Hiring for your business

Meet Australian laws and add value to your hiring process

First published on Thursday, Jun 04, 2020

Last updated on Thursday, Jun 06, 2024

The hiring process is familiar to all businesses.

In a nutshell, recruitment involves attracting job seekers, and finding and hiring staff that fit the skills and requirements of the job.

Companies are only as successful and effective as their teams, which is why recruitment is a central function for many businesses. It can be your secret weapon when it comes to staying competitive and effective in the face of the inevitable challenges that come your way.

Your hiring process will differ based on the industry your company operates in, the employment type you're looking to hire, and what your search for the perfect candidate involves.

For example, there's a difference between hiring a permanent full-time employee to lead a team and hiring contractors on a short-term basis.

So, let's get into the world of recruitment and everything you need to know for successful hiring.

An internal hire joining a new team

Different ways you can hire new employees

There are two main ways a business can recruit workers for new jobs or an open position and gain the new skills they need to grow. They are internal or external.

Internal recruitment:

Your company's internal HR department may take on hiring jobs and collaborate with the department where the job vacancy has arisen to find and develop the perfect candidate.

And sometimes that perfect candidate may be right under your nose, in your current workforce. Existing employees may either possess, or be the perfect candidate for picking up, new skills and taking on new jobs in your business.

This is a fantastic opportunity to unlock new potential in your workforce and boost morale, loyalty, and retention.

External recruitment:

You may also choose to outsource your hiring to a specialised recruitment agency.

These agencies have a vast pool of potential candidates they can dip into, saving you both time and internal resources. Plus, it may be easier to diversify your talent pool and inject new talent into your operations with this hiring option.

Some companies may even opt for both internal and external hiring services to land the perfect candidate.

A person being introduced to another person as an external hire

What is the recruitment process?

The complete lifecycle of the recruitment process involves five key steps.

1. Identifying your hiring needs

It's important to keep in mind that you're not just filling an empty position or empty seat in the hiring process, you're securing the future of your business.

To correctly identify your company's hiring needs, your hiring search team may ask themselves the following questions:

  • What role will the new employee take on?
  • What skills and training will the employee need to possess?
  • How will the new role contribute and fit into the organisation?
  • What salary will the new employee be paid?
  • What are the details of the role including work hours and minimum entitlements?
  • What kind of person will fit in and enhance your work culture?

2. Writing your job description

The job description you write for any role is very likely going to be your new employee's first impression of your company. That said you don't need a whole production crew to sell your business to potential applicants as a fantastic opportunity to further their career.

Some things every job description is likely to include are:

  • The job title that's up for grabs
  • Your company name and an introduction to your business
  • The values and ethos of your company
  • The pay rates and benefits this role offers
  • The location of the position (on-site, remote, or hybrid)
  • The responsibilities the right candidate will take on
  • The person specification you're looking for
  • The main skills, qualifications, and experience applicants should have
  • How people can apply for the role

On top of the necessary information you're sharing with your job description, you should also make sure that you stay authentic to your company and let the culture you've fostered shine through.

Whether your company is a window manufacturer or a creative agency, keep your job descriptions engaging to attract suitable candidates and set the tone for your selection process.

3. Advertising new jobs

There are multiple ways to get the word out about your new role.

Job boards like Seek and Indeed are the perfect place to reach a diverse pool of job seekers. In the social media age, platforms like LinkedIn also create opportunities to connect with new talent. Networking as well as recruitment and industry events can also bring you face to face with potential applicants.

You also can't overlook the value of referrals. Even if you're not planning to hire internally, your existing team can help you spread the word and vouch for the skills and fit of forthcoming applicants.

2 people interviewing a person for a new job

4. Shortlisting and assessing potential candidates

This step involves shortlisting the best candidates, conducting skills assessments, and completing reference checks.

While technology has introduced several ways to manage this process including online application systems and tests, interviews persist as the most popular way to screen candidates. Speaking to your potential future team member is possibly the best way to ascertain whether or not they align with your company values and can envision themselves not only thriving in the role you need to fill, but also growing their career with you.

The skills assessments you conduct can be an opportunity for your candidates to demonstrate their skills and stand out from the rest.

Even the most interested applicant, however, may lose interest if your screening and interview process is drawn out and difficult to navigate. So, make sure you haven't burdened your candidates with extra steps and obstacles, and that the whole application process is as intuitive as possible.

You may even lose your preferred candidate to a competitor if you take too long to communicate with your talent pool. So, consistent communication can go a long way.

5. Making your job offer

By the end of the interview process, the ideal candidate should be clear, and you can put forward a job offer.

Many employers choose to have both an ideal candidate and a secondary in mind. If your ideal candidate chooses to not accept your offer you can then approach your second candidate with the role.

Written offers can be made once you're sure you've got the right person. Make sure your offer is compelling and competitive, putting any unique perks and benefits your company offers front and centre. For example, you can include development opportunities or anything else of relevance.

You can then reach out to their references and conduct necessary checks. This includes making sure your candidates have the legal right to work in Australia.

two people shaking hands at the start of a job interview

Recruitment and employment law

Your legal obligations according to employment law span your hiring process, employee onboarding, and beyond.

Discrimination and the hiring process

One such obligation is to avoid direct and indirect discrimination in your hiring process. Discriminating against potential employees based on the protected attributes detailed in the Fair Work Act is against the law.

Being careful in your wording and how you choose to reach your potential applicants can help you make sure you're not excluding anyone in your search. Even if you're not directly breaching the law, the wrong move can harm your reputation in the long term and discourage future candidates from joining your business.

In order to sidestep the risks of discrimination, your company could choose to conduct blind reviews of CVs. This means blocking all personal information about an applicant in the first stages of the recruitment process, so unconscious biases have no bearing on the outcome of the process.

The employment contract

Once you've chosen the right candidate and made your offer, you also need to make sure that you're meeting all your documentation requirements. This includes creating compliant employment contracts and employment agreements.

To make sure that you’re following the law, it's best practice to use a hiring employees checklist like the one available on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Two people shaking hands over a new job contract

Keeping up with an ever-evolving hiring landscape

Although the recruitment process is five main stages, a successful hiring process is not always a straightforward feat.

Difficulties can arise in any stage from crafting the role to attracting good quality candidates. It can also be a costly process to undergo, so getting it right the first time is hard work but often the desired outcome—especially for small businesses.

The hiring landscape can also present additional obstacles. Skill shortages, talent shortages, and even a pandemic can overhaul your usual processes and force your hiring team to think outside the box.

It's also important to keep in mind that what job seekers are looking for can evolve alongside the landscape. In the age of quiet quitting, bare minimum Mondays, and the renewed interest in achieving a healthy work-life balance—modern job seekers are on the lookout for jobs and employers who can meet these needs.

Adapting your hiring process to suit this evolving landscape will help you stay fully staffed and boost your employee retention.

How can BrightHR help streamline your recruitment?

Recruitment in Australia can be tricky. Especially when it comes to identifying the relevant award, minimum entitlements under each award, minimum wages, the compliant pay rates your employees need to be paid, and more.

A person joining a new team in the office

24/7 employment relations support and Turbo Talent Navigator

Make sure you're never in breach of the law with round-the-clock access to experienced support and employment relations advice.

BrightHR's end-to-end support includes 24/7 employment relations advice available over the phone. Our team of advisers offer personalised answers to all types of HR challenges. They're supported by an extensive library of expertly written HR documents including handbooks, contracts, guides, and more.

You can also put your best foot forward in the recruitment process by utilising our People Navigator. This easy-to-use tool helps you create job listings, manage applicants, and streamline the hiring process with ease.

Explore all the ways BrightHR can transform your people management, from your first interactions with new employees to your day-to-day HR admin tasks by booking your free demo with our expert software consultants today.

Alan Price

CEO, BrightHR and Group Chief Operating Officer

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