Tips for taking on an employee

Is your organisation looking to take on an employee for the first time? We've put together some helpful resources for small businesses regarding the job recruitment process in NZ.


Making it easier to hire 

Hiring and managing employees can be daunting for any employer or hiring manager. So we've put together some helpful employment tips for New Zealand business owners, broken down into five different stages.

Hiring the right person

So you're ready to begin the recruitment process? Great! To find the right employee for any New Zealand business, consider this during the hiring process: 

  • Be clear on the type of person you're hiring for your new jobs. Consider the candidates' abilities and experience required to perform in the role and how much you're willing to pay them. 
  • Many tasks are involved when you hire employees, such as writing the job description, advertising the position, communicating with potential candidates and interviewing. Come to an agreement within your recruitment team on who will handle these tasks before you begin the process. 

Conducting effective interviews 

Once you've shortlisted your applicants based on their skills, qualifications and experience, the next step is the interview. You need to apply consistent criteria for choosing a candidate and how you interview them. Here is a sample of interview questions from Employment New Zealand that can help employers decide which applicant will be the best fit for their business:

  • Why are you interested in this job? 
  • What is the greatest strength you would bring to this job? 
  • Tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem.
  • Tell me about a time when someone criticised your work. How did you respond?  

Once you've completed the interviews and chosen your preferred candidate, don't forget to perform pre-employment background checks, social media audits and reference checks before offering them the job. 

Onboarding new employees

Once the hiring process is complete, you'll need to onboard the new employee. Make sure they have all the information and tools required to perform their new job and have them sign any employment agreements if necessary. In addition, you will need to provide any physical assets or devices, such as uniforms, equipment, training, IT, software, and any collective agreements issued by unions. Often, however, it's the intangibles that will matter the most:

  • An introduction to the company culture, visions and goals.
  • Processes, systems, and workplace policies.
  • A buddy or support group.
  • The management structure.

Getting the best out of your employees

The day-to-day management of people is easy as long as you keep communication lines open and expectations clear. 

Some tips from our HR experts:

  • Make sure you have a regular catch-up (i.e. fortnightly) for you and all of your staff. This gives employers a chance to get an update on how they're progressing, changes to their development goals and an opportunity for you to raise any concerns early. 
  • Discuss their role and what you expect from them as their employer. This should include the hours you require them to work, the tasks they need to complete and any due training dates. In addition, make sure you explain metrics such as monthly or quarterly sales targets.
  • Reward your staff when they go 'above and beyond'. Rewards don't need to be financial; you could offer an early finish, later start, or email the team highlighting their exemplary behaviour.
  • Provide employees with ongoing training so they continuously upskill and have the appropriate competencies to perform their job. This could include training on customer service, public speaking or improving their digital skills. 

Some other things to consider: 

  • Be prepared to pay employees for different types of leave, such as annual, bereavement and sick leave.
  • Make sure you create a clear health & safety plan in your work environment that is regularly updated and communicated to all staff. 
  • If you find yourself in a situation where one of your staff members isn't meeting your performance requirements, you'll need to begin performance management to prevent the problem from escalating. 

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