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Hiring staff for the first time

Confidently employ staff for the first time

On this page

  • Identify staffing needs
  • Deal with compliance
  • Successfully recruit great staff

Before recruiting staff

Determine if you have gaps in your business – and how staff can fill them:  

  1. Look at your current business needs and look at your business goals so you know what level of staff support you will need.
  2. Think carefully about what sort of hours you'll need them to work to meet your business needs.
  3. List the tasks that you'll need your new staff member to perform – be clear on what skills they'll need and what competencies they should have.
  4. Outline the results that you want for your business from employing new staff – get help to achieve this with our workforce planning tools.

Deal with compliance

Make sure that you're legally compliant with your obligations as an employer:

  1. Determine the employment type – such as casual or full-time.
  2. Determine the correct rate of pay for your new employee
  3. Understand the employment conditions you will need to provide and make your business OHS ready.
  4. Register for PAYG and set up your payroll tax processes.
  5. Develop a staff manual tailored to your business so the employee knows how the business is run and what's expected of them
  6. Determine the investment that's required to hire your new staff member – including wages and ensuring the workplace is ready.

HR Policy and Procedure Manual template (DOCX 216.86 KB)DOCX icon

Cash flow forecasting template (XLSX 76.01 KB)XLSX icon

The recruitment process

Find a person that fits your business by following these steps:

  1. Define your value proposition – what would employees get from working for you?
  2. Develop your position description – including background about your business.
  3. Identify your target audience – making sure you look in the right places will minimise your effort and ensure a better result
  4. Write your job advertisement and make sure you put it in the right places – for example, casual food and beverage jobs might suit having an ad placed on university online portal chat boards.
  5. Create a selection process and conduct an interview.

Other resources

The Fairwork Ombudsman has created resources to assist small business when hiring staff for the first time. These include an Online Learning Centre providing a series of free and interactive online training modules and resources to assist with hiring new employees, taking on an apprentice as well as guides to give new employees. 

Visit website

Visit Online Learning Centre

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has developed a checklist to assist you in understanding the requirements when hiring workers for the first time.

Visit checklist

SBS Small Business Secrets' How To: Hire the Right Staff video visits the Australian Institute of Music to give you tips on how you and your staff can sing from the same songsheet.

Ricardo Goncalves from SBS Small Business Secrets stands in front of a jazz trio 

Watch video


Case Study: Preparing for staff recruitment 

'My business needed help. My biggest concern was whether I have enough work to justify staff.'

Ailsa Page, Marketing Works

Read more on Preparing for staff recruitment

Ailsa Page from Marketing Works, studio head shot