So you’re recruiting… what’s first?

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There are a few things you should be clear on when you’re taking on staff. They’re especially important to note if you’re employing for the first time, but they remain key factors in successful appointments every time.

Thinking about recruiting

When it’s time to recruit, start by assessing the current and future needs of your business and the role you want to fill and define the specifics of the job. Get really clear on the purpose of the role, and what will constitute success. Convert this into selection elements (Key Selection Criteria) for ensuring you know what you are looking for, and performance elements (Key Performance Indicators) for when the person is in the role.

Attract the right people

Once you have a clear idea of the role you want to fill, advertise the position. Make sure your campaign exposes the vacancy to the right people, and present it in a way that maximises interest in the job. Have a clear application process that is accessible for candidates, gathering the information you need in the process.

Choose the right person

Shortlist job applicants whose skills and experience best match the role, and ask interview questions that focus on the skills and abilities needed for the role.

Make the offer

Once you’ve got a preferred candidate, contact them to offer them the job. Discuss any specific arrangements, confirm agreement, set a start date and you’re on your way. Follow this up in writing with a letter of offer.

Know your legal obligations

Employers and employees have a contract – a verbal one that captures their agreed understandings about a job, but hopefully a written one also! A contract should account for the relevant legislation and industrial arrangements that outline employees’ rights in areas such as wages, leave arrangements, duties, and notice of termination. As an employer you also need to know your commitments in the areas of tax, superannuation and workplace health and safety. Ensure that this is incorporated into documentation about the role.

Start on the right foot

Invest time in a thorough induction into the important aspects of the workplace and the role, and this will help your new employee deliver their best for you. It will also help make sure that your employee feels well-informed, welcomed and equipped to do their job.

Positive performance culture, empowering leadership

Workplace culture is the key to success for all team members. Culture sets the tone, and makes it clear what’s seen as ok and not ok in any workplace. Take care that the real culture matches the ‘official version’. Leadership is also critical for success. Leaders are instrumental in ‘walking the talk’, and this is what creates and then maintains that positive and productive workplace culture.

Meet early with your new employee to set goals and expectations and identify any initial training needs or longer term development directions. Then schedule regular catch-ups to talk about how they’re going. For a comprehensive approach to integrating new team members, see our story on Onboarding.

And for more information on how to recruit and onboard new leaders or managers, contact Paul Murphy by emailing, or follow our LinkedIn or Facebook pages.

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