Sharing job-seeker assistance software makes sense for government departments

Published Dec 12, 2022, 7:00 AM
Written by Owen Windsor

It makes sense for government departments to share software. We created a tool to help job seekers answer application questions persuasively – and it was easily modified to suit a different group of users.

We love seeing our software being creatively reused to make people’s lives easier. In this case, the software we made was flexible enough to be modified for different types of users. 

We were approached by the the NSW Public Service Commission (PSC) who wanted to improve applicants' job seeking processes with an interactive Capability Definition Tool. They'd seen the one we’d created in 2015 to help veterans to identify their valuable transferable skills and find civilian employment through the NSW Veterans Employment Program.

Capacity definition tool questions - Veterans Employment Program, NSW Government
Capacity definition tool questions - Veterans Employment Program, NSW Government

Why recreate something when the perfect tool exists?

Our client wanted a tool to help job seekers find specific information and guidance to get them in to government jobs and enable government staff to move through the sector.

The PSC's Capability Definition Tool was modified from its original purpose to help veterans decipher what civilian job ads were asking for and help them to present their many skills and strengths to show that they were an excellent fit.

The PSC wanted to manage and maintain the tool themselves and replicate it for other departments who needed a similar tool customised to use their own terminology. 

Our tool was easy to modify as it's built using Silverstripe, a flexible, free, open-source platform with a user-friendly content management system (CMS). This made it simple for the PSC to change any veteran-specific words that were on the original site.

Users of the tool manually enter the capability levels they find in a NSW government position description, for example ‘Communicate Effectively’ at an ‘advanced level’ and ‘Project Management at ‘adept’ level. The tool gives job seekers a document explaining what job recruiters will be looking for and the kinds of questions that might be asked in an interview for each criterion.

While this wasn’t strictly an open-source project, it reflected our ethos of sharing and creative re-use. We were delighted to help these government departments to customise and re-use this practical tool to help different groups of people apply for jobs.