We believe that workplaces are energised by the contribution of employees from all parts of society, leading to more responsive and inclusive policies, programmes, and services. People are central to our business and it is our priority to recruit a high-calibre and diverse workforce to deliver responsive and inclusive public services for the people of Ireland.
The large majority of Civil and Public Service roles are recruited through large volume recruitment competitions (Temporary and Permanent Clerical Officer, Executive Officer, Garda Trainee, Prison Officer, Third Secretary, and Administrative Officer / Graduate roles, amongst others). For specific Professional, Technical, and Management positions we recruit on a tailored basis throughout the year.
As recruitment competitions for many positions across the Civil and Public Service usually attract a high number of applicants, candidates are therefore required to undertake a range of relevant assessment tests and exercises over several selection stages. We use a demand-led approach which means candidates may be progressed in batches through the various assessment stages at different times, based on the number of vacancies that arise.
Typical Recruitment Timelines
Timelines will vary depending on several factors including, but not limited to; volume of applications, number of vacancies, and resource availability due to volume of other live competitions at a given time. Panels are typically active for approximately 18-24 months and candidates can come under consideration at any point. However, there is no guarantee that being placed on a panel will lead to a job offer. The number of roles allocated from a panel depend on the number of relevant vacancies that arise in that time period.
Large volume recruitment competitions for general grades such as Temporary or Permanent Clerical Officer, Executive Officer and Administrative Officer can take several months due to the significant number of applications typically received. Candidates generally progress through each stage of the recruitment process in batches. Your batch number will be determined by the score you received, as ranked against all other applicants, at the previous stage you have taken in the relevant competition. Candidates who score higher, progress sooner.
Our Campaign Updates section will be updated with relevant information regarding specific competitions and will give you a better indication of the estimated timelines for our campaigns.
Stages in Our Recruitment Process
Our recruitment process can vary greatly depending on the specific position or type of competition. The recruitment process may comprise of several stages, which are outlined in detail below. It is worth noting that not all stages of the recruitment process are used for every position. In addition, the below list of potential assessments are categorised but not necessarily in chronological order. Any other tests and exercises deemed appropriate may also be used in the recruitment process.
Prior to each stage of the recruitment process, you will receive an invitation via your publicjobs.ie message board. Once you have accepted an invitation, you may receive familiarisation material, documentation, or assessor names in advance of the assessment.
Please note that while we do our best to only call candidates forward to a panel where the demand exists, it does not guarantee you will be offered a position, as your place on the panel may not be reached if demand is lower than initially envisaged.
As our recruitment process, particularly for large volume competitions, is complex and often consisting of multiple batches progressed over a period of time, it is strongly advised that you refer to the Competition Information Booklet for each recruitment competition to determine that you fully meet the eligibility requirements before applying or undertaking any of the various assessment stages.
Glossary of Terms
- Large Volume Competition: These are competitions that typically receive a high number of applications to fill a large volume of vacancies.
- Competition Information Booklet: Each competition or role has an Competition Information Booklet which will provide details on the role, employing authority, eligibility requirements, recruitment process and remuneration.
- Recruitment Process: The recruitment process is the list of assessment stages outlined in the Competition Information Booklet.
- Eligibility: All roles have a unique set of eligibility criteria which will be outlined in the Competition Information Booklet for that role. Candidates must meet all the eligibility criteria, e.g. having particular types of experience or a particular qualification, or they will not be appointed. The onus is on the applicant to ensure they meet all eligibility requirements outlined in the Competition Information Booklet.
- Assessments: Assessments are the various tests, interviews or processes utilised during the recruitment process. Each potential assessment stage is outlined in the stages in Our Recruitment Process section.
- Stages: Stages are the steps and assessments that are involved in the recruitment process from application through to assignment. Details on the various potential steps and stages that can be utilised are found below.
- Familiarisation Material: At different stages of the recruitment process, you may receive familiarisation material to help you become familiar with the layout and style of an upcoming assessment.
- Streams: Some competitions are separated into a sub-set of streams each with differing eligibility criteria. An example of this is ‘Open’ (the general public are eligible to apply providing all other eligibility criteria are met) and ‘Interdepartmental’ (only civil servants are eligible to apply providing all other eligibility criteria are met). Candidates may be assessed once at each stage for one or multiple streams or undertake additional assessments for a particular stream. The Competition Information Booklet will outline the recruitment process involved.
- Batches: Batches are a sub-set of successful candidates who are brought forward to the next stage. Your order of merit at each stage will determine your batch. The numbers within each batch can vary and is determined by the current or forecasted number of vacancies at a particular time, as we work to a demand-led approach.
- Order of Merit: Your order of merit (OOM) is your ranking within the successful candidate group for a particular stage. For example, if you got the highest marks on a set of Stage 1 aptitude tests, you would be placed first on the order of merit for Stage 1. Those who score highest, place highest on the panel and will therefore progress first.
- Demand-led: The volume of candidates called forward to a subsequent stage and the timelines between each stage is determined by a demand-led approach to recruitment. The current or forecasted number of vacancies at a particular time will inform the size of a batch and timeline between each assessment.
- Board: A board is a panel of assessors for a stage of the recruitment process.
- Assessors: Assessors are the individuals who form an assessment board at each stage of the recruitment process. They may be interviewers or those evaluating written or presentation exercises.
- Panel: A panel is a batch or multiple batches of candidates who were successful at the final stage of a selection process. Once your order of merit is reached due to vacancies arising, the clearance process will commence. Please note, being placed on a panel does not guarantee an appointment will be made.
- Clearance: Final eligibility and background checks prior to assignment. Some offices require additional layers of security clearance based on the nature of the work. Please see full details below in the clearance section.
- Assignment: Once all clearance requirements are met, the Public Appointments Service will send an assignment notice to you and the Human Resource contact of your new employer. Your new employer will arrange all aspects of your onboarding into your new role, the Public Appointments Service are not involved from this stage forward.
To find more information about Our Recruitment Process please visit our FAQ page and to find helpful tips and practical information on how to prepare for the different stages of the recruitment process visit our Applications, Tests and Interviews sections below.
If you would like to get in touch, you can do so through the options provided on our Contact Us page.