Recruitment & Onboarding

In your business, your employees are your biggest investment and most valuable asset so it’s important that you hire the right people. The right employee will have the skills, qualifications and performance to drive your business in the right direction.

Many businesses wonder why they cannot get the employees they need. Most of the times poor processes, pressure to find staff quickly, skill shortages and non-competitive pay rates increase the chance a less than ideal employee joins your business.

Assess your current situation

Recruiting unsuitable staff can cost your business both money and time. When you have a vacancy, it’s the ideal opportunity to review your business. Before you begin recruiting evaluate your current situation to get a clear idea of what your business needs:

  • Do you have a well thought out recruitment process that is consistent?
  • Do your recruitment practices comply with legal requirements such as anti-discrimination laws?
  • Is there a real need for the job and what alternatives are there for getting the work done that needs to be done?
  • What is involved in the job? What skills and qualifications are required to do the work?
  • What sort of person do you want as part of your workforce?


It is important to keep up with current industry trends to ensure you attract the right people for your business:

  • What do you know about the state of the labour market, the availability of skills, legal minimum conditions of employment, and the going rates of pay?
  • Where are you likely find the skills you need – for example, using Road Transport Careers, by advertising on job boards and in newspapers, head hunting talent, labour hire firms, local schools, referrals by existing employees, searching outside the local area, or resorting to skilled migration?
  • Have you kept up with advancing technology and use online recruitment sites and social media?


Planning your recruitment process pays off in finding your new star employee:

  • What documents do you need to have such as, advertisements, position descriptions, interview guides, offers/contracts of employment?
  • Is it easy for people to apply for a job and do you get the necessary information from them to decide to interview them or not?
  • Do your interviews use well-chosen consistent questions that give you the information you need and are practical skills test appropriate?
  • What other forms of screening do you need, such as fitness for work assessments, criminal record checks, and working with children checks?
  • Who needs to be involved in the decision making about whether to recruit and making offers of employment?


There are a range of assessment mechanisms available for helping with the selection of a new employee, including:


Applicants for a job should always be interviewed before a job offer is made. Ideally, the interview should be conducted by more than one person. Interview questions should ask the applicant to give examples from their experience about what they did in situations relevant to the job for which they have applied.

Skills Testing:

You can ask a candidate to show you they have the skills to do the job for which they have applied through practical tests. For example, a demonstration of their driving skills, or giving them a workplace based tasks or problem to do or solve, or literacy and numeracy tests.

Psychological Testing:

There a wide range of tests available intended to tell a potential employer whether an applicant will be suited for their job or predict whether they will fit in or perform well. These sorts of tests can be used to measure IQ, aptitude, personality, and attitude. If using a psychological test, be sure that it is reputable and backed by a significant amount of quality research.

Fitness For The Position:

Applicants can be asked to complete a relevant pre-employment medical check (including alcohol and other drug testing), as well as other assessments and checks relevant to the positions for which they have applied such as a National Police Check and Working With Children clearances. Information gathered through these sorts of assessments and checks must be used carefully. Only relevant information can be collected and it cannot be used to unlawfully discriminate against an applicant.


Always ask an applicant to give you referees to talk to about their skills and performance in their current job and/or in previous positions. These are people that the applicant has worked with before and have firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s performance. Ideally, they should be a current or former supervisor or manager of the applicant. Non work related referees, those related to the applicant, or who are in a close personal relationship are probably not the best. Many employers do not give references as a matter of policy due to the legal risks.

Offering Employment

Always put your offer of employment to the successful applicant in writing. This can be in a letter or a contract of employment. Whilst putting the offer in writing is not a legal requirement, it can help avoid confusion over the job that is being offered and the terms and conditions of employment attached. Naturally you can tell the applicant verbally at first but always follow up with a document.


The onboarding process should cover the period between your new team member accepting an offer of employment and the completion of the first six months with your business.

Onboarding involves:

  • Inducting a new employee into your workplace. This includes making sure they have provided all the necessary paperwork to be employed, introducing them to the people in your workplace, familiarising them with the layout of the workplace - including emergency exits and procedures, and explaining key policies and procedures.
  • Assigning them a buddy. A buddy is workplace mentor to provide guidance to the new employee about how things work.
  • Arranging any needed training the new employee needs to have early in their employment with you. This could include topics such as health, safety and environment standards, acceptable workplace behaviour, and any job skills needed they do not have already.
  • Setting performance standards for the new team member and reviewing their performance and behaviour during the first six months of employment.
  • Making a conscious decision about whether the new team member is meeting acceptable standards and should continue to be employed before the first six months is up.

More resources

  • Example job descriptions
  • Example interview questions
  • Example referee questions

NatRoad members can get help and information about employment issues from the NatRoad website or by calling 1800 272 144 or 02 6295 3000.