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Understanding recruitment: how to hire staff for your business

Undertaking recruitment is an important step when starting or growing your business. When you decide to employ someone, you need to determine what you want the employee to do and what skills you require from them. Also consider:

Before you decide to advertise the job, prepare a job description that defines the responsibilities and functions of the job. This will help you identify the knowledge, experience and skills required for the job as well as the interview questions you might ask.

Advertise the job

Before you advertise

Before you advertise a job remember that, by law, you must not use discriminatory language in the description that may exclude potential employees on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer's responsibility, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

Visit our page on equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace to learn more about your responsibilities as an employer.

How to advertise the job

You can advertise the job in a variety of ways. These may include:

  • placing the Ad on your website
  • local newspapers
  • online through a recruitment website
  • in a trade or industry magazine
  • through social media
  • word of mouth.

You may also choose to use a recruitment agency to assist you in the process. If you decide to use a recruitment agency, talk to your business colleagues or partners to find out whether there is one they recommend.

Also consider using the Australian JobSearch website when advertising your position.

By registering for JobSearch, you'll have access to features designed to help you advertise your job, including:

  • the ability to advertise the position for free
  • the ability to search for staff based on criteria in your advertisement
  • thousands of job seekers actively using JobSearch each month
  • a personalised Dashboard which allows you to track all job vacancies and application traffic from one location.

Conduct an interview

Before conducting an interview, you'll need to shortlist applicants based on their application. You will also need to decide if you will have anyone helping you in the interview process.

When interviewing for the position, ensure that the questions you ask are related to the position advertised. You will want to ask questions that help you understand the skills, qualifications and experience of potential applicants as well as their fit within the team. Just as when you advertised the job, you must not use discriminatory language or questions within the interview.

When conducting the interview, use a standard set of questions for each applicant. This will help you and your interview panel members when comparing and selecting the right applicant for your business. Having a scribe or person recording the responses during this interview may help you when reviewing later. 

Select the right applicant

Following the interview, consider contacting the applicant's referees to check any claims made during the interview. This may help in gaining you get a better understanding on the person's abilities and past experience within the workplace.

The referees may have been supplied by the applicant at interview, but it's always a good idea to contact the applicant to confirm that you wish to contact their referees and that you have the correct contact details.

Once you have decided on the right applicant, you will need to contact them directly to offer them the position. If not previously discussed, you may discuss the salary, conditions and workplace benefits and entitlements as part of employment. If the employee accepts your offer for the position, you can then go ahead with preparing the formal documentation and offer of employment.

Prepare and document a formal offer of employment

As an employer, you have obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009, state and territory laws, industrial awards and agreements, tribunal decisions and contracts of employment. You need to ensure you maintain a minimum standard of pay, conditions and entitlements for your employees.

The Fair Work Ombudsman website has information about what to consider when hiring new staff, as well as a range of template letters and records to assist you when employing staff.

This content was first published on business.gov.au

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