Staffing and recruitment

Focus on attracting high quality staff

275 full-time equivalent staff
54% of middle management are women

Staff turnover higher than our 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. However, we have experienced a slight increase in staff turnover in 2016–17, the 19 per cent result slightly above the 18 per cent of 2015–16 and above our target 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
  • felt there were too many layers of bureaucracy and limited promotional opportunities
  • were happy with the quality of training and would like to see an improvement in the training being implemented on the job
  • felt their manager listened to them and were free to express their opinions
  • would like to see more cross-collaboration between teams and branches
  • believe the Audit Office was a friendly place to work.

From the survey responses received, 42 per cent of exiting employees have moved to the private sector and 33 per cent have moved within the public sector. Seventy-three per cent of respondents would return to the Audit Office if an opportunity arose.

The number of full-time staff at 30 June 2017 was 275, up from 273 last year.

In March 2017, we began our graduate recruitment process for 2018. We worked to ensure our ongoing alliance with professional accounting bodies and universities by attending career events, promoting our program through universities and engaging in other recruitment activity. We shortlisted and interviewed 74 candidates from the 421 applications received, and offered a four-year fixed-term contract to 25 candidates, down on last year’s 26.

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

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

Increased 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 create a culture of participation, contribution and respect. Our new Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility Framework guides our activity in this area.

The number of women as a percentage of the total full-time equivalent workforce has increased slightly from 49 to 51 per cent.

The representation of women in middle management has also increased slightly, to 54 per cent from the previous 52 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 the executive and senior leadership positions has also increased from 42 to 46 per cent in the last twelve months. Staff at the Audit Office come from 38 countries and speak 26 languages. In 2016–17, we celebrated many cultural festivals such as Diwali, Eid-ul-Adh, Naw Ruz, Lunar New Year, Harmony Day, International Women’s Day, Australia Day and Remembrance Day. These celebrations help us recognise the diversity of our workplace and encourage our staff to learn more about other cultures and diversity groups.

A major new diversity initiative we introduced in 2016–17 was an Indigenous Internship Program. Four Indigenous interns started at the Audit Office in June 2017. This program aims to increase the representation of Indigenous people in our organisation.

For further information on workforce diversity, see appendix six.

Women in middle management %

Women in executive and senior leadership %

Supporting our staff

The health and well-being of our staff remains a strong focus for the Audit Office. In 2016–17, 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 2016–17, we provided support to those competing in the Corporate Cup running competition and we introduced a second running team to further commit to our healthy workforce culture.

Recognising our staff

The Audies formal Recognition Program continued this year with a total of 88 nominations. There were ten individual winners (one winner being for the Karyn Neal Leadership Award) and four team winners. The winners for the December 2016 to June 2017 period will be eligible to be considered for the Annual Awards in December 2017.

Recreation club

The recreation club, known as the ReClub, is a social organisation run by staff, for staff. Approximately 63 per cent of staff are members of the ReClub, steady to last year’s 64 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, the Christmas Party and numerous ‘Happy Hour’ events. Additionally in 2016–17, 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 $500 in 2017
  • Futsal – our fiercely competitive indoor soccer competition which this year includes four teams with 41 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
  • Badminton games – held the first Saturday of every month
  • 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 – another new initiative, members took 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.

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.

The year ahead

In 2017–18, our ‘Working Better, Working Together’ strategic initiative will work towards staff improvements in a number of areas by:

  • improving how our staff work together by piloting new meeting room spaces around the themes of ‘collaboration, concentration and communication’
  • empowering our staff through devolving responsibility and adjusting risk tolerances
  • continuing to implement the Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility Framework which includes embedding the Indigenous Internship Program and implementing a women in leadership program.