Recruiting staff

Last updated
19 June 2023

Recruiting the right people is key to establishing a well-functioning office. It is important to have a sound understanding of the tasks, skills, capabilities, qualifications, and experience required for each position.  A position description should be available for potential employees to review prior to advertising a role.

A position description should include the following information:

  • Role description
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Required qualifications, skills and experience
  • Salary and employment type
  • Additional allowances which may apply to the role
  • Work base and travel requirements
  • Expectations around performance, attendance, and behaviour

The position description can then be used as a tool for managing and supporting the ongoing performance of your staff.

Vacant positions can be advertised through online recruitment advertisements, print media advertisements, internal networks or, at your personal cost, through private employment agencies (see below for details). Advertisement templates are available under related resources.

Advertisements for vacant roles should include details about:

  • Short summary of the position description
  • Work base and travel requirements
  • Duties and responsibilities,
  • Selection criteria (Required skills, experiences, qualifications)
  • Salary range and additional allowances
  • Applicable probation period
  • Security clearance and police check requirements
  • Information required within the application (e.g. a CV, reference details, a one-page pitch around applicant’s skills and experience, examples of previous work, etc.).
  • Application deadline (e.g. minimum 2 week period from date of posting)
  • Contact officer information
  • Any other additional incentives or promotion of the role

Candidate selection

Applications for a position should be assessed on their merit against the skills and qualifications outlined in the position description. It is recommended that shortlisted candidates are interviewed to determine their suitability against the position and within the team.

The following information may also be useful in informing recruitment decisions:

  • Whether they possess the necessary working rights in Australia
  • Whether there may be potential conflicts of interest
  • Follow up on any concerns or allegations raised in referee reports
  • Whether the candidate demonstrates attributes that suggest they’re a good fit for the team   

The following information should not be requested:

  • Information about protected attributes (e.g. age, gender, racial background, political opinion, etc.)
  • Factors that may not be relevant for the role (e.g. physical capabilities, financial situation, etc.)

It is good practice to apply a merit based and procedurally fair approach to the recruitment and selection process. Documenting the recruitment process and decisions is strongly advised.  

Once a successful candidate is identified and an offer of employment has been accepted, an employment agreement must be finalised and signed before the person commences in their new role.

For assistance with recruitment, developing position descriptions and advertising vacancies, please contact MOPS Support.

Ongoing vacant positions

MaPS can organise the placement of online ads for ongoing vacant positions, and can make payment directly to the supplier on behalf of parliamentarians without debit to your office budget. You may place up to three ads for each vacant Electorate Officer position and up to four ads for each vacant Personal Employee position. Please contact MOPS Support to advertise for ongoing roles.

To assist with the process and service time frame, an advertising template is available (see related resources), which includes the necessary information and structure for an effective advertisement, and which satisfies PBR Regulations. Advertisements must be live for a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 30 days from the date of posting if the placements are organised by MaPS.

Send the proposed advertisement draft for review and publication. Your request will be responded to within 5 business days of receipt of the request.

Alternatively, parliamentarians can arrange the placement of the online ad and seek reimbursement from MaPS through MOPS Support subject to satisfying PBR regulations. 


Non-ongoing or casual vacant positions

Online advertisements for casual or non-ongoing positions should be organised by the office and claimed as an office expense (it must meet the requirements specified in the Parliamentary Business Resources Regulations 2017).

The Job advertisement templates and Staff Role Descriptions (see related resources) may help in developing content, and MOPS Support can also assist.

Print media position advertisements

Parliamentarians who want to advertise a vacant position through print media can:

  • claim the cost of the advertisement as an office expense (it must meet the requirements specified in the Parliamentary Business Resources Regulations 2017); or
  • pay for the ad personally (this does not come out of any office or Department of Finance budgets).

Private employment agencies

Parliamentarians who wish to use the services of an employment agency to fill a vacant position must meet the cost of these services personally, as they are not covered by the Commonwealth.

Travel for interviews

Candidates attending an interview for a personal employee position may have their associated travel costs reimbursed.


Parliamentarians and Chiefs of Staff

Employing Parliamentarians and Chiefs of Staff should consider alternatives to conducting in‑person interviews such as phone or video technology such as Skype or GovTEAMS. Where an in-person interview is required, employing Parliamentarians and Chiefs of Staff are required to confirm interview details (date, time, location) with the prospective candidate for the purposes of making travel arrangements.


Prospective candidates required to attend in-person interviews for a personal employee position must:

  • Make all travel arrangements in accordance with interview details provided
  • Provide receipts when seeking reimbursement of travel costs

Positions eligible for reimbursement

Travel expenses are reimbursed only for travel to and from an interview for a personal employee position in the office of the following office-holders:

The Commonwealth will meet the cost of economy class travel for any candidate to attend an interview for a vacant position as a personal employee of:

  • a Minister
  • an Assistant Minister
  • the Leader or Deputy Leader of the Opposition
  • the Leader or Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
  • the Leader of a Minority Party.

The reimbursement of travel costs is not available to candidates who are employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act).

Costs covered

The Commonwealth will reimburse the following costs of travel between an applicant’s home (or another location as agreed in writing with Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MaPS) prior to the travel) and the interview location:

  • Economy-class flights for the most direct route. The applicant must select the lowest practical fare that suits the business needs of the applicant.
  • Transfer costs between terminals
  • Ground transport including taxi/rideshare, ferry, bus and rail services; and
  • Rental car and rental car fuel costs where there are no reasonable alternative options.

Where an applicant travels using frequent flyer points, MaPS will not reimburse the applicant.

Accommodation and meal allowances will not be paid for or be reimbursed.


Queries about travel should be directed to the MaPS Helpdesk. Complete the Reimbursement of travel costs to attend interview for personal staff position and submit it to MaPS to apply for reimbursement.

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