By Key Business Advisors
Human Resources

Recruiting the right people for your business is probably the most important responsibility for a manager. Recruiting the wrong people can be extremely costly and damaging to your business. The rewards for recruiting the right people can be significant, in terms of financial success, loyalty and organisational culture.

Follow these 10 steps to ensure your recruitment and induction processes are as strong as possible:

1. Before you recruit, you should ask yourself:

  • What position are you looking to fill or replace?
  • Have you planned and budgeted for this role?
  • What skills set/competencies do you require for this role?
  • How much are you willing to pay the right person?
  • Do you have a clear, precise Position Description (PD) for this role?
  • Do you understand that the recruitment process may take a long time?
  • Do you have an induction process or plan in place?
  • Are there any internal staff members who may be ready or could be trained for the job?
  • Which advertising medium will you use? Seek? LinkedIn? Facebook?

2. Once you are ready to start the recruitment process, you should familiarise yourself with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Act and discrimination legislation.

Discriminatory advertising is against the law, with fines applying to organisations and individuals. A discriminatory advertisement can also limit the range of applicants you attract. It is in your best interests to cast the net as wide as possible to attract a diverse range of applicants.

3. Writing a clear and effective job advertisement

Well written adverts will help attract the right type of candidates. Here are some tips to create effective job ads:

  • Generate interest in the role and in your company – what do you have to offer that is better than the rest?
  • Educate potential candidates about your company and what you’re looking for in a team member.
  • Explain to applicants what experience, skill sets, competencies and behaviours they must demonstrate in order to be considered for the role.
  • Outline your offer – is the role full time, part-time or casual? What salary, on-target earnings (OTE), commissions or bonuses are you offering? What are your business hours
  • Challenge applicants to send their résumé along with a cover letter that includes 5 reasons why they think they are the best candidate for the position. This will set apart the more enthusiastic and proactive applicants from those with only a passing interest.

4. Screen resumes effectively

Some key things to look for when reading through a résumé include:
✓ Professional looking and easy to read.
✓ Spelling or grammatical errors.
✓ Start and end date of previous employment; look for any gaps in employment.
✓ Length of time in each position; look for stability and consistency.
✓ Details of previous positions: job title, name of the company, city
✓ Previous experience that matches your key selection criteria (years’ experience, qualification, skills, duties undertaken, etc.)
✓ Detecting a career path – has an objective.
✓ Accomplishments, measurable achievements, results.

5. Telephone Screen

It is important to have a standardised phone screening guide for all candidates. You want to have the same opening and closing questions for everyone. This makes comparing candidates against each other easier.

Typical screening questions will cover:
✓ The applicant’s previous experience and duties, to ensure they match what you are looking for.
✓ Their career goals & objectives.
✓ What do they know about your company / the role?
✓ The reason they applied for the role?
✓ One or two role-specific questions (i.e. customer service, sales, etc.)
✓ Salary expectations
✓ Notice period

6. Interviewing candidates

Before interviewing anyone, you should prepare an interview guide. It will include every question you will ask and will ensure you are consistent with each candidate.

Spend some time preparing the questions you will ask candidates and ensure they are directly related to the requirements of the role. Your questions should be aligned with the essential requirements of the role to ensure the candidates possess them all.

During interviews, look out for these signs:
✓ No. 1: body language
✓ Multiple jobs over a relatively short period of time
✓ Unclear about the length of time in each position
✓ Not listening properly to your questions; poor responses
✓ Responses not aligned with what you are looking for
✓ Lack of honesty
✓ Concerns about their behaviour or attitude

When more than one position needs to be filled, group interviews might be more efficient than individual interviews. Group interviews involve bringing multiple candidates who applied for the same position into an interview. A panel of interviewers observe and assess candidates through a range of activities.

These group interviews are very useful in jobs that require dealing with the public and involve heavy customer interaction because they simulate the environment of the job and test the candidate’s ability to think on their feet, keep their cool, and solve problems.
Group interviews are encouraged for fast-paced businesses and are used to compare and contrast candidates by assessing:

  • Their individual skills against the job description
  • Their ability to work in a team environment to accomplish common goals
  • Their ability to work with heavy customer interaction and work under pressure

7. Do Relevant Background Checks

A background check is the process of looking up and compiling criminal records, commercial records and financial records of an individual or an organisation. It’s recommended to conduct complete background checks before making an offer to the candidate, especially if the position requires trust such as in a school, hospital, financial institution and government department, or if it is a position where they are exposed to confidential or financial information.

Such checks:
✓ Reduce the risk of employee fraud by identifying past negative trends.
✓ Help detect résumé fraud, job fraud and falsification of dates to conceal gaps in employment.
✓ Demonstrate whether the candidate is really qualified to complete the role and meet the requirements of the position.

A reference check usually entails interviewing referees to explore an applicant’s previous work performance in relation to specific capabilities of the role and to confirm claims that the applicant has made during the selection process.

You must complete a reference check prior to making an offer. This can save time, money, effort and a lot of embarrassment for all parties. It is important to keep in mind that all applicants must be treated fairly and you will need to conduct reference checks on all strong external and internal applicants you are considering for the position.

Key things to check with their previous employer:

  • Dates of employment, position, the reason for leaving
  • Their relationship with the candidate
  • Soft skills: teamwork, leadership, absenteeism, communication
  • Technical skills: competency, subject knowledge, quality of work, meeting timeframes
  • Strengths and areas for development
  • Suitability for rehiring – if their previous employer is not keen to work with them again and gives a good reason, it is worth considering whether this is the best person for the role you’re offering.

8. Offer the Job to the Best Candidate

Before you make the offer, ensure you know the salary and benefits you would like to offer (for example: 50K + Super + Commission) and that you have thought of the date you would like the employee to start.

Best practice tips to maximise the chances of your preferred candidate accepting your offer:

Salary & benefits: salary might not be the most important reason for accepting a job, but if your offer is too far below what the candidate is expecting, you are at risk of them declining your offer. It’s very important that this conversation is not left to the last minute. In fact, this should be discussed at the screening stage to ensure the candidate’s expectations are aligned to yours.
Real motivation: A candidate’s decision to join, or not join, a new company is usually about the culture, leadership and growth opportunities that the company offers.  Make sure you explain your company culture and share your company values with the candidate during the recruitment process.
Verbal offer: It’s important to have verbal acceptance before sending out a formal contract or letter of employment.  This will avoid waiting for the candidate to send the documents back before knowing they are ready to accept the offer.

9. Notifying Unsuccessful Candidates

A step that many people forget or avoid to do is notifying unsuccessful candidates. It is unprofessional and disrespectful not to respond to all candidates who have applied for the position. Unsuccessful candidates can be great advocates for your business if you treat them with respect.

10. Starting Staff – induction process

Congratulations, you have made it through the process of recruitment! You now need to ensure your new employees have an effective induction to set them up for success.

This step is too often overlooked. Induction is essential as:
✓ 86% of new hires decide to stay or leave a company within their first six months 1
✓ New employees are 69% more likely to stay longer than three years if they experience a well-structured induction! 1

Below are some pointers to help you with the induction process:

  • Prior to a new staff member arriving, plan out their first week and month.
  • On their first day, go through the schedule with them. The schedule should explain when you will be having performance discussions and you will need to ensure that they understand the key performance benchmarks they are expected to achieve.
  • Make sure your new staff member understands your business policies and procedures and get their signature to demonstrate their understanding and agreement.
  • Educate and train them on your key products, services and systems – then test their knowledge.
  • Recognise and praise your new staff for each milestone and provide constructive feedback to keep them on track.
  • Make sure the rest of your staff engage and help your new team member.
  • Go through an induction checklist to ensure you don’t forget any essential information.

On their first day, the new employee should be given an employee handbook, or induction manual. This will allow the employee to have ready access to all the necessary information about the business, such as policies and procedures, company values and vision, key people, etc.

Having a 3-month performance plan will ensure the new employee is clear about the key direction of the role and what is expected of them from the start. It lays out the tools, skills and tasks that they will need to learn. Your new employee will know exactly what’s expected of them and they will immediately be able to envision a future with the company. Don’t wait until the end of their probation period to have performance discussions. Use this plan to structure your conversations. This will ensure the employee knows exactly what to expect and what to do to be successful.

To implement a successful recruitment strategy in your business, sign up for the Key Business Advisors – How to Hire STAR Employees Workshop so that you get a maximum return on your investment from your staff. For more information call 1300 4 ADVICE.



1. http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/12/social-tools-can-improve-e/

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