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Good recruitment practice 

Employees are crucial to a business. For this reason it is essential that employers recruit the right people. The following steps will help employers to successfully plan and manage the process to recruit people with the right capabilities for their business.

Step 1 - Identify the needs of the business 

Consider the needs of the business and how the position fits:

  • what needs to be done in the business?
  • is the need short-term or long-term?
  • how will the position help the business now, and in the future?

This will help the business owner determine if someone is needed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis.

The position can also be filled for a limited duration or for the period of a particular project.  Such a position can be filled by employing someone on a fixed-term contract.

The needs of a business might best be met by employing someone in an apprenticeship/trainee capacity. Apprentices and trainees do a combination of work and recognised training to get a trade licence, or some other form of qualification. School-based apprenticeships can also be completed with a component of the training completed in school hours.

An employee is classed as an apprentice or trainee if their training is through a registered state [State Training Services - DEC] or territory authority or under a relevant laws.

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Step 2 - Define the job 

In defining the job, employers need to:

  • identify the purpose of the position and what it does
  • understand how the job contributes to the business
  • document elements of the job.

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Step 3 - Write a job description 

A well-prepared job description describes an employer's expectations of the position. It will guide their selection decisions and also help the new employee understand what is expected of them.

The length of a job description varies depending on the nature and complexity of the job.

A good job description identifies the:

  • Position title - which clearly reflects the nature of the job.
  • Main purpose of the position in a sentence (or two), what the person does and why. For example, will they review, monitor, co-ordinate, deliver etc.
  • Business context, that is, the objectives of the business, strategies, the operating environment and the role of the position in the business.
  • Major accountabilities, which are the three to six major areas of work performed by the position and include important activities undertaken from time to time
  • outcomes to be achieved for each of the identified accountabilities.
  • Key communication lines with key positions, organisations, or groups, both inside and outside the business.
  • Decisions to be made by the position holder, those made in consultation with the employer/manager and those referred to the employer/manager.
  • Challenging aspects of the job, including short or long-term challenges. Things such as, client demands, use of technology, heavy workload, or tight deadlines.
  • Knowledge, skills and experience, which are essential for the effective or competent performance of the job, including formal qualifications, certification, licence or equivalent experience required.
  • Resources that the person may be responsible for, such as staff and/or budget.
  • Tasks/duties to be performed by the position holder.

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Step 4 - Determine selection criteria 

Create a profile of the ideal applicant by considering the personal qualities needed to perform the job successfully. This may include personal attributes such as the ability to work under stress, maintain confidentiality, adaptability and flexibility.

Decide which attributes are essential and which are desirable.

Essential criteria are skills and attributes essential to the ability to perform the job, for example, trade qualifications, driver's licence, ability to prepare spreadsheets.

Desirable criteria are those skills or attributes which make the candidate a more valuable asset to your business.

The essential criteria are used as the focus in the job advertisement.

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Step 5 - Check award coverage 

Find out which award covers the position. Contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit Fair Work Online [Fair Work Ombudsman].

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Step 6 - Write a job advertisement 

Ensure the job advertisement is effective:

  • write in clear and non-discriminatory language
  • quote a salary or a salary range to help filter out unwanted responses
  • provide information to help potential applicants decide whether the job is suitable for them
  • use the job description to identify required skills, qualifications, experience and desired attributes
  • don't use too many words
  • include special requirements, for example, driver's licence, trade qualification
  • don't exaggerate the job as this will attract applicants who are not suited to the position.

What can't be said?

The advertisement can't discriminate on the grounds of:

  • sex
  • marital status
  • pregnancy
  • race
  • ethnic or ethno-religious background
  • disability
  • age
  • homosexuality
  • transgender status
  • family and carer's responsibilities.

It is against the law to target jobs or services towards people of one particular group.

If the business wants to target a job or service towards a particular groups, check whether an exemption is needed by contacting the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board [NSW ADB].

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Step 7 - Prepare for the interview 

In preparing for an interview, the interviewer needs to:

  • decide if they would like to hold the interview with a second person
  • decide/agree on a date
  • organise a quiet and comfortable room to hold the interview
  • organise a waiting area for applicants to sit comfortably
  • schedule enough time for each interview so that the interviews are not rushed or interrupted
  • contact applicants to be interviewed with details of their interview
  • provide reception with the names of the applicants and interview times
  • prepare the interview questions
  • organise equipment, for example, computer or machinery, if testing is required
  • review each applicant's résumé or application before their interview
  • make referral notes during each interview.

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Step 8 - Conduct the interview 

Some useful interview tips include:

  • ask one question at a time
  • use short sentences and speak clearly
  • use simple and appropriate words to make the questions easy to understand
  • use open-ended questions which allow applicants to express themselves
  • avoid leading questions which imply the correct answer
  • let the applicant do most of the talking and listen carefully to their responses
  • if answers are vague or inconsistent, probe for more specific and accurate information
  • keep the conversation under control and don't let answers become long-winded
  • ask to see any qualifications, certificates, special licences or other essentials required for the position.

Make sure you conduct a reference check. Speak to referees to help verify information given by the applicant at the interview, or gather more information about the applicant's performance and behaviour at work.

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Step 9 - Make a decision 

Make a decision based on an assessment of the information gathered against each of the selection criteria.

Create a short list ranking applicants in order of their suitability for the job. This identifies other possible candidates for the job if the selected candidate declines the job offer.

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Step 10 - Make the job offer 

Prepare a letter of offer for the successful candidate for the position.  This outlines important information that they need to know before starting work.

Fair Work Online offers some templates [Fair Work Ombudsman] that can be followed.

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Step 11 – Induction 

Have the employee complete necessary forms and documentation before starting work, including:

  • tax declaration form
  • salary banking form
  • superannuation contribution form
  • approved deductions
  • issue of uniforms.

What should the induction cover?

An induction should cover:

  • a description of the business, its goals and strategies and how the employee fits into the overall picture
  • a review of the job description to clarify duties and responsibilities of the job
  • terms of employment including award coverage
  • basic work rules and work conditions
  • method of payment
  • a tour of the workplace and amenities
  • an introduction to key personnel, particularly the new employee's supervisor and immediate work colleagues
  • who to contact with any questions or problems relating to the job
  • grievance procedures, including who to contact and what to do
  • leave provisions, including annual, sick and other leave
  • car parking or travel arrangements
  • after-hours access and security requirements
  • information on company policies and procedures
  • occupational health and safety policies and procedures.

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Step 12 - Monitor performance and provide feedback 

Monitor and assess the new employee's performance during the first few months of their employment. Provide them with ongoing feedback about how they're performing against set performance targets.

This ensures that employers can address any performance deficiencies early and facilitate the employee's integration into the workplace.

Regular performance monitoring and feedback ensures that performance is sustained.

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