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What to do when hiring a new employee

28 June 2017

By Bryan Wilcox, CEO of the Real Estate Employers’ Federation (REEF)

Successful recruitment involves taking the time and effort to properly introduce a new employee to their new job with your business.

There are several processes an employer should follow when inducting a new employee into their new work environment. It is important that all new employees receive induction training at the start of their employment to welcome them ‘on board’ to their new workplace environment. 

It is important that all new employees receive induction training at the start of their employment to welcome them ‘on board’ to their new workplace environment. 

While some employers view the induction process as an annoyance or inconvenience, others consider it an essential piece of the hiring process because it creates the foundation between the employer and the employee. 

An induction is designed to provide the employee with the necessary information to ensure the business can obtain the maximum benefit from the employee’s engagement as quickly as possible.

Benefits of induction programs include increased retention, improved morale and increased productivity. The steps outlined below will help principals not only comply with their legal obligations, but also implement best practice induction procedures.

Step 1 

Ensure that you receive the following documents from the employee before they begin their employment:

  • a copy of their relevant qualifications required for the job 

For real estate employees this will commonly include:

  • the employee’s Certificate of Registration or Real Estate Licence
  • Driver’s licence, motor vehicle registration and insurance papers
  • the signed contract of employment and, if applicable, a signed commission/bonus structure. 

If you are a member of REEF you can download a template contract, commission structures and job descriptions from the REEF website.

Step 2

Provide your employee with a detailed Position Description detailing the duties, responsibilities and performance expectations associated with the job. 

Step 3

In conjunction with the Position Description, ensure your employee is aware of the award coverage, classification and work type (being either full-time, part-time or casual) that will be applicable to them. 

Step 4 (once employed)

Provide the new employee with the following documents:

  • A copy of the Fair Work Information Statement
  • A copy, or access to the National Employment Standards and the appropriate award that regulates the employee’s employment
  • A copy of your company policy and procedure manual, which is sometimes referred to as an Employee Handbook
  • Tax File Number Declaration form
  • Choice of fund superannuation form, which is to obtain the employee’s superannuation information
  • All necessary items required for the job, including uniform, name tag, security keys and pass and/or entry codes. This should be recorded on the employee’s personal file
  • Banking details form to allow for electronic processing of the employee’s pay.

The above documents can be found on the REEF website, except for the Tax File Number Declaration form, which can be obtained at most newsagents or by ordering online through the Australian Taxation Office website.

Step 5

Ensure that you comply with workplace health and safety requirements by doing the following:

  • Issue the company’s health and safety policy to the employee and ensure that you receive a signed document from them acknowledging receipt. Keep this in a safe place
  • Instruct the employee how to report a hazard in the workplace
  • Show the employee where the fire exits, fire equipment and first aid facilities are
  • Notify the employee of who the first aid officer is, or the appropriate employee to ask for assistance in case of emergency.

Step 6

Explain the Continuing Professional Development obligations to employees who are required to undertake it to maintain their Certificate of Registration.

Step 7

Instruct the new employee of their required duties and work expectations. This will include confirming any Key Performance Indicators contained in the Position Description. It can also include providing the employee with a copy of a “performance plan” that should be met during the probationary period.

Step 8

For the future, set the following reminders:

  • Any agreed performance reviews within the probationary period
  • The end of the probationary period
  • The Minimum Employment Period (for businesses with less than 15 employees this is 12 months and for businesses with more than 15 employees the period is six months).

Step 9

Ensure you perform all other basic induction tasks for the new employee, including:

  • Informing the employee of their start and finish times 
  • Introducing the employee to the other staff
  • Advising the employee of their first pay date and the frequency of pay
  • Showing the employee all of the facilities
  • Explaining the emergency procedures
  • Informing the employee of any reporting requirements, including how often and who the employee needs to report to.

If the above steps sound complicated and confusing, REEF has designed a simple and fool-proof People Management System (PMS) to help you meet your legal obligations.

Details regarding REEF membership can be found at or by calling REEF’s Membership Services Director, Greg Paterson on 02 9261 2666.