Recruiting and inducting new employees is a time consuming process. However, if done correctly, the payoff for your time has a huge upside - you have secured a highly qualified employee for your business.

1. Review your current staff structure


The first step in any recruitment process is to review your current staff structure.

One way to do this is to:

  1. list all the tasks currently done in your business
  2. assign only the tasks that employees should do
  3. the tasks remaining will identify the gap in your staff

If you’re replacing an employee, it is still worthwhile to undertake this review. It will help you assess whether you need to replace them or change the role for the new employee.

2. Create position description


A position description is also sometimes called a job description. It gives you a clear understanding of the type of person you’re looking for, as well as their roles and responsibilities.

If you’re replacing an employee, review the previous position description. Based on your analysis of the staff structure, you may need to update the position description to reflect the new role.

A good position description includes:

  • job title
  • who the new employee reports to
  • who reports to the new employee
  • in which section or department the position sits
  • a summary of the job
  • a summary of the business
  • the employment type (full-time, part-time, casual)
  • the key responsibilities of the role
  • essential and desirable selection criteria the applicant needs to respond to
  • any skills, knowledge, experience or education required for the role
  • desirable personal attributes to fit the business’s culture

You should create your position descriptions from scratch. Other businesses may have roles with the same title, but the person they want is completely different from your requirements.

3. Find potential staff candidates


Your job advertisement is your first impression to your potential new employees. They may need to impress you, but if you want to attract the best applicants, you also need to impress them.

Key elements to include in your advertisement include:

  • salary details
  • start date of the job
  • closing date for applications
  • details of a contact person
  • instructions on how to apply

The job you advertise must comply with current legislation. Ensure you offer the current award or wage and meet anti-discrimination and equal opportunity requirements.

To distribute your advertisement, consider:

  • job websites
  • your business website and mailing list
  • direct mail to your networks
  • social media
  • business or industry newsletters
  • trade journals
  • newspapers
  • university job boards

4. Evaluate applications


Each application you receive will be different, and you need to assess each one.

One way to achieve this would be to create a matrix rating system. The steps to complete an application evaluation matrix could include:

  1. Place each candidate’s name across the top of the page.
  2. On the side, list your requirements for the role.
  3. Assess each candidate on a scale of 1 to 5 for each role requirement.
  4. Once the matrix is complete, add up the scores of each candidate.

With your candidates’ scores, you’ll be able to quickly identify which candidates you should interview.

Make sure the candidates you choose to interview:

  • are neither underqualified nor overqualified
  • align with the organisation and its culture
  • have goals that match your requirements
  • are able to work in Australia

Once you identify your shortlist of candidates, let the unsuccessful applicants know the outcome of their application.

5. Interview candidates


Invite the shortlisted candidates to interview with you.

When you contact candidates, make sure you confirm the following details:

  • when and where the interview will take place
  • how long the interview will take
  • who they should ask for when they arrive
  • what they should bring
  • who will be on the selection panel
  • what the interview involves

When you interview candidates, try to create a relaxed environment. Your candidates will be nervous.

Prepare questions to ask the candidates. The best questions are open ended questions, so that the candidate can answer with their previous experience.

Make notes during the interview, and review your notes and their job applications after all the interviews are complete. Sometimes the best candidate may not be the best interviewer.

6. Make an offer


Now that you’ve selected the best candidate, it’s time to let them know.

Often you will still want to check their references, but you can provide the candidate a conditional offer of employment. If you find no issues with the candidate through your referee checks, send them a written offer of employment.

Give your candidate a couple of days to consider the offer. They may negotiate some of the terms with you. You should expect this and compromise where possible.

Once your candidate accepts your offer of employment and signs a contract, confirm the details of their first day:

  • where they should go
  • what time they should arrive
  • who they should ask for when they arrive

Once you secure your ideal candidate, email or phone the unsuccessful candidates to let them know.

7. Induct new staff member


When your new staff member arrives, you will need to familiarise them with your business, their role and colleagues. You can set up a formal induction program or simply provide a checklist that you need to follow.

8. Employer responsibilities


As an employer, you need to follow legal and reporting obligations, including: