Staffing and recruitment

Focus on attracting high quality staff

278 full-time equivalent staff
58% of middle management are women

Staff turnover within target

Our strong brand, excellent reputation and opportunities for personal and career development has enabled the Audit Office to continuously attract and recruit high quality staff. This has positively impacted our ability to sustain a regular supply of specialist talent and our capacity to meet client demands.

We have experienced a decrease in staff turnover in 2017–18, the 12 per cent result down from the 19 per cent of 2016–17 and within our target range of 12–15 per cent.

Feedback gathered in surveys of staff exiting the Audit Office reveals they:

  • appreciated the work-life balance and the people at the Audit Office
  • valued our role within the public sector
  • were happy with the quality of training but would like to see an improvement in the training being implemented on the job
  • felt they were free to express their opinions and would be listened to by their manager
  • appreciated the challenging work
  • believed the Audit Office was a friendly place to work
  • felt there were limited promotional opportunities
  • felt there were increased resourcing pressures and work could be more evenly distributed between teams.

This exit survey feedback will be fed into the People Matter Action Plan that we will be developing in 2018–19 in response to broader survey feedback from our staff. Further details on our People Matter Survey results can be found here.

From the exit survey responses received, 38 per cent of exiting employees have moved to the private sector and 33 per cent have moved within the public sector. Eighty-one per cent of respondents would return to the Audit Office if an opportunity arose.

The number of full-time equivalent staff at 30 June 2017 was 278, consistent with 275 last year.

In March 2018, we began our graduate recruitment process for 2019. We worked to enhance our ongoing alliance with professional accounting bodies and universities by attending career events, promoting our program through universities and engaging in other recruitment activities. We also worked closely with Indigenous Accountants Australia to target employment opportunities to Indigenous accounting students in support of our diversity initiatives. From the 371 applications received for our graduate program, we interviewed 61 candidates and offered four-year fixed term contracts to 16 candidates.

Total staff at 30 June*
*FTE: Full-time equivalent.

Staff turnover %
*Target range is 12–15 per cent

Continued focus on diversity

At the Audit Office, we are committed to ensuring we have a diverse workplace that reflects a constantly changing external workforce and client base. We recognise that by embracing the different contributions, perspectives and talents that make up our organisation we not only create a culture of participation, contribution and respect, but also increase innovation, creativity and organisational performance. Our Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility Framework continues to guide our activity in this area.

The number of women as a percentage of the total full-time equivalent workforce remains at 51 per cent.

The representation of women in middle management has increased to 58 per cent from the previous 54 per cent. The Audit Office has an ongoing commitment to supporting the growth and development of talented women in the organisation. The percentage of women in executive and senior leadership positions has also increased from 46 to 50 per cent in the last twelve months.

Staff at the Audit Office come from over 40 countries and speak over 26 languages. In 2017–18, we celebrated many cultural festivals such as Diwali, NAIDOC, Lunar New Year, Harmony Day, and International Women’s Day. These celebrations help us recognise the diversity of our workplace and encourage our staff to learn more about other cultures and diversity groups.

The Audit Office also continues to develop and support a culture of supporting flexible working options. Fourteen per cent of staff have a formal flexible working arrangement and many more take advantage of flex leave and informal flexible working arrangements.

We continued to develop and implement our Indigenous Internship Program with five Indigenous interns working at the Audit Office over a 12-week summer period. Another Indigenous intern joined us for the winter intake starting in June 2018. This program aims to increase the representation of Indigenous people in our organisation. In addition, we have drafted Phase 1 (Reflect) of our Reconciliation Action Plan.

For further information on workforce diversity, see Appendix 6.

Women in middle management %

Women in executive and senior leadership %

Supporting our staff

The health and wellbeing of our staff remains a strong focus for the Audit Office. In 2017–18, several staff used our Employee Assistance Program, which includes independent, confidential counselling services for staff and their immediate families. We continued to provide assorted fruit every day to promote healthier eating, and offer free flu vaccinations to all staff.

We also continue to offer flexible working arrangements. Employees can have a flexible approach to working hours that helps them manage fluctuating workloads and achieve work-life balance. Flexible arrangements include working from home, a compressed working week, term working, job share and career breaks.

In 2017–18, we provided support to those competing in the Corporate Cup running competition to further commit to our healthy workforce culture.

Recognising our staff

The Audies formal Recognition Program continued this year with a total of 37 nominations for the July to December 2017 period. There were nine individual winners (one winner being for the Karyn Neal Leadership Award) and three team winners.

Recreation club

The recreation club, known as the ReClub, is a social organisation run by staff, for staff. Approximately 57 per cent of staff are members of the ReClub, slightly less compared to last year’s 63 per cent. The club is fully funded by staff and run by a representative committee.

The ReClub is responsible for organising a number of the Audit Office’s key events including the Annual Dinner, Christmas Party and numerous ‘Happy Hour’ events. Additionally, in 2017–18, the ReClub organised:

  • Launchies – a welcome event for new graduates joining the Audit Office and a fun event for all employees
  • Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea annual bake-off – our eleventh participation which raised over $651 in 2018
  • Futsal – our fiercely competitive indoor soccer competition which this year includes four teams with 25 players
  • 10,000 steps challenge – a health event challenging staff to walk 10,000 steps per day, with almost every business team across the Audit Office entering a team
  • City2Surf – partially subsidising entry fees for ReClub members
  • Happy Hour breakfast – a feast for all staff with delicious pastries, hot food and healthy options
  • Book Club – a new initiative for Audit Office bookworms and an opportunity to meet and discuss good reads
  • Street Count – members continued to take part in the City of Sydney’s bi-annual street count to help collect information about the number of homeless people sleeping rough in the Sydney municipality
  • Trivia nights – a new event for Audit Office quiz masters to test their skills against one another.

The ReClub is an integral part of our culture, with fun activities and a chance for staff to network with colleagues they may not usually see on a daily basis due to our largely mobile workforce.

The year ahead

In 2018–19, our ‘Working Better, Working Together’ strategic initiative will work towards staff improvements in a number of areas by:

  • providing a new, modern and collaborative workplace for staff under our major Future Workplace Project, that incorporates disability inclusive design principles
  • continuing to implement the Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility Framework
  • finalising and then implementing a Workforce Strategy to ensure the Audit Office has the capability and capacity to meet current and future workforce needs
  • implementing our Leadership Development Framework to support our leaders in developing their leadership capability
  • developing a Health and Wellbeing Strategy that will specifically focus on physical and mental wellness and bring together all the Audit Office’s various initiatives in this space and further build on them.

For more information on our strategic initiatives see the year ahead.