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Hiring New Staff

Hiring is a big move. From setting a salary, to recruiting, onboarding, and payroll – there’s a lot to get right. We have put together some tips and links to help you though the process.

Are you ready to hire your first employee? Or do you have a few employees but want to improve your hiring process and find more good ones? Firstly, congrats! Hiring is a challenge but is a huge milestone and a sign that your business is growing.

Hiring is about finding good employees, getting the best out of your team, and understanding your responsibilities as an employer. Investing time in planning this process will set your business up for success as you hire your first employee and continue to grow your team in the future.

Here are some questions to ask when thinking about your hiring strategy:

  1. Who do you need? Choose the type of person you need for your business. It can be one, some, or all of these: someone to fill in the gaps in your expertise, someone to do the things you could if only you had time, or someone to do the things you don’t enjoy doing. This helps you get a good sense of the skills, experience, and other qualifications to look for in an employee. Once you’ve decided on the type of person you need, work out a balance between attitude and skills. It might be easier to train a hard worker on the skills you require, rather than hire someone with all the right skills but without the go-getter attitude you’re looking for.

  2. What type of employee do I need to hire? Figure out what kind of employee is right for you. Whether it’s an independent contractor or an employee, a part-time or full-time worker, each type has its own pros and cons. Do your homework to find the best fit for your business. The Fair Work Ombudsman page has some useful information on different types of employees.

  3. What can you afford? Payroll is a big financial commitment and finding the money to pay employees often involves personal sacrifice. 50% of employers have denied themselves a pay rise or bonus in order to give one to their staff and 40% of employers have paid employees out of their own pocket at some stage - its important to budget! Find out what the market rates are in your industry so you can offer a competitive salary that’s within your budget. Other costs to consider include employer super contributions, any benefits or incentives you want to offer, and advertising fees for job postings. Use the Fair Work Ombudsman pay calculator to get an estimate of what hiring a new employee might cost.

Once you’ve got a hiring strategy in place, it’s time to register yourself as an employer. This can take some time, so we recommend that you start the process as early as possible.

Here’s what you need to do:

Firstly you will need an ABN number to register for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding tax.

  • If you plan to employ workers who hold either a working holiday visa or a work and holiday visa, you’ll need to register as an employer of working holiday makers

  • You can register online, by phone, or through your registered bookkeeper or tax agent. For more information, visit the ATO pages on PAYG withholding and employer registration for working holiday makers.

The entire employment process is governed by certain laws, so you should understand them before you begin hiring. You can contact an employment lawyer for specific advice or check a government site to learn more. The Fair Work Ombudsman website has some helpful fact sheets and best practice guides on workplace laws.

Once you have these stepping stones in place, you are ready to write a job description, advertise and begin interviewing candidates. Look out for our future blog posts on employer responsibilities, useful checklists for new employees and managing payroll.

If East Coast Bookkeeping can be of any use, please contact us on or call the office on 02 4402 8913 we are here to help!

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