Recruiting Staff in Australia

Staff can be employed under a number of categories each of which offers different levels of security and flexibility and also different obligations.  The most common employee types are full-time, part-time, casual and fixed term. The Fair Work Act 2009 sets out the rights and obligations of employees and employers covered by the national workplace relations system.

Independent contractors such as consultants can also be utilised particularly when requiring highly specialised services and advice.  Independent contractors typically operate as businesses or sole traders and will negotiate their contractual arrangements such as fees & working arrangements. Ensure they have an ABN or you will be forced to withhold 49% No ABN Withholding tax.

When recruiting staff, firms can outsource recruitment to third party recruitment agencies or undertake their own employee recruitment (DIY).

Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment and placement agencies are numerous and highly competitive in Australia.  Agencies may specialise in recruitment across all sectors and employment types and offer a wide range of services.  In addition to recruitment services, agencies may also offer strategy and consulting, employee evaluation,  testing and profiling and payroll services.

Agencies may undertake or focus solely on Executive Search (or "head hunting") which is suitable for senior managers, executives and directors etc.   These firms operate more discreetly and make approaches to specific targets based on networks and research. Executive Search fees are typically higher than general recruitment.

The Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA) is the leading industry  professional body for the recruitment and the human resources services sector in Australia and New Zealand. RCSA operates a searchable members directory.  Members must demonstrate commitment to professional standards and accountability.

Searchable members directory

Do it Yourself Recruitment

There are numerous tools, platforms and networking sites providing a range of services to assist in the recruitment of staff.

The Australian Government operates JobActive powered by JobSearch, a free online jobs website.   Employees can search for staff across Australia and advertise on JobSearch at no cost.

Other sites including professional networking site Linkedin and dedicated employment placement sites such as Seek, Careerone and Adzuna (formerly MyCareer) also provide job posting and candidate matching and management services.

Many industry associations, peak bodies and business chambers also operate specialist job boards for their respective industries.   Directory

Rights and Responsibilities

Employers should be aware of rights and responsibilities when recruiting and retaining staff.   The Fair Work Commission is the national workplace relations tribunal and the Fair Work Ombudsman provides education, assistance and advice to assist employers to understand workplace rights and responsibilities.

Useful Links