Recruiting the right people

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For a business to be successful, it needs the best people. This page provides information on recruitment, induction, managing and motivating your employees.

Job descriptions

A job description is a list of responsibilities and functions required in a particular job. Having a job description written down for each role helps recruit the right person for the job and manage their performance.

Job descriptions should clearly outline what is expected of the employee. They help to recruit a suitable person by matching their capabilities to the skills and abilities needed to perform the job. When writing a job description consider the main tasks of the job; additional responsibilities; equipment/tools used; and training or experience needed.

Job advertisements

An effective job advertisement attracts attention, creates interest in the job and encourages applicants to take action to apply. Aim to keep it simple and include:

  • the name of the job
  • the name of the employer – including a description of the business if appropriate
  • the type of employment for example full time, part time or casual
  • pay and major employment conditions, including flexible work arrangements
  • the qualifications or experience needed
  • how they should apply for the job
  • closing date for applications and
  • a person to contact for more information.

Selecting the best applicant

You can use a range of tools to help you choose the right person for the job. Depending on the nature of the job, a formal or informal interview might be best, or you may wish to undertake written or practical tests to determine if the applicant has the skills needed.

It is extremely helpful to ask all applicants for referees, as speaking with previous employers provides insight into an applicant's previous work experience and performance.

Interviews work well when the questions are based on the skills, knowledge and experience required for the job. The questions you ask can relate to:

  • the type of work the applicant has previously performed
  • how they obtained skills and experience required for the position and
  • testing that they have the knowledge and training relevant to the job.

Develop a standard form to fill out when interviewing potential employees. It will help you record the applicant’s performance against the job requirements and comparing applicants will be easier.

Applicants will appreciate employers who inform them of receiving their application and the success of their application. Unsuccessful applicants may be potential employees or clients in the future and it helps if they have a good impression of the business. 

It is important to comply with equal opportunity laws. 

Go to the Equal Opportunity Commission website for information on equal opportunity laws


An induction is a formal training period for a new employee. An induction gives new employees an understanding of how the business operates, the work they will be doing and the people they will be working with. This early training will assist new employees to settle into the job safely and efficiently. The type of induction will depend on the size and nature of the business. An induction could include the following topics:

  • what the business does
  • workplace facilities
  • pay details
  • flexible work arrangements
  • working hours / start and finish times
  • work goals and performance standards
  • safety and emergency
  • procedures
  • other staff and the roles they do
  • holidays and leave
  • employee’s duties
  • tools and equipment
  • on the job and off the job training
  • workplace rules, policies and procedures
  • where to go and who to ask for help

Training and skill development

It is important to consider your current and future business training needs. New employees may need training to ensure they have the required skills and longer term employees may need ongoing or refresher training for new technology and processes or training in new skills to assist their career development.

It is helpful to plan how training can best be undertaken both on and off the job without undue disruption to work output or client needs. There are many options for training provision, including formal training that assists employees with obtaining new qualifications.

Developing the skills of existing employees can be a cost effective alternative to recruiting new employees at senior levels. Providing training opportunities, including training for part time and casual employees, can assist to attract and retain quality employees.

Keeping employees motivated

Keeping employees motivated at work will help boost productivity and may help reduce employee turnover.

Simple strategies to keep employees motivated:

  • find out what is it they like about their job and give them more of it
  • provide the flexibility they need to do their job and manage their own work life balance
  • offer them some ability to control the pace and structure of their own work
  • ask for their input into decision making processes
  • offer training opportunities both on and off the job
  • ask for input on issues or tasks where they can make a contribution
  • provide feedback on how well they are doing their job - low key positive feedback helps keep motivation and productivity high
  • celebrate and provide higher profile rewards for achieving key workplace goals such as completing major sales targets, projects or milestones

Establishing workplace rules

The rules of a business should be known and understood by all employees. There are four broad areas to establish appropriate rules. These are as follows.

  • actions that do not fit socially acceptable behaviour, such as fighting or swearing
  • behaviour that is against the law, such as sexual harassment, jokes or comments of a sexist or racist nature
  • meeting occupational safety and health laws
  • non compliance with the business work systems - such as inappropriate timekeeping or unsatisfactory work performance, and failure to obey lawful instructions

Once rules are established, it is important to regularly remind employees of the rules. It is important employees see these rules are being applied consistently across the workforce.

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