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Hiring Employees Checklist

In business, there are few tasks as important as hiring the right people and onboarding them well. You’re looking for someone with the right balance of skill and reliability to take your business to the next level.

Use this checklist to find your perfect hire and establish a healthy working relationship from the start.

  1. Brainstorm the qualities you want
  2. Create a job description
  3. Understand your legal and tax obligations
  4. Set up a payroll system
  5. Devise an interview format and questions
  6. Find out what drives them
  7. Make an offer
  8. Design an induction program
  9. Keep communication open and check how they’re going
  10. Set up regular meetings to discuss feedback and goals

1. Brainstorm the qualities you want

Your employee will not be perfect. So it’s up to you to work out what flaws you can deal with, and what strengths are most important. Brainstorm a bunch of strengths and weaknesses and then order them in terms of importance. What’s more crucial – technical skills or willingness to learn? Great people skills or unfailing honesty? Work out what you can live without. When you’re done you should have a good profile of the type of person you want.

2. Create a job description

Make sure you attract the right people. The job description should be detailed and thorough. Don’t oversell the job. Make sure you include the not-so-glamorous aspects. Include key details like pay and hours. You may as well attract people who like the sound of the whole package from the start.

3. Understand your legal and tax obligations

Management success often relies on treating your staff well. Abiding by your legal obligations as an employer is the first place to start. Legal obligations to employees and other workers come from a variety of sources. Whether you hire contract, part time or full time employees, you’ll have tax and super obligations.

Visit this page from business.gov.au for comprehensive info.

4. Set up a payroll system

Your options when setting up your payroll include:

  • Doing it all yourself
  • Outsourcing the setup to your accountant or bookkeeper
  • Make sure your accounting software can address all your payroll needs. Adding payroll to your accounting software should make paying employees painless.
    Look for software that:
  • Makes it simple to stay compliant
  • Can pay your employees efficiently
  • Files reports with the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

5. Devise an interview format and questions

You’ll have limited time with your potential new employees so use it well. You want to get to know them as a person as well as a worker. In addition to formal questions, include some informal topics to get them talking freely. Examples include:

  • Tell me about your professional path up until this point
  • What is it about this industry that makes you excited?
  • Why did you choose this line of work?
  • When do you feel most motivated and inspired?

Suggest grabbing a coffee or lunch after the interview. You’re going to be spending a significant amount of time with this person, so make sure you get on well!

6. Find out what drives them

This step is crucial, do not skip it! If you want to keep your employee long term you will need to keep them happy. What gets them up in the morning? Is it because they find their job meaningful or because they like getting paid a decent wage? Would they prefer cash bonuses or flexible hours? How would they like to be rewarded? What style of management do they prefer – clear instructions and step by step tasks or lots of freedom? You’ll need all this info to design the best way to work together.

7. Make an offer

When you’ve chosen your preferred candidate, make sure you are upfront about what will happen from here. Be explicit about hours, policies, leave and tasks. Make sure the employee knows what they are agreeing to. Be clear about goals and expectations before sealing the deal.

8. Design an induction program

Make sure you set your employee up for success early on. They need information and resources to understand where you want the business to go and how they can help. What info will they need? Create instruction manuals. Write out company goals. Write out instructions for each task. It’s vital that your employee feels supported in their first few days. Don’t leave anything a mystery. Support them carefully now and once they’ve got their head around everything they can start getting creative with how they do their job.

9. Keep communication open and check how they’re going

This is vital! You need open and productive lines of communication from the start. If they’re unsure of something, you want to know. If they’re not happy with something, you want to know. You don’t want them going home and complaining to their significant other that the job is not what they thought it was. Deal with any problems early and you have the best chance of a successful working relationship.

10. Set up regular meetings to discuss feedback and goals

It’s easy to fall into a slump. Regular, formal meeting times provide an opportunity to reset. Your employee should be encouraged to bring a list of topics to the talk. They should include the following:

  • What were your goals since our last meeting?
  • Have you achieved them? Why/why not?
  • What were your favourite aspects of your role?
  • Which aspects of your role could be improved?
  • Do you have any feedback on the company?
  • Do you any feedback on your manager’s / my leadership style or practices?
  • What would you like to achieve next?
  • How can we support you in reaching that goal?
  • How is this job fitting in with the rest of your life?
  • What would make your role more fulfilling?

This is also an opportunity to provide the employee with feedback on their performance.

Regular meetings like this will keep lines of communication open and allow you to address any issues or potential problems head-on. If you don’t do this it’s very easy for tensions to rise and resentments to build, and that’s not what you want!

A final word

Don’t underestimate the importance of finding the right people and keeping them happy. It will make your day-to-day life much easier and more enjoyable. Everyone’s only human – failures will happen and interpersonal issues will arise. Start off strong, don’t sidestep issues and don’t take good employees for granted. Read more about how to keep your employees motivated.

Ready to kick off your search for the right employee? Start designing your job ad now.