The hiring process

Hiring a new person to join your company is an important process, and it’s something you really want to do right. Not only do you want to find just the right person to join your team, but you are also legally obliged to ensure that the process is clear and fair.

Part of that means not changing your mind about what it is you actually need after you’ve advertised and interviewed.

First things first

Before you start, sit down and work out a list to identify exactly what you’re looking for and how you’ll fill the position, including:

  • Skills

  • Experience

  • Qualifications

  • What the role entails and what its purpose is

  • Whether there’s any flexibility required, for instance, working weekends or nights

  • Location

Legal stuff

Your recruitment process must adhere to all relevant government policy and legislation. That includes:

  • The good faith requirement of the Employment Relations Act 2000. This covers areas such as open and honest communication to avoid misunderstandings, a fair negotiation for an agreement and providing a clear induction process so the new employee gets a fair and reasonable shot at doing the job right

  • Legislation around immigration

  • Health and safety

  • The Human Rights Act 1993

  • Disclosure and privacy

  • Skills development

  • The Fair Trading Act

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


Creating an eye-catching, focused and effective 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.

Have a read of our guide to best practice job ads.  


You may wish to interview candidates more than once or twice and you don’t have to hold the first one at your company, you may prefer to hold it somewhere more casual such as a cafe. Before you begin the interview process, decide how you’ll go about it to save you and the candidate time.

  • A first interview could also be conducted on Skype or similar, which could save travel costs for both you and the candidate.

  • A second and third interview may be held and could involve a panel, a workshop environment or a task.

  • Decide beforehand what assessment tasks you’ll ask the candidates to do, and at which interview. These tasks shouldn’t be too lengthy – such as more than one day – as this could then be considered a probation period.

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.


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

Have a look at our advice on making the best offer to help you secure that perfect candidate.

The first day

The recruitment process doesn’t end at the signing of the employment agreement. Once that’s done, it’s your role as an employer to ensure all the paperwork is completed.

Then before they start, you need to provide the resources they need – a desk, computer, etc - adequate training, information to get them settled into the job and an introduction to the role and the team. This is not just being a nice employer - the induction process comes under the Employment Relations Act 2000.

A nice cup of tea to settle their nerves probably wouldn’t go amiss either.