whether the agency supplied copy would fit into a template.
6.4 Although a media plan can be provided by the Media Placement Agency, based on media costs and other fees that can be forecast, agencies should be aware that the final cost of the advertisement is usually dependent on the size of the advertisement, the final copy used and the number of alterations that have been requested by the agency.
6.5 Once the media plan is approved, the agency must submit an Advertising Order Form authorising the Media Placement Agency to commence the advertising process. Final media charges and production costs will be confirmed with a cost estimate, once copy and other material has been sent to the agency’s account executive.
Delivering advertising copy
6.6 All text and visual content for non-campaign recruitment advertisements should be electronically delivered to the Media Placement Agency. Any special requirements for the advertisement (e.g. logos, photos and graphics) should be delivered electronically in a format recommended by the Media Placement Agency. Should there be any questions regarding the material, the agency should contact their Media Placement Agency account executive.
6.7 Any artwork or copy will be sent to the agency for amendment or approval prior to publication. Written approval must be provided by the agency before the Media Placement Agency is able to authorise placement. It is the responsibility of the agency to ensure that the material content and booking is correct before signing the final proof. Approval to proceed will only be accepted by the Media Placement Agency once a completed Media Booking Authorisation and relevant proofs have been approved.
6.8 Advice of any alterations to the advertisement copy may be made by email or telephone – depending on the complexity of the alterations. All alterations will result in an additional electronic proof being produced; ensuring the final material has always been viewed and approved by the agency. Unless there are major alterations it is always preferable to make any changes to the proof received, rather than providing a new copy.
6.9 It is important to note that adherence to media deadlines must include additional time for electronic transmission of the advertisement to the media. The Media Placement Agency advises the agency to approve all advertising material at least two hours prior to media deadlines, to ensure successful despatch and receipt of material.
6.10 It is recognised that the needs of the agency may result in short lead times, necessitating the fast turnaround of advertising material and bookings. However, the following points need to be taken into consideration when making bookings with the Media Placement Agency:
- Availability in electronic media is subject to the level of demand at the time of booking. Prime placement is often reflective of advance booking notification.
- All media have published cancellation deadlines, which vary from 48 hours to eight weeks. It is important for the agency to advise the Media Placement Agency’s account executive as soon as possible of the intention to cancel media. It is preferred that an agency advises first by phone, and then follows up with written confirmation which supersedes the existing order form.
- Bookings and material can be accepted up to 48 hours prior to insertion for most local, regional or rural newspapers. However, advance notice of forward bookings may enhance prime placement. It should also be noted that there are longer lead times for some pre-printed sections of newspapers.
- Magazine deadlines vary depending on the publication, but generally they require six to eight weeks advance notice for bookings and material.
2 Refer to the Guidelines on Information and Advertising Campaigns by Australian Government Departments and Agencies - http://www.finance.gov.au/advertising/guidelines-on-campaign-advertising.html
3 Information on the Media Placement Agency can be found at - (http://www.finance.gov.au/advertising/non-campaign-advertising.html).
4 PS Act agencies are required to advertise in the APS Employment Gazette found at www.apsjobs.gov.au
5 The Australian Government’s Branding Requirements can be found at - www.dpmc.gov.au/guidelines/docs/design_guidelines_PMC.rtf
Contact for information on this page: Procurement Implementation Branch