Advertising and Interviewing Staff
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.
Step 1. Get familiar with employment law
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:
race, colour or ethnicity
religious or ethical beliefs
family status, or
This is discrimination and it’s illegal.
You can only ask an applicant to give you personal information in an application or interview if:
it’s relevant to the job, and
you need that information to make a hiring decision.
Privacy information for employers — Privacy Commission
Employment New Zealand — Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
Human rights enquiries and complaints — Human Rights Commission
Step 2. Write a job description
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:
your business – what you do and where you’re going
the purpose of the position
the tasks and responsibilities associated with the role
who the new employee will report to – and anyone who reports to them
hours of work
any minimum qualifications
ideal skills and experience
how you’ll measure their performance, e.g. yearly reviews or bonuses.
You can also include things like:
key people or networks they’ll need to work with
language or cultural knowledge
fitness or physical requirements
anything else they’d need to do the job, like a driver licence.
Information about job descriptions — Employment New Zealand
Step 3. Advertise the position
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:
any minimum qualifications, experience or requirements like a driver licence
whether it’s a full-time, part-time, permanent, fixed-term or casual position
any benefits like flexible hours, extra KiwiSaver payments or bonuses
the things that make your company a great place to work
how to apply.
You can’t state requirements for the role that would lead to discrimination, including anything related to a person’s:
physical appearance, e.g. hair colour or skin colour
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.
Job applications — Employment New Zealand
Advertising jobs — Employment New Zealand
Where to place the ad
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.
use a recruitment agency – it’s expensive up front, but can save you lots of time and effort
target advertising to industry journals, magazines and websites
contact an Industry Training organisation (ITO) or training establishment that deals with workers in your industry.
Step 4. Interview and choose someone
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.
Interviews — Employment New Zealand
Selecting and appointing — Employment New Zealand
Tests and checks — Employment New Zealand
Tips for running a successful interview
Get interviewing tips from an HR expert, and hear how a high-growth business interview to find the best people for their team.
Once you’ve reviewed the applications and chosen your shortlist, decide if you’ll interview them with:
a one-on-one discussion
an interview panel
a written project or examination, or
a skills testing service.
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:
whether someone has children, or is planning to have children
how old the applicant is
whether they are religious.
Make sure you’ve prepared answers on:
the post-interview process
the likely range of employment conditions, including salary.
Disclosing information about a job applicant to anyone, even by accident, is a breach of the Privacy Act.
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. Privacy Commissioner
Request a criminal record check for a new employee
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 — Ministry of Justice
Use the Police vetting service
You can apply to use the Police vetting service if your business cares for:
people with special needs, or
other vulnerable members of society
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 — New Zealand Police
Selection and appointment
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:
relevant experience — will the applicant be able to pick the job up immediately, or will they need training?
personality — how will they fit in?
attitude — do they seem passionate about the job?
You’ll also need to make sure the employee is entitled to work in New Zealand.
More Info at