Finding the right employee takes a bit of work, but the payoff is worth it. The right person will bring new ideas and help your business grow. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way.
Legally, there are things you can and can’t do or say when you’re hiring staff.
You can’t hire (or choose not to hire) someone just because of their:
This is discrimination and it’s illegal.
You can only ask an applicant to give you personal information in an application or interview if:
You don’t legally have to write a job description for a new position, but it’ll help when it comes to writing an employment agreement.
A good job description should cover:
You can also include things like:
You don’t necessarily have to advertise — but you do have to be careful about what you say if you do. A job ad must be accurate and non-discriminatory. That means you can’t use language that could be interpreted as seeking someone of a particular age, gender or race.
You should include:
You can’t state requirements for the role that would lead to discrimination, including anything related to a person’s:
You can include an application form. Ask for a cover letter as well as a CV to get extra information about how responsibilities in previous roles relate to the job you’re looking to fill.
Kapil is the editor of Kiwi-hot, a culture magazine aimed at young Indian-New Zealanders. He wants to hire an Auckland sales manager and writes in the job description that he wants someone young and of Indian heritage.
Kapil sends it to a recruitment consultant, who says it needs to be rewritten — it’s illegal to advertise a job that discriminates by age or ethnicity.
The recruiter points Kapil to the Human Rights Commission’s A-Z pre-employment guidelines (external link) to rewrite his job ad. Had it been published without change, both Kapil and the recruiter could be liable for breaching the Human Rights Act and Employment Relations Act.
You have lots of options when it comes to where to advertise. Think about where the type of person you want to recruit is likely to look. Sometimes targeting a niche website or publication can be more effective (and cheaper) than casting your net wide.
Conducting a thorough review can take time — but it's well worth the investment. It's your chance to get a clear idea of what a candidate might bring to your growing business.
Once you’ve reviewed the applications and chosen your shortlist, decide if you’ll interview them with:
Create a list of questions — try to keep them concise and open-ended, so that the interviewee can give a detailed answer instead of just saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
You can’t ask questions in an interview that aren’t relevant to the role, or that could lead to discrimination, like:
Make sure you’ve prepared answers on:
Referees can give you great information that you might not learn during an interview.
Under the Privacy Act, you can only contact people applicants have specifically authorised you to speak to as referees. If they haven’t named someone you want to talk to, like a past employer, you can’t contact them unless you get permission first.
Employers can request a copy of a new employee’s criminal record from the Ministry of Justice, with the person’s consent.
You’ll need to complete an application form signed by you and your employee, and to provide a copy of their driver’s licence or passport.
You’ll get a copy of their criminal record by post within 20 working days.
How to get a copy of someone else's criminal conviction history (external link) — Ministry of Justice
You can apply to use the Police vetting service if your business cares for:
This makes it easier to check an employee’s criminal record. To use this service you will need to register with the Police.
Ask for Police vetting (external link) — New Zealand Police
At this point, you’ll either have a good idea of who the right candidate for the job is, or have a few options to consider.
If you’re deciding between applicants, think about:
You’ll also need to make sure the employee is entitled to work in New Zealand.