How to Hire – A Recruitment Guide For Employers

By July 16, 2019 December 2nd, 2019 No Comments
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In search for your next superstar employee? As business owners, we’ve all been there. Maybe business is booming and you’re looking forward to expanding, or maybe your best employee is leaving and you need to fill the gap.

Whatever it is, recruitment could increase your caffeine dependency and give you some sleepless nights if you don’t have the right knowledge.

So, what’s the best approach for hiring a candidate? Well, if you have gone through the recruitment process, you are probably equipped to handle it yourself. If not, New Zealand has an ample amount of experienced recruiters who can hire the right candidate for you.

Whether you use an external recruitment agency or do it yourself, bringing the right candidate on board can be challenging. Things don’t always go as planned and even if they do, it’s highly unlikely that the process will be a piece of cake.

That’s why we’ve created this recruitment guide to help you get started.


1. How to handle the recruitment process yourself

2. Choosing an external recruitment agency

3. Using recruitment agencies vs. DIY – pros and cons

1. How to handle the recruitment process yourself

It’s highly likely that you don’t recruit new candidates every day (like professional recruiters do), which means you could be unaware of the latest recruitment trends as well as the subtle nuances of a good job advert.

Whether you’re trying to save some money or simply like making your own decisions, DIY recruitment can be far easier if you follow the advice of seasoned recruiters.

Assuming that you’re aware of the legal requirements to advertise a job, here are our top tips for DIY recruitment:

Leverage employee referral

Let’s take a look at the stats:

“88% of employers rate employee referrals as generating the highest quality of new hire.”

(Source: Career Builder eBook Referral Madness)

So, before you type that lengthy job description for your online ad, make sure you spread the word internally.

Chances are, candidates from your current employees’ referral network have the same qualities your employees have. This will ensure that the new hires are a good cultural fit, however be warned: make sure to avoid the pitfalls of unconscious bias, in this case affinity bias, when selecting someone based on their similarity to yourself.  Check out this article for more on dealing with unconscious bias during the recruitment process.

Avoid making bad hires – unless you’re a fan of wasting money. Find the actual cost of a bad hire using our free calculator below:

The art of online advertisements

“I need a new business manager. I’ll post an online ad and find one in a couple of weeks, right?” Well, not quite. It’s true that you’ll get a tremendous response once you post an online ad, but what’s disappointing is the relevancy of the candidates.

You’ll encounter a whole lot of unqualified people who are just copy-pasting their CV’s and cover letters on every job opening.

How to get the best candidates using online advertisements

Brevity is key here. The ad should be short, punchy and informative. Don’t make it too long because it’ll probably look terrible on mobile, which is now how most jobseekers view job openings.

Here’s what you should include:

– About your company

– About the role

– Duties

– Skills & experience

– Company culture

– Benefits

– How to apply

Walk the extra mile with social media

In New Zealand, it can be hard to find the right talent for key positions. The reason behind this is simple – the candidates that you desire aren’t even looking for jobs. That means they’re not going to come to you, you have to go to  them.

One of the best ways to reach the candidates who aren’t actively looking for jobs is social media. On that note, you might want to check out our #FutureWorkNZ blog post on Tips and Hacks for Recruiting on Social Media

Be agile

If you’ve decided to do the headhunting yourself, you might want to set aside some time to review applications and arrange interviews with the cream-of-the-crop candidates. Procrastination is no good here – don’t wait until the job advertisement has expired, be agile and bring the right candidate on board ASAP.

Do your due diligence

Do you have a pre-employment checklist? If not, then you should. It’s not uncommon for NZ employers to hire the wrong candidate by skipping due diligence – especially when they go for the DIY approach. Make sure you do reference checks before you sign that employment agreement. Many companies in NZ are starting to include a mandatory psychometric test to ensure that the candidate is a good cultural fit too.

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2. Choosing an external recruitment agency

There are over 20,000 recruitment agencies in New Zealand. Most of them are small agencies, some of them consisting of only one or two consultants and a phone between them. That’s why new agencies pop up almost every day and not all of them are created equal.

Good recruitment agencies can find the perfect candidate for you by using a robust and legally compliant process. However, just because an agency claims to be a ‘good’ agency doesn’t mean they actually are.

Choosing the wrong agency can prove costly and put you through a lot of stress. Before you choose a recruitment agency, keep the following factors in mind:


Most agencies won’t charge you a dime until the candidate signs the employment agreement or starts working with you. But the better ones will ask for part of the placement fee upfront (or in installments) to see the commitment from your side. Once your new superstar employee is on board, agencies will usually charge 15% – 18% of the candidates first-year salary. Some recruitment agencies might charge less to undercut their competition, but here’s the catch – it may result in inferior service.


Fact is, the size of the agency’s database doesn’t mean anything in 2019. We live in the gig economy, meaning all the CV’s they have in their database may be outdated within a few weeks. You already have free access to the world’s largest candidate database – it’s called LinkedIn. So you don’t have to pay an external recruitment agency just because they claim to have a large database. It’s not about the size, it’s the recruiter’s reach and influence that makes all the difference.


Don’t fall for the agency’s popular brand image – it’s the recruiter’s personal brand that matters. There are several recruitment agencies with thousands of followers on social media, but that doesn’t represent an individual recruiter’s capability to find top-notch candidates. Before you work with a recruiter, ask them the following questions:

  1. What’s your process?
  2. Do you have in-depth knowledge of our industry?
  3. How strong is your understanding of our company?
  4. Can you provide testimonials or recommendations from your (not your agency’s) previous clients?

That’s just the gist of it. Learn more about choosing the right recruiter along with our top five tips for engaging with a recruitment agency in our blog: How to Choose an External Recruitment Agency

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3. Using recruitment agencies vs. DIY – pros and cons

Still confused whether you should do it yourself or use a recruitment agency? Well, there are pros and cons to each. Let’s start with DIY recruitment.

Pros and cons of DIY recruiting


  • Well, it’s cheaper (unless you make a bad hire). You won’t have to pay 15%-18% of your new employee’s first year salary to any recruiter because you’re the recruiter.
  • Nobody understands your company and the vacancy like you do. You can add those subtle details in the job advert and reiterate them precisely while interviewing a candidate.
  • When you’re in charge of the recruitment process, you’ll have the chance to review every CV yourself and not worry about recruiters rejecting the candidates who they think are incompetent.
  • You’d be surprised to know that a good number of candidates prefer contacting the employer themselves rather than applying through a recruiter. Yes, there are some unprofessional agencies out there and candidates have had negative experiences with recruiters. By posting the advert yourself, you’ll get the opportunity to hear from the candidates who are not comfortable sending their CV to recruiters.


  • DIY recruitment requires a lot of time and energy, especially is you’re not used to it.  Not only do you have to conduct the usual business operations, but you also have to filter CV’s, choose the best candidates, conduct interviews, tick the pre-employment checklist, and finally sign the employment contract.
  • Unless you’re an employment lawyer, you probably have limited knowledge of the current employment legislation – take it very seriously because just one mistake can put your name in the newspaper and damage your reputation.
  • You’d probably be so busy with work that you’ll only go for the candidates who are actively looking for a job. But quite often, the best candidates are the ones who aren’t actively looking for a career change. Unless you’re prepared to walk the extra mile, you might end up with average candidates.

Pros and cons of using a recruitment agency


  • Good recruiters are well-versed in the art of bringing the best candidates to you – this includes the candidates who aren’t actively seeking a job.
  • Since it’s their job, recruiters stay on top of any changes in the employment legislation which ensures a legally-compliant recruitment process.
  • Again, because it’s their job to get people new jobs, recruitment agencies have access to premium job board products which helps them expand their reach.
  • Recruiters are very ambitious (the good ones) and won’t hesitate to go out of their way to find you the best candidates.


  • Agency recruiters work with multiple clients at a time. This means if they come across a good candidate, they might refer them to your competitors.
  • Most recruiters work on a commission basis. Which means if they don’t find candidates, they don’t get paid. But recruiters are humans too and they have bills to pay, that’s why they can bend the truth a little to match an employer and a candidate, take the cash, and bail. This behaviour is the reason for the recruitment industry’s bad reputation.
  • Being a recruiter can be stressful and not everyone can handle it. If the recruiter leaves mid-assignment, you’ll have to start over again.

It’s not a walk in the park to make someone part of your organisation and put them on the payroll. A good employee is someone who is skilled at their craft, willing to walk the extra mile, and last but not least, exhibits the right values, attitude and behaviours to suit your team. And a good recruiter is someone who can find such an employee.

To reiterate, a good recruiter is someone who’s aware of the modern recruitment trends, has reach and influence, can write a spot on job advert and, last but not least, has the capability to recruit candidates who aren’t actively looking for a job – it could be you or an external recruiter.

Follow this guide to find someone who’s right for your company because a bad hire could cost you more than you expect. If you haven’t used it yet, check out our hidden costs of a bad hire calculator now.

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We’d also like to hear your valuable opinions on this guide – feel free to comment below.

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