Want a top Australian Public Service job? Get clicking on Facebook

“Members of these communities have the potential to turn into high-quality, committed employees,” says the Australian Public Service Commission. Photo: Wayne Taylor.More public service newsLloyd’s war on public service slackers

Public service departments have been told to trawl Facebook and Twitter to find their next generation of bosses.

The Australian Public Service Commission says the future leaders of the Commonwealth bureaucracy can be found on social media, and departments need to be clicking away in their search for emerging talent.

But agencies have been warned not to ignore potential high flyers under their noses, and should form “talent councils” to make sure opportunities are not missed.

The advice is contained in the commission’s Talent Management Guide, a how-to manual for spotting future Canberra mandarins.

First lesson: get online.

“Effective organisations are using social media to build a community of individuals interested in their products, their work or in the organisation itself. Members of these communities have the potential to turn into high-quality, committed employees,” the guide states.

“Consider using data from sources such as LinkedIn, Facebook and other global networks to identify quality candidates.”

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Managers are also encouraged not to overlook the abilities of their existing workforce, and not be greedy with high-potential up-and-comers.

“Identifying and developing internal talent means that an agency is not reliant on the labour market to fill every critical vacancy,” the guide states.

Talented employees are to kept “engaged” but not chained to one job or even one department and agency.

“Engagement does not mean holding on to talented employees in one job role or agency; indeed, talent ‘hoarding’ is likely to have a negative effect on engagement,” says the guide.

The current tough times in the public service, where wages are stagnating, there is little money in departmental budgets for pay rises and promotions are hard to come by, are no excuse for a failure to nurture future leaders, the commission warns.

“During periods where promotion or transfer opportunities are limited across the APS, agencies should carefully consider whether acting assignments or new projects are suitable for keeping high-potential employees committed to the APS,” the guide reads.

“Providing the best opportunities to high-potential employees isn’t about creating a ‘favoured class’, but is about ensuring that the best contributors continue to offer their best and keep growing in preparation for taking on critical roles.”

Agencies and managers are provided with a “nine-box grid”, a diagnostic tool to identify the workers in the agency who have what it takes to go to the top.

But the grid poses a danger to the office slackers, giving bosses a new method of identifying the public servants who are not pulling their weight.

“At the other end of the scale, for individuals in the ‘strongest concern’ category there is a need for firm and decisive management action,” the guide states.

“If performance does not improve, agency underperformance processes should be commenced.

“This may result in reassignment of the individual to another role, reclassification or termination.”