Advertisers advice

How to hire staff: An overview

Check out our tips to make your recruitment process a success.

It’s not only job hunters who get stressed during hiring cycles. For businesses, this is a crucial period where you invest significant amounts of time, and sometimes money, in finding the right person to improve your operation. In other words, it’s something you have to get right.

This pressure is amplified further if this is your first time recruiting staff, or if it’s been a while. So, to make things easier, we’ve created this easy-to-follow list of hiring process steps.

We’ll take you from working out what you need to extending an offer – let’s get going.

Hiring an employee: the checklist

Step 1: Defining the role and the ideal candidate

Like any good business decision, effective recruitment is based on strategy. You’re not hiring for the sake of it, you’re looking to meet an organisational need.

Work back from this need when outlining how you hope the role will serve the company as a whole. Key parts of this:

Effective hiring is about matching skills, experience and personality to your operation.

  • The position’s purpose.
  • How the employee will fulfill that purpose.
  • Where they will be located.
  • If there will be any special requirements – e.g. working nights or specific hours.

From this, you should be able to narrow down what the ideal candidate should bring to the table. In particular, you’ll need to consider your desired skills, experience and qualifications, and the budget you’re willing to assign to the role.

Step 2: Ticking all the legal boxes

To ensure New Zealand recruitment and employment processes are fair, there’s a bunch of policy and legislation you need to adhere to. We recommend checking this out early to ensure you’re always compliant. In particular, familiarise yourself with:

  • Employment Relations Act 2000: this defines the legal context for all relationships between you and your employees, as well as unions. Among its most important messages is the promotion of fair processes and enforcement of employment standards.
  • Human Rights Act 1993: this law bans discrimination in employment on basis such as race, age or sex.
  • Minimum Wage Act 1983: the minimum wage is reviewed annually by the government, so this is an important one to stay on top of.
  • Wages Protection Act 1983: more information about wages, including making deductions from employees’ pay.
  • Holidays Act 2003: this lays out the minimum amounts of sick leave, annual leave and bereavement leave you must give your employees. It also deals with issues around public holidays.
  • Privacy Act 1993: here, you’ll learn about the legalities of collecting, storing and using your staff’s personal details.
  • Equal Pay Act 1972: this stops employers paying some employees more than others, based on their sex.
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 2015: learn about keeping your staff safe while working for you.

Are you a first-time employer? Before you start recruiting, you’ll need to register as an employer with Inland Revenue.

Understanding New Zealand employment law is a key part of hiring staff.

Step 3: Writing a great job ad

Creating an eye-catching job advertisement is key to the recruiting process.

Besides sounding great, the advertisement must also be clear, include specific information and provide a fair representation of what the job is.

When you load a job ad on Trade Me Jobs, you’ll be prompted to add in key information as you go. We’ve also got best practice guidance to help you create a great job ad from the start.

Step 4: Conducting job interviews

Once you’ve narrowed down your short list of applications, based on the criteria you selected in Step One, you’re ready to move to the interview stages.

Before you begin bringing candidates in, think about how to structure this process. Consider:

  • Do you want to do phone screenings? This can be a great way of further cutting down the number of candidates you have to interview in person, saving you time.
  • How many in person interviews will you do? And who will do them?
  • Will you include tasks? This could be role specific tasks, group projects and psychometric tests.

Other important preparation steps when conducting job interviews include:

  • Preparing your pitch: you’ll probably start the interview by giving the candidate an overview of the role and the company, so know what messages you want to convey here.
  • Create a list of questions: you’ll want to learn more about the candidates’ skills and experience, as well as their personality. A mixture of competency verification questions and behavioural questions is your best bet.
  • Think about what they might ask: you should give the candidate time to ask their own questions at the end of the interview. To ensure you can provide good answers, try and think about what you’d want to know if you were in their position.
  • Describe next steps: it’s a good idea to let candidates know what to expect next, especially timeframes for when you’ll be in touch again.

Be open and clear with candidates throughout the process. Inform them as quickly as possible where they are at in the recruitment process, and leave no room for misunderstandings. Always give plenty of notice before an interview so a candidate can arrange time off work, childcare or travel.

Before each interview give the candidates a chance to be prepared, either with relevant paperwork, examples of work or necessary equipment for a task.

Preparation is crucial if you want to get the most out of your candidate interviews.

Step 5: Making an offer

Once you’ve identified your perfect candidate and checked that they’re legally able to work in New Zealand, it’s time to give them the good news. But before you do that, ensure you’ve got something to offer them beyond “you’ve got the job”.

Include, both verbally and in writing:

  • the role and conditions.
  • hours and location.
  • salary and other benefits.
  • holidays.
  • any training requirements.
  • if your business uses the 90-day trial, then be up front about this and explain it in full.

Remember, the candidate may choose to take some time to consider the offer before signing. You also shouldn’t be surprised if they ask to negotiate on aspects of the contract, and you need to know how to deal with this professionally, without giving away more than you want.

Once the offer is accepted and signed, the candidate becomes the employee. Job done.