A to Z of hiring employees

Hiring an employee can feel like a complex maze of legal requirements whilst trying to find the right person for the job.  The following A-Z guide is designed to assist you successfully manage your own recruitment process.

  • A. Write a list
    Consider the holes in your existing workforce and the tasks you need filled. Put together a list of the tasks and duties you need a new employee to complete. 
  • B. Find your award
    Consider whether your employee will be covered by an award. You can search this via the Fair Work OmbudsmanFind out which award covers you – Fair Work Ombudsman. If your employee is covered by an award, their employment will be governed by the terms and conditions of the applicable award, in particular, the rate of pay. 
  • C. Consider the costs and impact
    Consider the cost and impact of hiring an employee on your business and make sure you can afford it.  Key costs include wages, insurance, tax and superannuation. It is important to consider what level employee you can afford and whether you can afford a full time or part time employee. It can be worthwhile seeking advice from an accountant.   
  • D. Write a job description
    Transform your list of tasks into a job or position description. A position description is broader than a list of tasks and will include requirements such as qualifications, hours of work, responsibilities, experience and availability. 
  • E. Write a job advertisement
    Place a catchy job advertisement with your position description on your website, social media and job seek websites. Consider whether you want to enlist a recruitment agent. 
  • F. Write selection criteria
    Selection criteria are the fairest and most defensible way to select an employee. An employer must not discriminate in recruitment. Determine your best 3 to 5 candidates based on your selection criteria.
  • G. Interview shortlisted candidates
    Hold interviews with all candidates and ask the candidates the same questions. This will assist you to determine which candidate has the best skills and qualifications and is most suited to your business. 
  • H. Do your homework
    Searching candidates on social media can help determine whether they align with your values. 
  • I. Check references
    Call the referees of your first pick of candidate. This will confirm they have been honest and transparent in their application and interview. 
  • J. Write an employment contract
    Instruct a lawyer or considering using one of our Cherrypicka employment contracts.
  • K. Consider restraints and restrictions 
    Telephone your candidate of choice to confirm whether there are any restrictions on them accepting employment or whether they are subject to any restraints from previous employment. Consider the impact of this on whether they can fulfil the role.
  • L. Offer your preferred candidate a job!  
    An offer of employment should be in writing and be accompanied by the contract of employment. Instruct a lawyer or consider using one of our Cherrypicka employment contracts.
  • M. Check qualifications
    Have the employee provide and take a copy of any necessary qualifications they hold to fulfil the role, such as licences, tickets or accreditations.
  • O. Notify unsuccessful candidates
    Once a candidate has accepted employment, you should notify the unsuccessful candidates in a compassionate and personal manner. This is important for reputational reasons.
  • P. Paperwork
    Your new employee will need to sign a tax file declaration and nominate a superannuation fund.  You will also need your employee’s bank account details.
  • Q. Arrange a suitable workspace/equipment
    Ensure you have all equipment ready for the employee before their first day including a desk, phone, uniform, email account, swipe/access cards and business cards.
  • R. Update any necessary insurances
    In particular, your workers compensation insurance
  • S. Tailer or refine your induction process
    You should have an induction process that both makes your employee feel welcome and ensures they have the tools to hit the ground running.  Consider giving the employee a mentor.
  • T. Pay wage, tax and super!
    You must pay your employee wages weekly, fortnightly or monthly (check any applicable award!) and tax and super must be paid each quarter. 
  • U. Enforce a probationary period
    It is beneficial to implement a 3 or 6 month probation period in case the employee does not work out.
  • V. Review your policies
    Hiring a new employee is an opportune time to revisit and consider updating your workplace policies and procedures.  Check out Cherrypick policies here
  • W. Schedule regular performance reviews with your new employee
    This will help identify any issues prior to their probationary period ending. 
  • X. Training
    Consider whether your employee would benefit from any further formal or informal training and upskilling to help them to settle into their new role.
  • Y. Review pay and conditions and changes to the law
    Awards are updated on 1 July each year.  It is important to check employee pay each year.  It is also important you stay on top of changes to the law! For example, the recent amendments to the Fair Work Act, created a new obligation to proactively offer eligible casuals conversion to permanent employment, and also allows eligible employees to request conversion.  
  • Z. Enjoy your new employee!
    All going to plan, your new employee will hopefully become a valuable asset to your organisation. Good luck!

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